Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tamilnadu must vote for Jayalalithaa!

{This article was written before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. My opinion is same this time too  that JJ must be voted back to power in May 2016 Assembly elections}

This is a compilation of my comments aired in another article (read here) on who we should vote for in Tamilnadu. Many readers of my blog may be upset with what I am going to write here, but we, the voters of Tamilnadu must think and do what is good for us in Tamilnadu.

I was actually toying with the idea of writing a blog with the title “Modi has campaigned for Jayalalithaa in TN

Yes Modi has strengthened the resolve of the constituency that decides the winner, to vote for – ADMK!!!

He made two mistakes.

Mistake no 1:-

Meeting Rajini at the thick of the election campaign. He could have met him any time before or after elections, but the timing is ill- conceived or ill-advised. Following this, his meeting with Vijay made even the educated middle class to squirm. TN has come a long way having gone through the travails of filmi influence on voters. It is time we move on from filmi influence. But Modi is trying to resurrect it! Should we need it any more?

Earlier TN BJP cobbled up an alliance with all the self-seeking leaders who deserved to be shunned. BJP gave them life by this alliance. But people quipped it as a TN BJP affair in trying to get a foot hold for itself in the melee. But as a tall leader, Modi must have been guarded in his actions. His meeting with Rajini and Vijay is ill advised. Does Modi want the TN voter to be influenced by the film stars in voting? Even educated people did not like this act of Modi. Modi praised kalam in a meeting. Had he met him that would have set a high standard that is expected of him. But he was after select film personalities. Disgusting.

Mistake no 2:-

Usually Modi had not spoken on specifics in poll meetings. It used to be a general oration. In the same vein his equating of ADMK with DMK and blaming them as doing vindictive politics shows once again that he is not on his own in thinking but led by others.

Within 24 hours of this speech in TN, the same Modi said that he would probe the corruption cases of Congress Govt and get them punished within a year after assuming office. Is this not vindictiveness? What he accused ADMK and DMK, he is himself saying that he would do.

If ADMK had not done anything for the people, as he said then, why did he praise JJ Govt in Hyderabad a few months ago, saying that if people are not willing to see Gujarat model for growth, they can look at TN model that has done very well for growth. Was he wrong then or now?

The effect of these two mistakes is that JJ retaliated and gave out statistics on how TN is ahead of Gujarat in the most crucial human indices. The next day TOI made it a headline with more info on how TN is well ahead of Gujarat. JJ has started asking pointed questions for which BJP cannot answer. This turn of events is well noted by the core constituency including middle class who had to choose between ADMK and BJP. They are very clear at this moment, with few days to vote.

Who can get things for TN, JJ with 40 seats or JJ with 25 seats? Can Vaiko or Sudheesh get Cauvery water or Mullai periyar water to TN, when a dispute arises? They would perform worse than the DMK in such a situation as they owe their seats and status to the BJP and will be towing the BJP line. Good or bad, JJ has earned a name as a strong willed person, as a go-getter and an unflinching fighter. Now that she has been forced to talk these issues, people are reminded of what she can do which others can’t. This is consolidation of support for her. JJ has shown that she would not even bother if it is Modi or anybody when it comes to getting the benefits for the state. Fans of Modi may not  grasp this. But an average person on the street has been reassured of these specifics from JJ.

Who are these average persons that I am talking about?

All of us are speaking from the safety and comfort of our lives and sitting in front of the computer. A Rahul Kanwal goes to a hotel and tries to fathom the mind of an elite voter. But how many of us know the reality check at the streets, at the millions of homes of the lower middle class and the poor for whom the impact of DMK and ADMK may mean a world of difference?

The common refrain from an elite voter is that that we must not have the 2 Kazhagams and must have an alternative. The same dialogue was spoken two terms ago and Vijaykanth (VK) sprang up with NO specific goals of public welfare but only with personal goals. When people realised that he had to be shown the door, BJP had given a new lease of life to him. All the elements that have to be shunned had been befriended by the TN BJP. On the day this alliance was inked, many people made up their mind on whom not to vote. Even BJP sympathisers won’t vote for these parties. Even the opinion polls that give 3 or 4 seats to BJP alliance, does not give to any of the alliance partners including Vaiko. Politicians make mistakes, TN BJP made the mistake, even Modi made mistakes, but people at the ground level don’t.

