Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Myriad moods of Margazhi

As already mentioned in of my previous blogs, margazhi(Margashira in sanskrit) is another favorite Tamil month of mine. This month extends from the latter fortnight of Dec to the first fortnight of the Jan. All the days of this month are festive though no auspicious occasions like marriages, starting new projects are taken up this month. The reason perhaps being one had to focus only on worshipping and not devote their energy into personal aspects. This month also seems to be the favorite of most lyricists and poets since they use this month as a part of their lyrics. Even Lord Krishna is in bhagavad gita is supposed to have said “of all the months, I am Marghazhi’

Rendering of the Andal Tiruppavai daily is one of the main events in the month. Andal, like Meera Bai was a great devotee of Lord Krishna and so she composed 30 verses in praise of Lord Krishna. Daily tiruppavai and tiruvempavai are sung in the temples. Religious minded people congregate in temples to listen to the discourse and chants. The discourse ends with the distribution of prasadam which is mostly venn pongal(Rice and moongdhal overcooked and spiced with pepper, jeera,ginger, salt and garnished with ghee and cashewnuts). Maybe, this was also done with intention that our body gets warmed up with the spices during the cool season.

Another speciality of this unique month is that people rise early in the wee hours of the morning called Brahma muhurtham(48 minutes prior to sunrise) wrap shawls or in bare bodies go around the streets singing bhajans.The first 6 months from mid Jan to mid July (Utharayanam) is the day time and the next 6 months mid July to mid Jan (Dhakshinaayanam) is the night time for the Gods. And this Maargazhi being the dawn of the day (Brahma Muhurtham) for the Gods, singing and chanting the glory of God is considered most auspicious.
The women folk design very intricate kolams (rangoli patterns) with rice powder in front of their house. The rice powder serves as food for the ants. This concept was perhaps introduced by our intelligent and wise ancestors so that we could inhale the ozone which is in abundance during the morning hours. Also by bending and stretching while putting kolams, you also exercise your body. So much of native wisdom, only we don’t realize and practice. We either question the practice or conveniently say in this scientific age it is not considered valid.

The high points of this month are also the Vaikunta Ekadashi, (the 11th day in the month), Arudra darisanam (full moon day), Hanuman Jayanthi and Ramana Aradhana (the birthday of RamanaMaharishi).

Lastly, the unparalleled Madras Music and Dance season popularly called December season. This is a cultural extravaganza for which carnatic musicians from all over the world land up on this part of the earth.

This event was started in 1927 to commemorate the founding of Madras Music academy in the month of December. This event was a result of the music conference held during the madras session of the Indian National Congress.

It is widely encouraged and patronized by very large business houses like Nalli, Havagrivas, Sundaram Finance, Rmkv, Pothy's and many more. It serves as a platform for upcoming musical and dance talent.

In short, this month the atmosphere is filled with myriad moods like religious, spiritual,health and music.

music season history courtesy: India heritage

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