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Showing posts from March 1, 2007

Ramayana Quiz

This series is more than a usual Ramayan Quiz. It is an attempt to understand some general aspects of the epic Ramayana.How many Kandas or Books are there in Ramayana?What is the title of the first Kanda?How many verses are there in Ramayana?In the first chapter of Ramayana, to which sage does Valmiki ask to name the best man on earth?To which lineage does Lord Rama belong?On which riverbank was Sage Valmiki standing when he saw a pair of birds and a hunter trying to kill it, which eventually led to writing of the epic Ramayana?Which bird was hunted down by the fowler in front of sage Valmiki?What are the first two words of the famous verse that Valmiki uttered on seeing the bird getting killed and which led to the composition of the Ramayana?Who among the Trimurti’s came to console Valmiki who was overwhelmed by the sorrow caused by the death of the bird?Did Sage Valmiki teach the Ramayana to Lav and Kush, the sons of Lord Ram and Sita?Is it true to say that the Ramayana we get to he…

Holi and Dola Jatra in Orissa

Rural Orissa puts on a festive look in the months of February and March, when the festivals of Dola Jatra and Holi are celebrated. The two festivals compliment each other and the preparations for the festivities begin on the full moon day in February (Magh Poornima).
On the full moon day, villagers create bonfire like in Holi festival. The bonfire symbolizes the burning of ‘Agira’ who is responsible for various diseases. Vegetables, grain and coconut are burned in the fire. The burnt coconut and vegetables are distributed as ‘prasad’ and the ash is sprinkled on the agricultural fields.
A few days before Dola Poornima (the full moon day in March), the local deities visit houses in the villages and are offered sweets made from the recent harvest and fruits. A procession consisting of village elders, young men and children accompany the deities. The deity distributes different powdered colors for the ensuing Holi.
The celebration continues and on the fourth or ninth day after the Holi …