The Tamil month of Aippasi began on October 18, 2013 and will last till 15th of November. This is an auspicious month and people try to make it for Kaveri snanam from the point She starts at Talai Kaveri and at every place She purifies. She is said to be more holy than Ganga and the Pancha Ranga kshetrams are on her banks. Devotees flock to Srirangam to have Tula Snanam at Amma Mandapam and offer Vethilai pakku to sumangalis. This month Sri Ranganatha Swamy at Srirangam Divya Desam gets water in golden kudam from Cauvery. During the other months, water is fetched in silver kudam from Kollidam. This month Perumal’s Vishvaroopam starts at 6.45 am. Periya Perumal is in Yennai-kaapu till Deepavali. Oonjal Utsavam for Nammperumal started on October 22, 2013 and will conclude on October 30, 2013.
Deepavali is the important festival that happens this month. Narakachaturdasi snanam is on November 2, 2013. As per Narakusura’s wish, we have an oil bath before sunrise. Sesame oil is heated with omam and the eldest member in the family applies nalangu (turmeric and limewater made into a dough which can be made into a ball) on the feet of each family member and applies oil singing “Lakshmi Kalyanam Vaibhogame”! Mahalakshmi resides in the oil and Ganga enters every waterbody on earth. So it is a custom to ask “Ganga Snanam Aacha?” A cracker is burst early in the morning to herald the start of the festival and Nadhaswaram groups play at the entrances of houses and collect their bhakshanams and bakshish. After offering prostrations at the Perumal Sannidhi at home, everyone is given Deepavali Marundu and all the sweets and savouries prepared. New clothes are a must and children and adults go out carrying sweets for their friends. Temples are visited and in the evening crackers and sparklers hit the skies. Deepavali is perhaps the most enjoyed festival.
Given below is the recipe for Diwali Marundu and Okkorai. At Sri Ahobila Mutt wherever Srimath Azhagiyasingar camps, oil offered to Sri Malolan is given early in the morning. Abhigamanam prasadam is Manja Pongal, Marundu and okkorai.
- Corriander seeds:2 tablespoons
- Dried ginger: powdered: 2 tablespoons
- Omam:2 tablespoons
- Khus khus:2 tablespoons
- Cloves:4-5 pieces
- Pepper-2 tablespoons
- Cummin seeds-2 tablespoons
- Kandan tipli-2 tablespoons
- Arisi tipli-2 tablespoons
- Chitharathai-1 tablespoon (crushed)
- Ginger juice-2 tablespoons
- Honey-1 teaspoon
- Ghee-1 tablespoon
- Sesame oil-4tablespoons
- Dry roast the ingredients, cool and grind to a fine powder and sieve.
- Add enough water to soak jaggery and boil for two minutes.
- Sprinkle the ground powder little by little so that no lumps are formed.
- Add a tablespoon of ghee and 4 tablespoons of sesame oil. Lower the flame and keep stirring till halwa like consistency is obtained.
- Add ginger juice and honey and allow to cool Store in airtight container.
- Channa-dal (kadalai paruppu)- 1cup
- Jaggery-1cup powdered
- Ghee-1 tablespoon
- Ccardamon powder-1 teaspoon
- Soak channa dal for 3-4 hours. Remove water and grind like fine rava.
- Steam in iddli cooker. Cool and crumble.
- Make a syrup of one thread consistency with the jaggery, using just enough water to soak and stir in the steamed crumble.
- Add cardamon powder and put fried cashew nuts on the top. Offer to Perumal.
Courtesy: Smt Vyjayanthi Sundararajan
General guidelines for healthier food – Both body and mind:
- One should be thinking about Perumal (Nama Smaranam) while cooking, and the purpose should be to offer the preparation to Him.
- Once the food is prepared, it should be offered to Perumal first. While offering, one should make sure that the food is neither too hot nor cold. It should be offered with love and affection.
- Please do not offer either pre-cooked food bought from outside or any pre-consumed food.
- Please follow thiruvaradanam kramam as instructed by your respective acharya. (http://anudinam.org/2012/03/08/bhagavad-tiruvaradhanam/)
- Follow ahara niyamam as much as possible. Atleast make sure that onion and garlic are not used at all.(http://anudinam.org/2012/06/11/srivaishnava-ahara-niyamam/)
- Please ensure that food which are not prasadams are not consumed.