Tag Archive | Pooja

248. Cheedai varieties

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Unlike murukku, we have to be little bit careful while preparing cheedai. Even if the proportion of ingrediants is slightly varied, we won’t get good result.

Uppu cheedai :

raw rice : 1 cup

urud dal : 1 tsp

white ellu – 1/2 tsp

salt – 1/4 tsp

butter – 1 tsp

jeera – 1/2 tsp

cooking oil – 250 gm

asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

Method of preparation :

Wash rice and allow to dry in a cool place. Make it a nice powder. Dry roast urud dal and make it a powder. Along with these two flours, add salt, butter, jeera,  ellu and  asafoetida. Mix gently by adding little water.  We have to knead in such a way that the consistency will be like chapathi dough. Heat cooking oil in a pan. Make small balls and put them in hot oil and cook in a medium flame. When they turn light golden brown colour, we can take out from oil.

Vella cheedai :

raw rice : 1 cup

urud dal : 1 tsp

white ellu – 1/2 tsp

jaggery  – 1/2 cup

butter – 1 tsp

coconut  – 1 tsp

cooking oil – 250 gm

Method of preparation :

Wash rice and allow to dry in a cool place. Make it a nice powder. Dry roast urud dal and make it a powder. Along with these two flours, add  butter and   ellu. In a kadai, put jaggery and little water. When jaggery is dissolved, filter it to remove dust and small stones. Then again keep jaggery water in the kadai add cocunut and flour mixture. When it becomes little thick, switch off the gas and allow it to cool.   We have to knead in such a way that the consistency will be like chapathi dough. Heat cooking oil in a pan. Make small balls and put them in hot oil and cook in a medium flame. When they turn light golden brown colour, we can take out from oil.

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247. Murukku varieties

Generally for Gokulashtami and Deepavali we prepare murukku at home. I just want to share the recipe for simple murukku varieties.

First, let us see Thenkuzhal.

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Ingredients required :

raw rice : 1 cup

urud dal : 1 tsp

white ellu – 1/2 tsp

salt – 1/4 tsp

butter – 1 tsp

jeera – 1/2 tsp

cooking oil – 250 gm

asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

Method of preparation :

Wash rice and allow to dry in a cool place. Make it a nice powder. Dry roast urud dal and make it a powder. Along with these two flours, add salt, butter, jeera,  ellu and  asafoetida. Mix gently by adding little water.  We have to knead in such a way that the consistency will be like chapathi dough. Heat cooking oil in a pan. Put a handful of dough in thenkuzhal mould and  press directly in oil. Turn it with a ladle and remove from oil when it becomes light golden brown and crispy. That is all.

Next, I want to tell the recipe for magizhampoo murukku or muthusaram or mullu murukku.

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Ingredients required :

raw rice : 1 cup

channa  dal :  3 tsp

pasipparuppu – 1 tsp

white ellu – 1/2 tsp

salt – 1/4 tsp

butter – 1 tsp

jeera – 1/2 tsp

cooking oil – 250 gm

asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

Method of preparation :

Wash and dry rice in a cool place and make it a nice powder. Dry roast channa dal and pasipparuppu separately and make them a powder. In a bowl, along with these flours, add ellu, jeera, salt asafoetida and butter. Mix gently by adding water little by little. When the dough becomes chapathi dough consistency, it is ready. Heat oil in a pan. Put a handful of dough in magizhampoo murukku mould and press directly in oil. When it becomes light golden colour, we can remove it from oil. That is all.

238. Janmashtami

We celebrate the birthday of Sree Krishna as “Janmashtami” or “Gokulashtami” or Krishna Jayanthi”. It falls on ashtami day after krishna paksha in the month of shravana as per madhva calender.  All the Hindus celebrate this festival very grandly as Krishna is favourite God to all. Normally we observe fasting throughout the day and prepare neivedhyam items in madi.

