Raksha Bandhan

Happy Raksha Bandhan to my brothers out there reading this!

You may ask what is this festival all about. We may have mother’s and father’s day but the western world forgot about the brothers and sisters. This day is to celebrate the friendship and siblings’ love.

Raksha Bandhan (the bond of protection) is a festival primarily observed in India, which celebrates the relationship between brothers, cousins and sisters. It is also called Rakhi Purnima in most of India. The festival is observed by Hindus, Sikhs and some Muslims. The central ceremony involves the tying of a rakhi (sacred thread) by a sister on her brother’s wrist. This symbolizes the sister’s love and prayers for her brother’s well-being, and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect her. The festival falls on the full moon day (Shravan Poornima) of the Shravan month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar. It grew in popularity after Rani Karnavathi the widowed queen of Chittor, sent a rakhi to the Mughal emperor Humayun when she required his help. – Wikipedia

Rudram Chamakam

The Shri Rudram (Sanskrit श्री रुद्रम्), to which the Chamakam (चमकम्) is added by scriptural tradition. During Pradosham (fast for Lord Shiva), people chant the Rudram when doing abishekam for Lord Shiva. I can still hear my brother chanting the Rudram while he does the abishekam. The following video is Rudram Chamakam chanted in Devanaagiri (Sanskrit)

Srirudram, also known as Rudraprasna, is a hymn devoted to lord Shiva. It is Continue reading

Morning rise to Suprabhatham

It’s so difficult to wake up at sunrise during winters. Especially if you live in a country where not all houses have underground heating system. Waking up and going to the washroom is the utmost difficult routine task in Winter here in South Africa.

I remember I used to wake up to the Suprabhatham and the smell of Bru coffee and essence sticks in the prayer room, in Chennai. Listening to women laugh and put kolam infront of their house with wet hair. Milking their cows in their backyard and boiling the milk. I love that smell. Memories are always twined up with smells and sounds. I never used to enjoy it then, but now I miss it.I was too young to understand the significance behind each action. Now, I prefer waking up to Suprabhatham than an alarm clock. It adds more meaning to the term “waking up”. My alarm is the Suprabhatham. Continue reading

Why enter house with right foot?

I always follow traditions blindly. I hardly question my elders on why some ways are done in a specific manner. The reason behind me not questioning the elders is that I don’t get a clear conceptual answer. However, I always have the questions on my mind and hmm I do ponder upon the answers.

When a woman is married she has to enter the future house, whether in-law’s place or her own home with right foot. Maybe I can rephrase this. One has to enter the doorstep with their right foot. This sounds weird. It apparently brings good omen . Well this is what I was told. I went into our vedic scriptures to find out the deeper significance.

These are my findings:

5 pointers Continue reading

Banana leaf = plate

I have not been to one Brahmin wedding without a banana leaf meal. In my culture almost all auspicious occasions, food is served on banana leaves.  I personally feel a satisfactory meal should be served on banana leaf. Infact, only in the late 1980’s silver plates came into play. All Brahmin Indian households will contain banana trees in their backyard.

Why do South Indians eat on Banana leaf?

 

Well there are several reasons to this.

Continue reading

Thulasi Maadam (Holy basil tree)

Thulasi has so many different spellings to it. I prefer to spell it as the way I say it!

I remember when I was around 5 years old, I used to visit my grandparents, thatha (grand dad) and paati (granny). I have a vivid memory of this house that they stayed in. At that time they used to live in Mudikondan. Their house was that olden day brahmins styled house (agrahara veedu), almost a square or rectangle shape with an open in the centre and rooms were surrounding the open area in the middle, pillars give the border and the frame of the open area. There used to be a varandah outside the Continue reading