What is the importance of Chaitra month and why? What should a spiritual aspirant particularly do in this auspicious month?
We have considered Chaitra month to be the beginning of Samvatsara (Jovian Year).
It is said that the universe created by Lord Brahma began on the first day of Chaitra month. Also, according to Bhagavad Gita, when Brahmaji began to create the universe, he did so along with a Yagya (sacrifice),
saha-yajñāḥ prajāḥ sṛṣṭvā purovāca prajāpatiḥ, anena prasaviṣyadhvam eṣa vo ‘stv iṣṭa-kāma-dhuk SBG 3.10
Thus, Chaitra month is highly important and Brahmaji has created beings through a Yagya. Yagya is a way of expressing gratitude.
You are living life due to the assistance and grace of many. In this, our body lasts through the five elements: sky, air, fire, water and earth, which it is made of. If the earth does not exist, who will hold us? If it will not give food which we can eat then how will this body survive? If water will not fall, then we will not gain water to drink. Then how will our body survive? How will crops become ready? Life exists from water. If there is no light, sun and fire then how will life carry on?
The three lokas (worlds): Bhur loka (the earth), bhuvar loka (the space between earth and sun where ancestors live) and svar loka (area between the sun and polar star,the heaven) are important. In these three worlds we worship three important elements. We worship fire in bhur loka, air in bhuvar loka and sun in svar loka. Hence, fire, wind and sun are very important demi-gods.
When we perform Yagya, we worship the fire element, give oblations to fire first by uttering ‘agnaye svāhā’, then utter, ‘vayuve svāhā (worship of wind god), suryāya svāhā (worship of sun god),’ chandramose svāhā, we give oblations to the nine planets also and so on. So, we express our gratitude to all of these through Yagya and together
What is Yagya? Yagya is the distribution and offering of wealth in the society, from the well-off, equally and with love.
This way, saha-yajñāḥ prajāḥ sṛṣṭvā, meaning, creation of subjects with a Yagya.
In Chaitra, because we believe it to be the beginning of the Jovian year and the creation, then if humans want to survive, refuge and assistance of many powers and people is required. Hence, we are grateful to them. Whatever we gain, we must share and consume.
Chaitra Navratri also has great importance amidst the four Navratris which have been given importance in a year: Shardiya, Chaitra and 2 Gupta Navratris.
So, through the worship of energy, let us develop our energy and use this energy for seva (service to others).