The core voter base is watching all the news - what Modi says, what JJ says and what the coterie of BJP says and more importantly what OPINION POLLS say - all thanks to the first freebie given by MK, that is Television.

The opinion polls say that JJ would get 25. Who would get the rest? It is DMK according to opinion polls! A Modi fan would gloat over the fall of projected seats for JJ, but the common man on the street sees the other message - that DMK is rising! He cannot and would not sit quiet at this projection. Talk to any common man anywhere in TN. Once he starts trusting you he would tell why this news is bad for them and why they all have to vote for JJ to keep off DMK.

JJ in power means 2 main things to them which we are not at all bothered about. 
They are 

(1)    police that does not harass but is easy to approach and quick to respond to their problems and
(2)     End to rowdyism.

If JJ is weakened, these two would go averse which would affect their life from all sides. In the last term of DMK these two adversely affected even the middle class people. Even earlier too the lower and middle class were aware of the dangers of DMK and efficacy of JJ in checking DMK. But they were confused then by the kind of justification that people are giving now ( no dravidian party but go for a third alternative). That is why last time, DMK was able to form a govt, though a minority one. For a decade now, JJ has proved to be a vital check against the issues that affect the lives of these people. So they won’t mistakes any longer now.

Every time an Opinion poll says, that JJ would get less and DMK would get some, their resolve increases that they must stop the surge of DMK. That is happening now in TN.

In this scenario, what does Modi offer? I was asked this question? If these people vote him by voting to Vijaykanth or Vaiko or even a well known BJP leader like La. Ganesan, can they assure them what they now enjoy under JJ. What is the guarantee that Modi / BJP would not ally with DMK and offer berths to Dayanaidhi Maran or Balu? An auto driver asked me this. Past history is like that. Murasoli maran was made a minister by Vajpayee. It is from Maran, the DMK kept growing in fine-tuning corruption, which was ultimately followed by Congees in UPA 1 and 2. By now aligning with fit-to-discarded parties, BJP had shown its prowess and readiness in aligning with DMK if it needs. But ADMK is the only party that would not align with DMK at any time!!!

Can one believe in BJP after seeing it holding hands with VK after all his running after DMK + Congress and all talks of suitcases? Can anyone think that people would simply forget all these tamasha and believe that VK is sanitised after having aligned with BJP? May be people like us believe that VK and Vaiko are great after joining hands with BJP. We are padiccha muttal (educated fools). But they (core voters) are unlettered wise people. Only educated fools could bring out an outcome as was seen in Delhi assembly polls!

Few of them I chatted with said a salient point. They said today they may be toiling in the street to make a living. But their daughters are getting education. (Generally the people I talked to, talk high about their Daughters – something you can see in TN and not even in Gujarat as I find this as a sign of better treatment of females. The male-female sex ratio is above the national average in TN.) The girls read everything and tell them who says what. (May be the boys don’t read newspapers / magazines and don’t bother to discuss with parents). People say Modi wave - Modi wave. They asked so what? What do they get by voting him in this poll when they are already getting what they want from JJ. They are not for upsetting the present peace or trying new options. JJ has sent clear signals in every speech on what she can give. The confidence that she has given was not given by any other leader in TN.

 Coming to the points raised by a reader:


The first culprit is MK. Once the liquor started flowing, it is not easy to control it. No party even BJP would control it. The data in the current poll scenario is that one peg, money (Rs 100 to 300) and chicken biriyani are the deals per person to attend the poll meeting of leaders. On the day of a meeting in a particular place, the Tasmac sales shoot up high. The reason is obvious. A survey was done by TOI noting down the increase in sales in Tasmac in and around the area of the venue of meeting. Do you know who leads the list? It is Modi’s meeting in vandalur, the first meeting he spoke for this polls. The increase was 5 crore rupees on that day in Tasmacs in and around Vandalur. The next slots are occupied by – you know very well- Vijayakanth’s meeting venues. Then comes Anbumani. JJ comes last with just 11 or 16 lakhs increase. One reason for this low in JJ’s meeting could be that more women attend the meeting than men! Now tell me who are using or misusing Tasmac?


