The Hindus in India celebrate a number of festivals which signifies their rich cultural heritage and a long history of traditions. People in India take out time from their busy schedule to celebrate these festivals, as these festivals remind them of the earth they are grounded in. Similar is the festival of Gudi Padwa which marks the beginning of the traditional Hindu new calendar year, although, different people living in different parts of India celebrate New Year at different times of the year. This festival is unique because it is believed that Lord Brahma chose this particular day to create the universe. People follow a number of rituals which start even before the sun rises, like taking the auspicious bath which includes application of oil to the body before bathing. Later, the doorway is decorated with mango leaves and red flowers, rangoli is designed and the Gudi is hoisted. Lord Brahma is invoked and the worshippers absorb the divine consciousness emanating from the sun.
Importance of Gudi
Though a Hindu festival, only those Hindus who are related to a particular belief follow all the rituals related to this festival. The Hindus who are the followers of goddess Kundalini hoist the Gudi in front of their houses to invite her in. A Gudi is a bamboo stick on the top of which an inverted pitcher is placed; the pitcher is of a particular shape which denotes the form of the goddess. Yellow colored silk adornments are put on the Gudi along with garlands of red flowers and twigs of mango tree. The Gudi is hoisted at an angle towards the right hand side of the main entrance of the house; this is because the right side is considered to be the active part of the soul. The ground where the Gudi is hoisted is prepared with great care and a swastika is drawn where the Gudi is supposed to be hoisted.
The Gudi is also considered sacred because there are other significant symbols which are associated with it. Shiva Shakti, which is a major force present in the universe, is associated with the Gudi and is invoked while worshipping it. These are the forces which help the Gudi accept the divine energies emitting from the rising sun. The Gudi also symbolizes the Sushumna nadi of the body, which has a major role in reaching the divine consciousness. There are other symbols too which make the Gudi an important part of this festival.