The Meaning Of Aluth Avurudu
By RaneeMohamed _ Photo by Tusitha Kumara
Astrologer, electronic journalist and veteran detector of auspicious times (nekath) Tennyson Sripal who was also the past president of the Teetotalers Association speaking to The Sunday Leader said that the Avurudu spirit is all about abundance and unity.
“This is a celebration – a one of a kind held in great reverence in Sri Lanka alone. In Sinhalese it is called the Iru Devi Vandanawa or Surya Mangallaya and involves the sun and its golden abundance,” said Tennyson Sripal, speaking from his residence.
“The Sinhala Aluth Avurudda puts the Sri Lankan people into a methodical cycle of life – and has its roots in our essentially agricultural society. After days and months of hard work, the Aluth Avurudda cools both the tired mind and body and is considered a harvest festival, a veritable carnival of abundance,” said this acclaimed astrologer who has also gone into the significance of the change that this Aluth Avurudda will bring both to Sri Lankan life, and to countries all over the world.
“Modern life and living and values may sometimes attempt to overshadow the meaning of Avurudu, but it is almost impossible to ignore the Aluth Avurudda for nature too certifies the importance of this event. From the abundance from the trees pouring forth its fruits to the excited cries of the Koha, Avurudu is heralded with much fanfare by nature itself,” said Tennyson and went on to call on all people irrespective of differences to join in the national celebration.
“This is a precious festival for us, for the underlying theme of Aluth Avurudu is unity. All the differences we have had during the year are forgotten as we send plates of food to neighbours, friends and relatives and they return the gesture of goodwill. Brothers and sisters, relatives and neighbours who have been engaged in petty arguments and brawls all year long experience a sense of warmth when they gather around the table laden with Avurudu delights,” said Tennyson Sripal. “Sometimes arguments and disagreements that the police and the court rooms have failed to solve are settled after the initial exchange of the Avurudu plate,” pointed out Tennyson Sripal and went on to say that there is no way that the Aluth Avurudu can be treated casually.
“There is no way that the Aluth Avurudu ought to be treated casually. It is a time when mothers, fathers, daughters and sons come in search of their family unit however far they may be. A great deal of the preparation falls on the woman of the house – the mother and the wife. Kitchens are cleaned and washed, pots and pans are put out and cleaned, and a whole new phase enters. Intricate preparations are also made days ahead for the preparation of very traditional Avurudu treats as kavun, kokis, mun kerali and the kiribath or milk rice signifies the very essence of Avurudu in terms of food,” explained Tennyson Sripal.
“During the time the kiribath (milk rice) is being made by the mother of the house, the father and the other members of the family engage in the lighting of the oil lamp which is traditionally placed on the table which is adorned with a white table cloth. In the days gone by the mother of the house gives betel leaves to her husband and worships him in reverence, this is to seek pardon for any lapse on her part. Thereafter, the children give betel and offer respect to their parents,” said Sripal.
Tennyson Sripal went on to say that Avurudu traditions as engaging in one’s duties – termed Veda Alannawa, for the first time after the dawn of Avurudu are still carried out. Those engaged in arts and crafts may do some task on this day, children going to school may engage in doing some of their school work, he said.
“In ancient times there was an Avurudu tradition called Linda Indul Karanawa which involves the housewife drawing water from the well,” said Tennyson Sripal. But nowadays there are so many taps around that this tradition seems to be getting washed away.
Times And Happenings This Avurudu
Tennyson Sripal making predictions on the auspicious times and happenings in this Aluth Avurudda said that bathing for the old year ought to take place on Monday, April 12. Nonagathe or Punya Kalaya (inauspicious time) is from 12.34 past midnight on Tuesday, April 13 to 1.22 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14. The New Year dawns on Wednesday, April 14 at 6.58 a.m. Lighting of the hearth is on Wednesday, April 14 at 7.01, wearing the colour green facing northwards. It is customary to visit the temple and engage in religious and meritorious deeds during the Punyakalaya. Partaking of food is on April 14 at 9.07 a.m. Hisa Thel Gama or the anointing of oil is on Thursday, April 15 at 10.06 a.m looking northwards. The auspicious time for setting off to work is on Monday, April 19 at 6.42 a.m. eastwards. Those engaged in the essential services requiring to get to work earlier can set off on Friday, April 16 at 6.08 a.m. looking eastwards.
“There is a significant planetary change that is happening on May 2. This change is happening after 16 years. It is the transition of Jupiter (Brahaspathi) to Meena (Pisces). This change will bring prosperity to many lagnas especially to Kataka (Cancer), Vrushika (Scorpio), Meena (Pisces), Vrashaba (Taurus), Dhanu and Kumbha. Though those in the lagna of Kumbha may be undergoing a very favourable time, there will be many favourable changes for them after May 2,” said Sripal.
“I see abundant rains and an increase in agricultural activity. There will be new industries too in Sri Lanka. The world in general will be affected by certain natural disasters but Sri Lanka will not be affected by such happenings. I see China taking great strides towards success in the Aluth Avurudda. Japan will bring forth new inventions, but I foresee some economic failure. Russia will go ahead into the future with newer space technology and Africa will undergo political turmoil,” predicted Sripal. “I foresee a grouping of several countries the world over to combat terrorism,” added Sripal looking closely into the many intricate designs and numbers on the charts he had created at this moment in time, which held the predictions for times to come.