Ugadi is the New Year’s Day for the people of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. While this festival is known as Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, the same is celebrated as Gudi Padwa in Maharashtra. It falls generally in the month of March.
According to the Hindu Calendar, Ugadi is celebrated on the first day of the bright fortnight (‘Shukla Paksha’) of the first month (‘Chaitra’) in the first season of the year i.e., spring (‘Vasanta’). This day is celebrated as the New Year Day in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. While it is called Ugadi or Yugadi in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, it is celebrated as Gudi Padva in Maharashtra. The word ‘Ugadi’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yugadi’, which means ‘beginning of a new Yuga or era’. Legend has it that this was the day on which Lord Krishna shed His body, signalling the end of the Dwapara Yuga and the commencement of the Kali Yuga. It is also believed that Brahma created the universe on this day.
On Ugadi, it is the tradition to begin the day by partaking of a special preparation known as ‘Ugadi Pacchadi’. Six ingredients go into the making of this dish, each one representative of the six tastes – sweet, sour, spicy, salty, savoury and bitter. This reminds us to accept both the joys and sorrows that life offers us with equal mindedness.
Excerpts from Bhagawan’s Discourses:
“There is no need to wait for a new year to bring new tidings. Every moment is new. Many are wondering what troubles and losses the New Year will bring. But the year is not responsible for all our troubles and difficulties. Only our conduct is responsible. If our actions are good, the results will be good. Bad actions lead to bad consequences. People think that good and bad are related to time. It is not that way. Their thoughts are the cause. Hence, they should develop good thoughts and do good deeds. They should cherish good feelings and associate with good people. People should realize the preciousness of Time. People waste most of the time available. This is utterly wrong. Time should be used always for right purposes. That is the foremost duty of every man. Waste of time is waste of life. The Lord of Time protects those who take refuge in Him, even against the Lord of Death, Kala. Time takes its revenge on those who misuse it. A nation’s prosperity is dependent on how people use their time in the performance of good actions”.
– Divine Discourse: 7 April 1997
“Today is Ugadi, the beginning of the New Year. Since ancient times, man has celebrated many Ugadis, but he is yet to give up bad qualities. True Ugadi is the day when man gives up bad qualities, fills his heart with love and takes to the path of sacrifice. Do not limit the celebration of Ugadi to merely putting on new clothes and partaking of delicious items. Today you may wear a new shirt, but how long will it remain new. Tomorrow it becomes old. Nobody reads the same newspaper everyday. Today’s newspaper becomes a waste paper tomorrow. Our life is like a newspaper. Once you have finished reading a newspaper, you do not like to read it again and again. You have been given this birth which is like a newspaper, and have gone through varied experiences of pleasure and pain. Enough is enough. Do not ask for one more newspaper, i.e., another birth. You should pray, “Oh God! You have given me this ‘newspaper’ and I have gone through the experiences of this life. I don’t want to have another birth.
On this day of Ugadi, take a firm resolve to purify your heart. Past is past. It cannot be retrieved. When you are walking on the road, you should look at the path ahead of you. What is the point in looking behind? Likewise, there is no point in brooding over the past. Future is not certain. What is the guarantee that you will be alive until tomorrow? So, do not worry about your future. Live in the present. It is not ordinary present. It is omnipresent, meaning the results of past as well as the future are contained in it. So, when you make proper use of the present, you can be rest assured that your future is safe and secure”.
– Divine Discourse: April 13, 2002
“We will achieve victory in every walk of life when we foster good thoughts and good deeds. Today is the first day of the New year. From today onwards, all devotees must undertake his holy task. Past is past. Do not think of the future, because it is not in our hands. What is the guarantee that we will live until tomorrow? Therefore, this present time is very important. Make good use of it. Do not go against your inner self. That is what I tell my children, the students here, “Follow the master”. Who is your master? Your inner self is your master. So there is no need for anyone else; follow your own inner self. That is your God. That is your happiness. That is your wealth. That is your peace. Happiness and peace are not outside”.
– Divine Discourse: 20 March 1996