Here also, MK was the first culprit. When JJ was almost comfortable in coming back, MK announced free TV and was seconded by Chidambaram and the results turned topsy turvy. This was unbelievable at that time. But JJ realised the potential of DMK in using this, and she did not leave out anything to be used by MK in the next (last) elections. Hers was a sequel and not original. If only DMK had made any worthy freebie, he would have stolen the results from her. So blame MK, blame the people before training your guns on JJ. But then JJ was clever in converting many of them as productive capital. Cattle and goats are really a good investment as we could see immediate surge in quality of Aavin milk and Aavin profits after that. That is a very good economic recycling. For the information the USA gives many free allowances from birth to death. Even college students have to pay heavy amounts as part of their tuition fees to pay for old age pension scheme of the American Govt.

JJ is not a Rajaji or Kamaraj. But a Rajaji could not control MK when he opened the liquor in the State. JJ had been the only leader after MGR, capable of stopping MK. As long as MK is there, JJ must be there to stop him, or else the State would suffer. VK had no qualms in joining hands with MK. Even BJP would go to him just for the sake of power.

Today the core constituency is well aware of who is who and who is to be strengthened. The more they hear about surge of BJP or DMK, the more resolved they are in keeping them out. They say that throughout TN, this would happen. They may not tell this if someone asks. The initial reaction is that they vote for DMK! That is because of the fear of dada-giri. They would not tell so easily unless they trust you.

Even TOI carries out a survey of the people who attend the meetings. During poll times, it is busy time for them all. Money + booze + biriyani is the remuneration they get. No discrimination in doing this work (attending meetings) among political parties. Nowadays they expect Mutton biriyani instead of chicken biriyani as it is costly and therefore not affordable by them. They are ready to attend any meeting and shout slogans. But ask them to whom they would vote. They have their own choices – not influenced by the meetings they attend. They have already made up their choices on sound logic which you and I cannot think from what we read from the computer.

Until now JJ has not made any wrong move or wrong speech. She is the only leader in the country who had not made any direct or indirect appeal for vote on caste or religion basis. This was glaringly seen in her campaign in Triplicane day before. Anyone in her place could have been tempted to talk appeasingly to Muslims who are 30% of the electorate there and who congregated in large numbers in that campaign. She did not talk anything for Muslims there which was well noted by the Muslim residents themselves. Is this not the right way to take the country forward? Name one leader who had not spoken on caste or communal lines.

Those calculations are of course there in choosing the candidates for all parties. But JJ had kept up the campaign above all these things which she herself mentioned in her last campaign stop yesterday.

She has been guarded in her response to BJP all along. Even when the Tauheed faction of Muslims left her and offered their support to MK on the pretext that JJ had not spoken anything on BJP, she did not speak against BJP. She did not even stop them. But only after Modi tweeted that he was going to meet Rajini that evening, she took up the Cauvery issue in the meeting that evening shortly before Modi met Rajini. Modi had vitiated the atmosphere unnecessarily and mindlessly. I strongly doubt that he had been advised so by vested interests to drive a wedge between him and JJ.

TN BJP is perfectly right in trying to cash in on Modi's popularity to broaden its base. I have consciously mentioned TN BJP, not just BJP  in my comments. Even JJ did not bother about the alliance that TN BJP was making. But as a tall leader Modi must have been guarded in his actions and speech.

My grouse is that he has given in to filmi influence which TN has suffered too long and needs to shrug itself out of it. Principled stand is what Modi signifies. He must not give room for anything otherwise of it.  

