Gujarati New Year …a Prelude
Gujarati New Year or Bestu Varas falls in the month of Kartik, the first month of vernacular Gujarati Calendar and is celebrated on the day following Diwali. Known for their colourful ways of living, the festivity verily reflects the cheerful mood of the Gujarati community and is marked by rituals, celebrations and great merriment, marking the beginning of the new fiscal year. This New Year is Vikram Samvat 2071.
The legend for the New Year traces its tale back to Lord Krishna’s days. Bhagawan Sri Krishna, in order to save the inhabitants of Braj from the fury of Lord Indra, lifted the mountain Govaradhan, collecting His folks under it. Commemorating this act of grace of Lord Krishna, the day is thus celebrated as New Year Day by the Gujarati community.
Gujarati New Year day was observed in Prasanthi for the first time in 1997, when over 2,500 devotees joined the party, celebrating the occasion in the immediate Divine Presence.However, from 2003 onwards, every year, under the auspices of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, hundreds and thousands of devotees flock to Prasanthi, celebrating the twin occasions of Diwali and New Year, studded with various cultural programmes.
Over thousand devotees from the State have joined this year’s Parthi Yatra under the leadership of State President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations. ‘Test is His taste’- it is said in general about Bhagawan’s ‘modus operandi’. State President Sri Manohar Trikarnad recollects how, more than a couple of occasions, Bhagawan tested the faith, patience and perseverance of the devotees and officials, including tiny tots, by approving the Diwali/New Year programme ‘straight away’ in the nick of time, at the last moment, asking the State President to “start” (the drama).
No wonder, State of Gujarat has fond memoirs of Bhagawan and His Love…!!!
Gujarathi New Year Day 2014 –Celebration at Prasanthi Nilayam
After yesterday’s joyous Diwali celebrations, today, many hundreds from the State of Gujarat assembled in the holy precincts of Sai Kulwant Hall, celebrating the advent of Gujarati New Year in the immediate Divine ‘omnipresence’. This is the 12th year in succession the State is celebrating the New Year in Prasanthi Nilayam.
At the outset, delivering his introductory speech, Sri Manohar Trikarnad, State President of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisatons – Gujarat, spoke on the significance of the New Year. Even as the State President continued, various paraphernalia associated with the occasion were offered at Bhagawan’s Lotus Feet by the devotees from the State. Wishing the devotees from the State a ‘Happy New Year’, the State President concluded with a prayer to Bhagawan, to make them worthy instruments.
Youth Girls from the state then continued with a devotional song, “Tera Pyaar Hai Aparambar…”, a classic vocal expression of Divine Romance, singing paeans to The Mother of Infinite Love…praying to light the lamp of love within and to take it to spread, encompassing everything.
The final programme for this year’s twin celebrations was a 40-minutes drama presentation by the students of Sri Sathya Sai School, Surat. …And the evening turned vibrantly potent with the talented children enacting the enticingly captivating saintly story of Meera Bai, overwhelming the hall with sweet ‘Krishna Flavour’.
Music and action followed…Titled, “The Epitome of Bhakti”, the presentation was a depiction of the illustrious, ‘intoxicated’ life of Meera Bai, and the mystic poet and one of the foremost devotees of Bhagawan Sri Krishna, lived over 600 years ago. Meera’s childhood passion and devotion for Krishna, marriage with Rana, ill-treatment at the hands of relatives, Meera’s meeting with Goswami Tulsidas, Visit to Sri Krishna’s Dwaraka and Final Merger with Krishna were the scenes depicted with great artistic flavour. Beautiful children from Sri Sathya Sai School lived the characters,winning the hearts of the devotees gathered, for their brilliant all-round show. Be it costumes, dancing or enacting these children gave their best as a dedication to Beloved Swami.
Outpouring’s of expressions of Meera’s Pure Love for Krishna is a possession for eternity that helps devotion to peak to greater realms of bliss. Showcasing highlights from Meera Bai’s God-centric life, single-minded passion for Krishna, the drama recounted the greater contribution of ‘Bhakta Meera’ helping true aspirants to rise in their journey towards Supreme Bliss- Atma Sakshatkar. Mere presence of such exalted devotees adds holiness to everything they touch…making it Divine!
Soulful bhajans by Gujarat troupe followed. All the participants were felicitated. Mangala Arathi at 1820 hrs. marked the end of the proceedings.
II SAMASTHA LOKAH SUKHINO BHAVANTU II