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April 2010


HAPPY VISHU! to all our readers

A Keralaiyers E-Magazine for the changing times

In this issue: Thrissur Pooram & Vadakkunnathan


A story behind the pooram of all poorams and

Its meaning and

Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur


Philosophy of Indian Classical Dance The real goal of Indian dance forms and Adi Guru Shiva, the teacher

From the Adukulai Vishu Special: Mouth-watering Chakka Pradhaman

April 2010 We are very happy to bring out the April issue just at the time of the New Year for us Keralaiyers—Vishu! Tarangini wishes all its readers a very Happy Vishu, May this year bring

Taran gi n i A Keralaiyers E-magazine for the changing times

Volume I Issue 4

prosperity to one and all. We are striving at making the issues of Tarangini better each issue and we require your involvement in these endeavours. May this year bring in more interesting articles to read via Tarangini (Now now, are we being too greedy!? Aren‘t we entitled for a Kaineettam too?) Well, this issue consists of

Ungaloodu Abhiprayam A laudable venture by youngsters,for the youngsters by the youngsters! Wish all success for the venture. I would suggest inclusion of one more column MATRIMONIAL. I know that there are enough portals catering to matrimonial purposes, but one originating from Tarangini will greatly help the Brahmin diaspora in their search for suitable match for their wards. -A. Ranganathan

the regular dose of articles

Inside this issue: Monthly Visheshangals




Mahatmyam of ―Om Namo Narayanaya Namaha‖




Kakka Raman and Abhishravanam




Tips to avoid sun burns in summer


Philosophy of Indian Classical Dance Internet Calling… Thrissur Pooram & Vadakkunathan

12 14


Parur Saasthapreethi


Vedic Astrology


Devayani and Kacha


Chakka Pradhaman

-Ayalur Sreekanth New Delhi. I got an email from our Family Group, wherein my brother/sisters had spoken highly about it... So, being anxious I read it from beginning to end.. And I have to agree, my elders were right! A Great magazine... please continue the tradition... we live in Canada & the article brought back memories of our visit to Perunkulam and Palakkad....Love -Eswar


Save the girl child

From the adukulai -

I being a Palakkad Iyer now settled in Delhi am proud to read Tarangini. It is a great effort to publish such a wonderful magazine about our culture. My children will benefit to know more about my native Kerala through your e-magazine and of course I will get my old/current memories of my Ayalur agraharam in Palakkad. I wish you all success for your service. Thank you,


Tarangini is getting better and better over every issue. I really like the explanations on the Bhagavad Gita and the write ups on various temple festivals.

I do read the Gita daily, but understanding the meaning in a layman's language is a bit difficult.. If Ananthu mama can give the meaning for each chapter in every issue, I guess people like me will be blesses enough to read the chapters after knowing the meanings. Also I feel that write ups on various temples in and around Palakkad will add on to the value of Tarangini. Kudos to the creators and the contributors... And I really must admit that Tarangini has started to re kindle the urge of writing and creativity in my mind as well, which I had stopped since I left college. -Kirti From the Editors Dear Readers, Thank you very much for your continued support and cooperation to this venture which is now only 4 issues old. We are striving hard to make things better, include new topics, new columns and make the emagazine much more informative and entertaining. As regards the matrimonial column, we are not venturing into that domain immediately, we are sure other groups are doing a very good job in that domain (sruthivani, through kalyanam group) and we would like the elders to take care of this rather than youngsters! But you never know, there could be a matrimonial section in the future! -Navneet Narayan & Hridya Anand (Editors)

Monthly Visheshangals: SUN


-K V Ananthanarayanan TUE























Vishukkani kaanal



at temples in 18


Shukla Chaturthi




Shukla Shashti




Vikruthi Samvatsaram begins.

Vratham 25






Mesha Ravi


Sankraman, Suryan enters Mesha Rasi


at 5.30 am IST

Pournami Gajendra

Medom month be-


gins; Vishu Punyakalam. Panchanga Padanam at various celebrated temples







SAT 1 Sankatahara Chaturti











Sravana Vratham 9































Sarva Amavasya

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-Sunder Sarma

The Vedas state that for Devas, one full year is equal to one day. Their day time is Uttarayanam and Night time is Dakshinayanam. Since ancient times, it has also been a tradition of treating Nature as God in our culture. We have even heard stories of rituals being performed to please Mother Nature. Water, Earth, Fire, Wind “The preparation for the celebration of

and Space are the five forces of nature (Panchabhootangal) that control us. The first day of Chithirai (Medam) month in tamil calendar is called as “Vishu punya kalam”. “Vishu” literally means Early Morning. “Thula Sangrama Vishu” falls on the

Vishu starts from the

third month after Dakshinayanam starts, when the earth is slightly inclined towards

previous day itself.

the south. That’s when we offer our prayers to Water and Wind by taking an early

The night before

morning bath and doing tarpanam for our ancestors (considered to be in the form

going to bed the

of wind i.e. vayu). “Mesha Vishu Punyakalam” arrives three months after the beginning of Uttarayanam (14th of January (Makar Sankranthi Day) i.e., when the earth is

elders of the family

slightly inclined towards the north. This is the day that we offer our prayers to the

spread rice on a

Gods who are in the form of “jyothi” & the mother Earth who gives us different

taambalam and keep

kind of food to control our hunger & place to live. In other words, the day when Earth and Fire are offered prayers. The New Year also starts on the same day.

all varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers ...“

The above matter clarifies and signifies the important aspects of the celebrations of Vishu in the month of Chithrai. The preparation for the celebration of Vishu starts from the previous day itself. The night before going to bed the elders of the family spread rice on a taambalam and keep all varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers (specifically kanipoo), God’s photo and a mirror. It is also customary to keep Gold and Silver Coins in the coconut (broken in two parts) and money. The fruits, vegetables and things kept on the taambalam represent certain principles of our day-today life. The main vegetables are ripe Cucumber, raw mango, bitter gourd, snake gourd, lemon etc., and fruits are Jackfruit, banana, mango, grapes, apple etc. The yellow colour is auspicious for any event/occasion. In this context, ripe cucumber and lemon signify the above fact. The sour raw mango gives us visions of sweet future yet to come when it ripens. In practice, just as the farmers who tie a stone at the bottom of the small snake gourd for its elongated growth, similarly if we get a


good companion/friend/philosopher/guide, our lives would be smooth without any hurdles. Our day-to-day life puts us through a lot of bitter experiences which should

