Ugadi is a festival on which many states of India celebrate the New Year. Ugadi is also called Yugadi, the word Yugadi is a combination of the words 'Yuga’ and 'Adi’. It means the start of the new yuga or the calendar.
As per the lunar-solar calendar that the Hindus follow, the day of Ugadi falls on the brighter part of the month of Chaitra. The day on which it is celebrated is called the Chaitra Sudhdha Padyaami.
Depending on the Gregorian year, it falls either in the month of March or in April. In the Gregorian year of 2018, Ugadi will be celebrated on the 18th of March.
While there are many sects under the Hindu religion that do not celebrate Ugadi as their official New Year day, they still consider the day to be very significant. The states that celebrate Ugadi are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In the state of Maharashtra, Ugadi is celebrated as Gudi Padwa on the very same day.
There are many stories that are associated with the day of Ugadi. Some of the stories point to the origin of the festival and the others tell us why certain rituals are done the way they are on Ugadi. Today, we shall take a look at some of these stories. Read on to know more.
• The Origin Of Ugadi
The most important story of Ugadi is perhaps the one associated with the creation of the world as we know it. It is said that when Lord Brahma woke up, he began creating the universe.
Lord Brahma started this work of creation on the day that we today celebrate as Ugadi. This was the day on which all of the living and non-living things were conceived in the mind of Lord Brahma.
Yugadhikrit, or the creator of the Yugas, is the name bestowed on Lord Maha Vishnu. This is because though Lord Brahma created the universe, it is Lord Vishnu who created time and hence, Yugas. Lord Vishnu is also responsible of the up-keep of all the creations.
• The Only Festival Celebrated In Honour Of Lord Brahma
The scriptures tell us that once Lord Brahma was captured by Moh Maya. Under the influence of Maya, he lusted after Goddess Saraswati. Goddess Saraswati is considered to be Lord Brahma's daughter and in lusting for her, Lord Brahma had sinned.
As a punishment, Lord Vishnu cut one of Lord Brahma's four heads. Lord Shiva cursed Lord Brahma that he would never be worshipped by the people. As a result, even today, there is no pooja done in honour of Lord Brahma and there are very few temples dedicated to him. Ugadi is perhaps the only festival that exalts Lord Brahma.
• King Shalivahana
The calendar that is followed in the region that lies in the Vindhya dates back to the time when the Satavahana King Shalivahana ruled the land. He is also known as Gautamiputra Satakarni. He a legendary hero who founded the Shalivahana Shaka or empire and started the Shalivahana era. The calendar starts at 78 AD of the Gregorian calendar.
• Lord Rama’s Rajyabhishek.
It is said that the day on which Lord Rama arrived in Ayodhya is celebrated as Diwali. The day of Chaitra Paadyami is celebrated as the day on which Lord Rama was crowned the King of Ayodhya. The day is so auspicious that it was chosen for the coronation of Lord Rama.
• Lord Krishna’s Death
At the end of the Dwapara Yuga, the sons and grandsons of Lord Krishna perished in a fight. The fight was a result of a curse from a sage.
The curse also ultimately led to the death of Lord Krishna when an arrow struck him. It is said that he passed away on the day of Ugadi. Lord Ved Vyasa said - Yesmin Krishno divamvyataha, Tasmat eeva pratipannam Kaliyugam
• Arrival Of Kali Yuga
The death of Lord Krishna marked the end of Dwapara Yuga and the start of the Kali Yuga. As the Lord Krishna passed away on the day of Chaitra Shuddha Paadyami, it is the day that the Kali Yuga began.
• The Story Behind The Use Of Mango Leaves On Ugadi
According to a story, Narada Muni took a mango to Lord Shiva. Both Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya wanted to have the mango. Lord Shiva proposed that a contest be held between two of his sons.
He said that whoever goes around the world and comes back first shall receive the fruit. Lord Kartikeya hopped on his peacock and started his journey, whereas Lord Ganesha went around his parents, as they were his world and earned the fruit. After this incident, Lord Kartikeya said that all entrances to the homes shall be decorated with mango leaves in the memory of this incident.
• Matsya Avatar
It is said that Lord Maha Vishnu took matsya avatar three days after the day of Ugadi. This avatar was taken to save the world and its living things from the deluge or the Pralaya.