Gudhi-Padava: 14000 year old tradtion of Indra-Dwaja Festival

I made a case for Indra-Dhwaja festival of Ramayana times (12000 BCE), in my book – The Historic Rama– as the precursor to what is today celebrated as Gudhi-Padava (in Maharashtra).

I had speculated, that the tradition was preserved (at least in Maharashtra) with respect to the season of (Vasanta Rutu – Spring season), even though lunar months corresponding to season of Spring changed over 14000+ years, due to the phenomenon of the precession of equinoxes. Thus while Indra-Dhwja festival was celebrated during the lunar month of Ashwin in Ramayana times, in our times, Gudhi Padava is celebrated during the lunar month of Chaitra. In both cases, the season of the year was the same, i.e. Spring season.

Valmiki Ramayana text had numerous analogies to Indra-Dhwaja.
—-
Mr. Prabhakar Phadnis, who read my –The Historic Rama, brought to my attention that a reference to Indra-Dhwaja and festival appears also in Mahabharata. In fact he has already written a blog article on it. I encourage readers to visit his blog at http://www.mymahabharat.blogspot.com

His blog is in Marathi, and I reproduce the relevant portion below:

स्फुट प्रकरणे – भाग २

उपरिचर वसूची कथा :

उपरिचर नावाचा एक धर्मशील राजा होऊन गेला. आपल्या उग्र तपश्चर्येने हा एक दिवस इंद्रपदाला योग्य होईल या भीतीने देवांनी त्याला तपश्चर्येपासून परावृत्त केले. इंद्राने त्याला, ’तूं पृथ्वीवर नित्य तत्पर राहून धर्मपालन व धर्माचा प्रतिपाळ कर, चेदि देश जिंकून तूं त्याचा राजा हो’ असे सांगितले. आपलें स्फटिकाचे गगनविहारी विमान त्याला दिले व वैजयंती माळ दिली. आपली नित्य आठवण रहावी म्हणून सज्जनाम्चा प्रतिपाळ करणारी एक कळकाची काठी त्याला दिली. इंद्राचा मान राखण्यासाठी संवत्सराच्या शेवटच्या दिवशी उपरिचर राजाने ती काठी जमिनीत रोवली व तिची पूजा केली. दुसरे दिवशी या काठीवर शेल्यासारखे एक वस्त्र बांधीत व तिची पूजा करीत. ही काठीची पूजा म्हणजे इंद्राचीच पूजा होय.

या कथेतील रूपके मला उलगडली नाहीत पण यांत गुढीपाडव्याच्या प्रथेचे मूळ स्पष्ट दिसते. मात्र आजकाल गुढीपाडव्याच्या प्रथेच्या या मूळ कथेचे स्मरण फारसे कोणाला नाही! गुढीला आपण शालिवाहनाच्या विजयाचे प्रतीक मानतो. इंद्रपूजा मानत नाही.
———-
The reference appears in Adi Parva (Gita Press 63:17-27, Critical Edition 57:17-26)

Indra-Dwaja Festival in MBH Times photo Indra-DhwajaFestivalinMBHtimes_zps343c580f.jpg
———–
Gudhi-Padava is celebrated in Maharashtra during the lunar month of Chaitra.

Gudhi photo Gudhi-Padava_zps3242ad96.jpg

Don’t be surprised if you notice such a festival being celebrated at other times (not necessarily during lunar month of Chaitra – as is done in Maharashtra).

This can happen for many reasons. For example, a tradition of Makar Sanranti (14/15 January, in our times) that began as the day of winter solstice some ~2000 years ago, is preserved as the day of sun’s entry into the area of Zodiac Capricorn (Makar Rashi), rather than the day when sun’s position coincided with the point of winter solstice. This is the same reason why new year is celebrated at varying lunar dates in India (during the lunar month of Chaitra, but also during the lunar month of Vaishakha – Baisakhi). Irrespective of the day when Baisakhi is celebrated, the very word ‘Baisakhi’ preserves the tradition (~3000-4000 years ago..i.e. 1000 BCE – 2000 BCE) when new year (spring season) began with the lunar month of Vaishakha.
———
For example, Kathmandu Valley – Nepal celebrates Indra Jatra during the lunar months of Bhadrapada-Ashiwn (it seems they retained the tradition of celebrating pertaining to lunar month of Ashwin, as was done in Ramayana times…although the correspondence between the lunar month and season (current – season of Sharad, as opposed to season of Vasanta in Ramayana times) changes from Ashwin & Spring (Vasanta) to now Ashwin & pre-autumn (Sharad).

 photo indrajatra-IndraDhwajafestival_kathmandu_zpsacbb1381.jpg
———–
As you approach new year (Chaitra Shuddha Pratipada or Baisakhi) this year, realize that the tradition of this celebration, plausibly goes back to thousands of years into antiquity. Also celebration such as Gudhi-Padava (or equivalent to Indra-Dwja festivals around India) have a tradition that goes back to more than 14000 years, in antiquity.

