Follow the Hindu Moon

                                                                                                      A guide to the festivals of south India

                                                                                              Soumya Aravind Sitaraman

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Celebrate! Festivals

Hindu Cosmology

Path to God

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Celebrate! Festivals

   

Festival calendar

The Festivals

 

 

A little more about our Festivals

Look to this page for festival tips, calendar dates and other goodies

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Akshaya Trittiya


Bhogi


Deepavali


Garuda Panchami


Kaaradai Nombu


Kartikai


Krishna Jayanti


Naga Chaturti


Navaratri


Onam


Pongal /Makara Sankranti


Rama Navami

In the Ramayana, Rama carries out an incredible, romantic and duty-bound undertaking to rescue his wife from Ravana, a magnificent king, devout Shaivite Brahmin, whose obsession with Sita propels him to his downfall. Kidnapping Sita he flees India, leading Rama to embark on a long journey to another ancient and foreign land, Lanka. Hundreds of shrines mark the route, each a stop where Rama sought answers, guidance and spiritual strength to achieve his lofty purpose. This route, well documented in the Ramayana with descriptive geography, has been interpreted and mapped by Prof. H. Daniel Smith.

Sitharam Gurumurthi presents another version in his book Ramayana Temples. While the main route remains rather consistent with Daniel Smith’s version, there are deviations as Rama approaches the southern tip of India .  

Many believe the Ramayana to be a true life story, a historical record of an ancient time in India. Others debunk this theory and relegate the epic to a mere work of fiction. However, there is an interesting global stream of research in the Absolute and Cultural Sciences that is discovering more and more of the pieces of this ancient puzzle. Scientists mapping the Earth with satellite and other technology are finding truth in ancient claims of a fantastic and heretofore unimaginable natural disaster. Astronomers and physicists are beginning to discover links between the origin of the cosmos and the Hindu concept of time and creation. Ecologists who believe in evolution are tracing parallels between the avatars and the stages of evolution. Rama’s existence is gaining credibility and validity with recent scientific mapping and research. For example:

‘Adam’s Bridge or Rama’s Bridge, a chain of shoals, c.18 mi (30 km) long, in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. At high tide, it is covered by c.4 ft (1.2 m) of water. A steamer ferry links Rameswaram , India , with Mannar , Sri Lanka . According to Hindu legend, the bridge was built to transport Rama, hero of the Ramayana, to the island to rescue his wife from the demon king Ravana.’

This curved link between India and Sri Lanka as featured in the Hindustan Times on 10 October 2002 ,

NASA Images Find 1,750,000 Year Old Man-Made Bridge  

Washington (PTI): The NASA Shuttle has imaged a mysterious ancient bridge between India and Sri Lanka , as mentioned in the Ramayana. The evidence, say experts matter-of-factly, is in the recently discovered bridge, currently named as Adam’s Bridge and made of a chain of shoals, 30 km long, in the Palk Straits between India and Sri Lanka, reveals a mystery behindit. The bridge’s unique curvature and composition by age reveals that it is man-made. Legend as well as archaeological studies reveal that the first signs of human inhabitants in Sri Lanka date back to the primitive age, about 1,750,000 years ago and the bridge’s age is almost equivalent.

Rama is said to have lived in the Treta Yuga of our current Maha Yuga cycle. This puts his existence somewhere roughly between 869,103 and 1,296,000 years. Correlated to modern geology, this puts us at the Pleistocene Epoch of the quarternary period 1.81 to 0.01 mya (million years ago) based on radiometric dating; a period characterised by glaciation and referred to as an Ice Age.

A huge body of ongoing palaeo-climatological research reveals a dramatic drop in eustatic sea levels during these periods of glaciation. Various studies across different scientific genre using data from ice core samples and oxygen isotope records in marine sediment cores arrive at similar conclusions. One research paper by Eberli et al states, ‘Most of the known major sea-level falls in the Neogene are recorded in the strata along the Bahamas Transect. Examples include the sea-level fall in the earliest Miocene, the first two falls in the middle Miocene, the fall at the Miocene / Pliocene boundary, and most of the Pliocene-Pleistocene major sea-level falls.’ Changes in the sea level due to glacial ice build-up or melt-down are therefore part of the Earth’s history. The possibility of the sea level being low (some estimates go up to 80m below current levels) during Rama’s life on Earth seems high. We also know from the receding waters that were the prelude to the recent tsunami, the current submerged land bridge is just below current mean sea level. As an engineering feat therefore, it seems a highly feasible project to accomplish given enough labour. To buttress the idea of the bridge being artificially created, the monkey clan that helped Rama is now seen not as real monkeys, but as tribes who bonded under a flag or banner with the emblem of a monkey. These Vanaras are deduced to have come from Central India , and belong to a group called the Kolarian Race. The Vanaras could have been referred to as ‘the monkeys’ inasmuch as the Pandyans who fought under the banner emblazoned with an image of a fish were referred to iconographically with a symbol of the fish and their king, in older Tamizh literature, as ‘meenavan’, literally the fishman.

