Yugadi – The Year Beginning
The new year comes in as the old one goes out. For some, this happens at the beginning of the Mēṣa month, for others it is from the commencement of the lunar waxing cycle of the Chaitra month; for yet others, it is the first day of January.
Westerners say, ‘New Year Day.’ That can be comprehended. Easterners namely, the oriental however call this ‘Yugādi’ (the inception of a yuga i.e. era! There are only four yugas namely Kr̥ta, Trēta, Dvāpara and Kali. The pancānga astrologers tell us that currently Kali is in progression. If so, the inception of which yuga are we referring to here? What is it that commences anew each year?
Our ancients used language in a very elegant way. They filled in the history of their culture, their living beliefs in their words while passing them to us. Yugādi is one such incredible word.
Yuga means pair; yugma. This life itself is a yuga. Pair of joy – sorrow; profit – loss pair; victory – defeat pair; day – night pair; birth – death pair. All these have to be experienced by the male – female pair.
Life is nothing but the charm of this pairing. Recollecting old charms and the benediction of new charms is verily Yugādi. Reminding us of this very facet is the pair of neem – jaggery; the bitter-sweet enchantment.