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Diwali

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 The 14th Day of the dark half of Aashwayuja to the 2nd day of bright half of Kaartik.If there is one occasion which is all joy and all jubilation for one and all - the young and the old, men and women - for the entire Hindu world, it is Deepaavali - the Festival of Lights. Even the humblest of huts will be lighted by a row of earthern lamps. Crackers resound and light up the earth and the sky. The faces of boys and girls flow with a rare charm in their dazzling hues and colors. Illumination - Deepotsavas - in temples and all sacred places of worship and one the banks of rivers symbolize the scattering of spiritual radiance all round from these holy centres. The radiant sight of everybody adorned with new and bright clothes, especially ladies decorated with the best of ornaments, captures the social mood at its happiest.

   And all this illumination and fireworks, joy and festivity, is to signify the victory of divine forces over those of wickedness.

   Narakaasura was a demon king ruling over Praagjyotishapura (the present-day Assam). By virtue of his powers and boons secured from God, he became all-conquering. Power made him swollen-headed and he became a menace to the good and the holy men and even the Gods. The Gods headed by Devendra implored Sri Krishna who was at Dwaaraka (in the present-day Gujarat) to come to their rescue. Sri Krishna responded. He marched from the western end of the country to its eastern end, Praagjyotishapura, destroyed the huge army which opposed him finally beheaded Narakaasura himself.

   The populace was freed from the oppressive tyranny and all heaved a sigh of relief. The 16,000 women kept in captivity by the demon king were freed. With a view to removing any stigma on them and according social dignity, Sri Krishna gave all of them the status of his wives. After the slaying of Narakaasura Sri Krishna bathed himself smearing his body with oil in the early morning of Chaturdashi. Hence the invigorating vogue of taking an early morning `oil-bath' on that day.

   Mother Earth, whose son Narakaasura was, requested Sri Krishna that the day be celebrated as one of jubilation. Sri Krishna granted the request and since then the tradition has continued. Mother Earth reconciled herself to the loss of her son and knowing as she did that the Lord had punished her son for the sake of the welfare of the world, she set a glowing example of how one has to brush aside one's personal joys and sorrows in the interest of society. It is this deliverance of the people from the clutches of the asuras that fill the people with joy.

   Then follows Amaavaasya, the new moon day, auspicious for offering prayers and gratitude to the bygone ancestors of the family and invoking their memories and blessings for treading the path of right conduct. This is also the sacred occasion for the worship of Mahaa Lakshmi, the goddess of Wealth and Prosperity. The business community open their New Year's account with Her worship. This reminds us of the famous saying of the sage Vyaasa, 'dharmaadarthashcha kaamashcha...' - it is through right conduct that wealth and fulfilment of desires also accrue.

   In northern parts of India, Deepaavali is associated with the return of Sri Rama to Ayodhya after vanquishing Raavana. The people of Ayodhya, overwhelmed with joy, welcomed Rama through jubilation and illumination of the entire capital. Well has it been said that while Sri Rama unified the north and south of our country, Sri Krishna unified the west and the east. Sri Rama and Sri Krishna together therefore symbolize the grand unity of our motherland.

   The third day, i.e., the first day of Kaartik, is named Balipratipada, after the demon king Bali, the ruler of Paataala (the netherworld), who had extended his kingdom over the earth also. On the day, Sri Vishnnu, taking the form of a dwarfish Brahmin by name Vaamana, approached Bali, for a boon of space equal to his three steps. Bali, known for his charity, gladly granted the boon. Vaamana now grew into a gigantic form; with one step he covered the entire earth, with the second he covered the outer sky, and asked Bali where he should keep his third step.

   Bali, left with no other choice, showed his own head. Sri Vishnu placed his foot on Bali's head and pushed him down to the netherworld, the rightful territory of Bali's reign. However, Bali prayed to the Lord that he might be permitted to visit the earth once a year. Now it was the turn of Vishnu to grant the boon. And the people too offer their and respect to him on this day.

   The annual visit of Bali is celebrated in Kerala as Onam. It is the most popular festival for Kerala where every Hindu home receives him with floral decorations and lights and festoons adorn all public places. Onam, however, falls on the 16th day of Aavani (Sowramaana) in september.

   The fourth and final day is Yama Dwiteeya, also called Bahu beej. It is a most touching moment for the family members when even distant brothers reach their sisters to strengthen that holy tie. The sister applies tilak and waves aarati to her brother, and the brother offers loving presents to the sister.

   To the Jains, Deepaavali has an added significance to the great event of Mahaaveera attaining the Eternal Bliss of Nirvaana. The passing into Eternity on the same Amaavaasya of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, that leonine sanyasin who was one of the first to light the torch of Hindu Renaissance during the last century, and of Swami Ramatirtha who carried the fragrance of the spiritual message of Hindu Dharma to the western world, have brought the national-cum-spiritual tradition of Deepaavali right up to modern times.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 October 2014 06:56
 

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Welcome to Version 2.0 of Mangalorean Recipes. 

This website is best viewed with monitor resolution of 1024x768.

This website makes an attempt to offer you recipes primarily from Mangalore, who originally migrated from Goa. So we have very many similarities.

Our mothers and grand mothers perfected Mangalorean cooking. However, the memory of the taste of these foods they prepared is fast being forgotten with new trends in the food industry,

For those, who are enterprising and interested in trying a variety of dishes, and those who are longing for their home food, this site may prove useful.

Being a Catholic brought up in that milieu, I have absorbed many values, which I like to share with those with similar interests.   I believe, the food is needed for the growth of the body, but there is also a spirit within us, which needs sustenance.   I wish to share the unique gift of music, which I have dedicated to my Maker,  and added it under the component: Catholic Church Music which can be freely used by our visitors, if they like it.

I have also included a Text Book to learn Music, and its script.   One generally does not realize its importance, with the modern recording and play back tools that are available.   But not all music is recorded, and the older music, is retained in the memory, and some have been good enough to write it in notation, which is the only way, to render music which is two dimensional, i.e. it is based on time and tonal pitch.   The lyrics can be written in spoken languages, but the music can not be. That is why, through a process of trial and error, the script was developed over 8 centuries, and the greatest of music that has come from the human mind, is available only in this form.

Thus the whole reason of this website, is to share what we have with others.   What we received from our ancestors, and which they gave us, because of their love for their children, we should also pass it on to the next generation.   I hope this tradition of sharing will go on, as years roll by and old faces disappear from the scene.

I would appreciate any feedback so please feel free to email me. Also I would like it if you gave your comments about the recipes and music on this site. Most recipes and music pages allow you to post your comments. So if you've had a chance to try the recipes or listen to the music, I would love to hear from you.

Thank You.

Walter Pais

 Me


 

 


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