Karkkadakam is an auspicious month for every Kerala households. In the early stages this month yielded a mixture of emotions and expectations. Due to the heavy rain nobody can go out, so idly sit at home while reading the holy books especially Ramayana.
The stormily heavy rain or chanting drizzle outside creates a moody and dark atmosphere all day. Related to that unwanted fears rule the minds of the people. To overcome that they resort to put their attention in spiritual matters, especially reading about the mettle shown by Rama in many a life struggles. So the month is usually called Ramayana Month.
The next month to Karkkadakam is Chingam, the New Year of Malayali, in this month Malayali is celebrating Thiruvonam, nothing higher a celebration to him but that. Thiruvonam is a great passion of Malayali always.To celebrate Onam, one needs to be ready to let off anything, so the scripture says and the innate spirit in Keralites follow.
At present we are going through Karkkadakam month. In the present life that much crisis, what our ancestors have had ,we are not facing because most people are not depending on agriculture for their daily means. Even though Malayali prefer to consider the Karkkadakam with all respects and like to follow the customs what our ancestors have created for the observance of this month. People take karkkadaka kanji or marunnu kanji for a healthy body and go to temples usually called ‘Naalambala Yaathra’ (visit to the temples of Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrugna ) for the spiritual health. In fact this month Malayali tries to accumulate a lot positive energy for the year.
Kerala is enriched with lots of properties, only she can demand her own. It is the land of variety of cultures too.The most poor month,we so called ‘panja karkkadakam’. In some conservative life arena, during these thirty days people choose to restrict themselves behind the boundaries their ancestors had drawn. They prefer to have traditional items and things which are intended for the holy month. No other month can demand such strict rituals as Karkkadakam demands. In the day of ‘Karkkadaka samkranthi’ every hindu house’s premises are sanitised using ‘chanaka vellam’ , a practice believed to have the powers to drive away evil spirits. Lighting the loly lamp, ‘nila vilakku’, finish reading respective Ramayana kandam marks the end of the holy Month.
To seek the blessings of all Lords all trying to visit as much as the temples,apart from the ‘naalambalam’ as above said. In this month, mind is some what like temple in which all are trying to fill with the spiritual thoughts and deeds. Yes,Karkkidakam is having its own specialities, that will continue until all are considering this as special month.
Some other specialities of this month.
It is so called to take “Pathila” (ten leaves) in this month like ‘thaal,thakara,cheera,mathan,kumbalam,chena,uzhunnu,payaru,aanathoova,neyyunni” these are the ten leaves.It is saying that the immunity power will be comparatively less in this month to balance that it is good to take these cut leaves in a half boiled form. It is said to to be the ‘devas’ pouring ‘amrit’ in these leaves in karkkadaka month. The name of these ten leaves varies from places to places in the different parts of Kerala.
Ayurvedic treatment during this month is very famous .The belief behind this is when something good is done in this month its merit will be yielding through out the year. So all are very interested to take ‘uzhichil, pizhichil, thirummal, kizhi, panchakarmma chikitsa’ etc.
Marunnu kanji (Medicated rice gruel) is another famous one in this month. Along with many medicated leaves like dasapushpam, aymodakam, jeerakam etc. also are the ingriedients in this kanji. Now a days , packet kanji is available,so no body is taking effort to make it at home.
Karutha vavu, in the karkkadaka month is a very auspicious day to the Hindus. In this day performing ‘bali’ for the ‘pithrukkal’ (The departed soul) to help attain them ‘moksha’. Not only to the human beings but to the animals , ayurvedic treatment is a practice for the month.
Karkkadakam has passed its half…Only some more days left to embrace Malayali’s “Ponnin chingam”. Malayali is eagerly waiting for the arrival of Chingam, but not down lifting the karkkidakam, but uplifting it by noble deeds, noble thinking, purifying the body and mind with the traditional ways to mould a new body and new mind to welcome Chingam, our own “Puthu Varsham” …
Very nostalgic lines of a song that a few may recollect…
“Karkkadakam thotte chingathe kaathu
Kalppadippurayil njaan kaathirunnu
kaattathu kariyila melle anangumbol
Maveli ennu ninachirunnu…….”
Which will roughly translate to:
“Waiting for Chingam from Karkkadakam
Out there at the gates
When a murmur of dry leaves in the wind
Did I wish that Maveli arrives”
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