Hinduism’s contributions to science, Ayurveda, art, music, mathematics, geometry, astrophysics, as well as Spirituality are unique to the world and are something to be proud of. However nowadays it is seen that Hindus have become ignorant of their traditions and have started ‘aping the West’ blindly due to lack of Dharma education. When it comes to celebrating the New Year, due to Impact of westernization, Hindus think it correct to celebrate it on January 1 or December 31 midnight. Celebrating the New Year on ‘the Hindu New Year Day’ is slowly becoming optional depending on various factors like work, school, etc.
1. How is the New Year celebrated on 31st December ?
Hotels and restaurants organize events and TV channels organize special shows. Everyone sees New Year celebrations as a lucrative venture and gets on that bandwagon. People gather in the streets and squares to dance, drink and celebrate with each other. These events bring with them many ills like drinking, smoking, drugs, rapes, prostitution and other crimes. On a smaller scale people organize parties which also lead to drinking, fights, road accidents, etc. Emergency rooms in hospitals record highest casualty rates on New Year ’s Eve.
In some countries, massive promotions are done by the advertising media in association with showbiz, hoteliers, etc. to herald the New Year. Each small and big seller wants to cash-in on this opportunity and they use all possible business tactics to sell their products.
The target group is the youth. Due to lack of Dharma education and the trend of following the West blindly, youngsters find the Western New Year celebrations irresistible.
2. Can such celebrations be apt for a New Year?
At night, when these celebrations usually happen, the atmosphere is Tama predominant thus proving detrimental to the revelers. The fireworks, loudly played Western music and screaming at the midnight hour to welcome the New Year, lead to further pollution of the atmosphere. People are unaware of this because of lack of education on this aspect.
3. How should the New Year be celebrated?
We call a day the New Year when something new has happened on that day. The Universe was not created on January 1 so the reasoning behind celebrating it as the New Year has no logic.
4. Why should we celebrate the New Year on Chaitra Shukla Pratipada ?
As per Hindu Dharma every auspicious event begins with a ritualistic worship performed at an auspicious time (Brahmamuhurt), which is at dawn, and after having a bath and wearing clean attire and ornaments. As a result, the Sattva component in the atmosphere creates good impressions on the doer and increases the spiritual purity of the person as well as the surroundings.
On Chaitra Shukla Pratipada the Prajāpati frequencies and the Absolute Fire element (Tējtattva) are active in large proportions. The Divine consciousness (Chaitanya) transmitted through these frequencies at the time of sunrise, is long lasting. It is stored in the cells of an individual and is utilised later, as per one’s need.
We can compare the atmosphere that is present on 31 December and 1 January with the peaceful and vibrant atmosphere present on Chaitra Shukla Pratipada and judge for ourselves if it is worthwhile celebrating New Year on 31 December.
Imitating someone or something blindly indicates a feeling of inferiority in one’s beliefs. The structure of Western society has undergone degradation and the West is looking to India for solutions through its Spirituality. So it is ironic that Hindus are forsaking their identity only because they want to imitate the West. As per the Hindu scriptures ‘A Hindu is one who strives to increase Sattvaand reduce Raja-Tama’. Hindus should be proud of their identity and make serious attempts to preserve it. By doing so, they will set an example to the next generation of Hindus and will receive protection. It is said that Dharma protects those who protect it and destroys those who destroy it (Dharmo rakshati rakshitaha).
This year let us avoid succumbing to the pressures of friends and family; and make a resolve of celebrating the New Year on a day which has historical, natural and spiritual significance associated with it, that is as per the Hindu calendar.