Added on 21 March 2017

(Courtesy: Deepa Bhaskaran Salem)

[original article is taken from here: https://karkanirka.org/tag/indira-vizha/%5D

Indra vizha which was very special in Chola city of Puhar/Kaveripattinam. The festival took place for 28 days and was know for being festival for lovers.

I will first quote the earliest of poems in Tamil literature which has reference to Indra Vizha.

ainkuirunuru 62

இந்திர விழவில் பூவின் அன்ன
புன் தலைப் பேடை வரி நிழல் அகவும்
இவ் ஊர் மங்கையர்த் தொகுத்து, இனி
எவ் ஊர் நின்றன்று மகிழ்ந! நின் தேரே?

Like the cock with its small head
which called for the hens from shady place,
you gathered women of this town
in festival of Indra.
Now towards which town
is your chariot proceeding,
so that you can have more pleasure?

Poet:Orampoki

Translated by me

This poem is uttered by the wife to her husband. This show that Indra Vizha was a popular hunting ground for men to covet lovely young maidens and courtesans.

We will now proceed to best discription of Indra Vizha in Tamil Literature.

The following are excerpts from Indra Vizha chapter from Puhar Kandam in Silapathikaram.

“இளவேனிலும் மலயத் தென்றலும் உலவும் வீதி”

காதல் கொழுநனைப் பிரிந்து அலர் எய்தா

மாதர்க் கொடுங் குழை மாதவி-தன்னோடு

இல் வளர் முல்லை, மல்லிகை, மயிலை,

தாழிக் குவளை, சூழ் செங்கழுநீர்,

பயில் பூங் கோதைப் பிணையலின் பொலிந்து,

காமக் களி மகிழ்வு எய்தி, காமர்

பூம் பொதி நறு விரைப் பொழில் ஆட்டு அமர்ந்து,

நாள் மகிழ் இருக்கை நாள்-அங்காடியில்

பூ மலி கானத்துப் புது மணம் புக்கு,

புகையும் சாந்தும் புலராது சிறந்து,

நகை ஆடு ஆயத்து நல் மொழி திளைத்து,

குரல் வாய்ப் பாணரொடு, நகரப் பரத்தரொடு,

திரிதரு மரபின் கோவலன் போல,

இளி வாய் வண்டினொடு, இன் இளவேனிலொடு,

மலய மாருதம் திரிதரு மறுகில்-

Charmed by the sight of lover’s rapture, the breeze wandered through gardens of delight faintly scented by tender buds too shy to open yet; it roamed through the market noisy with frolic, where it gathered the perfumes of incense and sandal paste and entwining itself with laughter of lovers, it scattered their secrets as it passed. Gently warmed by the young summer, it kept company with wandering bees, whose murmur resemble the illi, the fifth note of the harp. And like the breeze, singers, oboe players, and companions expert seeking adventure.

“வீதியில் உலவும் பரத்தையரை ஆடவர் புகழ்தல்”

கரு முகில் சுமந்து, குறு முயல் ஒழித்து-ஆங்கு,

இரு கருங் கயலொடு இடைக் குமிழ்஢ எழுதி,

அம் கண் வானத்து அரவுப் பகை அஞ்சி,

திங்களும் ஈண்டுத் திரிதலும் உண்டுகொல்!-

One of the young men thus celebrated his beloved lady:

“ The Moon, in fear of Rahu, monster who

devours her on the days of her eclipse,

fled from the sky in search of shelter.

framed in the dark clouds of you hair,

she reappeared then as your pallid face.

she chased away the hairs from your fair cheeks,

painted two soot- black fish- shaped eyes,

and in the middle placed kumil flower,

that since then passes for your pretty nose.”

