Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Ramayana 'Maasam'(Month) is here!

Last night before turning into bed, there were a few things that were done. Emptied the waste bins and the house was earlier swept and swabbed by Lekha - in the absence of the maid who's down with jaundice - her discomfort, notwithstanding.  The 'starting-with-a-clean-slate' at every 'Karkkidakom' month of the Malayalam calendar is nothing new as I've seen such activity since childhood in my house and so has Lekha, in her's. The Ramayana was taken out of the bookshelf for it to be perused everyday over the next 32 days - yes, Karkkidakom has 32 days!

We'd got up a trifle late, at 10 past 6 but went about our chores as usual. Lekha was 'aarthied' with a one rupee coin and the same was put into a container for a purpose - a practice on the 1st of every month on the Malayalam calendar. When the number of coins becomes 12, the collection is offered to the main deity of the Mannarassala Snake temple at Kayankulam. This ritual has been going on since late '93 after her brush with near death, as advised by the family astrologer-cum-priest.

Lekha has begun the recital of the Ramayana from the first chapter onward and she'll go on to read the entire book within the month, a task undertaken by most ladies in this part of the world. Mom also reads a few lines from the book at random and the recitation is done twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. Well, with the ladies taking on such a noble task, why should a guy like me worry about anything?

Again, the ritual of visiting the temples having the main protagonists of the Ramayana as their deities, is undertaken by devotees, within the forenoon of any day, during the month. Such temples exist in four districts of the state and they are:-

    (a) Thrissur        -           Thriprayar(Rama), Moozhikkulam(Lakshmana), Irinjalakuda(Bharatha)
                                            and Payammal(Shathrughna).
    (b) Kottayam      -           Ramapuram(Rama), Kudappulam(Lakshmana), Amanakara(Bharatha)
                                            and Medil(Shathrughna).
    (c) Ernakulam    -           Mamalasserry(Rama), Mulakulam(Lakshmana), Memuri(Bharatha)
                                           and Nedungadu(Shathrughna).
    (d) Malappuram -           Ramapuram(Rama), Ayodhya Nagar(Lakshmana), Karinjappadi
                                           (Bharatha) and Naranathu(Shathrughna).

Though the sky was overcast throughout the day, it didn't rain at all at Guruvayur.


Altogether, a holy month for the devout Hindus. And the rush of the pilgrims to Guruvayur has begun.

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