Monday, July 28, 2014

Aadi Masam 2014

Aadi Masam (Aadi month) is an auspicious month for Tamilians, It is the fourth month in the Tamil calendar and filled with festivals and rituals. In 2014 Aadi Masam started on July 17th and will endon August 16th, 2014.

Aadi Masam is specially dedicated to the Goddess. During this month, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays are the most important days during which grand pujas and rituals are performed in most Tamil Nadu Shakti Temples. All Fridays of Aadi Masam, especially the first and third, are considered very auspicious. 

This Festival occurs during the month of "Aadi" the 4th month in the Tamil Calendar. "Pooram" which is the star that occurs at this time, is one of the 27 stars (nakshatras) in Indian Astrology and is termed the star of Mother Parashakti. On this day, it is said that the Sun (Surya) and Moon (Chandra), exchange their constellation. Which means the Sun occupies the Moon's house of Katakam (Cancer constellation), and the Moon occupies the Sun's house of Simham (Leo constellation). Both the Sun and Moon rejoice at this exchange of houses, which is known as Parivarthanaa Yogam. 

Aadi Masam is termed inauspicious by many as Dakshinaayana Punyakaalam (Lord Surya -- the Sun god) changes his direction from north to south at this time) starts in this month. This is also called as Uttarayanam Punya Kaalam. In the Mahabaratha (Bhishma Parva), Bhisma waited till the birth of Uttarayanam to give away his soul as he had Iccha Mruthyu which means, (i.e. the ability to decide the day and time of one’s death). 

It is at the start of the Aadi month that the sun’s heat reduces and the rains start. It is during this time that the monsoon peaks on the West Coast and the rivers of Tamil Nadu (shrunken in the summer heat) get replenished, often to near full levels. Aadi is the month for sowing, rooting, planting of seeds and vegetation since it is peak monsoon time. 

Aadi Masam is a time of fervour and observances in Goddess related Water-forces and Natural forces (where prayers and pujas are offered to propitiate the powerful goddesses and seek their protection from the inauspicious aspects that are often associated with the month). The month of Aadi is considered very auspicious to connect oneself to this Divine power. However no Functions celebrating social occasions, such as weddings or other similar functions are celebrated during Aadi as such social functions are considered inauspicious during this particular Tamil month. 

Prominent Festivals during Aadi Masam, 2014 

Aadi Pirappu - July 17th 
Aadi Krithigai, - July 21st 
Aadi Perukku - August 3rd 
Aadi Amavasai – July 26th (no moon day) 
Aadi Pooram – July 30th (new moon day) 
VaraLakshmi Puja - August 8th 
Aadi Chevvai - All Tuesdays 
Aadi Velli - All Fridays 

Aadi Pooram

Dedicated to the birth of Sri Andal (one among 12 great Alwars of Sri Vaishnavism). 

The tenth day of the Aadi month is celebrated as Aadi Pooram day when Thirukalyanam (the Divine marriage of the God and the Goddess) is conducted. Special pujas are also conducted on this day. It is believed that if unmarried girls worship Goddess Andal on the tenth day of Aadi Pooram Festival, they will soon marry. 

Legend has it that Vishnu Chitha (known as Periazhwar) was a sincere devotee of Lord Ranganatha of Srivilliputhur. He was childless for a very long time. His prayers were answered and on Aadi Pooram day, when the devotee was collecting flowers in his garden to be used for puja, he found a girl child. The child was named Kothai who grew up with devotion to Lord. 

Sri Andal

Every day, Vishnu Chitha made a garland of Thulasi leaves to offer to the deity at the Temple, which Kothai used to wear before offering to the Lord. One day, a devotee happened to see her wearing this garland and replaced it with another garland. However, the Lord refused to accept the new one and said that He would only wear the garland worn by Kothai. Vishnu Chitha realized that his daughter was a manifestation of the Goddess Mahalakshmi. Andal then came to be known as Choodi Kodutha Sudarkodi, meaning ‘garland offered after being worn’. 

In Saiva Temples (as is observed at our own Arunachaleswarar Temple) this day is celebrated as the Valaikappu Festival for the Goddess, when glass bangles are offered to the Goddess and then distributed to devotees. The wearing of these bangles are said to provide offspring and generally protect one from evils. (Valaikaappu is a Festival during which a pregnant woman wears glass bangles, the sound of which is said to protect her and the child from evil forces). 


For the schedule of the 2014 Valaikaappu (Bangle) Festival at Arunachaleswarar Temple and the Fire Walking Ceremony in front of the Unnamalai Shrine please go to this link here

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