Saturday, 13 April 2013

Happy Vishu...............

Its time to celebrate  fresh start and spread love from heart here is wishing you  Happy Vishu with  blessings good luck and fortune  from Our supreme Godhead Krishna . Vishu is one of the festivals of Hindus. It is indubitable that vishu is different from other celebrations by way of the method of celebration, time sanctity and scientific base.

Holy times

Vishu means ‘equal state’. In Vishnupurana there is a reference to ‘vishuvath’ when day and night are equal. On two days in a year such a phenomenan happen- the first of Metam, the first sign of the zodiac and the first Thulam, seventh sign of the Zodiac. These days are supposed to be holy days. Metam equinox is the day when the sun turns from Meenam rasi, a sign of the zodiac to Metam rasi. Astronomically and astrologically these days are very important. From the solar system the New Year starts from Metam. The malayalam months begin from Metam. In the astrological  stars Metakkor comes in the beginnig . The climax rasi of the sun to Metamrasi. Vishu has that importants too- when we enter the Ucharasi of surya.

 

The  Belief of the Origin of Vishu

Different myths prevalent as to the origin of Vishu. Some says that the myth has connections with the killing of Ravana. Ravana pestered even the sun and Sri Rama saved the people and Devas from the hands of Ravana by killing him. The memory of that is behind Vishu - a few say. A few others belive that Vishu is the festival in memory of Vishnu’s escapade with Narakasura.

 

Chaitrolsavam

As vishnu is observed in the month of Chaithra it can be called Chaitrotsav. Human life is always connected with the things around him. The land, climate, atmosphere etc. always influence the life of humanity. Festivals like Onam, Makam, Thiruvathira, Karthika, Pooram etc. are associated with climatic conditions of the land. Utsav has a meaning something that produces  happiness. To Keralites Vishu is an important festival. As the period is full of flowers and fruit, it is Vasanthotsav. Pooram is also like that. Pooram is celebrated during the nine days prior to the Pooram in Meenam. In temples and houses a variety of flowers are used to honour the deity Kamadev. In the same way Vishu is also a time of flowers. The major observance in Vishu is ‘Kani’.

In houses Kani is prepared either to poojaroom or ‘patinhatta’. In temples and kavus it is put in the sanctorum. Flowers are hang and spread on the floor. The most important flower required is Konna (Cassia fistula). Besides, bunches of cocunut, arecanut, jackfruit, mango, other vegetables etc. are also placed beside the oil lamp. Among the materials used for Kani, jackfruit, mango, coconut, rice, paddy, coins are important ones. Some put Kalams also beside it and infront of the house. Formerly, nine cereals in the sprouting stage were also put for Kani. Now it is seen only in certain temples. Similarly gold, silver or other coins are also used for Kani. The practice described above shows connection between the festivals of men and the surroundings. Man cannot forget nature and her blessings. The materials used for Kani clearly show the abundance due to agriculture. Here is an assimilation of Vasantholsava and Karshikolsav.
 

VishuKani
 
Kani is seen before the sunrise on Metam 1st. It should be seen before anything is seen on that  day. Hence  people go to the place of Kani closing their eyes. In the houses the eldest one wakes up by three or so in the morning and lights the oil lamp and leads the other members to the place to see Kani. In temples, the priest does these
things. He opens the doors of Sreekovil and shows the deity surrounded by the abundance placed there. In temples like Guruvayoor thousands of people go to witness the Kani placed there.

Those who witness Kani at home, go to temples there after. The most important part of Vishu is the  Kani and visit to temples. After seeing Kani at home, people visit the neighbouring houses to see the Kani there, especially children. Now a days the practice is seldom found. The house owner often presents betel with areca-nut, unniyappam and coins to those who visit the house on Vishu. Most often the things placed for seeing Kani are removed from there after a week.

It explains that the joviality lasts for a week. Relatives from near and far may come to see Kani. They need visit the house within a week. Among Brahmins married woman would be living at the house of her husband. But they also come to her fathers house during Vishu. On their visit they will be given coconut, money and other materials.

Presents on Vishu (Vishukaineettam)

            As it is the practice to distribute new cloths and money to the family members by the  Karanavar or Head of the family, during Vishu too, money is distributed. It is called Vishukaineettam. The yonger generations fall prostrate before the elder and the elder after blessing them pay Kaineettam. To get such money is believed to be propitious. Farmers festivals After seeing Kani, the cattle also shown Kani.

A little Konna flower beside the oil lamp is used for this. It is prepared in the cow shed. Besides, eatables are also given to them. This symbolises an agricultural ancestry. On Pathamudayam,the tenth Thulam too the same rites  are performed Vishu is the end of scorching summer. A saying that after vishu no summer prevents among the peoples. The work connected with agriculture is commenced with Vishu. Formerly there was a practice that people visited the fields after seeing Kani. Any way seeds will be sowed within ten days.

Vishu Feast

Like the feast on Onam, the feast on Vishu is also important. Feast is there on vishu and the day   prior to that.
 
 
A variety of dishes with the available vegetables around are used for the feast. Ripe mangoes and jackfruit have a place in the feast.

 Vishuvilakku

 It is a festival observed in some of the temples of Kerala. Most often it extends to seven days. It is even now observed in Annapoorneswari temple of Cherukunnu, Sreerama temple of Thiruvangadu, Tellicherry.
 
Here feast was served in the morning and at noon porridge was given. In most of the Malliyot and Palot kavus, celeberations are during this period.

Vishu Prophesy Predictions

The astrologers predict the future of people based on the star and kooru of Vishu. Formerly village astrologers used to visit houses and predict the future of the people on Vishu. They
got money and cloths as rewards. In certain places the gold or silver coins put for Vishukani are poured on the right palm and find the signs and future of person based on the way the coin lies, the elevation etc. A few others roll coconut and find the good and bad that may came during the year. After taking bath a coconut is decorated with sandal paste and standing towards the east, it is rolled.
 
At the time of stopping, the face is taken in to consideration. If  it is towards the east, prosperity by way of cattle and food are the results. If it is south east, injury and loss of agriculture; on South, the very life is in danger; if on South West, illness and loss of relatives; on west gain money and materials; if on North west, mental agony, loss of wife and fear of fire; if on north, prizes from the King, longevity and gain in every thing; if on North East, loss of agriculture, cattle, wife, relatives etc.

Present day  relevance

The older glamour of Vishu is lost now. Yet reminiscences of it is still found in the society. Use of crackers have become more. Now the idea of Vishu has gone beyond the religious and has become the festival of all communities. For students it is a time of joviality after the annual examinations. In villages ripe mangoes and jack fruit are abundant. Really man when at the abysm of poverty and sense of loss, sprouts a new hope of prosperity during Vishu. It is the blossoming of a new era in the life of man -- a time when blessing of nature and God shower an humanity.„