நீர் வாய் திங்கள் நீள் நிலத்து அமுதின்

சீர் வாய் துவலைத் திரு நீர் மாந்தி,

மீன் ஏற்றுக் கொடியோன், மெய் பெற, வளர்த்த,

வான-வல்லி வருதலும் உண்டுகொல்!

Another lover sang to his love:

“You are a lighting-flash, born in the sky,

that Eros, a fish upon his pennant, hurled

when he descended on this earth in search

of his annihilated body, drinking all the nectar

that the pale Moon distills us drop by drop.”

‘இரு நில மன்னற்குப் பெரு வளம் காட்ட,

திருமகள் புகுந்தது இச் செழும் பதி ஆம்ஒ என,

எரி நிறத்து இலவமும், முல்லையும், அன்றியும்

கரு நெடுங் குவளையும், குமிழும், பூத்து, ஆங்கு

உள்வரிக் கோலத்து உறு துணை தேடி,

கள்ளக் கமலம் திரிதலும் உண்டுகொல்!-

Another sang:

“Once a lotus, with its honey-brimming heart,

seeking its mate, that goddess Fortune,

disguised itself as two shoots of black hemp,

growing at each side of kumil flower.

It blossoms also in the jasmine’s from

and in the red flower of the cotton tree,

showing that Fortune has set up her camp

in this our wealthy city, favoring a king

whose power covers all the universe.”

மன்னவன் செங்கோல் மறுத்தல் அஞ்சி,

பல் உயிர் பருகும் பகு வாய்க் கூற்றம்

ஆண்மையில் திரிந்து, தன் அரும் தொழில் திரியாது,

நாண் உடைக் கோலத்து நகை முகம் கோட்டி,

பண் மொழி நரம்஢பின் திவவு யாழ் மிழற்றி,

பெண்மையில் திரியும் பெற்றியும் உண்டு!-என

And still another sang:

“Are you, though costumed as a girl,

Yama,Death’s Lord, destroyer of all life,

who, out of fear of our most virtuous king,

discarded his male semblance, thus to hide

under your bashfulness? And does he smile

and speak, through your lent voice, those words

more tender than a harp’s sweet notes?”

உருவிலாளன் ஒரு பெரும் சேனை

இகல் அமர் ஆட்டி, எதிர் நின்று விலக்கி, அவர்

எழுது வரிக் கோலம் முழு மெயும் உறீஇ,

விருந்தொடு புக்க பெரும் தோள் கணவரொடு-

உடன் உறைவு மரீஇ, ஒழுக்கொடு புணர்ந்த,

வடமீன் கற்பின், மனை உறை மகளிர்;

‘மாதர் வாள் முகத்து, மணித் தோட்டுக் குவளைப்

போது புறங்கொடுத்துப் போகிய செங் கடை

விருந்தின் தீர்ந்திலது ஆயின்,யாவதும்

மருந்தும் தரும் கொல்,இம் மா நில வரைப்பு?ஒ என

கையற்று நடுங்கும் நல் வினை நடு நாள்-

With their frivolous talk, the broad- shouldered gallants won easy victories over their lady loves, though all were virgins, chaste as the unshakeable Arundhati. Like battalion in which every man was an Eros, they captured the fleeing gals and held them tight in their arms. Their broad chests were streaked with red sandal with which the girls painted their breast. Pleasure and restless nights reddened the women’s lotus eyes that once were white as water lilies. Virtuous citizens asked : “ If offerings to the genie do not cure the malady that reddens the eyes of our girls, where is a remedy to be found?”

Poet: Illango Adikal

Translated by Alain Danielou

Vengadasamy Nattar’s Tamil urai – https://karkanirka.wordpress.com/2009/03/01/indira-vizha-urai/

Indra Vizha was surely a festival to celebrate love in ancient times in Tamil Nadu. Though we certainly do not have enough evidence to show that Indra Vizha was the pre cursor to having Valentines day, we have enough evidence to show that there was a festival where lover came out openly and showed their affection for each other and it also was place where it was hunting ground for youth to find a partner.

So its high time that people know what their true traditions are. Forward this to you friends and if possible to all the Senas in India.

————————————————————————————————————————————————

Reference:

Silapadikaram(The Ankle Braclet) by Alain Danielou

Silapadikaram Urai by Vengadasamy Nattar

Ainkurunooru Translation by P Jyotimuthu

Tamil Social History by N.Subrahmaniyan

http://www.ponniyinselvan.in/post114132.html#p114132

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