Sunday, October 21, 2007


Happy Saraswati Pooja !!!

This is how we celebrated Vijayadashami at our Ernakulam flat. As I am still recovering from a foot injury, we couldn't go to Irinjalakuda for the Vijayadashami. Though we had not arranged a 'poojaveyppu,' (worshipping of the books), I wanted to observe the 'ezhuthu,' or writing, which is the most important aspect of Vijayadashami. Usually, on Durgashtami Day evening, all the tools of work (mainly books), will be wrapped up neatly and placed before an idol of Krishna, with all the lamps lit around it. So, no reading or home work for the next day !

On Vijayadashami Day, after lighting all the lamps, a handful of sand will be spread on the floor. A lit traditional bronze lamp (Nilavilakku) and Thunchath Ezhuthachan's 'Adhyathma Ramayanam,' will be placed nearby. Father would sit in front of the sand and write 'Harisree Ganapathaye Namah' in Malayalam script, followed by a couple of sloka-s praising Saraswati and all our Guru-s. Then, the complete Malayalam alphabet, starting from 'A, aa,' followed by Devanagari (representing Sanskrit). (I started adding the English alphabet after English became my professional language). After writing, he would pick up the Ramayanam and read a couple of verses, marking the ending of worshipping the goddess of Knowledge.

Vijayadashami had always been the festival of worshipping Knowledge for Malayalees. I don't know if Saraswati is worshipped with this much fervour in any other Indian states. Vijayadashami is also the day for everyone to start the learning of music and dance. Children are also initiated into the world of letters on this day. These days, the Vidyarambham is a big event, with functions being arranged in major temples, as well as in secular institutions. Even Christian churches arrange Vidyarambham these days.

Today, at our flat, we made a simple ceremony with a plate of raw rice for the auspicious writing. Though clean sand is used, raw rice is considered the most auspicious, especially for the children's 'Vidyarambham.' We had no sand, hence the rice. Then, Rajan lit the Nilavilakku, arranged some fruits, including a piece of sugarcane, oranges, an apple and a sappotta (which is not part of the traditional arrangement, but just for the sake of appearance !), put a small metal Nataraja (which we had bought from the Gujarat Emporium), and I placed an old copy of Adhyathma Ramayanam nearby. Rajan's tablas can be seen in the background. And on the rice is written 'Harisree' in Malayalam.

A refreshing way to pay respects to the Vidya we practice !


Indira said...

Renu: Happy Vijayadasami and Saraswathi Puja!

It's fascinating to read about Vidyarambham, the Kerala tradition. In Andhra, vidyarambham is on Vinayaka Chavithi and Vijayadamai is all about Durga devi.

Indira said...

I mean Vijayadasami.

a correspondent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
a correspondent said...

Hi, I have added you on this list of Malayalee bloggers.


Your blogroll seems to be full of Malayalees! Guess I will have to add them all.

TBC said...

Just discovered your blog and learnt that you live in EKM. My parents do too.

Bharathy said...

I see my blog already here..:)..Hugs!!:)

Since you live in India,are you intersted to join the arusuvai friendship chain?Details in my blog..Respond asap pls :)

Bharathy said...

Just for fun.. cooking and passing around the ingredient,Renu..."Chumma oru rasam" :)...hope you went thru the details :)...To get to know one another...esp the food blogs are owned mostly by the Non resident Indians and a few Indians like us..athre ullo:)

Bharathy said...

That's fine Renu!!..
Keep posting....something traditional like that moloyshyam(mango curry)down there..or general posts.. need not be food oriented either.
Lucky to have such an understanding husband!!!

Get well soon!!:)

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