In the evening we decorate the house and kolam afresh in front of the house. We also draw “Putta krishna pada” from this kolam. We have to draw krishna pada in such a way that Lord krishna comes from rangoli to our puja room and sit in the plank kept in front of krishna photo. We have to imagine that He walks step by step.

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We have to put rangoli on the plank and keep krishna vigraha in a plate. We have to do pooja in the usual way with  kunkum, manjal, chandan, akshadai, gejavasthram, flowers, garlands, ghenta, dheepa, dhoopa and aarathi to the photo and vigraha. We have to say slokas, sthothrams and songs on Lord Krishna while doing the pooja. We have to keep thamboolam, cocunut, all types of fruits, milk, curd, butter, aval, murukku, cheedai and laddu varieties as neivedhya.

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After performing puja, we have to give arghya. We have to keep a lemon and a coin in our right palm and pour water, milk and again water three times. We have to keep a bowl under our right arm. We have to say the arghya manthram while giving arghya.

அர்க்ய மந்த்ரம் :

ஜாதம்  கம்சவதார்த்தாய  பூபாரோத்தாரணாய ச

கௌரவாணாம் வினாஷாய தைத்யானாம்  நிதனாய ச

பாண்டவானாம் ஹிதார்த்தாய  தர்மசம்ஸ்தாபனாய ச

க்ருஹாணார்க்யம் மயா தத்தம் தேவக்யா  சஹிதோ ஹரே

தேவகி சஹித ஸ்ரீ க்ருஷ்ணாய நமஹ

இதமர்க்யம் இதமர்க்யம் இதமர்க்யம் சமர்ப்பயாமி.

After giving arghya we can take simple tiffin along with fruits and nevedhyam items.

237. Varalakshmi Vratha

Varalakshmi Vratha is being celebrated in Hindu culture very grandly. To bring prosperity and wealth, we worship Goddess Varalakshmi.

Varamahalakshmi pooja at my brother's place.

Varamahalakshmi pooja at my brother’s place.

This pooja comes in Shravana month before poornima(full moon). We have to collect items  for this pooja on the previous day itself. We have to get up early(brahma muhoortham) and take bath. Absolute madi is required for doing this pooja. As the kalasa has to be kept facing east, we have to make arrangements accordingly.

We have to clean the place and put rangoli.

Place a plank or peeta(manai) and keep a banana leaf(nuni vazhai ilai)  on it. Spread rice on the banana leaf as we have to keep the kalasa on this rice bed. Fill the kalasa with rice or water(as per tradition). Put dry fruits, betal nuts, betal leaves, gold or silver coins in it.

Decorate the outside of kalasa with turmeric, kunkum and chandan. Apply kunkum, turmeric and chandan to a coconut & place it on the top of the kalasa, surrounded by mango leaves.

We have to decorate the Goddess Lakshmi’s face and keep it against the coconut and tie it with a thread. Some people put a sari and blouse to Lakshmi. We can put kunkum, turmeric, chandan, jewels to Lakshmi. We can put a garland to the Goddess.

First we have to keep the kalasa separately, for bringing from outside. We can keep the kalasa as such on a stool by tying vazhakkannu on the 4 side legs. While coming inside, the woman carrying the kalasa has to tilt the padi with rice & belladhu achu(2) kept on the hosthulu, with the kalasa, so that they fall inside the house. It is the significance of bringing wealth through Lakshmi to our house.

We generally sing the song, “baghyaadha lakshmi baaramma” at the time of entry. Then we have to keep the kalasa safely on the rice bed. We can keep a Lakshmi photo behind it.  We have to light the lamps and begin Ganapathi pooja first. We can prepare a cone shaped turmeric Ganesha.  We have to keep some sacred yellow threads tied with flowers and putting knots for puja. After finishing Ganapathi puja, we have to start Varalakshmi puja. We have to perform puja using kunkum, turmeric, chandan, akshadai and flowers.

