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Grandma's Gym

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by jayasala42, May 19, 2016.

  1. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    [​IMG]

    Today almost all women are conscious of their health and over conscious of weight and attending Gym has become one of the routine chores.In Olden days we had a gym at every home-Grandma's Gym- consisting of the equipments that kept them healthy and fit to bear 5 or 6 children, and attend to all house hold duties connected with joint family.But all these accessories have some other significance too.

    Suryakala recently sent a snippet about Muram.I do not know whether my response to her was read by many.I am furnishing an 'extract' of the same.

    The bible talks of winnowing process and our Kenopanishad ( Q & A ) contains so many references to this process.
    Winnowing is essentially a process of separating and removing the bad from the good.Husks are removed from the grain.
    In computers we have got a 'save' button and'delete' button just to remove what we don't want.
    Actually our brain is a computer, and does the wonderful process of winnowing called'forgetting' in common man's language.It contains a software programme specially designed for us.
    It constantly removes unwanted things and retains only what we need.Otherwise we would be brooding over deaths that happened long years back, and the debts we incurred some 20 years back and the sorrowful accidents we met with in our life.
    Even with this God given winnowing facility, we are very often loaded with worries that haunt us.
    Winnowing is a constant process we have to indulge in addition to the natural process that is going on inside the brain.

    Very often human beings are advised to be like winnows( muram) and not sieves.( salladai)
    Winnowing retains the essential things and removes the husk whereas sieving removes the essential things out and retains the unwanted ones.
    But we can't agree with this completely.It may apply to unwanted thoughts. But practically we need both winnow and sieve.
    For preparing certain dishes we have to use broken grains( uppuma, kanji etc ) that are retained with the sieve and for other things we use the softest flour that comes out.
    It means we have to be reminded of 'don'ts ) very often more than concentrating on 'do's.
    Because 'dos' can be postponed without harm, but the'don'ts' if done with haste may land us into irretrievable problems.
    What a great lesson we learn from this age old 'winnow' and 'sieve'!Really amazing!

    ural, ulakkai ( mortar of granite and Pestle)etc etc too accelerated healthy activities.

    Many of us would have participated in Radha kalyanam under Bhajana paddhathi sampradayam.In addition to oonjal, malai matru etc etc there is a special function called Kotnotsavam.
    This appears to be a normal tradition with five girls below 10 ,standing around ural,(Mortar) striking the paddy inside the ural with ulakkai( pestle).

    Now this function has a much philosphical impact than all other aspects of Radha kalyanam.

    The ural represents the mind.The paddy or rice is the jeeva and the ulakkai sound is omkara nadaham.To realise God ,the mind has to be controlled.For the mind to subside,the Gnanendriyas should stop bringing stimulus from the outside world and the karmendriyas should desist from worldly activities.The intellect should stop analysing materialistically.There should be a perfect coordination.

    Ural is the mind.Five kanyas symbolize gnaanendriyas and five Bhagavathas represent karmendriyas-all involved in the process of meditation.Gnaanendriayas,( girls) cooperate in depositing the jeeva( rice) into the ural ( the mind).The Bhagavathas ( karmendriyas)are crushing the Jeeva( rice) into the mind(ural) with the help of Ulakkai( omkara nadaham)

    The crushed akshathai is sieved to remove the husk or umi which represents Maya.and is made pure white devoid of maya.This pure white rice called mangalakshathai is submitted to the feet of God( samarpanam ) or Atma samarpanam .This rice powder is poured into the cloth round the couple's waist and they are given mangala snanam.

    The procedure is called muthukuthal denoting the bhaktha becoming Jeevan muktha.

    This procedure is followed during Seemantham functions also to bless the unborn baby with brahma aikyam!

    Joo----t. I want to escape as quickly as possible to escape from from ulakkai hits,

    Jayasala 42
     
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  2. Anusuya

    Anusuya Silver IL'ite

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  3. SunPa

    SunPa Platinum IL'ite

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    Interesting ...
     
  4. Balajee

    Balajee IL Hall of Fame

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    My mother even after the house was equipped with all modern gadgets insisted on grinding dosa and idli batter in the attukkal. Her argument was mixers and grinders generated too much heat and ruined the flavour. That kept her healthy and blood sugar under control. But once she was persuaded to give it up and embrace the modern electronic age, her health deteriorated and blood sugar levels shot up. I think the old contrivances really provided great excercise to the ladies and that's why they remained physically healthier than men though often debilitated by frequent childbirths.
     
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  5. satchitananda

    satchitananda IL Hall of Fame

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    That was a very interesting write-up. The photo is really fascinating and more so the parallel that you have drawn. I love the insight you always provide into past practices. It is good to know why something was done instead of being told "we did it that way. Our parents told us to do so and we listened. We did not question them like you do .....!!!!!" :-D
     
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  6. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you Anusuya.
    Jayasala 42
     
  7. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sunpa,
    Thank you for the response.
    Jayasala 42
    Dear Balaji,
    Only after 25 years of marriage I got mixie and grinder.Till such time even in madras, I was using Ammi and was grinding idli and Dosa batter in Aattukkal.Now everything is changed.We were drawing kolam as a part of bending exercise.Now there is no'fron yard or vaasal to draw kolams. The very little place in front, is filled with permanent 'sticker kolam.'In flats, we do not have place to keep all the ural, ulakkai etc etc.A good pretext.The exercises formed part of household chores .
    We cannot go back to the bullock cart age.
    Almost all the flats ,community oriented,are Gym attached.
    Jayasala 42
     
  8. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Satchitananda,
    Thank you very much for the response.We have grown up with these gadgets and also use them upto 1990.
    Now we cannot go back.however beneficial they are.Thanks for nominating my post.
    Jayasala 42
     
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  9. suryakala

    suryakala IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Smt @jayasala42 ,

    Wow! Where from you got that photo? A rare collection indeed. The huge brass 'Kadai' resting on the wall brings back the memories of Sambar and Aviyal in house hold functions in those days.

    Grandma's Gym really helped them fit as the Head and centre of the house!

    Your philosophical explanation of Kotnotsavam is just superb! So much thought packed in that act of creating Akshathai! We can be justifiably proud of our great traditions, ceremonies and values. Probably we are the last generation to have had time and opportunity to be part of them.

    A beautiful snippet. Just loved it!
     
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  10. Amica

    Amica IL Hall of Fame

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    @jayasala42, wonderful snippet, chock full of information! :thumbsup:

    Thank you especially for explaining the reasons behind our rituals.

    We had many of the implements in the picture — some of them were even used. It is truly better than a gym!
     

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