Deva Deepawali of Tamil Nadu - Aadi 18th festival for Cauvery river [Englihs]

Sakthi foundation

Uni5 - Aadi 18 Festival - Festival of water conservation.

Aadi month in Tamil is referred as Karkadaka in Sanskrith. This falls in mid of July every year. Aadi first is the Dakshi yaa yanam month.

Sun shine falls much in the southern part of the Earth by which seasonal changes.

In Tamil Nadu this month brings the monsoonal winds from South west direction.

South west monsoon showers in western parts of the state.

Farmers prepares their farms to begin agriculture.

The proverb ''ஆடிப் பட்டம் தேடி விதை” emphasize the importance of this month for proper seeding.

South west monsoon in Karnataka state makes river Cauvery to get flood with fresh water. On 18th of Aadi month the water is being welcomed by Tamil people to irrigate their life.

Tamil calendar says that Mahabaratha war was done in these 18 days and no fresh good plans will be executed.

On the 18th day Krishna asks the soldiers to wash all the weapons and take bath in Gurushetra Lake. He also makes them to offer the ancestral pithru pooja.

Aadi ammavasa is considered to be very important for pitru dharpan.

On Aadi 18th people across Cauvery river bed celebrates the fresh water and have fun. People in other parts of the state also celebrates the festival.

Objective of the festival:

1. To respect the water source.

2. To initiate the fresh cultivation by proper rituals.

3. Family gathering.

4. Ancestral worship.

5. Pilgrimage to temples at the river sides.

Who can celebrate?

Anyone interested in making the children to know about water bodies and conservation can celebrate.

Where to celebrate?

River sides, sea shore, dams, falls, water sources. In Chennai cities people also used to worship the local wells and bore wells at home.

When to celebrate?

18th day of Aadi month. [3.8.2014]

Time to celebrate:

4 A.M - 7 P.M

Preparation at home situation:

Always try to have family gathering by proper respect and welcoming calls.

Try to invite newly married couples, ask them to bring their wedding garlands.

Clean the home, hang mango leaves door decoration - thoranam.

After noon cooking must be without onion and garlic. Try to follow the Tamil tradition newmoon day recepi. [dhall, rasam, tamarind kuzhambu, raw banana curry, pappad, vada, payasam, curd, ghee, raitha]

How to celebrate?

If possible go to water bodies at dawn take sacred bath and have worship in local shrines.

Choose a place in river bank. Arrange 7 pebbles as Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswathy, Narmadha, Sindhu, Cauvery, Godhawari. These stones also represent the saptha mathuraaks who assisted Durga to kill Mahishasura. They are Maheswari - Gowmari - Vaishnavi - Vaaraahi - Naarasimhi - Indrani - Chnaamundi. These stone also represents the 7 wise wemon who lived in Poompuhar city who self-realized the bhraman.

Apply turmeric, sandal and basma to all these 7 stones.

Offer tiny dark glass bangles, palm leaf ear rings [kaa dho lai - valai]

Offer the sacred turmeric smeared thread to all these deities.

Offer flowers and chant Ganga arthi song, Ganga astothram, Durga sthuthi on any Devi shlokas.

Offer fruits, sweets, payasam and jacket piece with coconut, beetle leaf and flowers.

Pray for the well fare of water bodies, ancestors and do mangal haarathi.

Get aashirwad from elders and tie the sacred thread at right hand wrist with the awareness that we are not wasting water and we are transforming the inner water body - our mind to great awareness.

Young couples can throw away the dry wedding garland.

Hand over the saree, jacket piece, bangles, dakshinai [some money] to any poor women as Cauvery.

Enjoy the river side, take a pebble and come home.

At home how I have to celebrate?

Arrange a metal pot filled with clean water, mixed with turmeric and place 7 mango leaves and stud with a coconut [kalasam] .This represents the 7 rivers. Do all usual rituals to 7 rivers and finish the pooja. Offer all cooking in a banana leaf with great respect to the kalasam.

How to involve children?

We can invite neighbors to home.

Children can arrange a show with charts, cut outs, dolls representing Cauvery's legends, irrigation etc. They must get the sense of water conservation.

In SreeRangam temple [Trichi city] Lord Ranganadha takes procession to Cauvery river and offers proper rituals to Cauvery for allowing him to take abode in her shore side.

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