Bheemana Amavasya – Honoring both Prakruti & Purusha

Today is Amavasya (New Moon Day) of the month Ashada of Hindu Calendar, also the last day of the month.  It is believed to be the day Lord Shiva was overcome by the devotion of Goddess Parvati and accepted her as his wife. It is celebrated as Bhimana Amavasya in Karnataka (and many other states).  It is also referred to as Pati Sanjeevini Vrata or also as Jyothi Bhimeshwara Vrata. It is celebrated for the well being of all the males in a family.

Traditionally, two lamps are made of Red Clay (supposed to be made of Kalikamba) or Thambittu (Wheat Flour) – one symbolizing Lord Shiva and another Goddess Paravati who is considered the Supreme Mother and every other Devis as a form of Parvati. They are first installed on grains (typically Rice) facing east

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Traditional Red Clay Lamps replaced with Silver ones

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The Puja starts going by tying a Turmeric Root to the right lamp (one on the right as we face) that signifies Parvati. The puja installation also has Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon) and Kumbha (Pot).

The lamps are then lit and 9 stranded Gejje Vastra, Gandha (or Sandal) is an essential offering used in this puja. The tambula includes 9 Betel leaves and 9 Betel Nuts (Bettada adike) and a coconut

Gowri dara (also called Rakshe) or Thread smeared with Turmeric paste (9 stranded with 9 knots for Married and 5 stranded with 5 knots for the unmarried) is placed along with Samagri.  Granthi puja – for each Strand a puja is performed with an offering, which is subsequently tied by females of the family around their wrists.

Please note that there are variations depending on the region & family practices to the above

After the mandatory Ashotttara Puja of Lord Ganesh (to remove any obstacles), Lord Shiva & Parvathi is worshipped. Uma Maheshwara  Ashtottara puja is performed and the Gowri dara  is tied around the wrists.

All set. The main part of Puja done. Respects to this Lady
All set. The main part of Puja done. Respects to this Lady
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Daughter gets her Rakshe tied. Along with Blessings that None else can give her

Naivedya includes Karjura (Dates), Cosambari & other usual fruits. Traditional Kadubu filled with coins, staple food grains, &  dry fruits is prepared (It is called Bandhara or Treasure Chest) to signify the wealth. Post puja this is placed on either side of the Threshold (Hosilu) and crushed with their elbows by the males of the  family to signify abundant flow of material and spiritual wealth into the home.

Wife performs an Arati to her husband for health and long life.

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I get an Arti today 🙂

And then is the much awaited part of the festival – the food. Here is what was on offer at home today.

Traditional Fare, Except Pappad which is usually not made on this festival
Traditional Fare, (except Pappad & Fried Curded Chillies) which is usually not made on this festival

Items: Chitranna (Lemon Rice), Cosambari, Groundnut Chutney Pudi, Midi Uppinakayi (Tender Mango Pickles), Appala (Pappad), Majjige Menasinakayi (Fried Curded Chilly), Hoorna Saaru (Rasam), Kaayi Holige (Obbattu)

The Batting Begins :-)
The Batting Begins 🙂

(Now you know the secret of my figure)

The most important part is Jyothi Bhimeshwara Katha Shravana after the lunch.  You can read the legend behind this festival and the story here (click on the link)

The holy month of Shravana begins tomorrow. May Lord Shiva’s blessings be showered in abundance on everyone. It is also launches month long Shravan maasa Rudra Pujas & Satsangs by the Art of Living  Pundits (founded by His Holiness Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) in various locations.

My friend Sindhu (@agnyaa on Twitter)  has also blogged on Bhimana Amavasya

||Mrityunjaya Rudraya Neelakanthaya Sambhave
Amriteshaya Sarvaya Mahadevaya The Mamaha||

Punyakoti to Arbudha – Secular Transformation

A request: Please read the Acknowledgement section without fail. Has an introduction to Nele Vasundhara, an exciting seva project

My earliest memory of this song, a part of the state’s oral tradition and a part of has been part of Kannada textbooks for decades, is listening to it with my brothers, crowding around our Old Murphy radio  when almost regularly it was broadcast on Akashavani (All India Radio) in the evenings. And when I reached Class 3 I pleasantly  discovered that it was part of  my Kannada Text and had to memorize the whole poem for my exams. Remember at that age even a 8-lined Sonnet is a Task, but part (syllabus pruned this 114 verse poem into some 40 stanzas) was something I looked forward to learn.

