Holy month of Ramayana
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(16th July ). In almost all Hindu families one will read the holy Ramayana and other members will listen. The climate during the period is almost rainy and many people will not have any work and it is also considered as a month for preventive treatment. Elaborate arrangements will be made in the temples to read Ramayana and preach the divine message to lead an ideal life.
Karkkidakam is referred as the Ramayana Masam, which starts on 16th July and ends on 16th August. As the name specify, this holy month is destined for undertaking pious Vratham and recitation of Adhyathma Ramayanam Kilippattu: the epic life of Lord Sree Rama, which is the most virtuous and conversant contribution from Thunjathu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, called as the Father of Malayalam Language. He was born in Malappuram district in Kerala about 450 years ago. The tradition of reciting Ramayanam started from 16th century, when Ezhuthachan wrote Adhyatma Ramayana in the form of Kilippatuu ( narrated by parrot ) in pure and simple Malayalam language which easily accepted by common people of Kerala, to whom, the grammatically moulded Manipravalam style of literatures was not at all perceivable at that time. The Adhyatma Ramayanam Kilippatuu was uncomplicated and also simple to understand by the lay men. Through Ramayanam Kilippatuu, Ezhuthachan gave Malayalam Language an innovative measurement and trail, which is following till now. The ferocious plunge of the rains in the month of Karkkidaka brings out many discomforts in the forms of ailments, scarcity, dearth, destructions etc. During this month the agrarian population of Kerala receives a retarded production in crops and other rural food products.
The month of Karkkidakam is often referred as “Panja Masam” (the month of extreme scarcity) in traditional Malayalam language. A shade of discontent will make its triumph due to these factors. Ramayana recitation during this time is considered as a propitious practice that will mend all the discomforts and agony both to the individuals and community. An unrivaled spiritual solace can be attained through the habitual and devoted reading of Ramayana during the 31 days of Karkkidakam. Adhyatma Ramayanam Kilippatuu is recited in homes and temples during the month of Karkkidakam. The reader should sit in the front of lighted lamp (Nilavilakku) and read the verses in particular rhythm. It is recommended that the book must be completed on the last day of Malayalam Month.Marriges, new undertakings etc are not held during the month of Karkkidakam.
Sheer spirituality is not the subject matter for observing the Ramayana month. More than that it is a commitment to our own traditional customs and beliefs, which is now days are seen thinning due to the less practices and follow ups.The rapid moving life styles and trends, which is the result of generation gaps and imitations to western cultures, is gradually altering the living model of the society. Ramayana reading has now becoming rare in many of the Kerala homes, predominantly in the city life. It has not completely ended as certain houses sternly pursue the Ramayanam month rituals. Almost in all the temples especially Vishnu temples, Ramayana is recited during the month of Karkkidakam. Grandmothers in houses regularly recite Ramayana on these occasions.
Spiritual organizations arrange venues now a days to conduct “Ramayana Paaraayanam “ during the month of Karkkidakam. Media strongly support the importance of Ramayanam month and Karkkidakam through some authentic programs on prime times. Majority of the Malayalam Television chancels telecast programs, discussions, recitations etc related with Ramayana during the month of Karkkidakam.Advacement of technology is reflected as the Ramayana recitation can now get in the form of CDs and DVDs!.
A small child of 10 or 11 can easily read Ramayana under the guidance of his / her family member (may be mother, father, grandmother or grandfather). The simplicity of language used in this legendary work, makes it approachable to every human being .What he has to develop is a genuine interest for reading and knowing the essence embedded in it. Then he should find out time. The month of Karkkidakam is apt for this and 31 days quite enough to complete the book in a good rhythm. It’s a most effective way to use the time of difficulties and worries (the month of Karkkidaka) by reciting Ramayana .It will purify the mind and the penance in this month will sanitize the illness of body, which in turn results spiritual purification of body and mind.
Ramayana holds its significance not only due the spiritual element embedded in it but the core concepts that are deeply rooted in this epic are appropriate to the daily life. Ramayana is the legend of Lord Rama. But it is not just an account that should be read during a particular period or a poem of mere presentation. It tells the story of a noble human being, his bonding and relations, how a man should behave, which are the paths that is to be chosen for a good life etc.We can trace out what is the duty of a younger brothers to elder one which is reflected in Lekshmana and Bharatha. The extreme and untainted attachment to his master can be seen in Lord Hanuman. The unadulterated loyalty to husband and tolerance can be spotted in mother Sitha. All of these are morals to the present society Ramayana focus on fraternity of brotherhood, lenience, endurance, dedication and devotion. The new generation might be unfamiliar to such things. These aspects we can’t make them understand simply by saying straight. It needs a rigid pedestal to communicate .Ramayana undoubtly can be marked as an indisputable base to divulge the vital and inevitable aspects of mankind.
( Courtesy: http://www.vaikhari.org/karkkidakam.html )
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