Kolam and it's importance in self realization

Discussion in 'Queries on Religion & Spirituality' started by Littlerose, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Littlerose

    Littlerose Silver IL'ite

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Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} </style> <![endif]--> Kolam (Tamil: [FONT=&quot]கோலம்[/FONT] ) :


    Kolam is a form of painting that is drawn using rice powder. A Kolam is a geometrical line drawing composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid pattern of dots.



    In South India, it is widely practised by female Hindu family members in front of their homes. Kolams are known by different names based on places, Hase in Karnataka, Muggulu in Andrapradesh, etc.
    <sup id="cite_ref-1">
    </sup>
    [FONT=&quot]Purpose[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot][/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Kolams are thought to bestow prosperity to homes. Every morning in southern India, millions of women draw kolams on the ground with white rice powder. Through the day, the drawings get walked on, rained out, or blown around in the wind; new ones are made the next day.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Every morning before sunrise n during sunset in the evening, the floor of the house is cleaned with water and the muddy floor is swept well for an even surface.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The kolams are generally drawn while the surface is still damp so that it is held better. Occasionally, cow-dung is also used to wax the floors.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In some cultures, cow dung is believed to have antiseptic properties and hence provides a literal threshold of protection for the home. It also provides contrast with the white powder.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Decoration was not the sole purpose of a Kolam. In olden days, kolams used to be drawn in coarse rice flour, so that the ants don't have to work that much for to long for a meal. The rice powder is said to invite birds and other small critters to eat it, thus inviting other beings into one's home and everyday life: a daily tribute to harmonious co-existence.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]It is a sign of invitation to welcome all into the home, not the least of whom is Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity. The patterns range between geometric and mathematical line drawings around a matrix of dots to free form art work and closed shapes.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Folklore has evolved to mandate that the lines must be completed so as to symbolically prevent evil spirits from entering the inside of the shapes, and thus are they prevented from entering the inside of the home.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Though not as flamboyant as its other Indian contemporary, Rangoli, which is extremely colourful, a South Indian Kolam is all about symmetry, precision, and complexity.<sup> </sup>Due to these design's complexity, trying to figure out how, exactly, these designs were drawn can be a challenge that some viewers find enjoyable.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Research[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The mathematical properties of Kolam is being used in Computer science field. Kolam patterns are studied and algorithms are developed for regenerating kolam designs with different patterns has been done.<sup> </sup>Algorithms for drawing kolams are used in development of Picture drawing Computer software. Kolams are used for research in the Computational Anthropology. As Kolams have a strong relationship with contemporary art and art history, they are used in the artwork and media field.<sup>
    </sup>[/FONT]


    Kolam and Self Realization:

    [FONT=&quot]<sup></sup>[/FONT]
    Ok fine, now we all know about what is meant by Kolam… Now, have anybody of us think as why they added the kolam in our regular daily doing and inside spirituality and with Goddess Lakshmi particularly…..


    What is the significance of first putting the kolam in pooja place and then keep the lamp over it in Pooja room?



    We all know, Goddess Lakshmi refers to the “Divine light”…. So, there should be a strong connection between this kolam and Divine light…

    Why to put kolam in the entrance of the house and in the place where we light lamp in the pooja room? What is the real link our seers found this tradition?


    Now, let us take it step by step n analyze…

    [FONT=&quot]First Step:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] Every morning before sunrise and during sunset in the evening(i.e. during the sandhya vandhana timing *), the entrance of the house is cleaned with water and the muddy floor is swept well for an even surface.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]*Sandhya vandhana timing – The time when both the sun n moon is visible at that time.. the only time, when we are able to breath through our both sides of our nose, rest of the time, we are able to breath only either through left or right that alternates every 2 hours.. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]So, we are cleaning the place(near the doorsteps starting from the entrance of the house) with water… [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]This is the first step to be followed in our gnana meditation also…. Cleansing ourselves with tears by focusing the eyes fixedly over a point, most passionately on lamp with complete surrender towards the divine… the tears being the real Ganga...
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Second Step:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Now, we are sweeping all the dirt left over in the entrance…… Yes, we need to sweep our karmic dirts that are stored within us also by first spreading water (by letting tears run down from eyes by concentrating on light, especially with the right eye…)... this water/tears are also made to come from the entrance only.... coz, the "Eyes are the real entrance of the Parama padham"....
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Third Step:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    A Kolam is a geometrical line drawing composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid pattern of dots. So, the starting point is the dot….

    We all should have heard of the saying “Everything starts with the dot and ends with the dot”….

    What is this dot? What is the greatness of this dot?

    The same dot concept and the starting n ending the kolam in the same dot should be really thought well.

    In the gnana level meditation, when we go on shedding tears and clear our sin, the eyeballs will become more clear n from inside the pupil, the eye sight will become more sharp and clear.