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not make us lose our faith, instead try to overcome them. To remind this fact, we keep the bitter gourd. To signify the fact that we must be useful by all means to this world, we keep ripe bananas as we all use almost all the parts of a banana plant. At times, we meet certain people who do not treat us well or use harsh words against us. We should remember them as people with good heart, signified by the Coconut which has a sweet and soft interior but is rough on the outside. Similarly, Jackfruit

“The very first sight is

is surrounded by prickly thorns outside but has a sweet fruit inside which implies

that of our own face

that at times it might be difficult to overcome our troubles, but if we struggle hard

in the mirror which

we will surely be able to achieve our goal. Apples, which are grown in harsh condi-

signifies that for all

tions of high winter are soft and sweet help us understand that whatever our circumstances in life may be, we can use our resources in a proper way to lead a happy life. Sweet and sour grapes tell us the story of life which tends to have ups and downs.

our future endeavours, we are solely responsible—

On the day of Vishu early morning, our elders wake us up and lead us with our eyes

this is called Vishu

closed to the puja room and make us sit and view all the items kept in the taambalam. The very first sight is that of our own face in the mirror which signifies that for all our future endeavours, we are solely responsible—this is called Vishu Kani. To start the day with joy and happiness throughout the year, the elders give Kani Pon (master of day-to-day life in present scenario) as blessings to the younger ones. In India, till date, in Guruvayurappan and Ayyappan temples all devotees visiting the temple on this day early morning are given Kani Pon by the temple priest. On that note, I would like to wish you all a very hearty - HAPPY VISHU!!

Vishu Kani

Kani. “

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Mahatmyam of “Om Namo Narayanaya Namaha” - Shanti Tilak Trichy Sri Kalyaranaraman, one of the stalwarts in conducting discourses of the Srimad Bhagavatham, Srimad Ramayanam and other religious texts, narrated a story that gives us the significance, or Mahatmyam of the chant “Om Namo Narayanaya Namaha”. “Narada obeyed the words of the Lord, went to Bhoolokam and chanted the words into the caterpillar’s ear. To his surprise, the caterpillar died immediately. “

Once, Lord Vishnu told Sage Narada to go and tell the words “Om Namo Narayanaya Namaha” in the ears of a caterpillar near a river. Narada obeyed the words of the Lord, and went to the Earth, i.e. Bhoolokam and chanted the words into the caterpillar’s ear. To his surprise, the caterpillar died immediately. Shocked and filled with grief, Narada went to Lord Vishnu and told him about it. The Lord then asked him to say the same words into the ear of a bird in a bush. Narada again went down to the Earth and did as he was told. The bird died once the words were said into its ears. Narada went back to the Lord and told him about the fate of the bird. Next, the Lord asked him to say the words into the ears of a doe playing in a garden. Narada, being an ardent devotee, did as he was told. The doe died as well. Next, he was told to say the words into the ear of a newborn calf. And the same thing happened to little calf. Filled with remorse and guilt of bringing on the death of innocent lives, Narada went back to Vaikuntam to the Lord and asked him the reason behind these deaths. In response to his question, Lord Vishnu asked Narada to go to the palace of the King of Kaasi, where a crown prince was born after several

years, and chant the same words into the little boy’s ears. Narada reluctantly proceeded to Kaasi. On his arrival, the King welcomed him with the Poorna Kumbham, and shared the wonderful news of the birth of the prince with Narada. Narada asked to see the new born alone, to which the King gladly agreed. Narada, now alone with the baby, was pondering over the fate of the baby, once he chanted the words into his ears. He was concerned about the King, as he was blessed with the baby after many years. However, since he cannot ignore the orders of the Lord, he unwillingly went near the baby’s cradle, which was made of gold, and said the words “Om Namo Narayanaya Namaha” slowly into the baby’s tiny ear. To his astonishment, the baby instantly sat up in the cradle and started talking! The prince asked Narada, “Do you know the meaning behind the nama, Om Namo Narayanaya Namaha?” “No,” replied Narada. The baby stated that Narada was his Guru, as he was the cause for his soul, Atma, to get the form of a human, the Manushya Janma. Narada, perplexed at that statement, asked for clarification. “When I was born as the caterpillar,” explained the new born, “you said the words Om Namo Narayanaya Namaha into my ear. Immediately, I left the body and got a better form as a bird. Again, you came and said the same words in my ear, and I got an even better form, as a doe. Then, as a calf, and then finally a human being, which is the most blessed

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V o lu m e I I ssu e 4

Mahatmyam of “Om Namo Narayanaya Namaha” form of life. Manushya Janma is the only janma in which you can attain the Paramatma by just saying the Nama – Om Namo Narayanaya Namaha.” From the story, we learn that the human form is the most blessed form of life in which the Lotus feet of the Lord can be attained by just chanting the Nama. It is said that in Kaliyuga, one can attain Moksham simply by chanting the Lord’s name, Namasankeertanam. The soul, Atma, can get a human form only by performing a lot of good deeds, Punya Karma, in the previous births. Therefore, we should use our human form to do only good and no evil.


It is also said that when we recite slokas, or chant the Lord’s names, or do Poojas, we should say the words aloud, so that they reach the ears of the birds, animals or plants nearby, and help them get a better form in their next birth, like in the story above. By chanting the names of the Lord and enabling an Atma to attain a better form, we are doing a good deed. Another thing we learn from this story is that it is always good to recite the slokas loudly, so that the vibrations can reach other forms of life as well. Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu

About the author: Shanti Tilak - I started off a lecturer in Chinmaya Mission College, Palakkad after completing my MA degree in Economics at Government Victoria College, Palakkad. After my marriage with Tilak K. A, I moved to Dubai where I worked in several banks including Citibank and ABN Amro Bank. In 1997, our family moved to Chennai and stayed there until 2007 when our only daughter left for higher studies in the US. Currently we are based in Doha. I am very interested in the rich Indian culture, religious practices and attending discourses . I also like playing veena, singing, designing clothes and sewing.


