Bali Prati-pada
Gudi Padvo



Bali Prati-pada is one of the many official “New Years of India”.

( why do we have so many new years ? - )


Socially, Hindu calendar starts from this date and commemorates Emperor Vikarm-Aditya’s victory over the Sakas in 57 BC.  “Vikram Samvat” is still used to date Hindu calendars in much of North and Western India.  This date coincides with traditional new year in Burma, Java, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Thailand.  Emperor Vikarm-Aditya of the Shalivahan dynasty rose from humble origins.  Through brain and brawn, he defeated Sakas and other foreign rulers and ruled a large empire from the city of Ujjain.



Seasonally, this marks the beginning of the hot weather in India.  Bitter neem leaves, sweet jaggery and sesame seeds are eaten to commemorate the festival.



Scripturally, this marks the date when Vaman “the dwarf” became “Virat the GIANT” and snatched Bali’s empire from him.  Lord Brahma washed the feet of this giant and thus the our “milky way” and river Ganga came into existence. 



Spiritually, this shows how karma binds even God !  
Having deprived Bali of his empire by stealth, Lord Vishnu is bound by karma and dharma to protect Bali, grant him a life spanning many eons, promise him dominion over upper and lower worlds in different eons etc.  

( 5 lessons of Valam lila - )

Chaitra Navratri begins on this day and the goddess is worshiped in her many forms.



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