The Sun radiates all the goodness of life! Sinhala and Tamil New Year! 0 1377

The Aluth Avurudda or the Sinhala and Tamil New Year as it is officially termed, is a traditional religio-cultural festival dating back from centuries past and held in April, the month of ‘Bak’ which word deriving from Sanskrit means ‘Bhagya’ or fortunate. Grandly celebrated throughout the country at specified auspicious times for each event, the Aluth Avurudda commence on the eve of the planetary change in the Zodiac circle with the sun moving away from Aries and entering Pisces.

The mythological concept of the Aluth Avurudda is that the Avurudu Kumaraya referred to as Indra Deva wearing a tall floral crown descends upon the earth in a silver carriage drawn by six horses. People in certain areas in the South of Sri Lanka light oil lamps to welcome the Avurudu Kumaraya and seek his blessing.

In the old world the agricultural farming society worshiped regional gods whom they believed to be in charge of the areas, during the planetary transition period of the New Year the Punya Kalaya also known as the Nonagathaya. Kalu Banda Deviyo, Minneriya Deviyo, Hurulu Deviyo, Ranwala Deviyo, Irugal Deviyo, Wanni Deviyo and Ayyanayaka Deviyo were some of the gods widely worshipped. Meanwhile, the goddess of chastity Pathini, figured among villagers in the Kalutara and Galle Districts where some rituals such as Peliyama and Ang keliya were practiced especially in her honor.

Although presently the Roman calendar is followed the world over, ancient Aryans formed the Saka Era affiliated to the Sinhala and Tamil New Year according to which we are in the Saka Era of 1941. This Saka Era depicted in almanacs was handed down to Sinhala Kings who adopted same in their official correspondence. Thalpath (ola manuscripts), thudapath, sannas and other royal documents as much as birth horoscopes carry the Saka Era.

From time immemorial up to the dawn of the new civilization, human beings had lived with nature, with chiefly those in agrarian societies of yore worshipping the Sun and other celestial elements. On the day of the New Year Hindus even today gather on the banks of the Yamuna River, and people of Benares on the banks of the Yamuna and Ganga to worship the rising Sun.

One of the captives of the English vessel which touched on the eastern coast in AD 1660 and was taken prisoner by the Kandyans Robert Knox, later wrote a celebrated book on the Kandyan Kingdom titled a ‘Historical Relation of Ceylon’ in which is mentioned that at that time, the new year was a major festival of the Sinhalese celebrated in March following the harvesting of paddy in February, six months after it was sown in September with the fall of the rains.

According to the chronicles, during the period of the Sinhala kings of the Kandyan kingdom there were four principal national festivals observed: the Avurudu Mangalya, Nuwara Perehera, Kaitiaya Mangalya – the festival of the lamps and the Aluth Sahal Mangalya – festival of the rice. These had been instituted both for religious and political objectives.

In ancient Lanka, before the approach of the New Year, the king’s physicians and astrologers were allocated specified duties. The former, to superintend preparation of a thousand pots of juices of medicinal plants at the Natha Devale in the premises of the Dalada Maligawa from whence carefully covered and sealed, they were sent to the royal palace and distributed with much ceremony to the temples where at the auspicious time the heads of the people were anointed on the ‘Thel Gana Avurudda’. The king’s head too was anointed with great solemnity. Meanwhile the duty of the astrologers was to form the Nekath Wattoruwa based on which commenced every activity: the Nonagathaya, dawn of the New Year, lighting the hearth, partaking of the first meal, ganu denu or transactions, and settling forth to work.

Sinhala kings gave royal patronage to the celebrations. During the rule of the Nayakkara Kings, festivities shifted to fall in line with the Tamil New Year, Pudu Warsham. The palace was adorned with thoranas or pandals that made a very fine show. On top of implanted poles were flags fluttering and all about hung painted cloth with images and figures of men, beasts, birds, and flowers. In addition, fruits were hung up in order and exactness. On each side of the arches stood plantain trees with bunches of plantains on them. At the appointed time of commencement of the New Year, the king sat on his throne in state surrounded by his chiefs, and the ceremony began.

The rituals of ganu-denu or transactions prevail in society but with a different from the past. In the Kandyan Kings regime the ceremonies were held as a joint ritual with all office bearers participating to prepare the royal cuisine. They were the Bathwadana Nilame, Vahala Ilangama, Muhandiram, Kuttaha Lekam, Sattambi Ralas, Madappuli Ralas, Mulutenge Mahattayas, Pihana Ralas, Mulutenge Naide. Those in attendance were Maha Aramudali Wannaku Nilame, Maha Gabada Nilame, Veebedda Rala and Undiya Rala.