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-K V Ananthanarayanan

Have you heard about the

either move their lips or just

some cases the pattar of the

abhishravanam? At least till

utter some inarticulate words

house would closely watch

about thirty years ago, in the

ensuring that the voice was

the poor Brahmins chant-

houses of affluent pat-

kept so low that others did

ing and with great dexterity,

tars, when there was cere-

not know what these people

would identify the hapless

monial offering of food to the

were uttering. The ordinary

lipmovers and new entrants

learned Brahmins on occa-

onlooker’s impression will

and openly insult them and

sions like Sraadhdham, a

be that the elite scholars

ask them to get out. Instead

large number of loukeeka

were chanting something in

of dakshina the poor soul

Brahmins would be invited to

deep meditation. Anyway

would be abused with the

sit in a separate place with-

this exercise was carried

words like, “Peera pattarey,

in the earshot of the elite pu-

through because the Abhis-

enna oye, neer pulinguru,

rohitas partaking in the cere-

ravana pattar would be also

pulinguru ennu japikkara-

monial feast and chant some

given some dakshina (may

thukku onakku naan kaasu

manthras and sookthas (such be four annas or if they were

tharanamaa? Edatha kaali

manthras were also called

lucky enough, eight an-

pannu . (to translate –“you

Abhisravana manthras). The

nas). If they were extremely

wretched pattar you are

pulinguru ennu

loukeekas whose level of

lucky, they may be offered a

chanting something repeat-


knowledge of the vedic sook-

meal (samaradhana), after

edly like pulinguru [the tama-

thas and chants was big zero

the ceremony .It was the

rind seed---please just note,

“Peera pattarey, enna oye, neer pulinguru,

onakku naan kaasu

(this includes our hero) would practice that any Brahmin

the word is magical, when

tharanamaa? Edatha

have learnt such chants by

could come and sit in the

you repeat the word silently

kaali pannu..”

just having heard it being

group even without be-

moving your lips there will be

uttered repeatedly by many

ing invited and he also re-

very hectic lip movements

of their profession-

ceived the dakshina. So, the

creating a profound impres-

al colleagues - an exercise of

crowd in those days could be

sion on the person who is

parrot -

quite huge and some pomp-

watching], instead of the

like repetition. Besides some

ous householders who want-

manthras and for this have I

poor brahmins who could not

ed to show off their devotion

to pay you money? You im-

get to chant the verses in

in religious matters would

mediately get out of here).

spite of all earnest attempts,

use all means at their dis-

the new entrants to the pro-

posal to restrict the number

Now this is the background

fession who were yet to

of Abhisravana pattars to

memorize the abracadabra,

keep in control their expendi-

would all sit in the group and

ture by way of dakshina. In

of a funny but costly tiff between our hero and a so called prominent grihastha

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V o lu m e I I ssu e 4

Continued…. in our agraharam.

concerned was a relative of

they were informed

The prominent pattar

the grama vaadhyar (the

about their job opportuni-

village priest) and this inci-

ties for the coming days,

dent created some serious

whether it was some pooja ,

loss in our hero’s profession

sraadhdham, hiranyam

for livelihood which included

etc. The main vaadhyars

attending such religious cer-

chalked out the duty roster

of nose will be honoured as

emonies and

for the lesser ones, and the-

king) of our agraharam. One

receiving the pittance of

se were occasions where

cannot but be skeptic

dakshinas involved. Our he-

about his credentials as a

ro is very good natured but

devout Brahmin. He had at

his pride (whatever it is) and

least one public sam-

his means of livelihood (a

bandham in which he had a

still more obscure thing)

quarter of a dozen of

were affected and he was

nair children in addition to a

raring to get even with his

near dozen progenies


through his Brahmin sa-

Our hero got his opportuni-

was a “mookkillaa rajyathey murimookkan rajaavu” ( in the country of people without noses, the solitary man who has a small lump in the place

hadharmini and his overtures to greener pastures even in the upper middle aged status of his life had earned him the fame as a local don juan. But he wanted to flaunt his affluence by celebrating religious ceremonies in the noisiest of ways with the least expenditure. On one such occasion, our Rama Iyer was the victim of such an insult as mentioned above, and this was all the more insulting to our hero because the grihastha

ty: The vaideekas and loukeekas of almost all the agraharams around Kalpathy usually met every day in front of Kshipra Ganapathy temple just opposite the famous muniappan kada (shop) at the ther mutti (the place where the temple car (Ratham) of Viswanathaswamy is parked on days other than the three days of the car festival) and exchanged notes, and the loukeekas would be invariably present because it was here that

they exhibited their superiori-

“As luck would have it, our grama vadhyar

ty over the latter souls. One

was not present for the

heartening feature in the

summit of the day

whole process is that the noble vaadhyars of those

and snatching the

days never demanded a

opportunity, our hero

kickback on the dakshinas

spread the hush and

received by junior vaadhyaar or loukeekas, whose cases were referred to by them, It was on one such day and there was a sraadhdham in the house of the VIP pattar of the agraharam who had

anonymous news that there was a sraadhdham at the house of …Iyer and for Abhisravanam, the

become the enemy of our

dakshina would be five

hero. As luck would have it,

rupees per head …”

our grama vadhyar was not present for the summit of the day and snatching the opportunity, our hero spread the hush and anonymous news that there was a sraadhdham at the house of …Iyer and for Abhisravanam, the dakshina would

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Continued‌. be five rupees per head and many vaideekas were spe-

Pattar’s Dictionary:

cially attending. Remember five rupees forty years ago

Sraadhdham: the annual death ceremony in honour of

was a very substantial sum.

dead parent. Done every year on the same Thithi (the so-

The Sraadhdham day dawned. By 9 AM one could see a

lar phase) and month of death

long parade of vaideekas (and also loukeekas) most of

Loukeeka Brahmanan: the Brahmin who assists in cere-

them clad in pompous somans and angavastras , sporting prominent viboothi pattais or pattai namams making a beeline to the house of the VIP grihastha. The grama vadhyar who was present in the house and preparing the days schedule for the sraaddham and the VIP pattar were

monies but does not have the complete knowledge of mantras and prayogas as a vadhyar Dakshina : Money given as remuneration or gift for participating in religious ceremonies

both surprised at the flow of such an elite crowd to the

Grihastha: One who is living in a house in agraharam,

household. The professional colleagues of the grama

especially the head of the household. Now it can be ap-

vaadhyar informed him in whispers that they had all come

plied to anyone running a family anywhere in the world.

for the Abhisravanam and they knew how important it

Agraharam: A street in the village traditionally inhabited

was since the dakshina was five rupees per head. The duo, the VIP pattar and the gramam vadhyar were flabbergasted for a moment. Wrong news had been spread. Ho wever the fact remained that there was a sraadhdham and there was Abhishravanam also. And the scholars who have come were all very learned, and at least to save his face the VIP pattar could not deny the

by Brahmins. Sambandam: High caste people like pattars and namboodiris having marital or extra marital relationships with ladies of not so low caste (the ladies will be usually nairs or ambalavasis. The children born will take the lady’s caste)

news. The rich pattar had to shell out five rupees each to

Sahadharmini: the wife that a man is properly married to.

at least the elite vaideekas, and the number of such per-

Grama Vadhyar: In good old days a vadhyar was assigned the charge of conducting the religious ceremonies of a whole agraharam. He was almost a family member to all.

sons in Palakkad at that time was quite substantial. Kaakka Raman had taken revenge for his disgrace. About the author:

K V Ananthanarayanan - I am Ananthanarayanan, a senior officer in the Indian Revenue Service, a postgraduate in applied Physics with Industrial Electronics as specialization. The culture and divine nature of our country is more dear to me than my own life...I had formal education in Sanskrit, and some parts of Vedas and can use Malayalam, Tamil and a little Telugu in addition to English and Hindi. Posted as joint Commissioner in Incometax at Trivandrum, an upper middle manager in the service of India.

