Today we celebrate the beginning of the Hindu Year of Jaya, 5115, the year of Victory. Sadhu Paksha ended yesterday for the monks and this morning, monks and local devotees paraded out to the flagpole. The coral pink flag of the Moksha Ritau was replaced with the bright orange flag of the Nartana Ritau.
Nartana Ritau, the season of Dancing with Siva, begins on Tamil New Year. This is the period of creation, the warm season, from mid-April through mid-August. The key word of this season is planning. The colors are orange, yellow-gold and all shades of green–orange for renunciation, yellow-gold for action, and green for regeneration.
High above, the main Hindu flag flies the color orange, heralding the Nartana Ritau throughout this season, symbolizing sadhana and self-control. The other colors adorn smaller flags. This is the season of giving special attention to those in the grihastha ashrama. It is a time of awakening, renewal, review. The emphasis is on seeing ahead, planning for future years. It is a time of planning retreats and other activities for youths and adults for the entire year. During this time of looking forward, the Church's six-year plan is updated by the Guru Mahasannidhanam and stewards and another year added.
The Saiva Dharma Shastras are studied; and any needed additions in supplementary manuals, representing new growth, are made. The practical focus is completion of unfinished projects. Secular holidays to observe among the families include Mother's Day in May, Father's Day in June and Grandparent's Day in August.
This season of harvest and new growth is also the time to review and reestablish picking and planting routines for the gardens. It is a time for ordering seeds and plants for the year, of planting trees, fragrant vines and the annual crop. Review is made for scheduling the care of all nine realms of the Aadheenam's acreage. Kadavul temple and the Guru Temple are cleaned and renewed during this season, and the adjacent grounds receive special, abundant attention. Karma yogis are invited to help in this and other areas with planting and weeding, digging, fertilizing, fence repair and more.
The daily sadhana is the Sivachaitanya Panchatantra: experiencing nada, jyoti, prana, bhakti and darshana. In Sanskrit, it is a time of learning new slokas and mantras. In the family community, prasnottara satsanga is held for one and all to attend. Families plan for their annual pilgrimage. Shrine rooms are renewed and redecorated for the year, and the clothing of all is renewed in the Hindu style of the current fashion. It is a time of doing things for others, religious outreach. It is a time of hatha yoga and philosophical teaching.
Religion is the working together of the beings in the three worlds. The first way we actually experience something of a divine nature, the power and energy in a temple, is our sensitized feeling nature. The Saivite beings in the inner world, Deities, saints, sages, devas, guide and govern, help and protect, shower forth blessings and inspirations to the members of our religious family. All worship Siva.