Common complaints against Jayalalithaa answered:-

I hope readers know the history of it. If not, let them google search to know it. Initially no one was for it. It was MGR, who did not even show himself as drinking in movies, started it. MGR had no option at that time to bring liquor trade under govt control. Even then the liquor lobby and cartelisation was powerful and it grew up as a moneyed mafia. On the other side illicit liquor was thriving to cater to poor people. I very well remember those days when a family in Dharmapuri died after consuming illicit liquor. The pathos was such that mothers fed illicit liquor to babies to beat hunger. They all died. In the early 2000s I myself came across a couple of businessmen who wanted to get into liquor trade, approaching me for astrological counsel. I advised them not to go for it. I am saying this here to drive home the point how liquor trade was growing in a pace as to engulf entire State.

In that scenario, to arrest the indiscriminate growth of liquor trade, liquor mafia and fleecing of people, JJ stopped retailing by private people and brought it under govt control. That is how the present Tasmac was born. Making profit out of it was not the purpose of the govt when it was started. But the number of outlets proliferated in MK’s period such that the shops were set up near schools and temples and at every bus stop. It was MK who used the Tasmac money to pay for the freebies. The freebie culture started by him could not be stopped in the next term (present) and it won’t go over to next term as there is nothing to offer!! Freebie has reached the saturation and Tasmac money would find other uses in future.

Only if awareness level increases in liquor consumption, Tasmac growth can be reduced. There is always the danger of illicit liquor coming in and liquor barons growing up if the Govt closes Tasmac. Without check on these two, it is not possible to close it once for all. They can be reduced and are getting reduced now. There is a court order too not to have them on highways. Like this the number of outlets must be reduced while taking care that no one resorts to illicit distillery. This is the background. Who owns the distilleries is something which no one can isolate someone to blame.


Let me know who will resist the temptation to take up the freebie. We have a choice not to take the freebies. But I didn’t see anyone not taking it. Why even well off people took the TV? It’s all in man’s greediness. Basic human nature even among educated class is such that. Then we can’t blame the poor for whom it is something worthy. But once MK exits, things like this will largely be out of place.

If JJ had not given the list of freebies, MK would have taken up some and garnered votes. It was a necessary evil that JJ had to do. In the previous election she didn’t do it. But even now she is going in a measured pace in distribution. But I have one thing to say. I do see poor people really benefited by the things. We can see how their lifestyle had improved with the freebies. In their families the mothers had to toil at work and at home.  For the kind of physical work they do, the freebies are definitely a boon. It is up to us, who can afford those items not to claim them. One can do if they choose to. If JJ makes any conditions on freebie distribution, hell will break loose on her, insinuated by MK and other politicians.

Looting natural resources:

We are going by media reports. There are conflicting reports on all these issues including Sagayam too. But JJ of the current times, is above personal goals. There is absolutely no need for her amass wealth by dubious means.
Rain water harvesting:

Don’t blame JJ for it. She was the architect of it. It is there in govt offices. It is insisted in building plan. Lot of maraamath works are also happening. On agriculture, water sources, irrigation – JJ is doing whatever can be done. If someone is  blaming her for agriculture, rural economy and irrigation, it means they are ill-informed.

Rajiv killers:-

I have written my opinion here:- http://vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=3117  Today even judiciary thinks that after a certain long years in jail, if there is good behaviour, they can be released. On Dharmic side (for which readers come to my blog to know my views), no one is permanently condemned for an offense. If so, there is no meaning in prayers, in seeking pariharas and prayaschitthas from our paapam. Even God is known to pardon sinners who have suffered in retribution and reformed. If we are to suffer for our sins wholesome, our lives would be very unbearable. It is by prayers, good conduct and repentance we are leading better lives – even though we are not aware of it.

Whether Rajiv killers expressed remorse or not:-

Their role in the conspiracy, the court charges and subsequent bungling in the case of Perarivalan are in public domain. The last one (bungling in Perarivalan’s complicity) is simply unacceptable in terms of fair justice.