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V o lu m e I I ssu e 4


- K D Skandan

Mahatma Gandhi did not make history but it was history which made Gandhiji. Whereas, history did not make Jamsetji Tata, the Founder of the Tata Group. It was Jamsetji Tata, a man of vision and creative ideas, who created history. One must note that it is easy to repeat history but it is difficult to create it. If it was one “ J “ – Jamsetji – who created the Tata Foundation, it was another “ J “ – Jehangir – affectionately known as “ Jeh “ JRD Tata to his colleagues and many friends, who successfully expanded, diversified and consolidated it. And, finally, it was then left to Mr Ratan Tata to further consolidate the portfolios of the Group and transform it into a cohesive, dynamic, globally competitive and increasingly international enterprise and leave his own personal stamp on the future with the tremendously innovative vision, since transparent into reality to developing the world’s cheapest car, the NANO. ( One of Mr JRD Tata’s favourite quotes ) “ I have always felt that in running any enterprise, I would rather have a team of dedicated second-raters fully behind me than a group of semi-geniuses who have a tendency to fight each other “.

About the author: K D Skandon: I originally hail from Irinjalakuda, Trichur District and I have been in Bombay for over the last 50 years. I served the Tata Group for over 40 years with the great and late Mr Naval H Tata and his son, the present Chairman of the Tata Group, Mr Ratan Tata and retired in 2000.

Some tips to avoid sun burns / rashes in summer

-Lavannya Krishna

Always have a bottle of Caladryl/ Calamine in the fridge.

Wash the affected area (face or any part of the body) with cold water. Wipe it gently with a soft cotton cloth (blotting type of cloth) & then immediately apply calamine from the fridge. It will be very soothing & the rashes / sun burns will vanish off.

Everyday, eat salads made out of fresh tomatoes, cucumber, carrot & onions. Reduce spicy foods as much as possible.

Avoid pickle completely. Now you may ask “For thayir chadham what side dish can I have instead ?” Here is a remedy: mix finely grated ginger, carrot, cucumber, very little green chilli, little powdered hing (Perungaya podi), a bit of lemon juice & garnish with mustard, a dried red chilli & curry leaves in little coconut oil. This dish will be superb & soothing, not only for thayir chadham but also for any rice & also for chapathis. With chapathis, you can mix thick curd to the mix.

While taking a bath, squeeze some lemon juice in the water to chase away body odour & to keep yourself fresh though out the day.

During the day, try to have atleast 2 tender coconuts apart from drinking a minimum of 10 – 12 glasses of water. HAPPY SUMMER!!

About the author: I am Lavannya Krishna, daughter of Ranjani N and Krishnan-Late, successfully running a herbal beauty clinic in Bangalore.

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Philosophy of Indian Classical Dance The Indian classical dance has its Adi Guru as Shiva in his Nataraja form. So why was Shiva the Adi Guru? Why not Vishnu or Bramha the creator himself?

“Mudra uses certain postures of hands to communicate to the deity. Shiva was the first to expound this in his tantras and that is one of the reasons why he is regarded as the guru in dance. ”

To get an answer to that question, we need to understand the philosophy of dance. Shiva is the Adiguru in agamas which are also known as Tantras. There are 64 tantras for which he is the author. These are in the form of a dialog between Parvathi and Shiva. Tantra have been the base philosophy from where Indian dance got its first form. Dance is a way of communication to this universe. It is proved by the mudras it uses. Mudra in tantra as well as dance is used to communicate a particular idea to the audience. In the sadhanas in tantra, it is used to communicate to the devata whereas in dance, it can be used to communicate to the audience or to the whole

universe as well. Mudra is a contribution of tantra to the world. One of the famous commentaries for Natyasastra was written by famous Kashmir shaivist and tantrist Shri Abhinava Gupta which is known as Abhinavabhāratī. What we see outside and perceive by our 5 senses is matter. We also see that we use different forms of matter like flowers or food as offerings to a particular deity. Now this is an external process but the same can be done using mudras. In the scriptures it is held more powerful and beneficial than external forms of offerings. Mudra uses certain postures of hands to communicate to the deity. Shiva was the first to expound this in his tantras and that is one of the reasons why he is regarded as the guru in dance. This whole universe is filled with dance. Dances exist in the form of vibration even in atoms. If

-Rakesh Ramachandran

we delve deep into it, as per particle physics, each atom consists of protons, neutrons, and electrons. These are further constituted by a class of particles called Quarks. Again, as per the latest development in physics, String Theory, the basic element of the matter is in the shape of a string. It is nothing but vibrating energy and this actually is that form of dance at the sub atomic levels. Now from where did matter originate? Physics tells us that it originated from energy. So where did energy originate from? This is a question that has haunted the scientific community for a long time and in a recent interview, Stephen Hawkings, regarded as the greatest in this field currently in the scientific circles, stated that it is quite possible that energy may have originated from consciousness. We in India call that consciousness as Shiva. This

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Philosophy of Indian Classical Dance whole universe is a manifestation of Shiva. Shiva exists in this universe in the form of dance and that is why when he does the thandava the whole universe proceeds towards its essential and final destruction which is nothing but a preparatory phase for the next creation. The basic philosophy of dance was captured from the universe's existence by our rishis and they developed the Indian classical dance. Today it has degenerated itself to an external art form in which the basic participants forget the whole philosophy of it. It is in this period that understanding the basic philosophy and evolution of Indian classical dance becomes a basic necessity.

Unfortunately, most people now consider it as a mere form of entertainment. This is detrimental to the whole development of Indian classical dance. If we understand the basic philosophies of dance and put that into prac-

tice we will become like Shiva. When we dance we can see the whole universe in the thandava state. Reaching that level should be the goal of a person who is venturing to learn Indian classical dance, anything else is

-Rakesh Ramachandran

futile. You can reach fame, money, and every other material things but the same is reached by a business man also just that he is called as a business man and you are called as a dancer. So what is the difference between the two? This would be the result of learning any art form without understanding the basic philosophy behind it. Dance and all other art forms were developed in India with a reason that went beyond the entertainment value associated with these currently. They were developed to enable each individual soul to reach the supreme consciousness. Let that supreme Sadashivan help us all in reaching the pure form of dance which is the basic existence of this whole universe.

