There is a certain significance to Ugadi being the New Year, and not the first of January, in terms of what is occurring in the planet and in the human physiology and mind on this day. Ugadi follows the lunisolar calendar, which has a direct connection with the way the human body is made. The Indian calendar is very significant not just culturally but scientifically because it connects you with the movements of the planet.
Chandramana Ugadi is the beginning of a new year as per the lunisolar calendar largely followed by the Indian people for many millennia. As in everything else that comes from the East, even the calendar is in terms of what it does to the human physiology and consciousness. The tilt of the globe renders the northern hemisphere to receive the highest amount of the Sun’s energy during the 21-day period that starts from Ugadi. Though it may be uncomfortable for humans in terms of the temperature soaring, this is the time when the earth’s batteries are charged. Ugadi is on the first day of the waxing moon after the first new moon post equinox, suggesting a new beginning.
In preparation for this hottest period of the year in tropical latitudes, it is a tradition that people start this segment of the year with elaborate application of cooling oils like castor. Unlike the modern calendars of the day, which ignore human experience in relation to the planetary movement, the lunisolar calendar (chandramana – souramana panchanga) takes into account the experience and impact that is happening to the human being and hence, the calendar being adjusted to latitudes.Ugadi is not celebrated as the New Year just as part of a belief system or a convenience – there is a science behind it which enhances human wellbeing in many different ways. The profoundness of what this nation has been is being rubbished today simply because some other nations have moved ahead of us economically. We will also soon move ahead economically, but the profoundness that this culture carries cannot be created in a few years’ time; this is the outcome of thousands of years of work.
A simple thing you can do to start your new year is when you pick up your telephone, don’t just say “hello” or “hi” or something else. Say “Namaste” or “Namaskar” or “Namaskaram” or “Vanakkam”. There is a significance to uttering such words in your life – where what you say or do to God, you do to everyone around you. This is the best way to live.
If something is sacred for you and something else is not, then you are missing the whole point. Make this New Year a possibility for you to recognize this divinity in every human being.