It is recorded that during the ganu-denu period people brought in as taxes, money, corn, honey, cloth, alcohol, oil, wax, iron, elephant tusks and tobacco among other items. Following the ganu-denu the citizens went among their professions. The king himself as the head of the nation went to the field and turned the first sod with the royal golden plough. This was a feature of patronage of the kings and especially the anointing of the head was looked as a special interest taken to look after the health of the people. The traditional outdoor games seem to have disappeared from the villages.

‘’The lessons all the rituals impart is the togetherness, generous collective harmonious living with mutual help and service to others to co-exist’’

By : T V Perera

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Why Sunday Is the Most Important Day of the Week for Your Wellbeing 0 945

Your business will benefit when you prioritize time for yourself and the important people in your life.

Hustle. Grind. Long hours. Go big or go home. Fake it ’till you make it.

Entrepreneurs hear these statements daily, often from the people who inspire them. Our culture believes we must forgo personal lives in pursuit of business success.

Of course, running a successful business is hard work. It’s stressful, it can feel chaotic, and the tasks sometimes seem downright impossible. But as an entrepreneur, you need to do more than simply push through. Research shows you must take a step back if you hope to achieve any measure of life-work balance and truly relish your accomplishments.

Here are three specific ways the Sunday step-back benefits your business while it helps recharge your batteries, fend off depression and make you more personally productive.

Sunday is prime social time.

Humans are social creatures. Regardless of how busy you think you are, human nature will find ways to remind you that you need others in your life. Don’t resist it. Giving in to this urge for socializing actually is better for your overall health.

Sunday is prime time to make new connections or care take the ones you already have. You should be out of the office, doing something you enjoy.

You gain nothing by denying yourself time to de-stress. Research reveals you’ll spend those hours either in enjoyment or in sickness.

In short, spending quality time with the people who mean the most to you can help improve your health and expel stress. Both are essential for a successful business.

Sunday is the perfect day for self-care.

Taking care of your physical and mental self is essential to rejuvenation. (I’m a big believer in batching, which is why I like to do the bulk of my self-care on Sundays.)

Adding a self-care aspect to your weekly routine can prevent overload, help refocus your goals and reduce stress.

As an added benefit, self-care simply helps you feel good about yourself. You might make a trip to the salon, book a massage at your favorite spa or take a long bath at home with lavender or other relaxing essential oils. It’s taking time for yourself and believing you look your best that help you feel great. Both show in your performance. When you like what you see in the mirror, you project confidence and your positive energy increases.

Unfortunately, the inverse also is true: If you believe you look as ragged, worn-out, sleep-deprived and worried as you feel, your work will reflect that attitude and your business will suffer.

Schedule time for yourself. You are the embodiment of the business, and you should look and feel your best. Making a commitment to do something for yourself will give you a little reward to look forward to during your work week.

Meditate. Mediation helps clear your mind of negativity and stress. Practiced in earnest, it can give you a moment of peace to reconnect with your goals. Maintain focus on your priorities so you are constantly revitalized.

Get a good night’s sleep, every night. This might seem like an impossible feat, but it should be a clear priority. Plan to go to sleep and wake up at a specific time. Consistency is key to establish this habit and translate it into a routine to keep you on track. Figure out how much sleep you need and stick to that number.

Enjoy your life. For many people, the ability to enjoy life on one’s own terms is the most attractive draw to an entrepreneurial path. There’s no boss telling you what to do. You make your own hours and you work to find success in a field you love. Take a step back to appreciate everything you’ve already accomplished. Use this time of reflection to do what you want to do, and you’ll discover new signs of peace and prosperity in all aspects of your life.

 

Sunday gives you a jump on planning.

Entrepreneurs are expert innovators who thrive on often unconventional work tactics. However, you also must make time to plan the week ahead so you can use your time in the office wisely. It’s true devoting an hour or two each Sunday to this task technically counts as working. But it’s productive and fun. It gives you an excuse to address all the things already on your mind and organize them on paper or in a digital format so you can enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Many entrepreneurs find that planning also contributes to their sense of balance. It offers time to reflect on the previous week and accordingly amend their actions for the week to come. Here are a few important features to include in your weekly plan.

Goals. Every entrepreneur should have weekly, monthly, yearly and overall goals. Even more important, business owners should keep track of whether they’re achieving their short-term goals while they work on their long-term goals. Little victories are still victories. Celebrating the wins along the way can encourage you to keep striving for more. On the other hand, if you discover you aren’t reaching those midpoints, it’s a good indication you need to make changes or risk stalling your progress.

