Ramayana Masam 2023 – Reading Of Ramayanam In Kerala In Karkidakam Month

Ramayana Masam is a month-long observance in Kerala that takes place during the Malayalam month of Karkidakam, which falls between July and August. Throughout the month, traditional Hindu households, Hindu organizations, and temples devoted to Lord Vishnu read the Epic Ramayanam. In 2023, Ramayana Masam will begin on July 17th and end on August 16th. The first day of the month marks the start of the reading of the Ramayana, and it concludes on the last day of the month.

The Adhyatma Ramayanam Kilippattu, written by Thunchath Ezhuthachan, is the famous Malayalam version of the Ramayana that is recited during this month. People light traditional Kerala lamps, sit before the nilavilakku, and recite the Adhyatma Ramayanam after lighting the evening lamp. The reading of the epic is managed in a way that it concludes on the last day of the Karkidakam month.

The Karkidakam month is the final month of the Malayalam calendar, and it is known for its heavy monsoon rains. In the past, agriculture was the primary livelihood of the majority of people in Kerala, and the month of Karkidakam was often referred to as 'panja masam' or the month of scarcity. Due to the heavy rains, the paddy fields would flood, and there would be no work, causing the economy to come to a standstill. People depended solely on the grains they had stored during the previous harvest season, and it was even difficult to go outside and earn a living. To protect themselves from nature's fury, people read the Ramayana. According to the Malayalam Panchangam, new ventures and auspicious functions are not held during this month.

Although Ramayana Masam is associated with reading the Ramayana in Hindu households, it is now a rarity. Instead, it is read in temples and programs conducted by organizations. Hindu spiritual and religious organizations organize public discourses, quiz competitions, plays, and recitals based on the Ramayana during this month. The sale of the book Adhyatma Ramayanam, written by Thunchath Ezhuthachan, is another unique feature of the month. All publishers in Kerala bring out this book, which is now also available on YouTube and as apps on various mobile platforms. Thanks to the explosion of satellite television, almost all Malayalam television channels telecast Ramayana readings and programs based on the epic.

The Amavasya day in the Karkidakam month is dedicated to dead ancestors, and Hindus perform special pujas at the seashore and on riverbeds on this day. The Ramayana Masam also involves a pilgrimage to the four temples dedicated to Lord Ram and his brothers, which is known as the Nalambalam Darshanam.

How to Read the Ramayana?

To drive out negative energy from your home, it is recommended to clean it thoroughly. On Karikadam 1, wake up early, take a bath, and visit the nearby temple. Prepare Ashtamangalyam and light a lamp. Offer prayers to Ganesha and start reading the Ramayana. In the morning, face east or north while reading, and in the evening, face west or north. When reading at any other time, face north only. There is no set rule for how many pages to read each day. It is advised to never stop reading when the line deals with war, sadness, death, or other negative emotions. Always read two auspicious lines and stop for the day. Once you begin reading, it is recommended to read the Ramayana every day of the month. Anyone in the home can read the book; it is not necessary for a single person to read it every day. However, it is advised not to read Uttara Ramayana and to only read the chapters from the birth of Sri Ram until his coronation. Additionally, it is recommended to daily read the fourteen lines starting with "Sri Rama Rama..." in the Bala Kandam. Finally, performing Annadanam (food donation) on a day in the month is highly meritorious.


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