About the author: Rakesh Ramachandran - I hail from the family of Thrithalla Krishna Iyer. I am presently working in Jamcracker Technologies in Bangalore. I practicing psychology and also Sri Vidya upasana in dakshina marga. My hobbies include writing and reading; I also engage myself in intellectual debates in various topics including vedanta, agama, bhagavad gita, political science, metaphysical science etc.

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Internet Calling… “ Hi Poornima, Mathur Sesha Iyer Ranganathan added you as a friend on Facebook. We need to confirm that you know Mathur Sesha Iyer in order for you to be friends on Facebook.”

“The advent of esocial networking sites has of course conjured the youth in its web magic. But our senior citizens are left no strangers too.”

If you thought Mathur Sesha Iyer Ranganathan was my old college mate or neighbour, you got it wrong. It was my sixty plus father-in-law sending me a friend request in Facebook.

-Poornima Srikanth

Gtalk to `see’ their `Americkan’ kids, places across the globe appear just across the computer screen. It indeed gives a huge relief when senile phrases like `gone are the good old days of friendship…’ give way to optimistic notes, as our senior generation decides to stop fretting over the darkness and light a candle.

Ours is an elephant family with endless number of cousins, uncles and auntThe advent of e-social net- ies. Everyone met just on devasham or some kalworking sites has of course conjured the youth yanam…until a family networking site said hi to in its web magic. But our us. The site could help us senior citizens are left no strangers too. Words like build our family tree (yes, and accommodate our 100 `download’, `browse’, `click’ have slowly seeped plus clan!) and invite relatives; and the family now into the lexicon of all paatis and thathas. As more meets each other everyday on our desktops. I was and more parents take surprised to see the active shelter in video chatting participation from elders platforms like Skype and

and youngsters alike. Sharing photos, events or interesting links has never been easier. The other day, I was raking my head over choosing a name for my child. When I asked ammammai for her suggestions, phat came the reply – “Look in your computer, it will have a number of names”. OMG! Gone is the age when paatis referred Sahasranaamams for names. From browsing for a recipe or shlokam to ebooking railway tickets, internet has become a close daayaadii of our folks.

Well, as long as our grannies don’t ask us to download kaduku maangai from the internet, I am totally okay with technology shaking hands with them!

About the author: I am Poornima Srikanth, working as a Sr. Technical Author in FCI OEN, Kochi. I am married to Srikanth, and we are blessed with a son. I enjoy writing, blogging, sketching and painting. My grandfather PR Sankara Iyer was a connoisseur of Nama Sankeerthanam, and my father Tripunithura PS Ramachandran is carrying forth the tradition. Thanks to this lineage and my wedlock, I am very passionate about singing and participating in bhajans.

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Thrissur Pooram & Vadakkunathan Temple -P S Krishnan and P R Ramachander Every year Thrissur Pooram is celebrated on Pooram Nakshathram day in the month of Medam (April - May). This year it is on 24th of April. Thrissur Pooram is known as Pooram of all poorams. The present day form of Thrissur Pooram was started by Sakthan Thamburan (Raja Rama Varma) in the Malayalam era 9769 (1801AD). He took up the renovation of the Vaddakkunnathan temple complex and built the four gopurams (entrance gates). Shakthan Thamburan made the sprawling Thekkinkadu Maidan the major venue of Thrissur Pooram and entrusted the onus of holding the festival to the two public temples- Thiruvampadi and Paramekkavu temples. He himself is said to have drawn up the 36-hour hectic schedule for the Pooram festival. On the Pooram day, Gods and Goddesses from nine temples around Thrissur visit Vadakkunnathan temple to pay obeisance to Lord (Sri) Vadakunnathan with five, seven, nine or eleven elephants along with panchvadhyam, the rhythmic beating of the drums. These temples are : 1. Kannimangalam Sastha 2. Paramekkavu Bhagavathy 3. Panamukkam Palli Dhara Sastha 4. Karamukku Bhagavathy 5. Chembukkavu Kathyayani 6. Ayyanthole Karthyayani 7. Choorekkattu kavu Durga Devi 8. Laloorkavu Karthyayani 9. Neithilakavu Bhagavathy and 10. Thiruvambadi Bhagavathy Through out the year the East, North and West Gopurams (entrance) of Vadakkunnathan temple are kept open except the South side entrance. The south entrance is opened only on the Pooram day. The Pooram starts with the arrival of Kannimangalam Sastha in the early morning who pushes open the south door and enters the temple to pay obeisance to the Lord. Then one by one all other cherupoorams visit the Lord before 1.30PM. All eight processions except Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi are cherupoorams. Thiruvambadi Thever starts at 7 Am with fifteen elephants and reaches the Brahmaswom Madom. After Irakki pooja

at Madom Thiruvambadi starts at 1 PM to visit Vadakkunnathan. This Madathil varavu is accompanied by Panchvadhyam which lasts for hours. By the time Thiruvambadi reaches Naikkanal, the Ilanjiththara Melam by Paramekkavu starts. Paramekkavu Bhagavathy starts at about 12 Noon with 15 elephants with Vadhya ghosham starting with Chembada, and Pandimelam first kalaasam. By this time Paramekkavu Bhagavathy enters Vadakkunatha temple, the artists finish second kalaasam of Pandi melam. After wards the famous Ilanjiththara melam by Paramekkavu starts, comprising more than 200 artists. Then the Bhagavathy comes around Vadakkunnathan and comes out through South gopuram to Thekkinkadu maithanam. From there with 5 elephants she visits the statue of Raja and comes back to participate in Kudamattam. By this time Thiruvambadi group after meeting Vadakkunnathan, comes out through South Gopuram and the 15 elephants stands in row to take part in Kudamattam facing Paramekkavu Bhagavathy. The Pooram Festival is celebrated by these two rival groups representing the two divisions of Thrissur, Paramekkavu and Thiruvambadi vying with each other in making the display of fireworks grander and more colourful. Each group is allowed to display a maximum of fifteen elephants and all efforts are made by each party to secure the best elephants in Kerala and the most artistic umbrellas, several kinds of which are raised on the elephants during the display (Kudamattam). It is worth pointing an interesting sequence of events here for the readers. It seems that until about 75 years ago, there was no Kudamattam. The colour of umbrella on the elephant carrying the God would always be green and others red.