On SL issue, JJ was dead against LTTE – which is 100% justified. But once LTTE is no longer there, she started giving voice for SL Tamils.

On electricity:-

What a phenomenal problem it was when she took over! How can it be solved entirely in 3 years? I hope people are following the details of what she did and the status of power generating units. She is not doing nothing as MK. Even if Modi is in her place he could have only what she has done. One difference with Gujarat is that Modi is not offering free electricity, but in TN nearly 30% of the consumption is given free. When something is free, people tend to over use it. Free electricity was started before JJ. Once something was given free, it is not possible to withdraw it. People’s and political parties’ cooperation must be there. Another thing, electricity charges in TN are lower than in Gujarat and many other states.

When Modi said in the last before previous election in Gujarat that he will not give free electricity but give 24 x 7 electricity, no opposition party opposed it or instigated the people against it. Would any opposition party do so in TN if JJ makes a similar announcement? If we do away with free electricity, we also can have 24X 7 electric supply.

JJ blaming others on electricity:-
There is nearly 25% support base for DMK in TN which is intact. It was reported that it is possible that if someone (from them or  congress loyalist) working in the generating units wants to stall production, he can just add a bucket of water in a particular unit to stop production which will take a month resume. This was reported in newspapers. The nature of problems in some units point out to such sabotage, it is told by engineers.
Price rise:-

Amma eateries are one of JJ’s efforts to protect the poor from price rise. This is something great according to me. We see scores of construction workers – particularly women – taking a Tiffin box with rice cooked the previous night for work. This eatery is a boon to them all. We coolly say ‘thani manithanukku unavillai enil jagaththinai azhitthiduvOm’ – but do nothing to anyone to fill their stomach. As per Hindu way of life each family must feed atleast one stranger before taking their meal. We don’t do it. Many of us who do it, give food for an exchange of some work. In Tamil Sangam literature, we read about Pasi-p-piNi marutthuvan Pannan who was praised by a king in that song. Such mentality helped to eradicate hunger in those days. We, people also have a responsibility to society and as such we must feed at least one person a day without expectation. In the absence of this culture, Amma eatery is a boon.


This morning Modi tweeted against these people (whom I mentioned in my comment yesterday night) and warned them not to vitiate the theme of the campaign. It appears that there is a hidden work going against Modi's ascent to power. Once after it is made sure that BJP is going to be the single largest party, work is being done to make sure that the tally falls short of simple majority. This is aimed at stopping Modi to claim PM post. That is why I am saying that Modi had been ill-advised by some to meet Rajini and accuse JJ which in his own mind, I dont think, Modi would have done. Why should they work against Modi is a question.

Today Modi has no friend from any regional party of stature. Unnecessarily he had spoiled the equation with JJ. All that he can have is the seats in Hindi belt where BJP and Congress are face to face with each other. Heavy polarization of Muslims against BJP is happening in the until now conducted elections. Muslims are doing tactical voting.

We in TN also must do tactical voting to keep off DMK. Love for Modi would harm TN at this juncture. Somehow BJP led or BJP backed govt would be formed in the centre. But don't throw mud on our heads in TN. Whichever govt comes in the centre, JJ would join it. She must be in commanding position in that set up if we have to get benefits for TN.

In TN, the opinion polls are a farce as we saw a different result in Exit polls in the assembly elections which was opposite of what people actually voted. The people for whom the elections matter (ADMK or DMK) would not speak out their mind but show in the ballot box. Even as I was writing my comments yesterday, JJ had spoken same thing in South chennai. She opened her speech with a declaration that she did not speak on caste, religion or such things but only on issues throughout the campaign. That is a well noted point by many sections of people but not reported in the press. The Tauheed Muslims and others have pledged their support to her so also many groups in the last couple of days.

Notable is the visit of Pujaris sanga to meet JJ at her residence yesterday. This sanga has 35 to 50 lakh members who are pujaris of all the village temples in TN. This sanga is promoted by none other than VHP, presided over by Togadia! The silently happening thing in TN is that VHP that has control over all temples of TN through the Pujaris is not supporting BJP and its alliance partners TN. They have pledged their support to JJ.