    Our karmas, being stored inside the black hole in the pupil also melts in that pure heat developed within us by this gnana thavam slowly and from within the pupil, we are slowly able to see our own eyes, first the white, then the black and finally a sharp spark from within our pupil.

    Before these, we first will hear the nada, the unstruck sound, from Brahmarandhara just like the opening of a bud… after which, we are able to see n realize all these and a lot much reality with the grace of god n by developing our inner peace n compassion n love globally without being blocked n locked by our habbits developed so far with almighty’s grace…

    So, this spark/fire resembles very much a dot…(the base of the real kolam that's put inside)


    Only, this dot is the beginning of the life journey within us to know about the self…

    It’s this dot or spark or fire, the real saver of us… the padma paadham, the rama patham, etc….

    Once we catch this spark/dot inside us, our eyes, we are really blessed, with god’s blessings, if we go n just being silently watching that dot/spark n surrender ourself totally there, our karmas will be burnt by it’s heat…

    So, now i hope we all understand the importance of the dot in the kolam…

    So, all our traditions are to be much analyzed to know it’s real existence to take us within us n to realize ourselves n to be one with the almighty residing within us… only our projection is seen as the outer world…. It exists outside, only to show, that in some form, it’s inside us…..



    We need to analyze n understand the greatness of our older tradition…. Just if we see in outer world view, nothing will be known to us…. They framed the daily doings n rules only after knowing within their selves very well… They have given us in coded form, so that when one gets the maturity to think in the right manner with complete surrendering ability n with complete passion, nature unfolds them the reality…

    Have a nice day… Hope u all enjoy this explanation…

    In the thread “How to do meditation or Penance as told by gnanis of all religions…. “, you can get a clear picture of this gnana thavam/meditation/Penance with much more clearer explanations from many great seers…

    Wishes n regards,

    S. Sriumadevi Srinivasan.
     
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  2. sritas

    sritas Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you Sriumadevi for sharing a through research about kolam, its significance and the need to put them in front of our house both mornings and evenings.
     
  3. tanoshii

    tanoshii Platinum IL'ite

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    That was very interesting to read and know. Thanks for sharing Shanta :)
     
  4. Littlerose

    Littlerose Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Shanta and Tanoshi,

    Thanks for viewing this article... By the way, shantha aunty, my main purpose of posting this article is that we shouldnt stop by decorating our house entrance with this kolam but should understand the main purpose as why they ask us to do n try to implement that in our daily life...

    that's to make the real dot/spark within us visible n try to put kolams inside us.. that's most important.... actually they have indirectly made us think about the real self of us by this kolam technique.... think how great our seers are....

    U may read the thread "How to meditate or do penance as told by gnanis of all religion" in "Religious Places n Spirituality" sub forum n understand the real meaning of kolam n the real gnana meditation n explanations thereby so clearly.... Have a nice day.

    wishes n regs,

    S. Sriumadevi Srinivasan.
     
  5. ssm014

    ssm014 Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks for this elaborate thread....I am emabrassed to say I dont know to draw good kolams but your post is inspiring me to attempt kolams atleast during important festival days....

    By the way, did you know even Buddhism has an offshoot of our kolams called 'Mandalas' . OFcourse the busshist monks spend a lot of time and attach lot of importance in drawing and colouring them :)
     
  6. SSNmom

    SSNmom Bronze IL'ite

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    Wow nice information on drawing kolams.. very interesting and i am very passionate on drawing kolams especially the symmetrical ones called as padi kolams.
     
  7. Littlerose

    Littlerose Silver IL'ite

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    Dear xiaojie and SSNmom,

    Nice to hear from u and really thanks for reading the article... The real purpose of me posting this article is not to think great about our tradition alone but to understand why they set all those... only to think internally n to try it really in our real life practically along with our regular duties... kindly understand the greatness of this...

    Also, here like to intimate, we do keep "Full Stop" in all sentences to show the completion of a sentence in all languages.... so this full stop is also a Dot.... "Dot" is the beginning and end of all... that dot is also within us in the form of fire, just like a star sparking.... only to understand these things, all the seers had tried to give those knowledge in coded form to their maximum.... n made us remember it by us following in our daily life, so at one point, we may turn to think about why all this rather than just following it blindly thinking it as just tradition... Kindly understand... Have a nice day...

    wishes n regs,

    S. Sriumadevi Srinivasan.
     
  8. Vasupradha

    Vasupradha Gold IL'ite

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    Hi Sis,

    I am posting my first comment in this forum.. I love our tradition and customs , so used to follow whatever simple things I can, and like to learn more and some people around me, says everything as superstitious, but I often argue, there is some reason for all customs framed by elders..Now this kolam one, my ma used to tell this, in simple words for my understanding, when I was in my teens.. and now this detailed explanation, I liked it much... and I forwarded this post to some of my friends, without your permission, with a hope you wont mistake me.. Lovely post sis... Though we ( Atlease me ) need sometime to realise the fact behind, its quite interesting to know about it...

