“தமிழ் பொங்கல் ” Gone are the beautiful days in Tamilnadu, India. In my mother’s 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.
Yesterday my mother was sitting on the floor outside the 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 the surface with brick powder and keep doors in the drawing. An imaginary divine Kitchen where the sky is the roof. You can see in the above photo a brown color border ..That’s our imaginary Kitchen. You can also see on the top corner of the Banana leaf the rice is filled as an offering to Surya deva over which my Amma has kept a little flower.
As far as I know, most families living in the city don’t have time and facilities 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 a 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 a blog for Lord Surya.com 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 an Sms from one of my friends 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 didn’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 in front of T.V. How many of us Bowed to Lord Surya.
Will today 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 – “Thanksgiving day for Sun God – Surya deva”
Only when you call it thanksgiving day in the 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 Tamilians 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. (But I don’t like them for their biased news) 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 mother’s liking, today the Dina Malar carried a wonderful big painting of Lord Surya deva which I photographed to present to all devotees.
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 Loka 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 in front 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…oozing out of the sweet Pongal which is very auspicious. I missed taking a photo of this beautiful event that Tamilians consider as blessings of God which will also bring good health, peace, and all wealth and prosperity to ooze out in our family as the Pongal did from the Pot.
Now let’s see how we celebrated the Pongal, a tradition carried from my mother all the way from her village…
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 Aditya 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,..it was a sunny day..so Appa and amma were working eagerly with sweat to create the great meals. Look at this..
Its always my father’s 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 the 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 the photo we took as if I am stirring..haha
I asked my father will the Pongal ooze 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 the 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 my friend.
Hope you loved the Pongal festival celebration in our house. There’s more to this auspicious festival of Tamilians than sending Sms and watching Tv and going out with friends for movies.
There’s this sacred “Tamil Pongal” Which is disappearing from our culture. Whatever way you make Pongal, my humble request is
1. Worship lord Suya
At least slightly Bow to Sun god when you see the 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 in front riding the horse is Arunan. It seems Arunan is a handicap in legs. So Surya deva always blesses the one who helps the handicap. Anything you do for a handicapped person increases your count in the bank of blessings.
3. Always be thankful to your ancestors
Thank your grandparents who are no more for the life they have given your parents and you. Try to spend 5 minutes thinking about their traditions and way of life and follow them in any modern way possible.
Its been 5 years of StarSai.com , i have never thought about showing myself to sai children. Here comes my Amma, Appa and me …I was in a hurry and dint comb hair..he he. as usual !!!…
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 Thanksgiving day for Sun God Surya deva.
It’s 2 in the afternoon 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 the importance of thanking Sun God wholeheartedly
It took hours for me to write..every 10 minute amma was shouting at me with love
I shall go and have Pongal and you please remember to join your hand and bow to Surya deva every morning or at least once every month or at least 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
Note – Lord Surya temples are in Suryanar kovil near Kumbakonam, Thirumeeyachur, Goddess Lalithambigai temple also has the blessings of lord Surya and lord shiva. In north India, Surya temple is in Konark.