That is the charm this touching story of an encounter between Punyakoti (The Cow) and Arbhudha (the Tiger) it holds to anyone who has been educated in Karnataka or followed Kannada folk literature even in the passing. This epic folk song was immortalized by its inclusion in the filmy adaptation of  the noted Kannada Novelist Sri  SL Bhyrappa’s 1968 novel “Tabbali Neenade Magane” (Son, you have been orphaned). You can watch (and hear) the song below from Sri Sri Productions (This movie producer has no relation whatsoever to His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar or Art of Living 🙂 )

Though the original Poet of this popular Kannada folk song is  not known, noted Kannada and Sanskrit Scholar Prof DL Narasimhachar extracted and translated this ancient verse from the Sanskrit Epic Ithihasa-Samuchchya. 

I am including the Lyrics of the Original song (Partial and relevant to this piece) at the end of this piece, as we learnt for years more to serve as a record for the future & to preserve the original flavour of this touching verse-story which is under serious threat of Macaulization under the garb of Secularism. What is baffling is the academia doctoring scripts of ancient folk literature to nurture particular vote bank and political reasons and trying to pass it off as original. With passing years and knowing how every part of India’s history has been fudged and fiddled, I am sure a day will come when this “raped” version will be treated as Original. A worrisome trend, as most of our ancient texts would be changed by these left leaning intellectuals for whom anything traditional or cultural to Bharat is an anathema.  As it were, as I write this piece our children is being forced to learn a different version of this ancient verse if we don’t resist it now.

When I opened the Times of India (30th July 2013) newspaper this morning a headline screams – “Original version of Punyakoti will be back in books” Surprising part is attempt to convey that it is back to “Original Version” Reading the article further proves the headline that is contradictory. It conceded what is Original version (I have summarized below) & yet headline screams it is being changed back to Original.

First, what is this song about: A song which originally highlighted & propagates ingrained virtues of our Bharateeya culture of Sacrifice, Maternal bonding, Concern for other living beings & environment, Honesty and upholder of the Value “Truth is God” The song can be summarized thus:

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Punyakoti a pious cow was accosted by a tiger named Arbudha who was not able to get a prey for more than a week & was extremely hungry. When he was about to pounce, helpless Punyakoti pleads to spare her till such time her hungry calf waiting for her is fed and swears by God and mother earth to return to be consumed by the tiger. What is critically conveyed in this verse is compassionate nature of the Tiger who despite being hungry was quite understanding of a mother’s plea.

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Punyakoti, pious natured that she was, rushed to her calf, feeds it and explains that their earthly bonding is coming to an end as she has to keep the promise to return to the tiger to be killed and be its food. She also prays to her other cows  to take care of her to orphaned child. With a motherly concern, she gives her calf instructions on of how to carry herself in future, she returned to the forest and the death awaiting her. 

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Arbudha was shocked at this honesty and sacrificing nature of Punyakoti and feels so remorseful and guilty for killing lot of helpless creatures. Tears rolling from his eyes, he spares Punyakoti saying that God would not spare  him if she killed a honest and helpless creation to satiate his hunger . He then seeks pardon from the God, for all the evil acts committed earlier and jumps off the cliff to get liberated.

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Both Arbudha and Punyakoti thus are considered equally blessed and virtuous

This new version (which the Intelligensia is trying to pass off as original) is part of the Siddaramaiah led Congress government’s  efforts in the name of “desaffronising”  textbooks. An AHINDA (Minorities-Backward Classes-Dalits) version of the popular Kannada folk ballad ‘Govina Haadu’ is being proposed by the movement representatives  for inclusion in school lessons.

Poet-playwright K Y Narayanaswamy who has now penned the AHINDA version of Govina Haadu, titled Huliya Haadu, brazenly justifies it saying “The best way to counter a move is to make another version of the same move”.

What is worse and more damaging is that a litterateur, Sri KYN, who is supposed to protect the originality and essence of an ancient literary gem in existence from ancient times, is the prime mover to tamper with Kannada Literature.

In KYN version:  It is not a tiger, but a tigress who wants to feed her hungry cub, by claiming Punyakoti as prey. The cub persuades the tigress to let Punyakoti go feed her calf and return. In the end, the tigress and Punyakoti understand each other as mothers, and Punyakoti returns home. The tigress, however, is killed by the cowherd Kalinga, who shoots her while “hiding behind the Taati tree/like Sri Raama killed Vaali”.