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Thrissur Pooram & Vadakkunathan Temple At that time one Mani Iyer , who was a native of Thiruvambadi, thought that it would be nice to have different colour umbrellas. He made 14 green umbrellas and one red umbrella in consultation with the Thiruvambadi temple management. That year, the Koodi Kazhcha started as usual with red umbrellas. In the middle, to the surprise of every body, the Thiruvambadi party switched their umbrellas. The Parmekkavu party were not prepared for it. It seems that they then rushed and changed to decorative Patta Kodais. From then on, Kudamattam became an important part of Pooram and we all have to thank a Keralaiyer Shri. Mani Iyer for coming up with such an innovative idea. The world famous Kudamattam lasts for nearly two hours and after that Thiruvambadi Bhagavathy goes to Brahmaswom Madam and Paramekkavu Bhagathy goes to her temple on the east side of the main temple. By 8.30 PM these poorams again comes to pay obeisance to Lord Vaddunnathan. By night 3.00 AM the fireworks starts with the arrival of Paramekkavu at the pandal at Manikandan Aal and Thiruvambadi at Nai kanal. This lasts till 5.30AM. Next day Pakal Pooram marks the end of the festival. The grand finale of this festival of colour, music and fire works would be marked with a function of bidding farewell to the deities of the Thiruvambadi and Paramekkavu Devaswams in front of the Western Gate of the Vadakkunnathan Temple. Vadakkunathan Temple : Vadakkunnathan Temple, is one of the largest and ancient Shiva temples in Kerala. It is located in the heart of Thrissur town. It is believed that Lord Parasurama built the temple. Vadakkunnathan temple is surrounded by a massive stone wall enclosing an area of nearly 9 acres (36,000 m2). Inside this fortification there are four gopurams each facing north, south, east, and west directions. The temple is a multi-shrined complex in the center with three principal


shrines dedicated to Shiva (Vadakkunnathan), Shankaranarayana and Rama.Here Lord Shiva is facing West direction. Apart from these three deities Sree Parvathy and Sree Ganapathi are also enshrined within the nalambalam of the temple. Lord Vettekkaran (Siva in a hunter form) is also worshipped within the nalambalam enclosure. Outside the nalambalam, there are shrines of Lord Krishna, Vrishabha, Parasurama, Simhodara, Dharmasastha and Adi Sankaracharya. Adi Sankara is believed to have been born to the Shivaguru-Aryamba couple of Kalady in answer to their prayers before Vadakkunnathan. A fairly large white bullock on the verandah of the Nalambalam is worshipped as Nandikeswara. Apart from these deities, devotees can offer their prayer to Kasi Viswanathar, and Lord Chidambaranatha of Chidambaram, Lord of Shiva of Rameswaram, Sree Kali of Kodungallur, Urakam Ammathiruvadi, Lord Bharatha (Koodalmanickam) at Irinjalakuda, Sree Vyasa (On the Vyasar palakai ( stone - devotees write “Hari sree Ganapathaye Nama:”•on this stone), Sree Hanuman and the serpent gods. Speciality of Lord Vadakkunnathan : In the Garbhagraham the lord is inside a huge mount of frozen ghee (Neiyyu Mala). This neiyyu mala is about ten feet in height and is supposed to be many centuries old (more than thousand years). The idol of Shiva, which is not visible, is covered under a mount of ghee, formed by the daily abhishekam with ghee over the years. A devotee looking into the sanctum can now see only a ten-foot high mount of ghee decorated with thirteen cascading crescents of gold and three serpent hoods at top. According to traditional belief, this represents the snow-clad Mount Kailas, the abode of Parvathy and Parameswara. Next time when you visit this temple please ensure to stand in front of the Lord for few minutes and look carefully to notice the Ghee Mala behind the decorations.

About the author: P S Krishnan - I am a native of Pallassana East Village in Palakkad District, very famous for Meenkulathi Kavu Bhagavathy kshetram. I left our Gramam in 1961 for my higher studies. After graduation I worked in Govt.Victoria College, Palakkad as Demonstrator in Chemistry for a short period and then moved to Mumbai where I have been living for 45 years now. I retired as an Executive from ICI after 33 year‘s of service. I have been studying Vedam for the last eight years and have taken part in few Maha Rudram and Athi Rudram functions in and around Mumbai. Often I write articles and many of them have appeared in and

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-Venketesh Iyer

Brahmins have been marginalised significantly since India's independence. Whatever the cause or justification, it is a fact that Brahmins have been, and are being, discriminated against and deprived of legitimate opportunities in the country. The Pattars yahoo group frequently carries pathetic tales of Brahmin deprivation, almost begging for financial and social support from fellow-Brahmins. Undoubtedly, responses from fellow-Brahmins have been generous. Unlike other segments of the society, Brahmins are socially handicapped from taking up menial jobs and labour to support themselves and their families. The net result is that we now have several Brahmin families below the poverty line. It is pathetic that Brahmins, who once occupied intellectually superior status by merit, are now at the bottom deprived of even equal opportunity. Girl children bear the burden of deprivation for obvious reasons and they suffer neglect and social isolation, for no fault of theirs. Some are denied even the basic education for want of resources. This cause for Girl children among poor Brahmins deserves to be taken up on priority, before they are consigned to their fate by the society. I am willing to provide financial support (for living and education @ Rs. 1000/- pm, per head) for up to two (2) deserving and meritorious Brahmin girls until they complete their Secondary School education. The proposed grant is for ONE YEAR at a time, and extended at the discretion of the donor, based on the review/appraisal of the beneficiary' s performance Brahmin friends, who know such cases from their villages, may please refer those cases (with full information including their contact details) to me at:

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Parur Saasthapreethi North Parur (now Paravoor), is a very old and growing municipality located in Ernakulam district. The Parur town is 19 kms away from Alwaye (Aluva)/ Edappally in the city of Kochi. One can call Parur, a Alankaram Temple Town for the number of marvelous temples that one can visit there. The reason for so many temples in the region is attributed to the influence of Travancore State and Cochin State rulers who ruled North Parur for many years. Also at different times in history, Karnataka Brahmins (Pottie, Embran etc), Tamil Brahmins (Iyers) and GSB Brahmins (Prabhu, Shenoy, Pai etc) came to this town, settled here and constructed temples for themselves and for their workers who spoke same or similar languages. Some of the famous temples found there are: 

Sree Venkatachalapathi Temple Potten Street, KMK Junction.

Sree Venugopalaswami temple, Chennamangalam.

Mookambika Saraswathi Temple- One of the most important Saraswathy temples in Kerala

Peruvaram Mahadeva Temple.