Two reasons for it:- (1) Hindu temples and issues around Hindu temples are safe under JJ. If JJ is weakened, all the work that is going on to revive Hindus, Hindu temples and Hinduism in TN are going to be affected. (2) Togadia - Modi who were best buddies once, parted when Modi aspired for national ambitions. Read today's TOI to know the background. It is something between them that they have to solve.

Let me remind the readers a basic reality. India's problems cannot be solved by a single man or in a few years. Modi is projecting himself as a single man govt! Of course Modi is a sincere person and we believe him. At the same time he does not have solutions to many problems. As far as TN is concerned, he did not even assure anything on electricity or on cauvery issue. Only the TN govt has to do them - of course with a friendly central govt. Any govt under any one that is to come in the centre would heed to TN's hopes and demands only if JJ has numbers. Let us look at our home before looking at Indian scenario.

India's ancient mammals survived multiple pressures (so too Indian populations?)

Most of the mammals that lived in India 200,000 years ago still roam the subcontinent today, in spite of two ice ages, a volcanic super-eruption and the arrival of people, a study reveals. India's ancient mammals survived multiple pressures 

Leopard in southern India [Credit: PlanetEarth Online] 

In contrast, nearly two-thirds of mammals in northern Eurasia, Australia, Madagascar and the Americas died out by 10,000 years ago. The findings suggest that many of India's charismatic animals, such as bears, leopards and wolves, may have been more able to adapt to ecological pressures than mammals elsewhere. They also highlight the importance of connected habitats and could help protect some of today's most endangered Indian creatures.

Researchers think India's mammals survived crises by moving between connected safe havens, known as refugia. More stable weather in the area over the last 200,000 years compared to other parts of the world could also have played a part in the mammals' persistence. Until now, many researchers thought widespread extinctions affecting far-apart places like North America, Europe and Australia must have been worldwide phenomena, caused by single problems like climate change or overhunting. But this latest study adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that extinctions may instead be the result of multiple pressures.

'Most of the research on mega-faunal extinctions over the last 30 or 40 years has focused on North America, Australia and Madagascar, so that has shaped our thinking on the topic. These places saw much more extremes of climate change than the Indian subcontinent did. These and human factors may have led to big changes in faunal populations,' says Professor Michael Petraglia of the University of Oxford, who led the study. 'But it now seems that major extinctions during the Late Pleistocene weren't a worldwide phenomenon after all, which was surprising,' he adds.

The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, aimed to find out how climate change and the first influx of people affected some of the bigger mammals on the Indian subcontinent. This was probably one of the first regions reached by early modern humans leaving Africa in the Late Pleistocene. The researchers painstakingly identified and dated animal fossils from ancient sediments from caves in southern India. Some of the caves' chambers contain ten-metre-thick sediments, made up of layers of mud slowly deposited over thousands of years. These provide a glimpse into the past, revealing details about which animals lived when.

Researchers have built such timelines for the Americas, Europe and Australasia, but not, until now, for the Indian subcontinent. Petraglia and his colleagues found that 20 of 21 mammal groups from at least 100,000 years ago are still in India today. 'We managed to successfully date this long sequence going back 200,000 years. We saw a broad-scale continuity of fauna and in the wider perspective, our findings conflicted with other major extinction events,' says Petraglia. 'The relative stability of rainfall and topography across the Indian subcontinent as a whole meant that habitat survival in patches facilitated faunal recombination, migration, and general long-term persistence,' write the authors. Source: PlanetEarth Online [April 17, 2014]

Read more at: http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.in/2014/04/indias-ancient-mammals-survived.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+TheArchaeologyNewsNetwork+(The+Archaeology+News+Network)#.U1Yn5FeDiKk
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Saturday, April 19, 2014

