Superstitious Beliefs Of Tamils/Part 06 B

[Based on Tamil article "தமிழரின் நம்பிக்கைகள் :பகுதி 06 B "நல்லநாள்‏" published in]

Whether it''s a marriage ceremony or the construction or entering in of a new house, or the inauguration ceremony of a film, or the naming ceremony or first feeding of a child, there is a great deal of trouble taken to find the right time or "auspicious" to do it. It is believed that if the beginning time of the work is auspicious, then the result of the action will be very fruitful and as desired.Auspicious is an adjective that means favorable, prosperous, or indicative of success.Some reckon that choosing an auspicious day is a superstitious belief while others consider such an act as scientifically based and An Auspicious day and time is believed by them,that the most benefic time chosen to initiate an event so that, not only it is carried out without any hurdle, but it also provides best results.They also think that It is that period of time which helps in concentrating the energy of the planets and other astrological factors in an auspicious way so as to void the evil powers and make the result of the work performed most fruitful.Sangam Tamil literature in its 2389 poems sung by 461 poets give us voluminous information about their beliefs .One of such belief is about Auspicious wedding dates. Akananuru verses say that the Tamil marriages were celebrated on Rohini star (Star Aldebaran in conjunction with the moon) days.This shows that ancient Tamils strongly believed in Auspicious wedding dates. This,two thousand year old Sangam Tamil literature describes Tamil weddings in two beautiful verses in Akananauru (verses 86 and 136). The poets bring the wedding ceremony in front of our eyes. Anyone who reads those poems can visualise that day. It is like a live running commentary.In the first verse (86), poet Nallavur Kizar[நல்லாவூர் கிழார்] describes that "it was celebrated on the day when Rohini star was with the moon."In another verse136, poet Vitrutru Mutheyinanar[விற்றூற்று மூதெயினனார்] says[remarks] that "the omens shown by the birds were propitious It was a bright morning.The moon was in faultless conjunction with the Rohini star." Also,Tamil epic Silappadikaram says that the marriage of Kannanki and Kovalan took place on the day moon approaching Rohini(Mankala vazthu patal).

The oldest Tamil book Tolkappiam mentions that the Royal umbrella and the Royal sword should be moved in the direction of travel on an auspicious day and Sangam poem,Nedunalvadai [நெடுநல்வாடை],lines 73-78 also describes about Palace Construction on Auspicious time as below:

"At mid-day when the bright,
ray-spreading sun climbed on toward
the west side and was high in the vast
sky, learned men,
who had read books on construction,
noted the cardinal directions,
decided where to construct,
and planted two sticks on the ground
at noon time when they did not
see the sun’s shadow fall on land,
prayed to the gods, and
built the palace with many rooms,
suitable for the well renowned king."
விரி கதிர் பரப்பிய வியல் வாய் மண்டிலம்
இரு கோல் குறி நிலை வழுக்காது குடக்கு ஏர்பு
ஒரு திறம் சாரா அரை நாள் அமயத்து 75
நூல் அறி புலவர் நுண்ணிதின் கயிறு இட்டு
தேஎம் கொண்டு தெய்வம் நோக்கி
பெரும் பெயர் மன்னர்க்கு ஒப்ப மனை வகுத்து"(72- 78)

We also further understand from the ancient extant tamil work, Tolkappiyam, the Kalaviyal[Order and conduct of clandestine love] 133,that the Hero who meets his heroine in night or day ,choose the best auspicious day & time for such meetings.There are endless such beliefs and superstitions,still governing every aspect of life of tamils.Although some people believed in many of these, some others disregarded them. It is uncertain if anyone was affected by these or if there were any meaning to these.For example,Generally people still do not make large payments to anyone on a Friday except making small payments preferably in coins for fear of losing their possessions.similarly, They do not dispose their property or vacate a house on a Friday for fear of losing their property and money.I still remember an event happened in my young age.I was cleaning the cobwebs in our rather ancient house with two kokkathadis ( two large poles tied together) to reach the ceiling-less roof on a Friday when our neighbour walked in. He said it was thudakku (not done according to Hindu Tamil customs) to clean the house on Friday.Another important auspicious cultures among tamil is If,some ones Visiting house on a Tuesday,they will not be offered any drink or food as it is a bad day.

[Compiled by-Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]

Part 07["Dreams"] will follow


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