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NAVREH and the turn of century to radiate compassion and benevolence

Date:

G L Raina

Navreh or New Year day according to the local Kashmiri calendar this year falls on April 9, 2024. Navreh is derived from Nav-varsh of Sanskrit.  It is not just a religious ritual. Describing rituals as an established pattern embedded in the cultural consciousness of a people, Dr. SS Toskhani says, they (rituals) link the mundane or natural reality with the divine or trans-natural.  Ritual processes are closely related to the attitude of a civilisation to time and space and their sacralisation and symbolisation, he adds.  Navreh also reflects this relation in several ways in this part of the world.

Not just new year, it is also the beginning of a new century of Saptrishi Samvat 5100. It is the turn of the century according to this Bharatiya Calendar that is still in use in .  Besides being an important occasion to mark a new beginning, the relevance of the 5100 number is also noteworthy.

According to numerologists, the number “5100” radiates an aura of emotional depth, compassion, humanitarianism and sympathy for nature. Its primary energy is often referred to as being caring. It also evokes a conscientious and artistic feeling to it. Every one may not believe in numerology, astrology or extra-celestial forces, But there have been and are patterns in arithmology which are hard to overlook.

 

Calendar Keeping

The periods in a calendar (such as years, months and days) are usually synchronized with the cycle of the sun or the moon.  Movement of other celestial bodies is also taken into consideration.

A large number of calendar systems have been in use for a very long time now.  These days' two broad distinct calendar systems in use are western or Gregorian calendar and Bharatiya calendar or Panchang as it is popularly called.

The principal factor distinguishing the Western calendar and the Bharatiya panchang is their frame of reference. The Western calendar is based on the sun, in which a year is the time required for the earth to complete one orbit around the sun. This solar year comprises 12 arbitrarily designated months – all of which have either 30 or 31 days, except February, which has 28 in common years and 29 every fourth year (leap year).

The Bharatiya panchang is ingeniously based on both the sun and the moon; it uses a solar year, but divides it into 12 lunar months. A lunar month or synodic month – is the time required for the moon to orbit once around the earth and pass through its complete cycle of phases. Furthermore, these months are formulated in accordance with the successive entrances of the sun into the 12 rashis – signs of the zodiac, i.e. the 12 constellations marking the path of the sun. This study went very deep in and created several astonishing examples.

Sri Vidyashankara Temple located in the holy town of Sringeri, in the Chikmagalur district of Karnataka, a marvel of Vedic architecture built in 1338 AD, is one such example.

12 pillars surround the mandapa (eastern half of the structure) with 12 figures of the zodiac sign. They are constructed in such an ingenious way that the rays of the sun fall on each pillar in the chronological order of the 12 months of the calendar.

 

Bhartiya Panchang

During the Vedic period India developed a sophisticated timekeeping methodology and calendars.  It was based on astronomical studies during the Vedic Period. The most common type of calendar was the luni-solar calendar, a lunar calendar that occasionally adds one intercalary month to remain synchronized with the solar year over the long term.

Time is known as kāla in Indian philosophical systems. It comprises ‘kā' referring to expansion of the universe and ‘la' referring to ‘laya' or contraction or reaching the place from where the things came. Bhartiya concept of time recognises perpetual creation and destruction going on in a cyclic manner. It believes that the process of creation moves in cycles and that each cycle has four great epochs of time, namely Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapar Yuga and Kali Yuga. And because the process of creation is cyclical and never-ending, it “begins to end and ends to begin”.

The word ‘yuga' is derived from two roots, ‘yu' -'to join'  and ‘ga'- ‘ to move'. Time flows and joins all incidents and phenomena in the universe.

While the basis for the modern time study that we have has the base unit as seconds, the base unit in the Vedas is referred to by name “PARAMANU” which literally means “SUB-ATOMIC level”. This gives us an insight that may refer to a calculation of time with reference to atoms and not merely solar or lunar time periods.

Time division starts from the lowest unit Parmanu to , danda to mahurat,  pahar, ahor ratra,  paksha, masa, ritu, ayana samvatsara to Yuga; Mahayuga; Manvantara; Kalpa and Mahakalpa etc.

 

Saptrishi Samvat

Saptrishi samvat is part of Bhartiya Panchang system. According to the Legend, the Saptarishis had once assembled at Hari Parbat (Sharika Parbat- the abode of goddess Sharika), When the first beam of sunlight touched her Swayambhu Shrichakra form, to pay obeisance to her, this very moment formed the basis of calculations for the Navsamvatsara or NAVREH, and the beginning of the Saptarishi Era; thus named as Saptrishi Samvat. Sharika Parbat is also known as Pradhyuman Pitha.

This calendar is in conformity with local conditions, climate, agricultural and socio-economic activity including cropping patterns and socio-cultural event planning. This calendar has become innate with the personality of the society. It is according to this calendar that the New Year and new century begins on 9th April 2024.

 

Navsamvatsara  Mahotsava or Navreh

Expectation is therefore that a new era will emerge with this turn of century. Believers are convinced about the prospect. Even if the opinion of these adherents is discounted as the emotion of the faithful, we appreciate that our worthy ancestors had created a knowledge society that was highly evolved and globally recognised & respected. There is no reason to discard these age old practices without appropriate research and informed scrutiny.

Also New Year as well as the turn of century is an occasion to celebrate and take a look at the passing year and the century and make a fresh resolve to make required amendments to our behaviour, conduct and impending endeavours for betterment of humanity.

Let's take this opportunity to make this universe in general and in particular a better place to live in. Let's put an end to the cycle of death, destruction, and violence. Instead let's focus on the new beginning that has already been made. Jammu Kashmir has been transformed from a miserable, desperate and abandoned situation to a place of optimism, self-assurance and possibility.  This transformation has surely been the result of changes carried out by the administration under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Spiritually aligned people might believe this to be a manifestation of countless silent prayers being heard at last.

Let's join the effort for enduring peace, development and progress of every being.

 

(Author GL Raina@

Ajey Bharti is former Member of Legislative Council of
Jammu Kashmir and
spokesperson of BJP

 

 

 

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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