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Svonti Controversy

Issue October 2019

Svonti Controversy

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Some folks are celebrating “Kija Pooja” literally meaning “Brother Worship” on October 30, 2019 while others had already done yesterday. Even the amazing lady Anjali has to perform “Kija Pooja” at Kasthamandap, Kathmandu on two days to meet the sentiment of different brothers who want to perform on different days. Ironically some folks following the day starting from the sunrise is performing “Kija Pooja” the next day even though this event follows the lunar calendar.


Not only the controversy with the “brother worship” but also with the Mha Pooja means self-worship, and the worship of the Goddess of Wealth Laksmi has been. So, Nepalis were divided into two groups. This has happened because the sun has walked into the lunar calendar.


Now, the question is why the sun needed to interfere in the lunar calendar. Probably, some folks must have the tradition of counting the day from the start of the sunrise even though they follow the lunar calendar. I don’t know how the astrologers calculate the days and nights and make the calendar that goes without some days that are often labeled as “toots” means dropouts. Okay, if we are following the lunar calendar then we need to accept such things.


The next thing is the day of the lunar calendar sometimes carries over to the next day of the solar calendar. The lunar day covering two days of the solar day gives the option to the folks to perform any events on any one of the two days of the solar calendar but on the initial or the remaining day of the lunar day. However, the followers of the lunar calendar perform any auspicious event on the day of the lunar calendar not on the day of the solar calendar. A lunar day sometimes extends to 29 hours the astrologers have said.


Nepalis make elaborate worship to Laksmi, and illuminate the entire house of anybody wishing to lure Laksmi to his or her house. Folks do it on the new moon night. The goddess brings a lot of wealth. How much nobody could guess. Anyway, the deity brings a lot of wealth to the folks who really perform the worship at the correct time following the right method.


One thing nobody should ignore is the most propitious moment for making offerings to Goddess Laksmi is the night. Deity Laksmi visits at night. That is certainly belief. So, if anybody wants to have Goddess Laksmi at her or his home then s/he needs to make offerings to the deity at night of the new moon day otherwise the deity will skip the home.


In this year, the new moon day started off on October 27, and ended on the morning of the next day. Surely, that night has been the right time for making offerings to Goddess Laksmi, as the deity is scheduled to visit on the night following the lunar calendar, as already stated the deity visits only at night. Smart folks and firm believers in the lunar calendar made offerings to the deity on that night and they must have welcomed the deity.


Some folks believing the day starts with the sunrise, and the day at the sunrise is the day for the rest of the day, which is contradictory to the lunar calendar, performed the Laksmi Pooja on the night of October 28. However, the deity Laksmi had already visited on the previous night. Probably, those folks believing in the sunrise day must have missed the deity because the night had been already the night of the first day of the bright fortnight of the Kartik (October). Naturally, Goddess of Wealth Laksmi must have crossed the cosmic world on the way to her divine abode by that time.


The same thing is true with the Mha Pooja (self-worship). The Nevah community performs self-worship on the first day of the bright fortnight of Kartik (October). That is October 28 for the year 2019. This is done to strengthen mind (mana), speech (bachan), and body (kayaa) to enable every person to live without any troubles or problems of any kind for a year. So, this is the most auspicious event to be performed at the most propitious moment. If anybody misses that moment means the performance of the self-worship goes astray and it won’t bring any merits and naturally won’t strengthen mind, speech and body.


Performing the self-worship on the October 29 means missing the most favorable moment, as it has been the second day of the bright fortnight of Kartik (October) except for the few hours in the morning. Practically, all their efforts on making self-worship for strengthening their mind, speech and body must have been without earning the merits, as the lucky moment has passed.


That is it for them who follow the lunar calendar, and who perform the Laksmi pooja, Mha Pooja, and Kija pooja.


One thing we need to understand that Mha Pooja or the entire Svonti celebration, all these cultural and religious events have nothing to do with the Nepal Samvat, as these cultural and religious events have been of the thousands of years whereas the Nepal Samvat has just turned 1140 this year.


However, all the Nepalis need to be proud of the national Nepal Samvat. Our ancestors had been so smart to design and craft even a calendar that suited to the needs of the folks. Knowingly or unknowingly the entire Nepalese populace have been following the Nepal Samvat calendar, as most of the cultural and religious events are held following the lunar calendar.


Again going back to the controversy, if some folks are following the different methods of computing the day based on what, does not matter, have missed the opportunity of earning the merits performing the most auspicious events not on the right time but on other time.


At the same time, these folks have succeeded in dividing the Nevah community even in the case of celebrating the most important religious and cultural events again. In whose interest they have done and have been doing must be clear to the most of the folks that correctly read the political events.


The Nevah community has been and is the most powerful community culturally, socially and prosperously but also politically. Unfortunately, the community has been fragmented into the numerous political parties diminishing its powerful influence on anything to meet the interest groups in every political party.


So, they voted for the Maoists, for the CPN-UML, for the Nepali Congress, for the Rastriya Prajatantra Party and what not but they never did for the candidates of their own community. Consequently, they have elected the folks wearing the masks of different political parties not knowing that the same folks would be coming to loot their property legally, to destroy their cultural heritages, and to evict them from the traditional homes in the name of building fast-rack highways, and widening the roads in the towns and cities, and what not.


One thing the Nevah community had not learned so far had been how to be united. The folks belonging to the Nevah community have the associations as many as their castes allowed them but not having a single Nevah association that is for the entire community. That has been the trait of the Nevah community and that might continue for many years to come, too. Probably, that has been the remnant of the 240 years of the despotic foreign rule over them.


However, we need to hope that the Nevah community would be one day a real single community, and it would work for the benefits and interest of the community rather than get divided into unlimited factions to suit the interests of other groups. It needs to fully utilize the power and the duty given by the people’s constitution of today.


October 30, 2019 

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