KYN says, it now has a poignant ending with the tiger cub asking,  “A tiger that can eat grass/is not there in the world we see. Oh sisters and oh brothers, All you living, breathing beings, How can I live without hunting? Answer now, the cub’s call.”

The most inane justification came from Sri Dwarakanatha, the originator of  AHINDA movement, “Narayanaswamy balances out the forces of nature and takes into account the welfare of both the cow and the tiger. It reflects the cruelty of man, rather than criticise the animal kingdom.”

This is JUVENILE and DANGEROUS. This guy has no inkling of what Heritage or Literature means and decides what our children should study and how they study it. We cannot allow ignorant and self-serving political class to tamper with our Literature and obfuscate facts.

As I write, there is a move by people from the literaray field to bring an injunction and we should lend our support to them. 

Acknowledgements:

Thanks to Sri Prashant Vaidyaraj (Click on links to reach his profile on Twitter and Facebook), a selflless volunteer with Nele Vasundhara (Click this link Introduction of the Organization)   for sharing photographs used in this blog. Coincidentally, Nele Vasudha girls and boys performed the Punyakoti Govina Hadu (Click link to watch the video of the performance, You will not regret it) during the valedictory function of their Summer camp.

Lyrics of the Song (In Kannada)

ಧರಣಿ ಮಂಡಲ ಮಧ್ಯದೊಳಗೆ
ಮೆರೆಯುತಿಹ ಕರ್ನಾಟ ದೇಶದೊಳಿರುವ
ಕಾಳಿಂಗನೆಂಬ ಗೊಲ್ಲನ ಪರಿಯನೆಂತು ಪೇಳ್ವೆನು

ಎಳೆಯ ಮಾವಿನ ಮರದ ಕೆಳಗೆ
ಕೊಳಲನೂದುತ ಗೊಲ್ಲ ಗೌಡನು
ಬಳಸಿ ನಿಂದ ತುರುಗಳನ್ನು
ಬಳಿಗೆ ಕರೆದನು ಹರುಷದಿ

ಗಂಗೆ ಬಾರೆ ಗೌರಿ ಬಾರೆ
ತುಂಗಭದ್ರೆ ತಾಯಿ ಬಾರೆ
ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿ ನೀನು ಬಾರೆ
ಎಂದು ಗೊಲ್ಲನು ಕರೆದನು

ಗೊಲ್ಲ ಕರೆದ ದನಿಯ ಕೇಳಿ
ಎಲ್ಲ ಹಸುಗಳು ಬಂದು ನಿಂತು
ಚೆಲ್ಲಿ ಸೂಸಿ ಹಾಲು ಕರೆಯಲು
ಅಲ್ಲಿ ತುಂಬಿತು ಬಿಂದಿಗೆ
ಸತ್ಯವೇ ಭಗವಂತನೆಂಬ ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ಕಥೆಯಿದು 

ಹಬ್ಬಿದಾ ಮಲೆ ಮಧ್ಯದೊಳಗೆ
ಅರ್ಭುತಾನೆಂದೆಂಬ ವ್ಯಾಘ್ರನು
ಅಬ್ಬರಿಸಿ ಹಸಿ ಹಸಿದು ಬೆಟ್ಟದ
ಕಿಬ್ಬಿಯೊಳು ತಾನಿದ್ದನು

ಸಿಡಿದು ರೋಶದಿ ಮೊರೆಯುತಾ ಹುಲಿ
ಗುಡಿಗುಡಿಸಿ ಭೋರಿಡುತ ಚಂಗನೆ
ತುಡುಕಲೆರಗಿದ ರಭಸಕಂಜಿ
ಚೆದರಿ ಹೋದವು ಹಸುಗಳು

ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿ ಎಂಬ ಹಸುವು
ತನ್ನ ಕಂದನ ನೆನೆದುಕೊಂಡು
ಮುನ್ನ ಹಾಲನು ಕೊಡುವೆನೆನುತ
ಚೆಂದದಿ ತಾ ಬರುತಿರೆ

