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Panditji reads contributors’ names as part of the ceremony.
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Ugadi or Yugadi is a festival that teaches lessons in selfless service. It is not intended for feasting. It is a sacred day when wholesome wisdom should dawn and enlightenment should bloom in the hearts of people. Ugadi teaches man that he should perfect himself as an embodiment of divinity.
The new Vedic lunar calendar with the change of the moon’s orbit is marked by Ugadi. Traditionally on Ugadi, panchanga sravanam (listening to the new yearly calendar) was done at the temples. At Sri Somesvara, Ugadi is a day when mantras are chanted and predictions are made for the New Year. Auspicious days, like Ugadi, can be used for making resolutions to change our way of life and purify our mind, heart, and behavior.
Ugadi is a festival which occurs on the first day (prathipad) of the bright half (shukla) of the Vedic month of Chaitra, which generally falls between mid-March and mid-April.
The word “Yugadi” can be defined as yuga or era. “Adi” stands for beginning. “Yugadi” particularly refers to the start of the age we are living in now, Kali Yuga. Lunar calendars have a sixty year cycle and start every New Year on Yugadi. According to the English calendar, Yugadi would be described as February 20, 3102 B.C., years before the advent of Christ. In order to bring out this aspect of the commencement of the new yuga on February 20, 3102 B.C., our ancestors have been calling that day Yugadi.
Ugadi is also the day on which Lord Krishna gave up his mortal body in a sacred place of pilgrimage called Dwaraka. On Ugadi, it is the practice of the people to eat Ugadi Prasadam. This is made from six tastes (shadruchi):
- Neem flowers – bitter
- Unripe mango – astringent
- Salt – salty
- Tamarind – sour
- Jaggary – sweet
- Chilies – pungent
The inner significance of this preparation is that life is a mixture of good and bad, joy and sorrow, and all of them are best treated alike. As we grow spiritually, all experiences are treated with more and more equality.