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Iyer Customs

Discussion in 'Festivals, Functions & Rituals' started by pamrang, May 9, 2010.

  1. pamrang

    pamrang Senior IL'ite

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    Hello Everybody,

    I have a question regarding Varalakshmi vratham. I got married last year and it hasn't been even a whole year yet after marriage for me; my MIL wants me to start the Vratham this year. But, I heard from my friends that usually DILs are not expected to start that vratham immediately after marriage. The MIL waits until the DIL is ready to take on that responsibility; responsibility - because a lot of orthodox "madi & aacharam" has to be observed in the household where Varalakshmi pooja is done with Amman's face. If you are not so strict regarding these things, then, a simple pooja with pictures is enough. How true is this? Would it be okay to do the full pooja even when I don't observe strictly these codes of conduct on other days?


    And, just out of curiosity, another question. I am an iyengar, and my husband is an Iyer so, am not very well versed in Iyer customs. I wear one iyengar thirumangalyam (with conch & discus) and another one is Meenakshi - Sundareswarar. My MIL wears both Meenakshi - Sundareswarar. At first she suggested to my parents to buy me one similar to hers but, some time later changed her mind and asked my parents to buy a "tulasi madam" thirumangalyam. Later on again, she changed her mind and went back to Meenakshi - Sundareswarar. Is there any difference in who wears Tulasi madam and who wears Meenakshi - Sundareswarar? I mean, I know among iyengars, there are vadakalai or thengalai thirumangalyams; is the difference in Iyer thirumangalyams also similar? I also heard that people from the south wear Meenakshi - Sundareswarar; is that true? I am asking because I want to learn more about these customs.


    I would greatly appreciate any inputs regarding these things.

    Thanks a lot!

    Padhma
     
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  2. Mahanu

    Mahanu Silver IL'ite

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    As far as I know, there is no waiting time to start Varalakshmi Vratham, after marriage. I personally feel one has to start observing it, as soon as possible, so that you get ample time to learn a lot regarding the customs and other things associated with it, over the years, with the guidance of MIL. Of course, it has to be observed with dedication and other aacharams. Just because it is new to you dont try to dilute things. Learn to follow the things in the right manner from the begining, which will be very helpful and useful to you.

    Best wishes.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2010
  3. pamrang

    pamrang Senior IL'ite

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    Thank you for the reply!
     
  4. pamrang

    pamrang Senior IL'ite

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    Thanks for the reply; continuing on the same topic, I have another question. It has been in my husband's family custom to do Varalakshmi pooja with a painted picture of Mahalakshmi only (like the ones we normally have in our pooja rooms).
    My MIL's MIL (my husband's grandmom) used to do it that way, according to family custom. But, my MIL liked to worship a Amman face in silver (like most families) and so, after her MIL passed away, my MIL bought a Lakshmi face for herself, asked her sister to do the first pooja and then started doing vratham with that Amman for the past few years.

    So, what should I do now? Follow the original family custom and use a picture of Mahalakshmi or ask my mother to buy a silver face for me? We are all very confused regarding this. Anybody who knows better, please advice!

    Thanks again!

    Padhma
     
  5. aarthi7

    aarthi7 Senior IL'ite

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    pamrang,

    wouldnt it be a better idea to ask your MIL what she can suggest for you.she would be the best person to answer this.varalakshmi viratham is one of the functions which greatly depends on how your husbands family practices it,try to have a talk with her and see what she suggests..if she is happy about you doing it with a mugam,,you can go ahead and buy a laskhmi mugam and a kalsam for placing it.my MIL doesnt have the practice of varalakshmi nombhu,hence i also refrain from doing it,though it is celebrated in a very grand manner at my moms house

    my dh comes from madurai and i wear the meenakshi sundareshwar mangalayam,,whereas my mom wears the one with vilvam leaves,,my dad being from north arcot,,i havent heard about the thulasi madam mangalyam so far..

    as far as taking the viratham is concerned the only reservation is the AADI MONTH,if your first viratham post marraige falls in the aadi masam,it is usually not taken and you may have to wait for another year..other than that i dont think so there is any other reason to postpone taking the viratham,,IMO..

    good luck
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  6. pamrang

    pamrang Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Aarthi,

    Thank you very much for the quick reply!

    The reason I asked here is because my MIL is herself in kind of a dilemma about whether I should use mugam or picture. So, I thought a second opinion may help.

    And, sorry if I had not been clear - I think the tulasi Maadam is the vilvam leaves that you have mentioned - it has a central stem like structure with 3 curved lines originating from it. Is that the same as the one you have mentioned? My MIL is from Madurai and FIL from Kumbakonam area ( I mean, native place) but, MIL wears Meenakshi - Sundareswarar only (both of hers).

    Regards,
     
  7. aarthi7

    aarthi7 Senior IL'ite

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    pamrang

    yes,thats the vilvam leaves...mangalyam depends on the place where your in laws hail from,,whatever be the pattern,,they all serve the same purpose,isnt it..so dont worry too much about that..

    if you ask my opinion about the viratham,using a MUGAM always wins over the photo..of course as i said earlier,,you and your MIL have to take a decision regarding that,we can just lend our views here.
     
  8. vijikrish

    vijikrish Gold IL'ite

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    If tradition is passed from MIL to DIL, it is not good to stop...so think before you take charge of custom. Check with your MIL or MIL side elders.
     

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