Kannankulangara Sreekrishna Temple

Amman Temple –Near English High School

Besides these temples, the Sasthapreethi conducted every year during Kumbha Maasam (Maasi Masam) by the Pandi Brahmana Samooham is very famous and popular like the Sasthapreethi at Kochi

-P V Anantanarayanan

Thekkethalam. The Samooham has on its membership record, Brahmins who mostly migrated from Tirunelveli district of Tamilnadu during the last and previous century in search of a livelihood and settled down here at Parur. The Samooham also conducts Maharudram during Vasantha Rithu and Bhagavathi Seva for 41 days during Adi masam (July 15 onwards). The Samooham organizes upanayanam for deserving poor vatus and help poor Brahmin families in the conduct of marriage of their daugh-

ters. The Samooham also runs a High School for the benefit of all. The Sasthapreethi being a major event attracts people from far and wide. Prompted by an active member of the Samooham settled at Bangalore, I had the benefit of participating in the Sasthapreethi at Parur this year on 20th February along with nine other members from the Pradosha Pooja Group, Bangalore. We were requested to join the Vedic chanting and for singing the Varavu songs and Vanchi Paattu. It was a memorable and exciting experience for all of us to be a part of the celebrations. The elaborate Mahanyasa Purasaram Ekadasavara

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Parur Saasthapreethi Rudrabhishekam, followed by chanting of Taitreeya Upanishad, Mahanarayanam and Rudra Kramarchana was a six hour religious exercise to all of us. This was followed by Deeparadhana and singing of Varavu songs and a sumptuous Prasadam lunch. Paal payasam being the Mahaneivedyam, is prepared with all care and devotion. I was informed by senior


in the late evening sung in the adjacent Madathumuri Street of samooham was a delight to the ears of the devotees present. There was a bhajan at the Pandal followed by Deeparadhana, Varavu Pattu and invoking of Sastha, Yakshi and Chellapillai. The programme extended well beyond mid night and left all those who experienced the festivities with a great sense of satisfaction & awe. I must mention, the excellent and elaborate flower decoration to the lamps done by florists, specially invited for the function from Kallidaikuruchi in Tamilnadu. Besides the sincere efforts by the office bearers and committee members of the Samooham, other members and well wishers, the smooth conduct of the Sasthapreethi was over seen by the 93 year old Sri Sahasranama maama (fondly called as Chathu Maama).

members of the Samooham that late Ambi Maama used to take extreme care in maintaining the quality of milk supplied. Though he did not have a scientific instrument to test the quality of milk supplied, he would use a cane (Perambu) which he would dip in the milk and examine the quality of milk supplied. The Vanchi Paattu extending for about 90 minutes

I am sure, that by now, those of you from Parur who missed this event are reminiscing the old memories of the functions you would‘ve attended and are already planning your trip for the next Sasthapreethi and those of you new to Parur, would include this temple town in your travel plans to Kerala! For your convenience, the Samooham also takes care of your food requirements while visiting this place.

About the author: I am P V Anantanarayanan, a retired. Sr. Manager from one of India‘s leading nationalized banks. I am a vedic & cultural enthusiast, actively involved in organizing and conducting Poojas & Bhajans in Bangalore. A founder member of the Pradosha Pooja Group, Bangalore which regularly conducts Pradosha poojas at various residences on Pradosham days and Sasthapreethis at public venues in and around the city.

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Vedic Astrology-as I see it N. P. Krishnan Iyer (Vedic Astrologer and Author)

Prima Facie I wish to say that Vedic Astrology is not a subject of so free hand for any person to practice at

tional creatures‘. I always believed in Karma and re-

away the past birth Karma completely.

birth theory; and also in one Supreme

Similarly, many people believe that

God. I often opposed to the common

choosing an auspicious date or aus-

belief and general practise by many

picious time for giving birth would

Astrologers that such and such a sac-

make the newborn babies to feel

rifice or grains or pulses or things

lucky after their birth. The belief

should be offered to such and such a

that infants developing birth de-

planet to appease it or pacify it be-

fects or becoming abnormal if born

cause I firmly believe that planets are

during inauspicious day is deeply

just agents of one Supreme God indi-

rooted in our country; hence many

cating only the effects produced by

expectant mothers in our country

Vedic Astrology, so far as its predic-

such causes, without they themselves

scheduled for delivery during inaus-

tive part is concerned, is not such an

producing the effects. In my personal

picious period always prefer cae-

exact science as Physics or Mathe-

opinion Jupiter is neither Brahmin nor

sarean delivery either earlier or

matics in which, it is possible for any

Saturn a Sudra as referred in many

later rather than taking ―risk‖.

person to wriggle himself out of any

ancient classic works.

his will; nevertheless and very unfortunately we see many people proclaiming them to be ―Astrologers‖ knowing not much or nothing at all of Vedic Astrology jumping over to become Astrologers after reading few astrological books in order to make fast bucks thus giving a indecent burial to the sacred subject.

position however difficult it may be,

But the truth is that however re-

Even today most people (especially

arranging the date or time for de-

in India) are under the false impres-

livery according to our convenient

sion that performing certain astrolog-

during inauspicious days would

ical remedies (Shaanthi Pooja) or

simply change the Rising Sign,

wearing any gem stone or changing

Moon Sign and the planetary posi-

Though I learned the effect of plan-

the alphabets in their name could

tion in the Birth-Chart of the baby

ets on human being and to interpret

eliminate all their sufferings (Karma)

and confuse the astrologers in the

horoscope way back in early eighties

and bring them good luck. From an

later period but definitely not the

but I did not show much interest in

astrological point of view, the timing

child‘s Karma!

practising astrology then because I

of the ‗punishments‘ imposed on a

understood that most of the astrolo-

person as a result of past birth Karma

gers in those days (& even today!)

is no doubt determined by the plane-

followed the traditional way while

tary positions in a horoscope, howev-

analysing horoscopes where lot of

er, undertaking certain remedial

superstitions were involved which I

measures before the completion of

did not like due my firm belief in the

‗at least seventy five percent of

fact that the ‗human beings are ra-

‗punishment‘ life‘ would never wash

without the divine grace, but in the case of Vedic Astrology, which is a very close approach to a science, divine grace must operate.

