Indians , contrary to what is being projected,, gave importance to finer emotions of Life.
Hinduism is not all about asceticism and renunciation..
They have formulated the stages of Life one goes through based on his physical and emotional development.
At the same time they also took into account the social structure into account.
The Stages of Life.
Brahmacharya,The stage of Studies, celibacy and inculcation of self discipline.
Gruhastha, Married Life, with duties laid down towards each other and to society.
Vanprastha,The stage when one reaches a stage in Life where one has discharged his family and social obligations and children are settled.One leaves the running of the family to his sons, and pursues the spiritual path.If one’s wife is willing to travel in this journey she is welcome.Otherwise she is in the care of her sons.One may retire to forests to contemplate.
Sanyas, the stage when one relinquishes everything and is totally engaged in self enquiry.
Each stage is provided with necessary structure to develop that stage .
Sanatana Dharma understood the human feeling ,emotions and imitations of Human Mind and human nature.
So it has provided alternate paths to realize God.One can choose what suits one the best.
Opportunities are provided for Love and marrigae.
Not all marriages , during Sanatana Dharma, were arranged one.
There are many type of marriages. set forth by Santna Dharma, one of them being Gandharva Vivaha, Love marriage.
However another ancient people of India Tamils, intricately connected with Sanatana Dharma, went a step further. Their marriage types are more detailed. Please my articles on these.
The Tamils have devoted n entire chapter for Love and the attendant issues in theier first Grammatical work, Tholkaapiyam.
It is called Kalavozhukkam,it details procedure to be followed, activities during courting.
It my of interest to note that women re given equal right in this process.
To facilitate Courtship and Love, the Tamils have dedicated a day of the Year.
This day is dedicated to Lord Indra, chief of Devas and also known for Love and enjoyment.
He is Bhogi, one who revels in pleasure .
Bhogi festival which precedes Tamil New Year is dedicated to him.
Tamils also fixed a day for revelry and courtship, when one finds his or her love,
This was called Indira Vizha, the festival for for Indra.
This was celebrated to bring in rains as Indra is the God of Thunder.
Failure to propitiate him by Yadavas resulted in a deluge and Lord Krishna had to lift the Govardhan Mountain to save the Yadavas.
When a Choza king stopped it, the harbour city of Kaveripumpattinam in Tamil Nadu was devoured by the sea..
This Festival the Indian Valentines Day was held on the Chitra Pournmi Day.
That is on the day the Nakshatra Chitra( Spica) and a Full Moon fall on the same day.
This is around May 10 of the Gregorian Calendar.
To allow for climate changes this is celebrated around is September 27 in Nepal
This is also the day of Buddha Pournima and Kurma Jayanthi
Unlike the west where Lovers’ day has been named after an individual( which again is open to doubt), the Tamils fixed it on a Celestial event!
Tamil Epics Silappadikaram and Manimekalai detail this festival.
Sangam Tamil literature refers to Indra (Pura Nanuru 182 and 241, Ainkuru. 62, Tirumurugu. 155-59 ) and Amruta (ambrosia of Indraloka) in a lot of places. Didactic books including Tirukkural also refer to Indra and Amruta.
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?
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.”
‘Chitra Pournami – was supposed to have been the Valentine’s day as
per Ancient Tamil Culture – followed with Indira Vizha!
It was rather Valentine’s month till next Pounrnami! Greeks
present in such functions carried this custom to their country and
then spread to France and thus Feb 14th.. !
‘The festival usually commenced with a group beating drums and
announcing to the people the start of the celebrations. The citizens of
the town then cleaned the streets and roads and redecorate the city,
with each house being adorned with many decorations. The officials of
the kingdom would pay their respects to the king and wish him and the
kingdom well. Musical performances would be held and the fire oblations
offered in many temples for Siva, Vishnu and other deities. The festival
ended with people bathing in the sea with the members of the family. It
was generally believed that this festival was actually a prayer to
Indra, and would remove the difficulties and dangers to those who
celebrate it. “
Who Started the Indira Vizha.
Mahabharata says it was started by Uparichara Vasu. The life story of Uparichara Vasu itself is interesting. He was given an aeroplane and a garland of never fading lotus flowers by Indra. He married Girika but he was asked to go to a forest where his seed (semen) fell at the thought of his wife. It was devoured by a fish and Matsya (satyavati) was born to the fish. Each one of his sons started a separate dynasty in India. He was credited with some engineering feats such as breaking down a hill to create a new river (Please read my post GREAT ENGINEERS OF ANCIENT INDIA).
Jain scriptures link Indra festival with Rishabadeva, the first Thirthankara. Tamil epic Silappadikaram (Kathai 5) says that one choza king Thungeyil Erintha Thodithot Sembiyan started this festival. Both may be correct if we take one started it in the north and another started in the south of India. Interestingly Chozas themselves claimed that their ancestors ruled north India. All their ancestors were mythological characters mentioned in Mahabharata and Ramayana. The very word Sembiyan came from Sibi Chakravarthy of the famous pigeon story (Sibi=Saibya=Sembiya). The story of Sibi is in Sangam Tamil literature, Pancha Tantra and Tamil epic Silappadikaram.
The details of the celebrations were given in Silappadikaram (5: 141-4) and Manimekalai (1:27-72, 2:1-3, 1:1-9, 24: 62-69, 25: 175-200). The drummer will announce that the festival began and then people will assemble to hoist the Indra Dwaja (Banner). The whole town wore a festive look with lot of decorations. Indra was bathed with holy water. It started on a full moon day in Chitra month (coinciding with April). Other deities were also decorated. Dance and Music were the highlights.
According to Maimekalai, Agastya asked the Sembian (Choza) king to start this festval. In Nepal, it is celebrated in September. In Tamil Nadu, the festival Bogi, celebrated on the eve of Makarasanranti/ Pongal also linked with Indra. Bogi itself means Indra.
Indira Vizha in Nepal.
The rare coincidence between the Tamils and the Nepalese is that both of them install a pole and hoist the Indra flag. In Nepal it is celebrated for 8 days but in Tamil Nadu it was celebrated for 28 days.
Yenya, Nepl Indir vizha.
Indra Jātrā as it is most commonly known or Yenyā (Nepal Bhasa: येँयाः) is the biggest religious street festival in Kathmandu, Nepal. Yenya means “Kathmandu festival” in Nepal Bhasa. The celebrations consist of two events. Indra Jātrā is marked by masked dances of deities and demons, displays of sacred images and tableaus in honor of the deity Indra, the king of heaven. The other event isKumāri Jātrā, the chariot procession of the living goddess Kumari.
Family members deceased in the past year are also remembered during the festival. The main venue of the festivities is Kathmandu Durbar Square. The celebrations last for eight days from the 12th day of the bright fortnight to the 4th day of the dark fortnight ofYanlā (ञला), the eleventh month in the lunar Nepal Era calendar.
Indra Jatra was started by King Gunakamadeva(गुणकामदेव) to commemorate the founding of the city of Kathmandu in the 10th century. Kumari Jatra began in the mid-18th century. The celebrations are held according to the lunar calendar, so the dates are changeable. The 2016 date is September 27.
Reference and citation.
Yena Festival Image credit.By Krish Dulal – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16432786