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Happy New Indian Year

Happy Indian New Year

Happy Indian New Year

On the Siddha Yoga path, new beginnings hold great importance. They contain boundless potential for new insights and greater vision. New beginnings are also a time to celebrate our progress on the spiritual path, and they inspire us to further our efforts.

Indian New Year is another opportunity to experience wonder and gratitude for life and all the joy it holds. In Gujarat and some parts of Maharashtra, the new year is celebrated on the day after Deepavali, the Festival of Lights. It is one of the three-and-a-half most auspicious days of the year according to the panchanga, the traditional Indian calendar. In 2019, Indian New Year occurs on Monday, October 28.

This day is also celebrated as Bali Pratipada, which commemorates the victory of Lord Vishnu in his dwarf incarnation, Vamana, over King Bali. In celebration of Indian New Year, this collection contains teachings from the scriptures and poet-saints of India about the significance of new beginnings on the spiritual path, as well as anecdotes and stories about this holiday.

yellow sun

The Light of the Self Is Ever New

~Jnaneshvar Maharaj


Indian New Year is an auspicious time to make resolutions, renew our commitments to friendships, and rededicate ourselves to cultivating positive attitudes. It is a day bursting with fresh hope and possibilities, and we can celebrate its exuberant spirit by dressing in new clothes; sharing happiness and love with family, neighbors, and friends; enjoying and exchanging nature’s abundance through holiday foods; and expanding our knowledge by reading a book we have not read before.

A person's actions, words, and outlook on New Year's Day are believed to set the tone for the year ahead. It is a time to make a resolution to put forth the effort to overcome differences with others. On New Year’s Day we recognize that through our awareness of unity, each of us contributes to the peace of this world. One way we do this is by greeting one another with warmth and good wishes. We say to each other Nutan Varshabhinandan.

This means “Happy New Year” in Hindi. Nutan is “new,” varsh is “year,” and abhinandan means “ovation” or “homage.” So when we say Nutan Varshabhinandan! we pay homage to one another, and honor the New Year.


A Siddha Yogi from India describes the traditions of Indian New Year in her hometown:

On the New Year, we have a big feast, we wear new clothes, we perform puja. In India, the puja differs from family to family; you might do puja to a deity or perform a fire ceremony. My family follows the Siddha Yoga path, and so we would recite Shri Guru Gita.

It’s also traditional, in the days leading up to the New Year, to clean and decorate the home. A lot of people also paint their homes. It’s a physical cleaning, and it also has symbolic significance. It signifies completion and new beginnings.

red abundance

There where there is no darkness,
nor night, nor day,
nor Being, nor Nonbeing,
there is the Auspicious one alone,
absolute and eternal;
there is the glorious splendor
of that Light from whom in the beginning
sprang ancient wisdom.

Svetashvatara Upanishad IV, 18

Raimundo Panikkar, trans. The Vedic Experience: Mantramanjari
(Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1977) p. 83-84.

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To set the tone for the coming year on this auspicious day, some of my sadhana friends and I are participating in Sweet Surprise from our own homes.

What could be more enriching than keeping the company of Gurumayi and receiving her teachings, dharanas and practices?

Repeating the practice of participating in Sweet Surprise many times this year has given me the direct experience of teachings I've been studying since Baba's time. I can now rest my mind in its source during my day-to- day activities in a new way.  I am deeply grateful to Gurumayi, and excited about moving forward in sadhana.

Washington, United States

These words of Jnaneshwar remind me of how I love to get up and see the sun rise every day. I am always inspired because the sunrise is a little different every day, yet the rising of the sun is so constant.

Watching the sunrise each day gives me hope that within me there is the inevitability of a new sunrise—a new way of looking at things and a sense of new possibilities, even in the midst of challenges.

Even if it’s a cloudy day and I can't see the sunrise—because I see it so often, I still know it’s there.

California, USA

I feel so grateful for the opportunity to refresh my resolutions on this day of new beginnings. In New England, the familiar green of spring and summer has transformed into a dazzling display of hues—red, orange, and purple. Today I feel that nature delights in ushering in this New Year with us, as I have never seen more vibrant shades of crimson. This verse from the Upanishads inspired me with the insight that on this day, a day of new beginnings, there is just as much boundless potential as there was at the very beginning when the ancient wisdom first sprang from the Light.

Nutan Varshabhinandan!

Massachusetts, USA