The fundamental tenet is that while passing through lives, every individual acquire virtue for all virtuous and noble acts; similarly curse for sinful and wicked acts. They go on accumulating till the end of life; then the departed soul,

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Vedic Astrology-as I see it


automatically carries with it the ac-

after a long period, probably after

whether to grant us bail or not, en-

cumulated burden of both virtue and

completion of our ‗punishment‘ life;

tirely rests in the hands of the Judg-

curse which together constitute Pra-

it all depends upon the way we dis-

es who take note of our case. Our

rabdha Karma. Accordingly, under

charge our duties and perform our

request will get materialized on the

the Law of Karma, an individual must

action. However, it is not necessary

merit of arguments and the presen-

experience enjoyment as reward for

for any person to follow illogical way

tations of our case by our talented

the righteous act and suffer punish-

or shortcut means to receive the

advocate in front of the Judges. Simi-

ment for the evil act committed in

blessings of God immediately in or-

larly, our devotion and our dedica-

the past birth. There is no escape

der to change his / her Karma; sim-

tion while praying or performing

from paying the penalty.

ple and sincere prayers have never

Shaanthi Pooja will bring us required

gone unheard. At last we must thank

positive results provided the priest

God for creating us intelligent crea-

or astrologer conducting the Shaan-


thi Pooja must perform like a talent-

Nevertheless, we can try to clean the ‗virus‘ adhered on to our soul (in the form of curse) by practising meditation or introspecting or self-

I am not against anybody preferring

analyzing or we can minimize much

to perform Shaanthi Pooja to escape

of our sufferings with our own will-

the wrath of past birth curse be-

power, with our positive thinking,

cause certain powerful Shaanthi

with our virtuous and noble-actions.

Pooja definitely yield positive results

A noble action means discharging

but the native must have already

our routine work honestly and sin-

completed seventy percent of

cerely. None of our good deeds go

‗punishment‘ life. Performing any

waste and they definitely yield good

astrological remedies (Shaanthi

results-- may be immediately or

Pooja) are just like moving a bail

within a short period or some time

application before the law-court;

ed advocate!

About the author: N P Krishnan Iyer - I am from Nurani Agraharam, Palakkad and I have been settled in NaviMumbai for quite some long years. I am married (my wife hails from Kumbakonam Brahmana) and blessed with two children. I am astrologer by profession who thoroughly believes in Karma and re-birth theory. I have been writing astrological articles in a local newsweekly since last three years. I wish you visit my website

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Devayani and Kacha

- retold by P R Ramachander

Kacha was the eldest son of Brahaspathi, the son of Angeeras. He was an extremely handsome boy. His father was the Guru (teacher) of all devas. When he was a young lad, the fight between Devas and Asuras was continuing. Devas had a complaint that Shukra the Guru of Asuras was protecting the Asuras in a better way. Shukra had got the knowledge oh Maha Mruthyunjaya Mantram from Lord Shiva and he was using it to bring it to life all dead Asuras. The devas also wanted to learn that mantra. Kacha volunteered to help them. He went and approached Shukra as a student. Shukra accepted him and started teaching him. Shukra had a very pretty daughter called Devayani. Devayani and Kacha being of the same age became very close friends. The Asuras were looking at this happening with lot of suspicion. They justifiably thought that Kacha’s intention was not to simply gain knowledge but learn the Maha Mruthyunjaya Mantra from Sage Shukra. So when Kacha had gone to the forest to graze the cattle of Shukra’s household, they killed Kacha and made a wolf eat him. When Kacha did not return, Devayani started crying. Since Shukra loved his daughter very much, he chanted the Maha Mruthyunjaya Mantra to bring back Kacha. Kacha came back to life in the stomach of the wolf, pierced it and came out. The Asuras were very unhappy at the turn of these events. So when next day, Kacha went to take bath in the river, they killed him, burnt him and mixed his ashes in the sea. Again the same thing happened. To please his darling child Devayani, Shukra brought back Kacha to life using his mantra. This infuriated the Asuras. So next time when they hold of Kacha, they killed him, burnt him and mixed the ashes with an alcoholic drink and gave it to their teacher Shukra. Shukra unknowingly drank the drink. This time when Shukra chanted the Maha Mruthyunjaya Mantra, he came to life in the stomach of Shukra. It became evident that if he comes out, Shukra will die. Then Shukra taught the Maha Mruthyunjaya mantra to Kacha who was within his stomach. Kacha came out of the stomach of Shukra and brought back his teacher to life by chanting the mantra. Once it was over, Kacha told his Guru that he wanted to go back. At this time Devayani requested Kacha to marry her, since she loved him. But Kacha told that since he came out of the stomach of Shukra, he was like a son to him and Devayani was like a sister. Devayani cursed Kacha that the mantra that he has learnt would not be effective, if he chanted it. Kacha also cursed Devayani that she would not get married to son’s of any devas. Kacha went back happily and taught the mantra he had learned to others. Later Devayani married a king called Yayati. Shukra, who got into trouble because of alcoholic drink, forbade, all Brahmins from drinking it. *Picture acknowledgement: Indian Book House Ltd., Mumbai (Amar Chitra Katha) About the author: P R Ramachander - A resident of Bangalore, my roots lie in Kerala and my life journey took me to other parts of India before I settled in Bangalore. A scientist by profession and a story teller by heart is how I would like to describe myself. For years I worked in the field of science in a horticultural institute in Bangalore. Soon after my retirement, the poet and the storyteller in me pushed itself out. Among the challenges I have undertaken are the translation of several slokas to English in a poetic form. These can be viewed at . I am a poet in a very small way too. Some of my poems can be seen at My other interests are cartooning, history and sociology.

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From the Adukulai Chakka Pradhaman Ingredients: Jackfruit slices (10-12) or ready Chakka Varatti Jaggery as per required sweetness Ghee as required Water - 1/2 cup total Coconut milk - 2 cups 1 tsp ground cardamom Coconut bits, cashew nuts fried in ghee Method: If you don't have readymade chakka varatti to start with, then please proceed to make it using Jackfruit slices for this preparation. Chakka Varatti: Make a smooth paste of jackfruit slices by grinding without water. Melt the jaggery in water and add the jackfruit paste to it. Heat the mix with occasional stirring and cook until the required chakka varatti consistency is reached. You may add ghee to the mix to make it more workable. Chakka Pradhaman: Melt the jaggery in water. Add varatti (obtained as above or from a readymade stock) and heat the mix to a boil. Keep on stirring the mix and add coconut milk. Allow it to simmer and add cardamom and ghee fried cashew nuts/ coconut pieces.


Articles contributed by: Sunder Sarma K V Ananthanarayanan Shanti Tilak K D Skandon Lavannya Krishna Rakesh Ramachandran Poornima Srikanth P R Ramachander P S Krishnan Venketesh Iyer P V Anantanarayanan N P Krishnan Iyer

Send us your write-ups/material at: E-mail: Website:


Hridya Ramani Navneet T Narayan

Tarangini April 2010