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Karkidakam Masam in Hinduism: The Last month in the Malayalam Calendar is full of Monsoon Fury and Prayers

To regain strength, to build self-confidence and to put the” evil” at bay, people pray to the Gods until the end of the month

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  • No initiative is put to implementation and celebrations such as weddings are avoided during this month
  • To regain strength, to build self-confidence and to put the” evil” at bay, people pray to the Gods until the end of the month
  • Ramayanam of Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan is recited from the very first day of Karkidakam 

Marked by a period of incessant rains, the solar month of Karkidakam also known as Ramayana Masam is filled with myths and legends and is observed from June- September, this year in 2016. Karkidakam, also known as the monsoon season, is the inauspicious nature of the last month of the Malayalam calendar (Karkidakam of Kolla varsham 1191) has created many beliefs among the people. No initiative is put to implementation and celebrations such as weddings are avoided during this month. Adding to the fear of famines and diseases, the myth that Madura was burnt down in the month of Karkidakam, creates an image of a dark period in the minds of the believers.

To regain strength, to build self-confidence and to put the” evil” at bay, people pray to the Gods until the end of the month. Various traditions are followed in this month.  It is believed that recital of the Ramayana will bring prosperity during this month of scarcity and rid the houses of all evil. It is believed that sage Valmiki completed the epic Ramayana during this month. Thus people, especially the elderly start reciting the Ramayanam of Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan from the very first day of Karkidakam with an aim to complete the recital by the month end. Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan was a was a Malayalam devotional poet as well as a linguist who translated Mahabharata and Ramayana. As it is always not possible to do so, some just read a part of it, mostly ‘Sundarakandam,’ which is the fifth book. Sales of these religious texts reach its peak just before the start of the month. Many philosophical books and religious texts are made available in the shops.

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This period also marks the beginning of  Dakshin-aayana or southern solistice. Dakashin-aayana is referred to as pithru-aayana  that is the period of migratory path of ancestral spirits and souls. Hindus pay homage to their ancestors and rituals dedicated to the dead are performed on the Amavasi or the no-moon day on the banks of the river.

The month of Karkidakam is most suitable for the Ayurvedic treatment as the monsoon rains are at its peak. The human body. Due to the moist climate, all the pores in the human body will be open and the body will be more recipient to all Ayurvedic medicines and treatments.

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A ceremony called Vedan-Paadal is conducted during this month. A boy is dressed up as the Vedan -hunter and is armed with bow and arrows and a distinct make-up. Accompanied by an attendant who carries a small drum, the boy goes to the nearby houses. He is greeted with a ceremonial welcome in each household and when the drummer chants a folk song, he enacts the role of a hunter who is trying to make a living by means of agriculture. He depicts the hardships he faces and the choices he has to make in the forest. The performance ends with the story of the pursuit of a wild boar and his triumphant encounter with Arjuna, revealing to the viewers that he is, in fact, Lord Shiva, mentioned The Hindu Website.

Of the many other customs, the Oottu or feast which lasts throughout  the lean month of Karkidakam conducted by the temple administration is the noblest one.

Cooking Karkidaka kanji, a spicy mix of rice and medicinal herbs is a part of the age-old tradition. Though very few families still make them at home, a ready mix of ‘Karkidaka kanji’ is available in the market so that everyone can continue on with the tradition.

– prepared by Ajay Krishna of Newsgram

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President Ram Nath Kovind Pays His Condolences to Former UN Chief Kofi Annan

Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001 "for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world".

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India condoles former UN chief Kofi Annan's death.
India condoles former UN chief Kofi Annan's death. Flickr

India on Saturday condoled the death of former UN Secretary General and Nobel laureate Kofi Annan with President Ram Nath Kovind expressing his condolences to the former Ghanaian diplomat’s family and the UN community as a whole.

“Sorry to learn of the passing of former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan,” Kovind said on the Rashtrapati Bhavan Twitter handle.

“My condolences to his family and to the UN community,” he stated.

Annan, 80, died on Saturday in Switzerland after a short illness, with his wife and three children by his side.

“It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that the former Secretary General of the UN and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness,” his family said.

Kofi Annan
Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. Flickr

Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

He also led a UN commission to investigate the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar.

The Myanmar government led by Aung San Suu Kyi supported Annan’s recommendations on the crisis in the country’s Rakhine State.

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Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001 “for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world”.

His tenure as the UN chief coincided with the Iraq war and the HIV/Aids pandemic. (IANS)