Shastiaapdapoorthi is a Hindu Tradition performed when an individual turns 60. As per Hinduism, an average male is expected to live for 120 years. And therefore on his 60th birthday, he celebrates the happiness of completing half of his life. The entire word ‘Shastiaapdapoorthi’ when divided into three parts (Shasti- Aptha- Poorthi) helps us to understand the exact meaning ‘Shasthi’ means sixty and ‘Aptha Poorthi’ means half completion. This term is a Sanskrit term. Basically, Shastiaadapoorthi is a celebration of the well cherished 60 years of the life of a Hindu male. It is a vantage point in one’s life. This is celebrating by the family and birthday invitations card are used to invite all the known in the family of the elder.
As mentioned earlier, the sixtieth year in the life of a Hindu male is the turning point. The Hindu pundits and gurus suggest that it should be given great importance as it is an auspicious occasion and all the rituals which were performed at the time of the birth should be repeated as it is. This is because they consider the sixtieth birthday as a rebirth of an individual. This celebration is considered as divine and spiritual as per Vedic culture. An individual enters into a new spiritual realm after attaining the age of sixty.
The celebrations of Shasti Poorthi are twofold. One is Shanti, where an individual is expected to follow the rules given in the ‘Shastras’ or the holy books and the second is Kranthi, where an individual is expected to follow the conventional laws of nature.
One thing that needs to be kept in mind is that the sixtieth birthday of an individual is celebrated as per Hindu Calendar and not as per the western calendar. The Hindu calendar functions as per the Indian Zodiac signs. Shanti is performed on the same day of birth as per Indian zodiac at any holy place like a temple or near a holy river. And, if that is not possible then some people celebrate it at their house. All the near and dear ones are invited to the party through special birthday invitations. This ritual is also known as Ugaradha Shanti. Ugaradha means the tough phase that an individual has gone through in his life and Shanti means peace. This ritual is performed to pray god to help shun all the material desires and motivate oneself to walk on the path of spirituality in pursuit of liberation. During the Shanti yagna, the person for whom it is performed is required to give various daan or charity and amongst all ‘Annadanna’ is the greatest where the people of all class are fed with food. ‘Anna’ itself means food.
Once the shanti yagna is completed kranthi program starts. Kranthi means a revolution. It means to start a new life all together. Before Shasti poorthi i.e before the completion of sixtieth birthday an individual runs behind the fulfillment of material desires and after the completion of sixtieth birthday, the individual starts his journey in the pursuit of spirituality. That is why the second program is rightly said as Kranthi or revolution. This is because the life of an individual takes a total 360 degree turn after the Kranthi.