We have to perform Ganapathi pooja and Varalakshmi pooja in this order(this may vary slightly from house to house) : Dhyaanam, Sankalpam, Aavaahanam, Asanam,  Arkyam,   Padyam, Aachamanam, Madhubarkam, Panchamrutham, Snanam, Vasthram, Aabaranam, Upaveetham, Gandham, Akshadha, Pushpa, Anga pooja, Ashtothram(kunkuma archanai), Dhoopam, Deepam, Neivedhyam, Thamboolam and Aarathi. The male members can do Aachamanam, Pranaayamam and Ghenta pooja also. While doing the pooja  we have to do archanai using flowers and akshadha. We can say sthothrams, slokas and songs while doing lakshmi pooja. It will be good if we say “Lakshmi Shobana”.  Finally we have to do Pradikshana namaskara by saying our prayers to Goddess. All the ladies should then wear the sacred thread on the right wrist. Thamboolam with mangala items should also be given to all.

Happy Varalakshmi pooja!

230. Naagara Chadhurthi and Garuda Panchami

The fourth day of shravana masa is celebrated as Naagara Chadhurthi. Usually, mothers do  this pooja for the wellbeing of the children in Madhva houses. “Madi dress” is required for doing this pooja. After taking oil bath, we have to wear madi dress.

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The idol of Nagaraja has to be kept in a plate and we have to do abhishekam with unboiled milk. Pour little water, then milk and again water, for doing abhishekam(3 times). After doing abhishekam, we have to perform puja  to Nagaraja in the usual manner with kunkumam, manjal, akshadai, chandan and flowers. Poonool has to be offered to Nagaraja. The gejavasthra has to be prepared using turmeric powder and not with kunkum. Chiguli using raw sesame seed(ell) and thembittu have to be prepared. Using turmeric powder, we have to draw two nagaras, one big and one small(signifying mother and child) near the front door of the house(inviting them to come inside).

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We have to do puja for these also, as done for nagaraja. No fried items are to be prepared on this day. The neivedhyam items are chiguli, thamboolam, milk, curd, aval and mango. Karpoora aarathi, deepa aarathi, thembittu aarathi and sodal aarathi using turmeric instead of kunkum are to be taken. If possible, we have to go to snakepit(haamu huthu) and do all the poojas in the same manner. We can offer milk also. Mothers usually observe fasting on this day. In the evening, they take wheat rava upma or aval. They won’t take milk on this day, as it is offered to Nagaraja.

On the next day, we observe “Garuda panchami”.  Much madi  is not required and all the family members have to perform the puja for the wellbeing of their siblings. No vratha also. We have  to use fried sesame for preparing chiguli. We have to draw nagaras in such a way of going out from the house. We have to perform puja in the same manner as done on previous day. We can use kunkum for preparing gejavasthra.

Some people say that Naga chadurthi is celebrated to remember the act of Lord Shiva by drinking “Aalahala poison” to save the universe. Some others say that it signifies the “Kalinga Narthana” of Lord Krishna. Some others say that to remove snake curses(naaga dhosham), we do these pujas. The bad influence of Rahu and Kethu are removed by doing these pujas. Whatever it is, it is good to worship Nagaraja and Garuda atleast once in a year.

229. Mangala Gowri Vratha

Shravana month is considered as holy month as there are many poojas performed during this month. All Tuesdays during this month are dedicated to Gowri(Parvathi)  and  Mangala Gowri Vratha is done on these days.The newly married girl has to perform this pooja compulsorily for five years  in  Madhva community.

For this pooja, first take five turmeric rhyzomes(manjal kilangu). Rub the bottom so  that they become flat and can be seated. In a plate spread rice and keep these Gowris(four on four sides and one in the middle) and put kunkum. On the backside Parvathi-Parameshwara photo or a big mirror has to be kept. Join 5 threads and dip in turmeric powder and put  it covering all the gowris. All the Gowris are to be decorated with kaadholai- karugumani, bangles, blouse bits, new comb, mirror, kan-mai, kobburi, manjal, kunkum, thamboolam and any other mangal item. The silver mangala gowri(if available) should also be kept. Some people keep rava irundai(5 in number) on both the sides. Some people make it as neivedhyam. Both are OK.

