Ugadi Message by Param Pujya Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji on April 13, 2021
Auspicious Ugadi blessings to you all on this lunar new year of Plava.
See how quickly time flies. Ugadi is already here. It seems like just a few days ago we had to forego Ugadi celebrations due to Covid and Ugadi is already here for a second time. It appeared as if the coronavirus was controlled, but the second wave is here now because people did not follow the rules. They thought the pandemic had ended and roamed and acted as they pleased. I told you all to shower daily, but some people did not. People did not wear masks. I told you not to forget wearing a mask. You wear the same mask for a month, dirt sticks on it. You must clean the mask every day or at least alternate between a pair of masks. You must sanitize your hands whenever you touch anything.
I told you in the past about how you can make your own sanitizer. Thoroughly boil together a few neem leaves, some black pepper corns, a few leaves of holy Basil, a pinch of edible camphor and some turmeric. Filter and use this to sanitize your hands. You can drink 2-3 spoonfuls every morning. You can also use this to wash vegetables. I told you all this before, but you neglected it thinking coronavirus is gone. And now the virus is back. Many also got careless once they got vaccinated because they got overly confident they were immune to infection. There is always up to 80% risk of contracting the virus, you are only 20% protected. So, that reckless behavior has gotten us to this point where we are having to forego this Ugadi as well. There are again rules in place against mass gatherings.
Time does not care about good or evil, and about gains or losses. It is always in equanimity. We should learn this quality of equanimity from Time. This is the festival of Kāla Puruṣa (the Lord of Time) who is none other than Lord Vishnu. That is why one of the nāmās (names) of the Lord in Vishnu Sahasranamam is yugādikr̥d. That means, the Lord is one who started the Yugas. Srimannarayana sets the wheel of time in motion. Farmers, bulls, plough, land, seeds etc., are all gathered and then the crops are raised. Similarly, Lord Vishnu in the form of Time gathers everything and runs this creation. That supreme Lord starts the wheel of Yugas. Therefore, Lord Vishnu should be worshiped as Kāla Puruṣa.
The word “Yugadi” got transformed into the word “Ugadi”. It starts on caitra śuddha pādyami (first day of the lunar month of Chaitra). That is why this is also called the New Year. In the past, a demon called Somaka stole the Vedas. Lord Maha Vishnu incarnated as the fish and slew the demon and handed the Vedas back to Lord Brahma on this day. That is why the Puranas hail this day as Ugadi. Lord Brahma first worshiped Kāla puruṣa and then started the calculation of time. Therefore, it is the festival of Kāla puruṣa. Kāla puruṣa turns the wheel of time with precise calculations, that never go wrong. Even in matters of joy and sorrow, the Lord follows precise calculations. Similarly, man’s life too, from childhood to adolescence to adulthood to old age goes per well-defined calculations. Therefore, everyone from children to the old should observe all customs of this day. Everyone must be informed this day about losses and gains for all zodiacs, about astrological predictions for the various stars, about good fortunes and misfortunes for the year, and about the pañcāngam (almanac). Importantly, one must listen to the message from the pañcāngam on this day. The pañcāngam (pañcā= five; angam = limbs) consists of tithi (lunar phase), vāra (day of the week), nakṣatra (asterism of the day), yogam (angular relationship between sun and moon) and karaṇam (half a tithi) – the five limbs. Learning about the five limbs each day is very good. Learning about tithi, bestows prosperity. Learning about vāra increase life span. Learning about the nakṣatra removes sins, learning about yogam removes diseases and learning about karaṇam accomplishes tasks.
Pañcānga śravaṇa (listening to the read out of the almanac) bestows such auspicious results. Kāla puruṣa has put in our hands already, information about the good and the evil that will occur all year long. That is why, undertaking dharma and charity as well as Yajnas and other meritorious deeds according to the almanac will bestow on us the grace of Kāla puruṣa. Those who worship the almanac narrator on this day will gain happiness all year long.
Lord Sri Krishna instructed Dharmaraja about the greatness of Ugadi thus – O Dharmaraja, caitra śuddha pādyami is a very sacred and meritorious day. On this day, one must learn about nakṣatra and the nine chiefs of the lunar year. By doing this, one can turn inauspiciousness into auspiciousness.
Therefore, this body that we attain due to the merit of several lifetimes should be used for a good purpose. Use time productively. Do not worry about the past. Forget about losses and difficulties. Step forward with renewed enthusiasm into the new spirit bestowed by Time. There are new changes in Nature by the grace of Gods. On this Ugadi day, take a head bath, wear new clothes, think of your favorite deity, get blessed by elders, worship Gods and listen to the pañcāngam. Eat Ugadi paccadi. Ugadi Paccadi has the six tastes of sweet, bitter, sour, salty, spicy and acrid. Jaggery, neem flowers, tamarind, a pinch of salt, black pepper powder and raw mangoes are mixed together to make this customary concoction. It is good for health. But do not drink pitchers full of it. Accept joys and sorrows with a balanced mind. Human life is filled with the six tastes. Therefore, be with a balanced mind at all times. This is the message we get by consuming Ugadi Paccadi. This dish also enhances digestion and removes phlegm. It purifies blood and removes mental diseases and brings peace to the mind. It enhances the life span. While eating Ugadi paccadi, recite this mantra.
śatāyur vajra dehāya sarva sampat karāyaca
sarvāriśṭa vināśāya nimbakaṁ dala bhakṣaṇaṁ
Like this, the customs practiced for several generations should be followed with faith. Respect elders, worship cows, see your friends on this day. Goddess Lakshmi resides in the homes where such customs are followed.
The nine chiefs of this lunar year of Plava are
King – Kuja / Mars
Minister – Kuja / Mars
Senadhipati (commander of the army) – Chandra / Moon
Sasyadhipati (agriculture) – Shukra / Venus
Dhanyadipati (grains and cereals) – Budha / Mercury
Arghyadipati (water) – Kuja / Mars
Meghadipati (clouds and rainfall) – Kuja / Mars
Rasadhipati (beverages, defenses etc) – Ravi / Sun
Neerasadhipati (diseases, relations, karma etc) – Shukra / Venus
Four of these cause auspiciousness and five are sinful. So, everyone will get mixed results this year, there is no need for each person to especially worry about it. May goodness come to everyone by the grace of Kāla Puruṣa. May the world be peaceful.
Be careful about coronavirus. We are being told it may take two more months. If we are careful, we can protect our lives. There is no doubt it is hard in so many ways – finances, education for children etc. are very difficult during this time. But if we are careful for two months, we will have peace again.