I thought that April 14 is only celebrated in many parts of India as New Year (read details here). That was till I saw this chart produced by the Anand Ashram Foundation, Bali. It was then that I got to know that April 13 and 14 are celebrated as Indigenous New Year by many communities across Asia. Am reproducing from the chart i.e. below. In case of any errors or additions please mail me.
We normally associate celebrations with noise, loud music, singing, partying and of course crowds of people.
Not so with the Balinese; not always.
Here, on this isle of gods, silence and solitude are celebrated too. Indeed, the most important celebration here is that of silence.
Yes, I am speaking about Nyepi – the day of silence. Following the traditions and wisdom of the ancients of the archipelago, to this day Balinese celebrate their New Year in silence. What a way to celebrate the New Year!
Nyepi is a day to reflect, and to do self-introspection. Nyepi is a day for contemplation, and meditation. On this day, newyear resolutions are made in silence, in deep, deep silence.
It is a Delight to hear and read how so many people the world over are beginning to realize that normalcy after the pandemic caused by Covid-19 Virus, which originated in the city of Wuhan China, would be a disaster.
We are beginning to realize that after the pandemic ends, business would not be as usual. When I say “we”, I am referring to all men and women with a common sense and am referring to all those who understand the message delivered to us through this pandemic.
Those who have not understood the message are to be pitied, for they have lost a golden opportunity to learn something of real value.
The Message, as I have Written Earlier is very clear, (to read part ONE ) Whether there has been a human intervention or not, it is because of our karmas, our irresponsible past actions that the virus is here and haunting us. We have to realize this, mend our ways, and start anew by living compassionately, with Karuna or Compassion as our guiding principle.
We have the Habit of Constantly Delaying tasks, tasks which we feel are especially difficult to fulfill. But, tasks are tasks. Even before our birth, we have entrusted those tasks upon ourselves. So, there is no escape. We can escape anything else, but we cannot escape ourselves.
Self-Introspection or Atma Chintan is one such task. We have kept it pending for a long, long time, both on an individual, as well as a collective level. Now, there seems to be no option, like it or not, we must fulfill this task of looking inward.
Covid-19, Corona, or the virus (which will be remembered by history to have first presented in the city of Wuhan in the Hubei Province of China) – is a reminder, “Hey guys, have you all forgotten to fulfill your tasks.”
We shall not be a Part of Conspiracy and other theories, some of which though, we must agree, may answer the burning questions posed by the Political Scientists and Economists.
Shishtachar….is a Word That PrecedesSamskriti – the word has been translated in English as “Etiquette”, a set of customs and rules for polite behaviour. It is further explained in the lexicon that “If someone has good manners, they are polite and observe social customs. If someone has bad manners, they are not polite and do not observe these customs.”
Shishtachar is something that is taught by parents at home, and enhanced by teachers in the school. The role of present day KG and Primary Teachers, therefore, is very important. If the children are not taught to behave properly at that age, it will not be possible to inculcate higher values later on.
Shishtachar is the Very Foundation, upon which Samskriti – the infrastructure of Human Culture – is built. A shishya or student bows down, lowers his shish or head, and obeys his teacher because of his faith in the wisdom of the teacher. A child moulds their character, not only according to what he learns from the acharya or teacher, but also by observing his exemplary life – this is shishtachar.
Uprooted from His Motherland Sindhand back in Java, Baba, my father started all over again. He expressed his feelings in one of his poems,
“Far from my Jeejal, my Mother Sindh,
here I am in the land of my Foster Mother.
Now, She nourishes this unfortunate son
separated from her natural Mother…”
Attached to the Divine Form of Shri Krishna and his message delivered on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, Baba was an Advaita Vedanti at heart. For him, the Form and the Formless were not different: “Ice is solid, water is liquid – both can be seen. But, steam evaporates, now seen, now no more. Three different forms, different feels, but essentially one.”