Friday, September 9, 2011

Yet another Onam

Ona Sadhya
Another year and another Onam.. yet my question is unanswered...!

Being a mallu, Onam is one of my favorite festival, as a kid that was another excuse to take leave from school with parents readily accepting it (it was not a state announced holiday back then in Chennai), eating on banana leaves, wearing new dressed, best payasam by my mom..! who wouldn't love it..

The best part was that I was in charge of the outer decorations and I enjoyed putting my flower kolams in front of the house to welcome Mahabali.. every year it was the same, mom cooking, me decorating and then we invite many of our neighbours and my class mates for ona sadhya.. only once I celebrated Onam with all my cousins and relatives, it was for a cousins wedding.. the fun and enjoyment was amazing! otherwise it is just our family with our neighbours in Chennai, that is fun too! Holidays in Chennai and Kerala doesn't sync..

Ok so why is onam celebrated..

Long long ago.. there lived a good king descended from the asuras (Demon) called Mahabali.. he was ruling Kerala peacefully, but the king of heaven Indra for some technical reason (peer pressure i guess) didn't like him, and pleaded to Lord Vishu to eradicate the demon king.. Though Mahabali king was a good fellow, Lord had to do it to wipe out the world off evil people.. back then line was visible between black and white and no grey existed..!
So lord (in the form of a dwarf -Vamana) sent Mahabali to hell, however a boon was given that every year, he can come and visit his people on the Onam day!! so the sadhya (feast) and the floral decorations were to welcome the hypothetical arrival of the king..!

Now what is my question? for that I have to describe another myth.. its about how Kerala was created. parasurama was another form or avatar of Lord Vishnu and as the myth goes as he threw his mighty axe to the Arabian Sea, the land called Kerala emerged..

ok here comes my question, If Kerala was created by Parasuram the 6th Avatar of the Lord, how did Mahabali rule the state during the time of Vamana the 5th avatar?

Ps: I am not mocking any of my culture here, it is indeed a serious doubt that exist in my mind for so long Any way what ever the reason may be it is the day to celebrate a state ruled by a very good and democratic dictator.. where as what we witness now a days is the vise versa..

PS: Please read An answer for, I got my answer!!

Oops I forgot HAPPY ONAM! :)

With my cousins..


  1. Hi KP,Luvly Post.Happy and Colourful Onam Wishes to U.

  2. Hey Chrity.. thank u and wishing u the same! any special recipe recommendation for Onam? will visit ur blog with anticipation :)

  3. Hey....I'm half sounds funny....."half mallu"..but I think you got what I want to say...happy onam..... :-)

  4. Happy Onam
    May God bless you with happiness

  5. Happy Onam! Enjoy the festival. Have lots of yummy food..

  6. I didn't knew the reason behind celebrating Onam, except for that its every Mallu's fav festival. Now I understand why :P Any way, since I am weak in my history, I can't answer you ;) But definitely can wish you Happy Onam ! :) Hope you have lots of fun :)

  7. Happy onam...I am the worst person when it comes to rituals and mythology....

  8. From Wikipedia: as per the 'Vishupuranam' Mahabali was ruler of the entire World (there is no mention of a place called Kerala) and eyed to capture the abode of the Devas when Vishnu incarnated as 'Vamana' and banished him. Also it is not necessary for one Avatara to end before the other one begins. Parasurama also appears along with Sri Rama in the Ramayana as well as the Mahabharata,as a Guru for Karna.

  9. Thanks a lot.. Sneha, Partha, Ashwini, Ms.Nobody and Chintan for your wonderful wishes..

  10. Hey Cosmic.. thank you!

    Indeed I accept at the point of overlapping of avatars.. the Vamana avatar was in Tratha yuga, just like Rama and Parasurama.. and as u said, legends abt Parashu can be found in Ramayana.. and If u look deeper even in mahabaratha.. (Dvapara yuga) as the teacher of Karna.. but not mentioned in vamana time!

