Friday, 27 March, 2009

चैत्र प्रतिपदा - कुछ जानकारी

According to the Vedic laws, only the king in whose kingdom there was no hunger or misery was allowed to have a "Samvat" named after him. Samvat were also named after some epoch making event.

The Vikrami Samvat was named after Samrat Vikramaditya who used to rule from Ujjain. He was born in times that were tough for the country. The Saka tribes (barbarians from Central Asia) had invaded India, over run the northern India and driven in till the center of the country (Ujjain).

The country united in its effort to drive out Sakas. Rulers from all over India came togather to drive out a common enemy. Pal rulers from Bengal sent forces as did rulers from areas that now correspond to Gujarat / Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. The forces chose Samrat Vikramaditya as the leader under whom battle would be fought.

Under Samrat Vikramaditya's leadership, the united Hindu forces drove away the Saka tribes. That he earned the title of "Shak-ari" meaning enemy (ari) of the Shaka race speaks about the thoroughness of his victory.

To commemerate this epoch making event that altered India's history, a calender or "Samvat" was begun this day.

This happenned ~ 57 BC, so the Vikram Samvatsar that begins today is 2066.

135 years later, similar circumstances reoccured, Saka and Hun tribes were attacking India again. Again, the rulers of various parts of India came togather to ward off enemy who would have finished the Indian way of living. The Shaka and Hun were driven away and the "Shaka Samvat" ("शक संवत") was launched, corresponding to ~ 78 AD.

The Saka Samvat was adopted by the Government of India as official calender even though in the general public's usage, it is Vikram Samvat that is followed.

Various other calenders or "samvat" exist like :

  • The Veer Samvat or the Jain calender (which commemorates the birth of Lord Mahaveer) and
  • The नानकशाही कैलेंडर (commemorating the birth of Guru Nanak Dev ji) and so on, but it is the Vikram Samvat that is लोकमान्य or widely accepted by the masses.

The Hindu new year starts on the day after Amavasya (no moon day) in the Chaitra month. The first day of the year is called Chaitra Pratipada.

Irrespective of which calender (Saka / Vikram / others) that you follow, today is the first day of the new year.

विशेष :

आज (27-03-2009) चैत्र प्रतिपदा है, जिसका अर्थ होता है, चैत्र महीने के शुक्ल पक्ष (the period in which moon starts waxing or increasing in its brightness), कि पहली तिथि।

चैत्र प्रतिपदा के ही दिन अन्य "calenders" या "संवत" का भी पहला दिन होता है, जैसे,

  • शक संवत 1931
  • युगाब्द 5110

For those interested in details, while Chaitra is the first month of the year, it is pertinent to note that the 15 days before the "Pratipada" are also called Chaitra month but because they are of "Krishna" paksh (dark fortnight since the moon is waning/declining), they are part of earlier year (in this case Vikram Samvat 2065).

The chaitra navratras begin from this day. Many other important events are linked with the day of Chaitra Pratipada like

a) Birth of the sage Gautam (who went to South and settled there)

b) Birth of Dr. Keshava Baliram Hedgewar, founder of the RSS.

c) The Sindhi new year also begins this day as it is birth day of Lord Jhulelal.

d) The Spring or वसंत नवरात्र begin from this day, the ninth day is राम नवमी.

Please add any further information that I would have missed.

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