Friday, August 31, 2012

Elephants... everywhere!

This week is Happy Onam.

Onam (Malayalamഓണം) is a Hindu festival celebrated by the people of KeralaThe festival commemorates the Vamana avatar of Vishnu and the subsequent homecoming of the legendary Emperor Mahabali. It is the state festival ofKerala and falls during the month of Chingam (August–September) and lasts for ten days. The festival is marked by various festivities, including intricate flower carpets, elaborate banquet lunches, snake boat races, Onappottan, Kaazhchakkula in Guruvayoor, Puli Kali, Kaikottikkali etc.

Everywhere some celebrations with Ganesha, elephants being fed by Amma, in the main hall of the ashram, quite amazing feeling, very powerful!

 Onam is an ancient festival which still survives in modern times. Kerala's rice harvest festival and the Festival of Rain Flowers, which fall on the Malayalam month of Chingam, celebrates the Asura King Mahabali's annual visit from Patala (theunderworld). Onam is unique since Mahabali has been revered by the people of Kerala since prehistory.

Ganesha (Sanskritगणेश) also spelled Ganesa, also known as GanapatiVinayaka and Pillaiyar (Tamilபிள்ளையார்), is one of the deities best-known and most widely worshipped in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India andNepal.Hindu sects worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains, Buddhists, and beyond India.
Although he is known by many other attributes, Ganesha's elephant head makes him particularly easy to identify. Ganesha is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles and more generally as Lord of Beginnings and Lord of Obstacles (Vighnesha), Vighneshvarapatron of arts and sciences, and the deva of intellect and wisdom. He is honoured at the beginning of rituals and ceremonies and invoked as Patron of Letters during writing sessions.

According to the legend, Kerala witnessed its golden era during the reign of King Mahabali. The Brahma-Vaivarta Puranamexplains that Lord Vishnu wanted to curb the pride of Indra; and therefore positioned Mahabali in great power.

Paper statues thrown into the sea...
Beautiful, magical, very powerful Ganesha cleans and removes obstacles this week for me!!!


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