ಇಂದೆನಗೆ ಆಹಾರ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿತು
ಎಂದು ಬೇಗನೆ ದುಷ್ಟ ವ್ಯಾಗ್ರನು
ಬಂದು ಬಳಸಿ ಅಡ್ಡಗಟ್ಟಿ
ನಿಂದನಾ ಹುಲಿರಾಯನು
ಸತ್ಯವೇ ಭಗವಂತನೆಂಬ ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ಕಥೆಯಿದು

ಮೇಲೆ ಬಿದ್ದು ನಿನ್ನನೀಗಲೆ
ಬೀಳಹೊಯ್ವೆನು ನಿನ್ನ ಹೊಟ್ಟೆಯ
ಸೀಳಿಬಿಡುವೆನು ಎನುತ ಕೋಪದಿ
ಖುಳ್ಳ ವ್ಯಾಘ್ರನು ಕೂಗಲು

ಒಂದು ಬಿನ್ನಹ ಹುಲಿಯೆ ಕೇಳು
ಕಂದನಿರುವನು ದೊಡ್ಡಿಯೊಳಗೆ
ಒಂದು ನಿಮಿಷದಿ ಮೊಲೆಯ ಕೊಟ್ಟು
ಬಂದು ಸೇರುವೆ ನಿಲ್ಲಿಗೆ

ಹಸಿದ ವೇಳೆಗೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿದೊಡವೆಯ
ವಶವ ಮಾಡದೆ ಬಿಡಲು ನೀನು
ನುಸುಳಿ ಹೋಗುವೆ ಮತ್ತೆ ಬರುವೆಯ
ಹುಸಿಯ ನಾಡುವೆ ಎಂದಿತು

ಸತ್ಯವೇ ನಮ್ಮ ತಾಯಿ ತಂದೆ
ಸತ್ಯವೇ ನಮ್ಮ ಬಂಧು ಬಳಗ
ಸತ್ಯ ವಾಖ್ಯಾಕೆ ತಪ್ಪಿ ನಡೆದರೆ
ಮೆಚ್ಚನಾ ಪರಮಾತ್ಮನು
ಸತ್ಯವೇ ಭಗವಂತನೆಂಬ ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ಕಥೆಯಿದು 

ಕೊಂದು ತಿನ್ನುವೆನೆಂಬ ಹುಲಿಗೆ
ಚೆಂದದಿಂದ ಭಾಷೆ ಇಟ್ಟು
ಕಂದ ನಿನ್ನನು ನೋಡಿ ಹೋಗುವೆ
ನೆಂದು ಬಂದೆನು ದೊಡ್ಡಿಗೆ

ಆರ ಮೊಲೆಯನು ಕುಡಿಯಲಮ್ಮ
ಆರ ಸೇರಿ ಬದುಕಲಮ್ಮ
ಆರ ಬಳಿಯಲಿ ಮಲಗಲಮ್ಮ
ಆರು ನನಗೆ ಹಿತವರು

ಅಮ್ಮಗಳಿರಾ ಅಕ್ಕಗಳಿರಾ
ಎನ್ನ ತಾಯೊಡ ಹುಟ್ಟು ಗಳಿರಾ
ಕಂದ ನಿಮ್ಮವನೆಂದು ಕಾಣಿರಿ
ತಬ್ಬಲಿಯನೀ ಕರುವನು

ಮುಂದೆ ಬಂದರೆ ಹಾಯಬೇಡಿ
ಹಿಂದೆ ಬಂದರೆ ಒದೆಯಬೇಡಿ
ಕಂದ ನಿಮ್ಮವನೆಂದು ಕಾಣಿರಿ
ತಬ್ಬಲಿಯನೀ ಕರುವನು
ಸತ್ಯವೇ ಭಗವಂತನೆಂಬ ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ಕಥೆಯಿದು 

ತಬ್ಬಲಿಯು ನೀನಾದೆ ಮಗನೆ
ಹೆಬ್ಬುಲಿಯ ಬಾಯನ್ನು ಹೋಗುವೆನು
ಇಬ್ಬರಾ ಋಣ ತೀರಿತೆಂದು
ತಬ್ಬಿಕೊಂಡಿತು ಕಂದನ