Other neivedhyams are Venpongal with arahar dal,  payasam, soaked chick-peas, sikuli and thembittu. As usual thamboolam with cocunut and fruits are to be kept for neivedhyam. The girl has to perform puja in the usual manner with kunkum, manjal, chandan, akshadai, flowers, flower mala and gejavashthram, after finishing thulasi pooja.

While performing pooja, songs on Gowri have to be sung. After doing neivedhyam and aarathi, uruttani, udithumbudhal & kumara kunkum with a piece of betal leaf are to be done to the girl by an elderly person at home. After lighting 5 thembittu deepas, with a brass ladle, kan-mai has to be prepared. This kan-mai has to be offered to gowri with a flower. After finishing pradikshanai namaskaram and prarthanai,  sodal aarathi & thembittu aarathi have to be taken.

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For all the sumangalis  thamboolam, blouse piece, mangal items, coconut,  flower, dakshinai,  soaked chick-peas, prepared kan-mai  are to be given. This pooja has to be performed with the same gowris, mangal items and yellow thread. In  the last week, after finishing pooja, after tieing 5 knots in the yellow thread, the girl has to wear it on her right wrist.  Like this  mangala Gowri pooja has to be done for 5 years. On the fifth year, a new bronze vessel has to be filled with wheat and a small silver nagara has to be kept inside. The vessel has to be tied with a blouse bit and kept for puja. After finishing puja on the last week, this has to be given to the girl’s mother with mangal items and moradhu baayanaa. This is our method of performing managala gowri pooja. Procedures may vary from house to house.

228. Happy Gandana Pooja

Gandana pooja has to be performed by all married and unmarried women in Madhva community. It is said that the married women should compulsorily do this pooja for 9 years. Before marriage, a girl is doing this pooja for getting a good husband.In the Aashada masa, on Amavasya day, we celebrate this festival. This pooja is dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi.

Two numbers of mud models in the shape of “bella achu” are to be prepared and dried well. We have to decorate them by putting dots in sandal powder on all sides. One model is Lord shiva and the another one is Goddess Parvathi. A thread immersed in turmeric powder should be tied around the  Parvathi model with turmeric root and flowers.They should be kept on a plate with raw white rice. One more thread immersed in turmeric powder, with nine knots and flowers has to be kept in front of Devuru.

We have to perform pooja in the usual manner with kunkuma, arisina, ghendha, atchadhai, gejavasthra and flowers to models as well as yellow thread. Payasa or pongal neivedhya has to be prepared. Thamboola, banana and coconut are also to be offered to God. Slokas and songs on Parvathi Parameshwara have to be recited. After taking aarathi, the girl or woman should sit on a manai with thamboola and coconut in her hands. The girl’s mother or mother-in-law or husband should tie the yellow thread on her right wrist.

Shall we see the story behind this festival. Vijayashekara was the son of King Vajrabahu. There was a poor brahmin named Madhava in that city and his wife was Susila. They  had 5 daughters and 9 sons. Vijayashekara died suddenly and the king announced that the family of the girl who marries his died son will get lot of money. Madhava decided to marry one of his daughters to him and to get huge wealth to save other children. The girl who marred a corpse was left in a forest. She prayed to Lord Parameshwara and Goddess Parvathi. They appeared before her and asked her to perform this poja. In the forest she collected mud and made 2 models and worshiped with great devotion, with available flowers & fruits in the forest. The dead prince came back to life and everybody felt happy.

215. Onam festival

I worked in Palakkad for two and a half years.The onam celebrations captured my heart very much. The malayalis celebrate this festival for 10 days.

The Vamana avathara of Vishnu is being worshipped during this festival. The king Mahabali is revered by the people of Kerala, as there was prosperity and happiness prevailed during his period. The festival rituals, cuisine, dance and music are seen everywhere in Kerala during this period.

