Gudi Padwa puja, Noida, India, 18 March 1999
Translation from Hindi:
Today is the Day of Gudi Padwa [The New Year’s Day of the Shalivahana shak]. And it is celebrated in Maharashtra mostly, but now in other places too. It is said that it is a very auspicious day. Whatever work is done on that day it is fruitful. But whatever is the reason is as per worldly beliefs.
The other thing is that, in the dynasty of Shalivahana, there was one person: Babruvahan. He defeated the king Vikramaditya. After that, he started this new calendar called ‘Shalivahana Shak’. According to this calender, today is the first day [of the year].
Its importance is major in Maharashtra. To represent the Shalivahanas, they take a Kumbha [and a stick] on which they put a shawl – he was Shalivahana. The Kumbha represents the Kundalini. They tie a shawl [to the stick] and keep a Kumbha on top of it. The meaning is that the Kumbha also represents spirituality. Spirituality is represented by the Kumbha.
The Shalivahanas used to call themselves the seven vehicles. They had a lot of faith in Kundalini. Later, they started giving a shawl to the Devi. They were worshipers of the Devi so they called themselves the Shalivahanas. That is how the name got changed.
The Shalivahanas who were there, came from Mewar. They were the rulers of Mewar from the Sisodia Dynasty. Their son, of Sisodia dynasty, for some reason, had a disagreement with his uncle. So, he ran away [from Mewar] and went to Maharashtra and then to Chennai.
This is how it happened and this is the history of the Shalivahanas. Even I belong to the Shalivahana dynasty. Thousands of years back they had gone to Maharashtra. We are also descendants of the Shalivahan dynasty so our name became ‘Salve’ from Shalv [or Salva].
The person Shalv, who had fought against Bhishma, you must have heard about Shalv. With Bhishma it was Shalv. He helped later the Pandavas. Bhishma had cursed him: he had made a cage around him. Because of the cage he could not come out. So, he cursed Bhishma that, “You too will be trapped in a cage”. That happened to Bhishma in the end.
He is also of a great dynasty, but thousands of years old dynasty. It was revived later. There was a sage there who had a dream of Shivaji, who said, “Make Bappa Rawal the king of this place”. From there the revival of Shalivahan dynasty took place. I don’t know how from ‘Shalv’ it became ‘Shalivahan’. The queen Padmini was also of the same dynasty.
People of the city of Meerut went there to find out, the people were so true to their word, righteous, worshippers of the Devi. They say that, “You cannot even find such type of people there”. They were very different people.
Everything of theirs was destroyed as they did not compromise. But Jaipur people compromised – first with the Muslims then with the English. So there, there was prosperity. One should not judge people based on prosperity but based on character.
Today, this day was started by these Shalivahanas, by Babruvahan. So, it was made slightly earlier to Christ during the time of Vikramaditya. Even now people of Maharashtra believe a lot in it.
Here [in the North], it is the ‘Vikram Samvat’ [Vikram calendar]. In Maharashtra, it is the Shalivahana Shak. Even we, probably because I am from Maharashtra, we follow the Shalivahan calendar. According to it, today is a significant day and whatever you desire will be fulfilled.
Many blessings to all.