ಗೋವು ಕರುವನು ಬಿಟ್ಟು ಬಂದು
ಸಾವಕಾಶವ ಮಾಡದಂತೆ
ಗವಿಯ ಬಾಗಿಲ ಸೇರಿನಿಂತು
ತವಕದಲಿ ಹುಲಿಗೆಂದಿತು

ಖಂಡವಿದೆಕೋ ಮಾಂಸವಿದೆಕೋ
ಗುಂಡಿಗೆಯ ಬಿಸಿ ರಕ್ತವಿದೆಕೋ
ಚಂಡ ವ್ಯಾಘ್ರನೆ ನೀನಿದೆಲ್ಲವ
ನುಂಡು ಸಂತಸದಿಂದಿರು

ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ಮಾತ ಕೇಳಿ
ಕಣ್ಣ ನೀರನು ಸುರಿಸಿ ನೊಂದು
ಕನ್ನೆಯಿವಳನು ಕೊಂದು ತಿಂದರೆ
ಮೆಚ್ಚನಾ ಪರಮಾತ್ಮನು

ಎನ್ನ ಒಡಹುಟ್ಟಕ್ಕ ನೀನು
ನಿನ್ನ ಕೊಂದು ಏನ ಪಡೆವೆನು?
ಎನ್ನುತಾ ಹುಲಿ ಹಾರಿ ನೆಗೆದು
ತನ್ನ ಪ್ರಾಣವ ಬಿಟ್ಟಿತು
ಸತ್ಯವೇ ಭಗವಂತನೆಂಬ ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ಕಥೆಯಿದು 

ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿ ನಲಿದು ಕರುವಿಗೆ
ಉಣ್ಣಿಸೀತು ಮೊಲೆಯ ಬೇಗದಿ
ಚೆನ್ನ ಗೊಲ್ಲನ ಕರೆದು ತಾನು
ಮುನ್ನ ತಾದಿಂತೆಂದಿತು

ಎನ್ನ ವಂಶದ ಗೋವ್ಗಳೊಳಗೆ
ನಿನ್ನ ವಂಶದ ಗೊಲ್ಲರೊಳಗೆ
ಮುನ್ನ ಪ್ರತಿ ಸಂಕ್ರಾಂತಿಯೊಳಗೆ
ಚೆನ್ನ ಕೃಷ್ಣನ ಭಾಜಿಸಿರಿ

ಈವನು ಸೌಭಾಗ್ಯ ಸಂಪದ ಭಾವ ಜಾತಿಪ ಕೃಷ್ಣನು 

The Hindi version of this Amazing Song rendered by Mohammed Rafi is below

A Divine Wedding

Today is Subramanya Shashti or Margashira Shuddha Shashti ( Shasti is the 6th day of the 14 day phase of moon, shuddha shashti is the 6th day after every full moon day).

Majestic Kukke Subrahmanya Temple Amidst Kumara Parvata
Majestic Kukke Subrahmanya Temple Amidst Kumara Parvata

Every year a famous car festival is being held in Kukke Subramanya (pilgrimage in Karnataka) on ‘Margashira Shuddha Shashti’ with special poojas to the Lord Subramanya.

Story behind it is Kukke Subrahmanya is on the bank of river Dhara. According to Hindu Mythology Lord Kumaraswamy came to this place after killing the demon rulers Taraka, Shoorapadmasura and others in a war; and the Lord washed his Shakthi Ayudha (a battle-ax of the type of a bayonet) in this river.

Presiding Deity - Lord Subrahmanya
Presiding Deity – Lord Subrahmanya

From this onwards the river is famous as Kumaradhara. After battle with the demon, Lord Kumaraswamy came to the top of Kumaraparvatha along with his brothers Lord Ganesha, Veerabahu.. He was received by Lord Indra along with other Gods; pleased by the success of the war Indra prayed the Lord to be Kind enough to marry his daughter Devasena. This was agreed upon courteously and the marriage took place on the banks of Kumaradhara on ‘Margashira Shuddha Shashti’ (The shashti is on the first half of Margashira Masa.) Lord kumaraswamy also gave a darshan to Vasuki, the head of the Nagas, who was making a penance here. Vasuki prayed the Lord to stay along with him permanently in the place and the Lord blessed Vasuki with the boon.

The Famous Car Festival (Theru) of Kukke
The Famous Car Festival (Theru) of Kukke

From that time it a believed that the Lord has made his spiritual presence in this shrine along with his wife Devasena and Vasuki.

This Piece contributed by Sindhu-ji ,  Faculty at The Art of Living and follower of HH Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

She blogs here and and tweets with @agnyaa  handle