Mahabali was the grandson of Prahalatha. Mahabali was very generous and charitable. If anybody approached him with any wish, he fulfilled the wish, whatever it was. The Gods feared about his supremacy and approached Lord Vishnu asking for a solution to get rid of the dilemma. Lord Vishnu agreed to their wish and went in front of King Mahabali disguised as Vamana. Seeing His appearance, Mahabali thought that He was a poor brahmin. Vamana asked for a piece of land. Mahabali’s guru Shukracharya  tried to prevent Mahabali from giving a promise. But, Mahabali  ignoring his guru’s words, agreed to give land to Vamana. Vamana told that it was enough to grant land that could be covered by His three steps. Mahabali said OK happily. Vamana increased Himself to the size of cosmic proportions. With the first step He covered the whole earth and with the next step the whole sky. He asked raja Mahabali where to keep the third step?  King Mahabali with folded hands bowed in front of Lord Vishnu. He kept the third step on Mahabali’s head and pushed him to pathala world. Before going, King Mahabali made a request to Lord that he wanted to visit his people once in a year to make them happy and prosperous.

People of Kerala sing songs in praise of Lord Vamana and king Mahabali on these 10 days. Pookkalam(floral rangoli), Sadya (Onam feast) and boat race are other attractions. I had a happy time on seeing the Onam celebrations.

Pookalam

Pookalam

196. Pavamana homa

Mankind is having the habit of running after pleasure. In this process, knowingly or unknowingly, we may harm others or other jeevarasis.

There is a time in our life to stop and think about this in life. God will make us to think. Due to our sins commited in this jenma and previous jenmas, we are getting problems,  When we are in great trouble, we used to pray to Gods one by one to get relief. When many Gods are coming in group to help us, how great it is?

Lord Vishnu in the form of Sri Narasimha, Lord Lakshmi, Lord Hanuman, Lord Saraswathi,  Lord Indira, Lord Ema, Lord Agni and Lord Soma are worshipped in pavamana homa. Our sins are purified and positive energy is being created in our home. This homa creates a positive spark in our life. Pavamana or Soma is the lord of delight. This homa can be done on any auspicious day.

While doing pavamana homa we have to commit that we will not do sins again as it is believed that past sins done by us will be vanished. Those who recite and hear pavamana manthras shall have progress spiritually. When we get an opportunity to attend pavamana homa, we should not miss it.

189. Guru Peyarchi

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system. He spends approximately one year in each rasi. Guru peyarchi will occur on 14th July 2015 in Simma rasi. He will stay there till 11th August 2016.

The astrologers say that Guru peyarchi will bring changes in everybody’s life. For some rasis, the benefits are excellent, for some medium and for the remaining worse.

For twenty years back, only some people know about sani peyarchi  and very few know about guru peyarchi, raghu peyarchi and kedhu peyarchi. We, the common people  started accepting whatever comes in life as we didn’t know anything. We didn’t have the knowledge about these peyarchis and we won’t go to astrologers to check these changes. Simply we led our lives peacefully. The medias took part in popularising them and succeeded.

Nowadays, the astrological magazines are many. There are special books published to educate the people about these peyarchis. Every book gives different type of predictions and pariharams for a rasi. People are buying everything and getting confused. The TV channels allocate separate slot and bring famous astrologers to the studio and make them answer to the questions of the public. It is really an entertainment and many people like me enjoy these shows. The daily newspapers publish separate attachment to help the public to know about the good and bad things that will happen in future.  All the weekly, bi-monthly and monthly magazines  in all languages fill up the pages easily by giving predictions for all rasis.

I am happy that the astrologers are getting some money by writing these articles. If a person reads four or five magazines regularly, he can also write.  It is good that the temples are crowded and people from all sectors participate in homams conducted. Worshipping God and doing homams and pujas are to be appreciated. Let us welcome these peyarchis as they make more people pious.