Hara Hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara

Hara Hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Why Rangoli??

Why Kolam???

Rangoli or kolam:  A colourful display of patterns in front of many hindu households  Memories of my mother getting up as early as 4a.m,  cleaning and sprinkling water in front of the house and drag up a beautiful pattern or "kolam" as we generally call it, is fresh in my mind. And if it is festival time, then they get bigger with the "semman" (a red powder) bordering the white powder giving it divine and elegant look. Come margazhi (for tamilians) or dhanur masa as kannadigas call it, the rangolis grow in size and are decorated with all possible colors. In fact, rural people wash their aangan with cow dung and then draw these great designs..

These days, things have changed. People have got busier. They work throughout the day, dead tired towards the end and just can't get off the bed early. Even if they were to get up, this practice in many homes is non-existent as we are welcomed by paper rangolies which are ready made and permanently stuck in front of our houses.

Why is this rangoli or kolam important?

Our shastras always preach us to live and let live. We need to partake or share with everyone, be it human beings or animals. The kolam or rangoli is usually rice power. By putting these patterns in front of our homes, we offer this as a food to ants and other small creatures. In other words, we are doing anna danam - a great danam according to our shastras.

Why cow dung to clean? Cow dung is used as a disinfectant. It wards off certain kinds of bacteria and fungus thus enhancing the cleanliness of the place. Again, we realise that our shastras are so scientific in their approach.

There are many kinds of rangolis - circle kolams, snake rangolis, wedding rangolis, line kolams, dot kolams and many more. Each has a significance and meant for a specific purpose.

As already mentioned, modern times have made these things also easy. We get ready-made rangolis printed in sheet which we neatly stick it outside our homes and avoid the guilt of being non-traditional. This is not right. Rangoli is a must for the house. Only that house where a death has taken place will not have rangoli. A rangoli signifies prosperity and wellness to all members of the family. And sticking sheets can be no excuse for this. Paper surely cannot be eaten by ants and insects. Hence, the whole purpose is defeated.

So, let us get into this habit of setting aside at least 10 minutes for this and decorate our house with a beautiful rangoli. Simple, yet elegant. It increases the vibration of a house and give the inmates and visitors a feel-good factor. Let Goddess Lakshmi enter our house with a smile.


1 comment:

  1. Well said..Another modern day annoying trend is placing Feng-shui or Chinese bamboo at the entrance. While govt and local businesses try to keep Chinkis out, why do we leave our tradition and adopt alien tradition?