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Historical Greatness of Bikram Sambat in Nepal

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  Kathmandu, Nepal      April 12 2018

Dirgha Raj Prasai


By Dirgha Raj Prasai

Welcome New Year-Bikram Sambat 2075! Bikram Sambat 2075 is starting from Mekh Sankranti-first of Baishak on Saturday- (14th March 2018). Bikram Sambat (BS) is an ancient and original Era of Himavatkhanda-Nepal. The greatness of Bikram Sambat relates with Nepal’s sovereignty. That’s why, the East India Company and other foreigners could not attack this holy land-‘Nepal.’ The history always follows the real events, evidence, writings, chronology the hearsay also must be trustworthy. The Bikram Sambat is related with the history of Nepal. Before the Prithvi Narayan Shah, Sen ruled states, Baisi Chaubisi (22 and 24 small independent Hindu states of Nepal), Malla dynasty of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, and then after Pritvi Narayan Shah’s regime, Muluki Ain (law) of Janga Bahahdur, before and after the Chandra Shamsher regime, Bikram era was used. 

Before BS 1961, Bikram Era including Nepal Sambat and Shaka Sambat were based to Tithi. Since any changes in Tithi produce difficulties in managing the schedule of governmental works Chandra Shamsher on behalf of advice of Jyotishies (astrologers) started to write dates maintaining the same day, Tithi and month. There are 365 days in a year in accordance to Bikram era. However Nepal era and Shaka era counts 354 days in a year. These later eras are in accordance to Tithi, and are therefore unpractical.

Yogi Narahari Nath, a veteran literate and saint has mentioned that someone Victorian King Bikramaditya according to Devmala Bansabali, had a throne at place where now Ram Mandir (Temple of God Ram at Battisputali of Kathmandu) has been constructed; and according to Pashupati Puran, the Bikram era was initiated during the regime of first king of Suryabanshi (Sun descendent) Lichchavis, who ruled Nepal after their victory on Kirats, called as Dharmapal or Bhoomi Barma or Bikramaditya. A study on Bhasa Bansabali, (Eds. Nayanath Paudyal) published by Department of Archeology, Government of Nepal) reveals that during the regime of King Dharmagat, on the name of the king a Chatarmukh Narayan (four mouthed statue of God Narayana) along with a spout (now Narayanhiti) was created towards the south of royal palace and open to pay pilgrimage. The Bansabali mentions this was time when Bikram era was initiated and started to practice.

Lichchhavi king declaring himself Baishalipati (The King of Baishali) and due to power of lord Pashupatinath, became the king of Kashi (Vanarashi) too. Bikram era was initiated when a brave and victorian Suryabanshi king established his capital at Bishalnagar and Battaishputali (Himabatkhand). Here is another proof that Bikram era was started in Nepal from unknown ancient time. Just near above to a temple of Sankhu Bajrayogini there is another temple in which the head of King Bikramaditya has been kept. And till the date it is being worshipped by Bajracharya priests. It is a myth that King Bikramaditya ruled the Uttarapur state (now: Nala of Kavre district). A Bansabali at Harisiddhi temple established by Lichhchivi dynasty has quoted BS 711. Harisidhdhi upapuran mentions that Harisidhdhi drama was demonstrated at BS 945. A Subarna patra (gold plate) of time of Jayasthiti Malla also mentions BS 1448. These all quotations prove that Bikram era was well practiced in ancient Nepal.

Historian Dinesh Raj Pant says “Bikram Sambat, which was in practice in Nepal before or after Shaka Era and Nepal Era, was spread in 54 states of un-unified Nepal and was more popular than any other Eras. It was well practiced in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur too. Among these, Bikram Era was highly influential in Bhaktapur.” We know the both Bikram and Nepal Sambat are our original era. Bikram Sambat was practiced 936 years before Nepal Sambat. Isvi Sambat (AD) was started 57 years after the Bikram Era

A most remarkable point is that a pair of fabled orchid flower that used to bloom at Siraha's Salhes Garden exactly on the new year- Bikram Sambat morning. It may be that the orchid flowers bloom to welcome the New Year. The orchid is the symbol of undying love. Thousands and thousands of people from neighboring districts and Indian villages visit this place to watch the blooming of the pair of flowers and attend a local festival. It may be that the orchid flowers hint to all to follow the rules of regulation of Bikram Sambat- the lovable Nepalese Era.

Mekh Sankranti, Srawan Sankranti and Makara Sankrant are the most important month on Bikram Sambat. Bikram Sambat, starts just Mekh Sankranti almost April 14-15, the first month of Bikram Era- 'Baishak.' Srawan Sankranti starts almost- 17th July. Makar Sankranti starts almost 15th Jan. when the Sun begins the northward journey, marking the beginning of the 'Uttaraayana.' from Southern pole.  Similarly, from the month of Srawan, the Sun begins the southward journey-'Dakhinarayana.' In Bikram Sambat, the three month is very notable. The Siva Ratri (Birth Day of Lord Shiva) almost-March is also is countable. In these days- there is natural gift where rainfall automatically flows.

 So, the Bikram Sambat has started according to the rule of nature. In the time of Makara Sankranti Sun passes from one Zodiac sign to another. A Sankranti marks the beginning of every solar month in the Vedic cylindrical system when Sun passes from one sign to the other; it's the cusp of the months as Astro- wallas call. These months and the time of Sivaratri are the remarkable days of all Hindus and Buddhists. Bikram Sambat is based and had and has being following the rule and regulation of nature.

On this occasion, let us welcome the New Year- Bikram Sambat 2075, and I extend good wishes to all Nepalese people for prosperous activities.
 
 Email:  dirgharajprasai@gmail.com