Timetable. Time always moves forward, and we must work with what we have. After all, no amount of money can buy back wasted time. It’s crucial to develop the skill of accurately assessing how much time you need for each task. Otherwise, you’ll run out of hours before you run out of work week.

Scheduling. This is not a wish list of all the thing you’d like to complete. Scheduling is creating a plan and following it. Successful entrepreneurs know what deserves to be included in the plan. Remember: While it’s necessary to schedule work time, meetings and deadlines, it’s equally important to reserve hours in your schedule for family and friends. You can’t do all your socializing on Sundays. You need a bit of a life all week long. Maybe that means jogging or indulging in a date night. Schedule these as priorities so you don’t put your loved ones on hold or worse make the mistake of thinking you don’t have time for them.

Reclaim Sunday as a day of rest in your 24/7 world. Take the time your body and mind need to step away, even for one day. You’ll come back Monday feeling refreshed, renewed and highly supported by the life you’ve refused to leave behind.

It’s Time for Professional Societies to Be Bold and Wise 0 917

Boldness is a leadership trait to be mastered. Here are actions that make bold people admirable.

The day I went off to university, a friend gave me this quote. Over the years it has inspired me and I have seen it posted on the walls and bulletin boards of many entrepreneurs and leaders.

Bold people stand out from the group. They are confident, courageous, and directed. I believe there is boldness in most people. Given the right set of circumstances, many will take action to better the world around them.

People who choose to be bold are inspiring not just because they get big things accomplished, but because they also instigate growth, progress, and movement for themselves and others around them. Sadly, far more people wait for someone who is bold to lead the way, hoping somehow luck will shine success upon them.

Perhaps it is time to unleash the bold leader in you. Try adding these actions to your daily repertoire and see how much faster the magic of boldness takes you toward success.

01. They own their flaws and strengths. There is a difference between boldness and carelessness. Bold leaders have strong self-awareness. They know when they should take bold action and when they are out of their element. They minimize the risk for themselves and others by constantly reassessing themselves and engaging others to accommodate for personal weakness.

Want to be a bold leader?

Be more self-aware. Engage others who can complement your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses.

02. They keep clear priorities. Someone who constantly jumps into action without a plan is not bold- just foolish. Bold people know their objectives and prioritize them clearly. They can afford to be bold because they can recognize the right opportunity when it comes along.

Want to be a bold leader?

Know clearly what you need to accomplish and seek those changes that will move the team forward. Avoid unimportant activities that lead to distraction.

03. They speak up. Bold people are not necessarily loud or boisterous, but when they have something to say they say it. More importantly, they understand when and how to say it. Being bold does not equal being a bully or a loudmouth. Bold leaders must be better at tact and empathy because the very nature of their words will carry power and impact. Bold leaders also understand that silence is often the greatest statement one can make, and they use it judiciously.

Want to be a bold leader?

Say what needs to be said before the silence derails the team.

04. They pair action with knowledge. Even though bold leaders are prone to action, they are rarely considered rash. They apply the same sense of action to learning and due diligence as they do to any other activity. Bold leaders want to make sure their actions lead to success, so they investigate before leading their team to the charge.

Want to be a bold leader?

Improve your odds of success by doing your homework. You’ll increase your confidence and your success rate.

05. They accept the value of failure. No one is totally comfortable with failure, but bold leaders understand that greater rewards stem from greater risk. Still, they know how to mitigate catastrophic risk and how to protect their team. Bold leaders also know how to use risks to their advantage. They harness the energy and adrenaline and make sure that every failure is a learning opportunity.

Want to be a bold leader?

Make failure an acceptable part of your process. Teach the team how to assess and limit risk, so missteps can happen without total destruction. Then get people to learn and reboot.

06. They make the most of small wins. Many people sit and wait around for the “right opportunity” before they are willing to step up and take action. Sadly, sometimes that right opportunity never comes. Bold people understand that rarely is any situation perfect from the beginning. They look to make the most of any given set of circumstances that can lead to victory, even a small one. Cumulatively, consistent little wins spell success, attracting followers.

Want to be a bold leader?

Start with a small battle you think you can win, map out a plan, and take the field. Winning builds confidence as well as your reputation.

07. They build momentum. Bold people recognize that a single victory is not enough to sustain leadership. They work to create a series of actions that help the team gather confidence, speed, and power. They have a sense of when to add energy to drive forward and when to let the momentum itself carry things forward efficiently.

Want to be a bold leader?

Craft your plan so that each action takes advantage of the success from the last. Take advantage of any win that gains attention, respect, and popularity. Activate your fans, cultivate relationships, build buzz. Don’t coast!

By: Chantal D.