Unna Vritham (Fasting in Onam)
Aranmula is located on the banks of River Pamba. Every year, on the day of Onam festivity , three Brahmin elders fast from dawn to dusk abstaining from food and water for a sin although un intentionally committed by their fore fathers for not handing out rice for an untouchable harijan lady who then died on a rainy day waiting outside their gate. She died ofÂ starvation.
Now these elders do it as a prayachitha-Penence for reducing the sin of their fore fathers. They do it as repentance, as an austerity, and as a Homa in every Onam.
Is it really a Happy Onam?
It caries a big message for all of us, mallus (so called malayalees).They are doing the penance for us too, including me. We are all hypocrites. We made the legend of a king called Maveli to find excuse to eat and drink and be merry.
Think for a moment. What is the reality? It is supposed to be a harvest festival, but where is the harvest? Where is the rice fields, where is the thumba and other flowers, all from neighboring state of Tamil Nadu..There is no landscape, the rivers are dry, and the mountains are desert.
The concept of old Maveli dwarf king is not believable to the young dudes of today. The quality of life has deteriorated sharply. It now leads in suicides, alcoholism, and almost certainly in hypocrisy and crimes against women. The joint family, a masterful social construct, has fragmented into nuclear families, like Onam food kit, they send their parents in a kit to the old age homes.
We worship not true God, but our walets; it is a money-order economy surviving on remittances from its sons slaving away in the deserts of Gulf countries and its daughters slaving away as nurses all over the world. Consumerism all around.
Drunkenness is the big thing in Onam, record sales in Beverages Corporation, the politicians are happy.
What really happened to us? It is all around degradation of morality and culture.
With the elder Brahmins of Aranmula, it is high time we should also take some Vritha,for the sins and cruelty of our generations.
Let us cry with the mantra “O! Fire, lord of vriatha! I will perform some prayachitha before next Onam like fasting, feeding some poor and destitute, saying some prayers, visiting some Holy places and other disciplines described in Smritis of Rig-Veda â€“ Darmashastras”
Let us expiate our sinsâ€¦.
A meaningless Song of today about Onam
” When Maveli, our King, ruled the land,
All the people were equal.
And people were joyful and merry;
They were all free from harm.
There was neither anxiety nor sickness,
Deaths of children were unheard of,
There were no lies,
There was neither theft nor deceit,
And no one was false in speech either.
Measures and weights were right;
No one cheated or wronged his neighbor.
When Maveli, our King, ruled the land,
All the people formed one casteless race.