Thanks giving day for Sun God Surya Deva – Pongal Festival of Tamilians

“தமிழ் பொங்கல் ” Gone are the beautiful days in tamilnadu, india. In my mothers Village in Rajavallipuram in Tirunelveli, they keep pongal in mud pots in a mud stove and the fire will be created using dry woods.

Years later even now my mother follows the same “Tamil Pongal ” Tradition in front of our house in coimbatore.

Pongal thanks giving to sun god surya deva

Tamil Pongal Thanks giving to Sun God Surya Deva

Yeturday my mother was sitting on floor outside house in the cement flooring trying to draw a line ..I told her i will draw the lines on all four sides myself…We draw a square on surface with brick powder and keep doors in the drawing .A imaginary divine Kitchen where sky is the roof. You can see in above photo a brown color border ..Thats our imaginary Kitchen. You can also see on top corner of Banana leaf the rice is filled as offering to surya deva over which my Amma has kept a little flower.

As far as i know most families living in city don’t have time and facility to follow our cultural way of celebrating pongal. Once i remember my mother telling me that Pongal is the festival of farmers because they thank the Sun God “Surya Deva” for blessing them for good harvest.

My love for Surya Deva is inspired by my mothers liking for reciting Aadithya hrudhayam and bowing to Sun every morning . By sai grace i created which helps to spread the message of surya devotion and bowing to Sun God every morning.

Happy Pongal  : 14:01:2010

The day started with a Sms from one of my friend in north india “On this makar sankranti , sweet surprises, rays of joys,so much fun and grand celebration to you and all …Happy Makar Sankranti”. The day we celebrate Pongal is also Makar sankranti in north india.

A little later i got a call from my chittapa to wish me “Happy Pongal” .I din’t attend the call as i don’t want to show anyone that i dint woke up yet.

Finally  a Pongal SMS filled my mobile phone as below ”

“Wish you a very Happy pongal, pot rice to Sun God, Sugar cane to cow and Ox, sweet rice to you and me ” Happy pongal” .

Believe it or not millions of tamilians would have started their Pongal through such Sms greetings. well, they would have tasted Pongal too made in Gas Stove. They would have gone to temples , greeted their friends and relatives and sat infront of T.V. How many of us Bowed to Lord Surya.

Will todays Tamilians bow to lord surya and Thank the Sun God for blessing us with this beautiful life, the light , plants, trees , food and yes Green energy.  I wish we spread the message to the world with a new term for Pongal

Pongal – “Thanks giving day for Sun God – surya deva”

Only when you call it thanks giving day in American style , we will be motivated to go out , look at Glorious Sun God , bow to him and thank him for all that he has blessed us with .

I woke up a bit late. yes i am also one of those ignorant tamilian who doesn’t care to wake up early on this auspicious day. As the morning sun streaked inside our house, I sat in Varanda  and turned the pages of the tamil newspaper Dina Malar which according to my mother is the greatest informative newspaper ever.At times i joke to her that if i want to make her believe something, i have to make it appear on Dina Malar.

True to my mothers liking, today the Dina Malar carried a wonderful big painting of Lord Surya deva which i photographed to present to all devotees .

sun god surya deva

Sun God surya deva with Arunan who rides horses

The Painting of lord Surya Deva courtesy of Dinamalar newspaper.

I took bath , did Abishekam to Lord Ganesha, Mahalakshmi, Shiva lingam with Nagam, Saraswathi , Shirdi saibaba and Dattatreya. I sang the song i love most “Aadithya hrudhayam ” Looking at Shirdi saibaba as i used to do guru pooja for sai in surya lokha by chanting the names of sacred gurus.

While i was reciting the mantra Aaditya hrudhayam in praise of lord surya, the Pongal was being cooked in open air infront of our house in 3 mud stoves and bronze pots.

Pongalo Pongal :

My amma called me to come outside soon as the pongal has already come out…ozzing out of the sweet pongal which is very auspicious. I missed to take a photo of this beautiful event which tamilians consider as blessings of God which will also bring good health, peace and all wealth and prosperity to ooz out in our family like the Pongal did from the Pot.

Now lets see how we celebrated the Pongal , a tradition carried from my mother all the way from her village…

pongal festival of tamilians tamil nadu india

Pongal festival with mud stove fire woods and bronze pot

My parents keep 3 such Mud stoves , fire it with dry woods and start to cook Pongal traditionally with Bronze pots.  We have to spread sand on the floor and keep the mud stoves over them.

By the time i came out for prayer with my camera, the sweet pongal has already oozed out. I missed it but i felt happy while i was reciting aaditya hrudhayam mantra in praise of lord surya deva in my pooja room , pongal has oozed out in front of our house.

I went outside and looked at the 3 beautiful mud stoves, was sunny appa and amma were working eagerly with sweat to create the great meals. Look at this..

tamil nadu pongal festival

Tamil pongal festival celebrated in our house

making sweet pongal festival

My amma and appa creating sweet Pongal

Its always my fathers responsibility to take care of the mud stoves,He carefully lights them with dry woods, maintain the level of fire and take care of Pongal being cooked. My amma comes from kitchen every now and then to stir the rice inside . If not stirred properly, the pongal will stick to the pots.  This year i never did my share of stirring but i happily gave a pose in photo we took as if i am stirring..ha ha

I asked my father will the pongal oozz out again so that i can take photos, he said it will only oozz out once and you were reciting mantra eagerly at that time inside house. I asked him where is the brown color pongal as all the pots were in white. He said mother will come with the sweet paagu ..Once poured, it turned to brown color .

