Superstitious Beliefs Of Tamils/Part 05 A [Suthipodal/‘drishti’ or evil eye]

[Based on Tamil article "தமிழரின் நம்பிக்கைகள் :பகுதி 05 A ["கண்ணேறு/திருஷ்டி] " published in]
Do you know what this ‘suthipodu’ - சுத்திபோடு[Suttipodal- to ward off ‘drishti’ or evil eye]is ? it is a home-remedy to ward off the evil eye, cast on you, or your belongings, action, success etc. Even a good sari or ear ring[mookkuthi] , long hair, proud walk, good singing , scoring good marks in the exam- anything can be the cause of an evil eye or drishti.”Avalodu kannu karinkannakkum [அவளோடு கண்ணு கருங்கண் ஆக்கும்]; karinkallai polikkum [கருங்கல்லை  பொளிக்கும்]- her eyes are so bad that they can break a granite stone”, old women [patties] in the villages used to say.

There is a remedy[ ‘pariharam’] in our system, for every problem, So, your mother or grand mother or any elderly woman in the family, picks up a handful of salt pebbles adds one or two dry chillies and rotate that stuff in her hand around your hair or face and sometime around your whole body, thrice, making circles in the air and throws that salt-dry chilly["uppu-mulakai"] collection into the burning fire in the fire-wood stove in the kitchen. It will make a "put=put" sound and with that is gone the condemned ‘kandrishti’. The intensity of the sound is an indicator for the density of the ‘drishty’ cast on you and absorbed by the salt-dry chilly pack. In the olden days, fire-wood stove or ‘aduppu’‘அடுப்பு’ was the main heat provider for cooking and later, when that vanished from the kitchen, only salt was used as a dristhi repellent and thrown into the well water, and in the absence of a well, inside a bucket- full of water.

A Tamil poem of Sangam period:
"மரமது மரத்திலேறி மரமதைத் தோளில் வைத்து
மரமது மரத்தைக் கண்டு, மரத்தினால் மரத்தைக் குத்தி,
மரமது வழியே சென்று, வளமனைக் கேகும் போது
மரமது கண்ட மாதர் மரமுடன் மரமெடுத்தார்"
The king climb on a horse carrying a spear on his shoulder
[At the time ,]The king show a tiger,with spear- stab the tiger
[After that,Again ]The king went , while return towards Palace
When women show the king,they perform[show] "Aalathi"

மரமது - அரச மரம்/peepal tree = (அரசு/KING)
மரத்திலேறி - மா மரம்/mango tree = மா என்பது குதிரை/HORSE
மரமதைத் தோளில் வைத்து - வேல மரம் = வேப்ப மரம்/ margosa or neem tree = (வேல்/SPEAR)
{Eg:ஆலும் வேலும் பல்லுக்குறுதி }
மரத்தைக் கண்டு - வேங்கை மரம்/indian kimo tree,வேங்கை= புலி/ tiger
மரமுடன் - ஆல் மரம்/banyan tree
மரமெடுத்தார் - அத்தி மரம்/fig tree
Hence ஆல் + அத்தி = ஆலத்தி, ie Aal + Athi = Aalathi

"Arathi" with turmeric water, with which we welcome home the newly married couple/VIP and after every auspicious function at home is also some sort of suttippodal.When a child falls ill or in case of some misery in the family and if it is suspected that some person's jealous and evil eye is the cause then at his/her next visit some one in the family follows him/her, collects a handful of earth on which that person has set foot is collected and this sand is circled three times over the head of the affected person who will spit on it three times and this earth is thrown in the fire in the kitchen with three dry chillies to ward off the evil spirits, evil eyes and evil tongue.As a precautionary measure, a big black pottu (a round mark on the forehead) will be applied on the forehead of the baby to ward off the evil eye of the visitors

 Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]

Part 05 B::Frenzied veriyattam dance & talisman will follow 


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