    In Wiki also there is mention of Kerala being the capital of the Mahabali king!
    As u see all the avatars are depicting evolution from fish, to amphibian, to land living, to lion to dwarf to arrogant human to refined one.. and so on.. rite? so, this overlapping was never found until Vamana, and then the masculine and physically skilled Parasu rama is found in other avatar time!

    This is just my view point from the stories I have heard from my grand parents or some books.. So I am not so clear about it..
    But thanks a lot for the information you have given here.. :) I feel like pondering more..

  11. Happy onam... I senses a happy child in the initial part of post.
    About the question, well, humans do make mistakes. *expect a grinning atheist* ;)


  12. Happy Onam to you and your family:)

  13. Happy Onam dear
    There is a unbreakable rule in stories - "kadhayil chodyamilla" meaning.. no questions (allowed)in stories:)
    Is it a mandate that two avatars shd not co- exist? they might have been contemporaries yar:)
    The story is great indeed and vaman is the SEZ land mafia..
    Wishing that land belongs to the tiller.. ONAM is all about a reminder of righteousness and love being buried and renaissance of the spirit of brotherhood and hope for a future

  14. hi,Happy Onam to you and your family

  15. Hey every one thanks a lot for the wishes..

    @ Aakash – Hey.. I spent a lot of time researching and you give me a simple grin as solution.. that is kind of bad..!! :)

    @ Pygma – Oh my.. did I break the rule? Shamikkanam.. (I am sorry)
    But I believe that these are not just mere stories.. and as you and cosmic points out, the overlapping cannot be ruled out too..! happy Onam to you too! :)

  16. Belated Happy Onam! He he...sorry dear I am late! Have to read your new posts....will read it in leisure...I want to enjoy every bit of it...take care sweet....enjoy....:-)

  17. what a beautiful flower decoration that is :)

  18. Oye Mashe, sadhya unda pore, kadha thirakkanamo? :))))

    That is my version of: appam thinnaal pore, kuzhi ennamo? :)))

    Well, I can't offer any wisdom regarding those stories...the way I remember those stories is:

    (1) Mallus prefer Demons more than Gods. :))) (Of course, I do like one of the reasons for pushing Mahabali down - something to do with ego, right? Noone should try to be greater than the Gods or some stuff like that...)

    (2) As for Parasuram's story, I like the part where it says that Kerala will once disappear into the sea - some kind of returning to roots...kind of makes the land like Atlantis, right? :)))

    Appol, Mashe, sadhya engene undayirunnu...

    Personally, I prefer the feast on Avittam rather than the one of ThiruOnam...non-veg makes a lot of difference...:)))

    Have a great year and let MahaBali answer your questions!!!

  19. Hi Nasnin - very late this time..! humph.. saw ur comment in latest story.. thank u.. belated Onam wishes..

    @ Sujatha - thank u.. that was solely my effort.. errr.. and a little of my cousins.. lol!

    @ Arjun - Mashe.. kali aakalle.. he he nice insight here! lol.. "mallus prefer demons.." guessing ur better half will agree too.. he he..

    Oh ya.. sadhya was great.. adi poli..

    appo avitam sadhya okke kazinzu shenatil aanu alle??

  20. Opps forgot Happy Onam mashe..!

  21. Well, at first, I really enjoy how you laid out your question. I am not an indian, or keralite myself so I really have no idea how to answer that (good relief that you found an answer). Anyway, Onam Festival also fascinates me and the celebration really sounds wonderful. Since I've been into Indian culture nowadays, I am starting to learn my way here. So, i hope you all enjoy this fortunate event. ;-)

    Keep posting and more power to you,
    Sending warmest Onam Wishes to you...

  22. According to what I heard. Kerala existed even before the time of Lord Parashurama, but was taken away by the ocean and Lord Parashurama, regained Kerala once again with his mighty axe.

    Happy Onam to All!!!