In the Ramayana, Rama carries out an incredible, romantic and duty-bound undertaking to rescue his wife from Ravana, a magnificent king, devout Shaivite Brahmin, whose obsession with Sita propels him to his downfall. Kidnapping Sita he flees India, leading Rama to embark on a long journey to another ancient and foreign land, Lanka. Hundreds of shrines mark the route, each a stop where Rama sought answers, guidance and spiritual strength to achieve his lofty purpose. This route, well documented in the Ramayana with descriptive geography, has been interpreted and mapped by Prof. H. Daniel Smith  (see map)

Sitharam Gurumurthi presents another version in his book Ramayana Temples . While the main route remains rather consistent with Daniel Smith’s version, there are deviations as Rama approaches the southern tip of India .

Many believe the Ramayana to be a true life story, a historical record of an ancient time in India . Others debunk this theory and relegate the epic to a mere work of fiction. However, there is an interesting global stream of research in the Absolute and Cultural Sciences that is discovering more and more of the pieces of this ancient puzzle. Scientists mapping the Earth with satellite and other technology are finding truth in ancient claims of a fantastic and heretofore unimaginable natural disaster. Astronomers and physicists are beginning to discover links between the origin of the cosmos and the Hindu concept of time and creation. Ecologists who believe in evolution are tracing parallels between the avatars and the stages of evolution. Rama’s existence is gaining credibility and validity with recent scientific mapping and research. For example:

‘Adam’s Bridge or Rama’s Bridge, a chain of shoals, c.18 mi (30 km) long, in the Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka. At high tide, it is covered by c.4 ft (1.2 m) of water. A steamer ferry links Rameswaram , India , with Mannar , Sri Lanka . According to Hindu legend, the bridge was built to transport Rama, hero of the Ramayana, to the island to rescue his wife from the demon king Ravana.’

This curved link between India and Sri Lanka as featured in the Hindustan Times on 10 October 2002 ,4

NASA Images Find 1,750,000 Year Old Man-Made Bridge5   

Washington (PTI): The NASA Shuttle has imaged a mysterious ancient bridge between India and Sri Lanka , as mentioned in the Ramayana. The evidence, say experts matter-of-factly, is in the recently discovered bridge, currently named as Adam’s Bridge and made of a chain of shoals, 30 km long, in the Palk Straits between India and Sri Lanka, reveals a mystery behindit. The bridge’s unique curvature and composition by age reveals that it is man-made. Legend as well as archaeological studies reveal that the first signs of human inhabitants in Sri Lanka date back to the primitive age, about 1,750,000 years ago and the bridge’s age is almost equivalent.

Rama is said to have lived in the Treta Yuga of our current Maha Yuga cycle. This puts his existence somewhere roughly between 869,103 and 1,296,000 years. Correlated to modern geology, this puts us at the Pleistocene Epoch of the quarternary period 1.81 to 0.01 mya (million years ago) based on radiometric dating; a period characterised by glaciation and referred to as an Ice Age.

A huge body of ongoing palaeo-climatological research reveals a dramatic drop in eustatic sea levels during these periods of glaciation. Various studies across different scientific genre using data from ice core samples and oxygen isotope records in marine sediment cores arrive at similar conclusions. One research paper by Eberli et al states, ‘Most of the known major sea-level falls in the Neogene are recorded in the strata along the Bahamas Transect. Examples include the sea-level fall in the earliest Miocene, the first two falls in the middle Miocene, the fall at the Miocene / Pliocene boundary, and most of the Pliocene-Pleistocene major sea-level falls.’ Changes in the sea level due to glacial ice build-up or melt-down are therefore part of the Earth’s history. The possibility of the sea level being low (some estimates go up to 80m below current levels) during Rama’s life on Earth seems high. We also know from the receding waters that were the prelude to the recent tsunami, the current submerged land bridge is just below current mean sea level. As an engineering feat therefore, it seems a highly feasible project to accomplish given enough labour. To buttress the idea of the bridge being artificially created, the monkey clan that helped Rama is now seen not as real monkeys, but as tribes who bonded under a flag or banner with the emblem of a monkey. These Vanaras are deduced to have come from Central India , and belong to a group called the Kolarian Race. The Vanaras could have been referred to as ‘the monkeys’ inasmuch as the Pandyans who fought under the banner emblazoned with an image of a fish were referred to iconographically with a symbol of the fish and their king, in older Tamizh literature, as ‘meenavan’, literally the fishman.

 


Shivaratri


Skanda Shashti


Thiruvaathira


Thiruvadarai


Ugadi / Vishu / Varusha Pirappu


Varalakshmi Vrata


Vinayaka Chaturti  

Soumya Aravind Sitaraman
Copyright © 2007. All rights reserved.

A Random House India Publication

Soumya Aravind Sitaraman (c) 2007. All Rights Reserved