Here comes the real color of Pongal for me friend..

sweet tamil pongal

sweet tamil pongal

Sairam friends,

Hope you loved the pongal festival celebration in our house. Theres more to this auspicious festival of Tamilians than sending Sms and watching Tv and going out with friends for movies.

Theres this sacred “Tamil Pongal” Which are disappearing from our culture. What ever way you make pongal, my humble request is

1. Worship lord Suya

atleast slightly Bow to Sun god when you see sun every morning . Sun god worship will bless you with good health and wealth. Further Thanking Sun God itself will make us a better human being.

2. Help the poor and handicap

Did you see the painting published in Dinamalar. The one sitting infront riding horse is Arunan. It seems arunan is handicap in legs. So Surya deva always blesses the one who helps the handicap . Any thing you do for a handicap person increases your count in bank of blessings.

3. Always be thankful to your ancestors

Thank your grand parents who are no more for the life they have given your parents and you. Try to spend 5 minutes to think about their traditions and way of life and follow them in any modern way possible.

Its been 5 years of , i have never thought about showing myself to sai children. Here comes my Amma , Appa and me …I was in hurry and dint comb hair..he he. as usual !!!…

celebrating tamil pongal amma appa venkat

venkat posing as if he cooks pongal with amma and appa

My sister indra, brother in law kamesh and their baby Katya in the other side of planet earth in America are always in our prayers and  our prayers to all Tamilians , Indians and everyone whom we request to celebrate Pongal ( usually jan 14-15th every year ) as Thanks giving day for Sun God surya deva.

Its 2 in after noon friends. I dint had the taste of pongal yet. We offered Pongal inside our house in 3 banana leaf to all gods, offered little to crow, to the saibaba in our small temple and then amma, appa and aunts had pongal.. I decided to write this article to inspire everyone to remember Surya Deva and importance of thanking Sun God whole heartedly

It took hours for me to write..every 10 minute amma was shouting at me with love

“Venkatraama….pongal saapudu’

I shall go and have pongal and you please remember to join your hand and bow to surya deva every morning or atleast once every month or atleast every sunday or once in a year on the auspicious Tamil Pongal festival.

Bow to shri sai, peace be to all

Om sri sainathaya namaha

தென்னாடுடைய சிவனே போற்றி !

என்னாட்டவர்க்கும் இறைவா போற்றி !


Little servant of Shirdi saibaba

14 :1:2010

Note – Lord surya temples are in Suryanar kovil near  Kombakonam, Thirumeeyachur , Goddess lalithambigai temple also has blessings of lord surya and lord shiva. In north india Surya temple is in Konark.

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  • Sairam Venkat,

    It was a great feeling to read through this on this auspicious Pongal day. Thank you so much for your time and efforts.

    God bless you and your parents with good health, peace and prosperity,


  • Sai Ram Venkat
    It is a wonderful description. As I was cooking Pongal, I was telling charanya & Ashwini about this Man paanai pongal. Only on this Pongal day every year I take out my Venkala paanai & cook pongal ofcourse on the gas stove.

    Thank you forall the photoes & lovely message
    god sai bless you abundantly on this wonderful day

    Sai Rm

  • Sai Ram Venkat,
    Its such a beautiful website.
    Happy Pongal.
    Its really such a great feeling seeing u and u’r family for the very first time.
    May baba always bless u bhayee.
    take care.
    Jai Sai Ram!

  • Sairam Dear Venkat anna,

    Happy Pongal to U, Amma Appa, Indira ji Kamesh ji , Katya & to each & everyone.
    First time i am seeing amma & appa. Amma is just the same i had seen in my dream. Felt very happy to see u smiling in the photo. May sai always keep u happy & cheerful.

    Thanks anna for the sweet & tasty pongal. Thanks for the wonderful explainations abt the festival pongal. Thanks for sharing the photos of amma & appa. Thanks for being my anna & many many thanks to sai for giving us such a sweet brother like u.

    Sai please always shower ur ashirwad on amma appa & anna. Always keep them happy deva.


  • sairam venkat

    ur mom n dad r really gr8 for giving such a great devotee to us.Tell wishes to them on

    behalf of me n i wish god shld give u strength,peace,love n all to u n ur family


    All the pongal pictures you have sent are beautiful( two years old photos).One thing i wanted to tell you that, in

    olden days we used the DRY PALM leaves.Even now some people used to buy these dried leaves for burning

    fire.Keep on sending photos.We all watch your website.




  • Sairam Venkat,

    You write wonderfully.
    It feels as if you write straight from the heart.

    Beautiful description of PONGAL.
    Elated to see you, amma & appa in picture as i was curious to see you all since i became starsai member on 13th december 2011.
    You know all three of you look alike. Myself , being a Punjabifeel very excited on redaing about your culture & festivals.

    SAI has given you a very smiling face. So keep it intact 🙂


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