    Vasupradha.S
     
  9. Littlerose

    Littlerose Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Vasupradha,

    Nice to hear from u. Good that u have respect to our tradition n customs. Thanks that u forwarded to ur friend, coz, my sole purpose of posting all this here is that many a people be benefitted knowing the real purpose of all the traditions that we are following regularly without knowing the proper n real meaning/concepts behind it... so is my small part in this regards... Not only u, i kindly request all elites to forward the useful posts of mine to ur lovables for the benefit of all... For ur easy reference as well as others, let me add that meditation which is in the other sub forum here for easy reference so that many can understand things more easily n properly... Have a nice day.

    wishes n regs,

    S. Sriumadevi Srinivasan
     
  10. Littlerose

    Littlerose Silver IL'ite

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    How to do Meditation or Penance
    Dear all with oneness of soul, with the grace of our Gnana Guru Vallalar and Sarguru Thiru shiva selvaraj we are bringing out in this article “How to do Meditation or Penance”. The below said way is the way in which Penance was done by vallalar and all the great saints to reach and attain Lord. Please read it completly and with attention.


    Today everyone is of the opinion that Penance or Meditation means something that is done by sitting at a place with our eyes closed and imagining some forms or chanting some auspicious names or mantras of the lord or closing our eyes and observing our breath. But these were not penance. The above said techniques at the max will allow once to attain a state or give spiritual maturity to do penance and that’s it. Worse if someone does meditation with the closed eyes then he will be trapped in illusion or Maya.


    So the first step for everyone to understand is Meditation or Penance should never be done with closed eyes. Penance is the one which should be done with our eyes open.

    If one does any spiritual practice with his eyes closed then only Maya or illusion will be working there. That is why our saint vallalar has asked us to be “Awake”. In Tamil Awake is called as “Villithiru” which implies two things. One is having our eyes opened and other is being aware. Penance has to be done with awareness and also with our eyes open. Eyes can be fully opened or half-opened but never closed.

    Among us we have a strong opinion that when our eyes are opened we will see the outside world but when we close our eyes and do mediation we see the supreme lord within us. Thinking that opening of our eyes as the external eye and closing of our eye is the internal eye is the biggest ignorance that we have imagined ourselves.

    It is again an illusion thinking that when we close our eye there is calmness which will lead us inside.


    Think this way, closing of our eyes is darkness and opening of our eyes is light. Telling in other way closing of our eyes is like New Moon Day and opening of our eyes is Full Moon. In order to indicate this only it is recommended in our country to visit holy place and holy mountains during Full Moon Day. In India we find so many people going around holy mountains and also Jeeva Samadhis of saints during Full Moon Day.


    When we close our mind and imagine something then it is possible to see any forms that we visualize. This is again illusion and not true divine experience. Any vision that is got with open eyes when we are fully awake and alert is the true divine experience.

    When one person dies we call that the person has closed his eyes isn’t? Even in this world to do any work we need to open our eyes isn’t and this is true even in our spiritual practice.


    It is also said during the auspicious day of Shiva Rathiri (Auspicious night of lord siva) if one does not sleep or keep his eyes opened and worship the lord then he will attain the abode of lord. This is to emphasis the importance of being awake and keeping of our eyes opened for any spiritual practice. Our saint have conveyed this information through the way of devotion.


    In Bhagavat Gita also Lord Krishna recommends one to do penance with eyes opened only. Great Saint Thirumoolar in his works says “Blind Person Leading Blind men will fall together in the pit of death”. Here he clearly talks about person who teaches peoples incorrect way of doing meditation (doing meditation with closed eye) and the followers of that person finally dying instead of overcoming death.


    Now it was seen that Penance has to be done with open eyes! Now let us see how to do penance. Here also the great saint Thiurmoolar in his works ThiruManthiram writes as


    “Breaking through the lamp and lighting the light in the lamp
    Raising/Simulating the light inside the lamp
    And who realizes about the light within the lamp, for them
    Union with the Lotus feet of the Lord of the light of the lamp will be possible” – ThiruMantiram Song 2186

    This is the great words which clearly explains how one should do Penance and what is the role of Guru in it. The light that was lit was done by a sarguru. Let us see the meaning of the above great song.


    What is meant by breaking through the lamp and lighting the light in the lamp? To understand this let us see what does Lamp denotes. In human body Eyes were the lamp. Remember the great words in Bible by Jesus “Eyes were the lamp of one body”.


