Different communities to usher in Hindu New Year with rituals

NAGPUR: Amid confusion over exact date for observing Gudi Padwa and Chaitra Navratri, Nagpurians will be raising the gudi, a kind of flag, outside their homes on Tuesday to mark the first day of the year as per the Hindu calendar. The beginning of Chaitra Navratri will be observed by many in North Indian homes on March 29.
Astrologically speaking, Lord Brahma created the universe on the day of Chaitra Shukla Pratipada at the time of sunrise. As Amavasya, which is considered inauspicious for beginning of any task, ends at 8.27am on Tuesday and Pratipada begins at that time and ends at 5.55am on March 29, so Chaitra Navratri and Gudi Padwa should be observed on Tuesday. “Pratipada tithi is essential for ghatsthapana and its presence should be for at least 48 minutes after sunrise. Since that is not the case on March 29, ghatsthapana has to be done on Tuesday,” says Prabodh Vekhande, who studies scriptures and astrology.
Describing the raising of gudi outside the homes as essential to control Ketu and bring more stability in homes, Vekhande says, “There are many who display gudi in their living rooms and gallery. But actually it should be put at a height outside as it is like a flag which is a manifestation of Ketu.”
Brahma created the universe and appeased Ganesha in the form of a gudi since he could not worship the deity. And we worship Brahma through the Gudi for a stable and productive life, says Vekhande.

The day also marks the beginning of nine days of Chaitra Navratri which should be dedicated to worship of Lord Ram, feels Vekhande. “For people of this region, I would suggest a visit to Ramtek temple as that is the place of Rishi Agastya and also where Ram stayed with his entire family and halted before going into the deep forest by donning clothes of a sannyasi. We should try to visit this place during this period,” he says.
The Ram temples in the city also see extensive worship during this time. “There is a lot of power in the name of Lord Ram. Just chanting his name can bring comfort to ordinary people. So, in the temples in east Nagpur which has more of Hindi speaking population, Ramcharitmanas is read during the nine days, also termed as Ram Navratri. In the temples in west Nagpur, there is more of kirtan in praise of Ram and chanting of Ramraksha Stotra,” says Prasad Joshi, a priest.
The Sindhi community in the city will be celebrating Chetti Chand on March 29. The highlight of the event is day long prasad distribution at Sai Basant Shah Chowk by the owners of 780 shops in the area which will remain closed for the day. “We organize a langar or community kitchen which is visited by more than 50,000 people during the day. We distribute meals from 7am to 10pm from a 60 feet long stall put up by all the shopkeepers,” says Thakurdas Jethwani, president of Jaripatka Dukandaar Sangh.
Quieter celebrations take place in Telugu and Kannadiga homes which usher in their new year or Ugadi.

Source: The Times of India