Kerala observing Ramayana month

via published on July 31, 2006

A joint effort by RSS-VHP-Balagokulam
Kerala observing Ramayana month
By S. Chandrasekhar

As per Malayalam calendar, mid July to mid August is the month of Karkidakom. With rains arriving in Kerala by June, Karkidakom month is a lean month. With harvesting over by May and fresh cultivation possible only around Onam in August-September, the months of June and July are for taking rest, rejuvenation and spiritual attainment in earlier days. Hence for several centuries, the month of Karkidakom is used for ayurvedic rejuvenation and for recitation of Ramayana. In every house in the evenings, the traditional oil lamps are lit in front of the house and eldest person (referred as Karanavar) read the Ramayana and all the members of the family listen to it. Later aarati is performed and prasad distributed. It is widely believed that this practise was initiated by Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, the doyen who translated Ramayana into Malayalam, known as Adyatma Ramayanam.

Due to the pressures and pulls of modern life and breaking up of the joint family, this practise to observe the Ramayana month was on the verge of becoming extinct. But due to the efforts of RSS, VHP, Balagokulam etc., after the Ayodhya movement, this Ramayana month observation is becoming prevalent in every nook and corner of Kerala and also in Gulf countries where Keralities live in lakhs.

Now Kerala is reverberating with the chanting of Ramayana this Karkidakom also. Another unique feature of Karkidakom is the ayurvedica rejuvenation treatment for over 1500 domesticated elephants owned by various temples including Guruvayur and private individuals. During this month elephants take rest and are given ayurvedic medicines, tonics and ayurvedic baths. An elephant’s weight goes up by 200-300 kgs after the month long rest and rejuvenation. Let us hope that the Ramayana month will give the Hindus of Kerala the spiritual strength to face the multifarious threats faced by it.


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