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.
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.
You might have heard about the famous Karamadai Ranganathar Temple. Some of you might have visited this temple also. I just want to tell an interesting fact about this temple.
At the time of British rule in India, a british engineer insisted to construct a railway line very near the temple. The local people disagreed as it will be difficult for them for the visitors. Moreover, at the time of festivals, thiru ula of the deity will be affected. The engineer did not accept the words of the public and proceeded with the work of laying railway line.The sincere devotees prayed to the God to stop the endeavour. God answered to the prayers.
On one day, Lord ranganatha swamy appeared in the dream of the engineer in a white horse and he got beats from the lord. The engineer got instructions from the lord to change the direction of the railway line. Next day he came to the temple and explained everything to them. He cancelled the proposal of constructing railway line near the temple. He also made a white horse in wood and donated to the temple.
Lord ranganathaswamy utsava murthy deity takes procession through the nearby streets in this wooden white horse only even now. Please visit the temple and see the white horse.
Those who don’t have time to do meditation, can simply say “rama nama“. One who chants “rama nama” one crore times, will get the darshan of “rama”.
When bridge was built by monkeys under the leadership of Hanuman, to bring back Sita from Lanka, Hanuman wrote the name of “rama” in small rocks and threw them into water. The rocks floated in water. Rama himself threw some rocks into the water but they got immersed in water. Hanuman explained Rama that rama nama is more poerful than Rama.
Those who want peace and happiness in life should do rama nama japa. Shri Thyagaraja got the darshan of Rama after chanting his name for one crore times. Those who die in Varanasi will get moksha as Lord Parameshwara himself will chant “rama nama” in their ears. The name rama is the combination of Parameshwa”ra-ma”heshwari. While doing rama japam we actually do pranayama. The inhilation and exhilation of air during rama japam is very good for health and also for the realisation of God.
I used to chant rama nama at the time of travel. I get peace of mind and could reach my destination safely. Rama nama is known as taraka manthra. It relieves us from the cycle of birth and death. The letters “ra” from Om namo Narayana and the letters “ma” from Om nama Shivaya give rama and by doing rama japa, we get the blessings of Shiva and Vishnu. So, make time to do rama nama japa.
All the hindus might have gone to Tirupati atleast once to have the darshan of Lord Venkatachalapathi. Those who have not visited already will like to visit in future.
The pilgrimage city tirupati is localted in chittoor district of Andra Pradesh. We cannot visit the temple as and when we like and have the darshan. Lakhs and lakhs of people are visiting the temple daily. We have to book in advance the darshan tickets and wait in queue for at least some hours to see him. Just to have darshan for few seconds, people are travelling hours together. Nobody minds in spending time or money to have his darshan.
It is believed that Lord Venkateshwara, popularly known as Lord Balaji will permit anybody to see him only if he wishes. Otherwise, the person won’t get his darshan, even after reaching Tirupati. Many sevas and utsavs are held regularly and the devotees are taking part in everything very enthusiastically. Lakhs and lakhs of money is deposited in the Hundi. Gold and silver coins and jewelleries are also offered to God by devotees. Lord Srinivasa fulfil the wishes of everybody.
Tirupati is known as temple of seven hills. The seven sacred hills are Seshadri, Vedadri, Garudadri, Anjadri, vrishabadri, Narayanandri and Venkatadri. Lord Venkatachalapathy gives his darshan sitting in the hill Venkatadri. We have to travel through 7 hills to see him. Those who have got specific wishes, will pray and visit the temple.The Lord Srinivasa hears the prayer of all devotees. Please make a visit to Tirupati.