    Lighting the light of the lamp indicates – at present we do not have the capability to look inside us, so one has to lit the divine light of the lamp to look inside us. How do you lit a lamp? Through other lamp that is already lit right? So a qualified satguru by the process of Deekshai will lit the light of the lamp by the divine light in his eyes. This is the first step, so in order for one to do penance the divine light in our eyes has to be lit meaning should be initiated to look in.


    Why it has been told that before lighting the lamp it has to be broken? It is not that there is no divine light in our eyes now, it is there but it never acts meaning this light is hidden by one’s karma. Everyone’s divinity that is present in one’s eyes is hidden by the karma that one has been born with. So in order to initiate this divine light or make this divine light to act the guru has to break this layer of karma that is covering one’s divine light in the eyes. Breaking also indicates the eyes has to be kept opened. Only when our eyes were open can the Guru’s divine light from his eyes can lighten our lamp (Eyes). By breaking through the barrier of karma and initiating the divinity within us Guru is making us to born again.



    This is what conveyed in Bible as “One who does not born again will not reach the kingdom of the lord”. Saint Agastiyar also tells one should know the way to born again indicating this. A person who is born again by Guru through Deekshai is called Duvichan in Sanskrit.


    Raising/Simulating the light inside the lamp – The second line tells how one has to do Penance, the purpose of penance is to simulate or increase the effulgence of this divine light in our eyes by constantly keeping our mind on this.

    How to keep our mind on this divine light? When one is initiated by a guru, the guru lightens the divine light of our eyes, when this divine light is lightened one gets divine consciousness in one’s eye (a sort of burning sensation or feeling inside the eyes). The sadaka or the disciple now just has to concentrate on this consciousness and do nothing. When the divine light is simulated or increased by constantly fixing our mind on it the 7 layers of karma that is hiding our divinity will melt and one gets to see his Soul called Anma Darshan. So with our eyes open and keeping our mind on the divine consciousness in our eye that is got through or initiated by Guru is the correct way of doing penance.

    Now Third and Fourth line explains what happens when one does this penance
    And who realizes about the light within the lamp, for them
    Union with the Lotus feet of the Lord of the light of the lamp will be possible – When the divine light increases and melts our karmas we get self realization and Gnana after which we can unite with the lord of the divine light, which is called Lord’s holy feet. So for the 3<sup>rd</sup> and 4<sup>th</sup> Step to occur which is getting Gnana/divine wisdom and reaching the Lord 1<sup>st</sup> and 2<sup>nd</sup> Step has to be done.


    So one can do penance only after a Sarguru has initiated him. This process is what told by Yovan in Bible as “I am initiating you with the holy water but the one who is more powerful than me will come and he will give initation with the fire and the holyspirit”. Here Fire and Holy Spirit means initiation through sarguru’s divine light of his eyes.


    Now the question comes is it not possible to do Penance without a Guru? The answer is NO. It may be possible for some person with extreme devotion like that of Kannapa Nayanar but for others without guru we can no way have self realization and attain lord. This divine light of our eyes is called as Holy Feet of Lord and by various code words like 8 and 2 (Right and left Eye), Sun and Moon, Siva and Sakthi and MeiPorul or Thiruvadi or Padaka.


    By Penance we should know and realize about the divine light of our eyes and this divine light lights our wisdom and knowledge. So to lighten or see the light we should open our eyes right! So do penance with Eyes open. Penance in short is the art of doing nothing and just being there. Doing Nothing and Just being there is keeping our mind always on the divine light of our eyes and never flowing with the thoughts.


    Now the important question is Can any one be initiated and do Penance? Yes any human being can be initiated and do penance but the person hence forth should live a noble and virtuous life and never do the five great sins which are Stealing, Lying, Alcoholism or Using Any Drugs, Killing which includes eating Non-Veg Food and illicit desire or Lust. Only a pure soul with penance and love can reach the supreme lord.


    To know more please read Thiruvadi Upadesa in our website(vallalyaar dot com) and also our Articles and books.


    Our SarGuru with the grace of Vallalar gives this initiation or Deekshai. So for, he has published around 27 books explaining in detail about Thiruvadi. His Publication also includes commentary on the great works of ThiruMantiram, ThiruVasagam, Thiruvarutpa. By all these books he has established that the wisdom conveyed by all these saints and the way of doing penance is same. All these books were written in Tamil. We have translated two books Saakaa Kalvi (Spiritual Education of Deathlessness) and Vallal Yaar (Who is Philanthropist) and is available in our site. If anyone needs hard of the books in Tamil (totally 27 books) and in English 2 books can contact us.


    wishes and regards,


    S. Sriumadevi Srinivasan


    Note : For the convenience of all, i have attached the same so that u can take the soft copy of it.
     

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