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Ramayana Masam: The traditional practice of reading Ramayana during the pious month of Karkkidakam

Another significant tradition associated with Ramayana Masam is the practice of observing a major pilgrimage called Naalambala Darshanam by the Hindu devotees

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Ramayana masam
Rama breaking the bow to win Sita as wife. Wikimedia Commons
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  • Also known as Karkadaka Masam, every devout Hindu household during this time reverberates with recitals from Ramayana
  • ‘Amavasya’ (no moon day), dedicated to the ancestors is also a distinct one during this period
  • While Karkkidakam  is considered to be an auspicious month, filled with spirituality, no new function and business venture are started during it

Observed in the Malayalam month of Karkkidakam  (July-August), Ramayana Masam is a popular festival in Kerala. Also known as Karkadaka Masam, every devout Hindu household during this time reverberates with recitals from Ramayana.

The recitals are also performed by various Hindu organizations in temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Ramayana Masam 2016 began on July 16 and will end on August 16, when the narration of the verses would stop.

During the festival, all the members of the household gather after sunset and recite the verses of Malayalam version of the Ramayana titled ‘Adhyatma Ramayanam Kilippattu’ (translated by Thunchath Ezhuthachan).

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The sacred book is read under ‘Nilavilakku’ or the traditional Kerala lamp. Interestingly, the verses are read in a way that the last recital takes place on the last day of Karkkidakam, says an article in prokerala.com.

Rama sending his signet ring to Sita through Hanuman. Wikimedia Commons
Rama sending his signet ring to Sita through Hanuman. Wikimedia Commons

Apart from reading Ramayana, several plays, quiz competitions based on the holy book, recitals and public discourses are also organized throughout the month.

Another significant tradition associated with Ramayana Masam is the practice of observing a major pilgrimage called Naalambala Darshanam by the Hindu devotees. The believers undertake the pilgrimage to the temples of Ram, Bharathan, Lakshmanan and Shathrugnan, the four brothers and all in a single day.

‘Amavasya’ (no moon day), dedicated to the ancestors is also a distinct one during this period. On this day special rituals are carried out near the water bodies by Hindu families to ensure that their dead family members are at peace. This ritual is generally performed by the male member of the family.

While Karkkidakam  is considered to be an auspicious month, filled with spirituality, no new function and business venture are started during it.

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Considered to be the last month as per the Malayalam calendar, this period is also known as ‘Panja Masam’ (the period of scarcity) due to heavy rains. Since the field is flooded with water and people cannot go out, they rely on the grains stored during the last harvest season.

It is believed that to mellow down the nature’s fury, people started reading Ramayana initially and since then it has been taken forward as a tradition.

– prepared by Bulbul Sharma, a staff-writer at NewsGram. Twitter handle: iBulbul_

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A Chit Fund Scheme By KSFE Will Be Inaugurated By CM In UAE Next Month

Programme enables person who joins to complete every process online

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A Chit Fund Scheme By KSFE Will Be Inaugurated By CM In UAE Next Month
A Chit Fund Scheme By KSFE Will Be Inaugurated By CM In UAE Next Month, flickr

The Kerala government’s dream programme to raise money from its diaspora through “chitties”, or a chit fund scheme launched by state-run Kerala State Financial Enterprise (KSFE), will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in UAE next month, Finance Minister Thomas Issac said on Monday.

In an interaction with editors of the Kerala media, he said all the requisite permissions have been obtained from all authorities.

“This programme was initiated by the previous UDF government and the permission to go ahead came at its fag end. After we came to power, we took this forward and all permissions and sanctions are ready and all those diaspora who wish to participate in it can join,” said Issac.

“On June 12, Vijayan will launch the registration process and all those who wish to enter the scheme can register in the KSFE site. Once Vijayan launches the programme in UAE, next month, the chitty scheme will be open,” he added.

Coins
Coins, Pixabay

KSFE Chairman Philipose Thomas said to start with, those who wish to participate can contribute monthly as low as Rs 3,000 to a high of Rs 25,000.

“The duration of the chitty given the nature of the job scenario in the Middle East is kept from a minimum of 30 months to a maximum of 60 months. Once a diaspora member joins he can pay the monthly contribution through his non-resident ordinary account and at the end of the chitty term, the payment will be made to his non-resident ordinary account,” he said.

“The programme enables each person who joins the chitty to complete every process online, which includes even bidding, and at the end of the period, the money will be credited into their bank account. Every aspect of the online process has been tested,” said Unni Krishnan who heads the technology division of the chitty scheme.

The entire programme is being handled by the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board, a government-owned financial institution meant to mobilize funds for infrastructure development outside state revenue.

Its Chief Executive K.M. Abraham, who is a former state Chief Secretary, said that no one needs to donate anything, but only to join a chitty where the money collected will be deposited in bonds and used for the state’s development needs.

“At the end of the chitty, it’s a win-win situation for both the person who joined the chitty and for the state government,” he added.

Kerala CM, Pinarayi Vijayan with PM Narendra Modi
Kerala CM, Pinarayi Vijayan with PM Narendra Modi, flickr

Also read: Reliance home finance celebrates 46 growth in income

According to the latest study report on the diaspora, 90 per cent of 23.63 lakh Keralites aboard are in the various Middle East countries, of which UAE accounts for 38.7 per cent, followed by Saudi Arabia with 25.2 per cent. (IANS)