Marghazi – A month of Worship, literally!

Marghazi – A month of Worship, literally!

December 19, 2018

‘Marghazi’ is the tamil calendar month that usually begins from the mid of December and lasts till the mid of Jan ( this year it begins on 16th of December and ends by Jan 13th 2019) is a celebrated month around the globe. Now does this make you inquisitive?  I used the term ‘around the globe’ as most of us who are patrons of big MNC’s know this month calls for many breaks from work owing to Thanksgiving,  Christmas and New Year festivities.  Marghazi is famous in the southern part of India especially TamilNadu as it is elsewhere with festivity and fervor.

Customary rituals such as bathing at the wee hour of the day and visiting temple along with decorative rangoli/kolam outside the household marks the beginning of Marghazi.

The sentiment around the month Marghazi and the meaning attached to it has two different viewpoints to it:  scientific and religious. First let us understand what is special about this month from a scientific perspective. This month is when the earth  comes in close contact with the Sun (especially the northern hemisphere remains closest). The positioning of the planet earth close to Sun creates a stronger gravitational pull affecting human life on earth. It shifts the balance of living beings. It is said that the mooladhara chakra – ( various energy chakras govern our body, there are seven of them arranged along the spinal cord each representing an organ in the body) are also subjected to the influence of the gravitational pull which makes this period a conductive time to nurture life in contrast to creation of a new one/conception.  This month is ideal for anyone to retrospect and reflect on spiritual values. For this reason there is a widespread practice of people devoting time on meditation, spiritual rituals especially during the brahama muhurta (a very effective and favourable time of the day which beings at 3.45 a.m). It is also a wide spread belief that studying during this time helps in the quick retention and comprehension.

Image result for earth being close to sun in december

The religious take on importance can be identified with an interesting fact which has been written down in the Hindu religious scriptures.  It is noted that for Devas – (exalted beings) one earth year is one day. This month is their early dawn (brahma muhurta). Early morning is always reserved for worship or prayer mostly translating to singing praises to long discourses on the deities, which is why  functions or festivals take a backseat during this period. However to compensate,it is made more merrier by music fests which are fondly referred to as “Marghazi Maha Utsavam/ Mahotsavam” (Madras Music Season)where eminent singers from various background come together to sing praises on God. It is an effort to expose the Indian carnatic music aficionados to Indian Classical Music by the Madras Music Academy.  Vaikunda Ekadheshi, Thiruvatharai,Thriuvempavai and Thiruppavai recitals are common during this month.

Then there is a hearsay story about the Maha Utsavam which today sees the who’s who of carnatic musical fraternity, raining renditions on various notes back to back. During the British Raj, Christmas used to dominate Indian land too during December. This created a stir among the Hindus who naturally because of the above reasons did not have festivals during that month. Therefore they decided to make the month mirthful by bringing in the famed singing into practice. Thus the marghazi mahotsavam gained popularity which eventually added a number renowned musicians to its list of performing artists.

A resolution was passed at the conference to formally establish the Madras Music Academy. From 1928, the academy started organizing the Music Season every year during the month of December. (Ref: Wikipedia)

Image result for margazhi classical singing
Bombay Jayshri (aka Bombay Jayshri Ramnath) (center) sings with her ensemble during a Carnatic music concert. Photo: Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images

Marghazhi Mahotsavam today not only reminds us about carnatic musical concerts/ thriuppavai /thiruvambai recitation,”Food for soul” is how Music is looked upon during this month as a therapy and it never fails anyone who is interested in its divine melody.Clothing, food and music have become the essential ingredients of this season.Draping the 6 yards – even the 9 yards gracefully has become a status quotient not now but since 1927.

Concerts today have also become forums where people socialize, they discuss several topics. Sarees are the most stellar properties of these concert besides music.Be it the musicians or the rasikas, this piece never goes unnoticed.For this Marghazi season if you are looking to buy yourself a beautiful Kanjeevaram Silk or a Patan Patola – please visit the handloom store in Mahalingapuram – ShrusEternity who have resplendent collection of silk sarees. (Source: http://www.shruseternity.com)

          
PATAN PATOLA -SHRUSETERNITY.COM                                PURE KANJEEVARAM SILK – SHRUSETERNITY.COM

Having known the importance of this coldest month of the year, lets us make the cultural practice count by bringing about a sense of balance to our lives. Focusing on nurturing the physical and mental health by worship is the key this Marghazhi!

SANTHOSHI NATARAJAN



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