Friday, August 16, 2013

'Angappradadshanai' - rolling on the ground following a 'Ther', Avissawella, Sri Lanka.

Another act of 'Nerthikkadan' T ('fulfilling a vow to the Diety'}. Here the 'Saiva' devotting is following the 'Ther' procession, rolling on the ground. Acts of self-inflicted torture are part of the tradition of almost all the great religions of the world. Vow of 'Silence', going hungry are the mildest of these acts.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

'Thookku kaavadi', Avissawella Sri Lanka.

'Nerthikkadan' in Tamil means 'redeeming a promise made to a Diety'. A devotee would take a vow and promise to a Deity of his ('Ishta theivam') that he would do a certain act of penence if the Deity fulfills a wish made to the Deity. The act of penance can be a simple act like offering a 'poosai' at the temple of the Deity. It ranges from carrying a pot of milk on the head, carrying a decorated pot of milk on the head and dancing ('Karakam'), and carrying a 'Kaavadi' ('Kaavu, Thadhy' - carrying stick) It can take extreme forms like rolling on the ground following a 'Ther' called 'Angappradashanai'. One of the extreme forms is to get fish hooks piercing the skin of the back of the chest and being hung up on  a pole following a procession. This act is called a 'Thookku kaavadi' or 'Paravaikkaavadi'. I took the above two pictures at a 'Ther' festival at the 'Muthumari Amman' temple in Kudagama road, Avissawella.

Click on link below to see video:-

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Scenes from a 'Ther' festival, Avissawella, Sri Lanka.

Taking home the returned half of the offering.
The 'Poosary' (the one who does the 'pooja') is given a tray with various types of fruits, a coconut and betel leaves with some coins ( nowadays it is notes). The 'Poosary' breaks the coconut in half and cuts some of the fruits. He then offers it to the consecrated image of the  Diety chanting the appropriate manthras. He then returns the remaining parts of the offering to the devotee who takes it home and shares it with family and friends.
The 'Ther' with the 'light machine' producing current to light up the 'Ther' following it.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

'Ther' festival, 'Muthu Mari Amman' temple, Kudagama road, Avissawella, Sri Lanka.

The 'Thiruvilaa' ( 'Thiru'+'Ulaa' meaning 'the sacred perambulation' in Tamil) of the resident diety of a Hindu temple, takes place once an year. The image of the diety is placed on a wooden wheeled carved wooden chariot and is drawn on the main roads in the village. The 'Muththu Mari Amman' temple at Kudagama road, Avissawella, had this function a few days back. In the above two photos you see the female devotees arriving for the festival,  and in the lower photo waiting to give their offerings to the diety.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Old photos, Ceylon.

Old Fort Railway station. See the profusion of British steel used in the construction. Those were the dayus of British Empire.

Steam engine with attached large coal tender for a long haul. Each of these engines had the name of a distinguished  Britisher, emblazoned in large letters on a steel plate, riveted in a prominent place.
A steam-locomotive on the narrow-gauge 'Kelani Valley line', starting at Colombo Fort and ending at Opanayake about 150 Km away.