An overview of the 42 samskaras – article by R.Ramanathan

{This article is a sequel to an article posted more than a year ago. That article titled "How difficult is the life of a Brahmana!" was written by our regular reader and Vedic Scholar, Mr R. Ramanathan. Responding to the request of a reader Mr Murali (smk), Mr Ramanathan has taken time out his busy and dual schedule as an IT professional and a Vedic learner & teacher, and has written this article. The article is not complete and will be continued. My sincere thanks to Mr Ramanathan for his contribution}

A list of the 42 samskaras is given in the website   

Note this list is not always constant and there are differences in the samskaras listed. For example I see that the a samskara called the “Karna Vedanam”-‘Piercing of the ear and adornment with gold earrings”, which is mentioned in the Yajnavalkya smriti is not found in the above list. Also this list seems to be oriented towards the taittriya yajur veda shaka. The persons who follows Jaiminya sama veda shaaka who are found in and around thogaiyur(near Trichy) follow some more samskaras. We will stick to the above list for the purposes of elucidation. Note that I will not be discussing the procedures followed in each samskara but the significance of each, with respect to “Brahmaniyaa” and how they are corrupted today.


This is the laying of the seed in the womens womb and is the first samskara.  This is usually after vivaaha “marriage”. Here what I mean by marriage is the 4 day dharma shastraic marriage and not the current 2 day extravaganza happening now. Will discuss more one this in the vivaaha samskara. This samskara in today’s terminology is called “Shanti muhurtam”. Note thus the samskara for a brahmana child happens even before birth of the child. So, there is no question whether “Braahmaniya” is by birth or not.  It starts from birth alone. This samskara ensure “Kshetra shuddi” “Purification of the field” for the female. Just as brahmacharya results in bija shudda for the male.


This karma is performed to pray for a male child. This has been discussed in detail in the apastamba.


This is the parting of female hair with a porcupine claw. This is done during pregnancy usually during the 4 or 5th month. It is also performed during 8th months. Currently seemanthonayana is performed for the 1st child as per Apastamba.


This is performed when the placenta is cut from the child. This has to be performed at the hospital directly. Though it never happens practically.


Naming ceremony. This name is later used in “Abhivadana” of the male child when introduced into Vedic school.


First outing of the child outside of the house after birth.


First food in-take (Solid food)

First hair-cut. This depends on sampradaya. This karma results in the kudumi or tuft. Depending on one’s sampradaya one can have a poorvashika (Tuft in front like the thilla deekshitas and namboodris), or normal tuft worn by majority south Indian Brahmins. Note, the tuft is important for all the future karmas to be done. The present practice of having a crop and doing adhyayana and other vaidika karmas is to be condemned in no uncertain terms. Also note even the basic daily bath (Snana) that is performed without a shika is not valid. Since after bath, one has to give “shika-udakam”. i.e. give the residual water of the shika with a chant of mantras to pitrus.  Note this is to be done by everyone, brahmacharis or grihastas, whether father alive or not. If this is not performed, the bath is not considered purificatory and one is not eligible for even sandhyavandana. Also the shika is to be let loose during rites to pitrus and tied closely during other times. Performed in the 3rd year of a male child.


Sacred thread ceremony. This is a very well-known samskara where the brahmachari is instructed in the savitri mantra and begins his study of his vedic shaaka under a competent acharya in the gurukula along with proper vratas.  Upanayana samskara as per Apastamba and the Ekagani kandain the Taittriya yajur veda, is a very simple samskara and if performed strictly as per shastra should not cost more than Rs75,000/- . Not many of the costly items used like a silk dhoti, jari “poonals” etc are specified in the shastras.  Even the pancha patra given for a brahmachari is supposed to be made of wood or coconut. Nowadays there seems to be no difference in the performance of marriages and upanayana. Many people seem to conduct a reception on the evening of the upanayana at 6.00pm, the most important time for evening sandhyavandana and samidhadhana. Where can the brahmachari perform it? Rather he is asked to wear a “Sherwani”, when ideally he should be adorned with a dhoti and deerskin and made to sit on the stage and asked to shake his hands with his father’s office colleagues who wish him “Happy upanayana” without understanding the purpose.

The biggest atrocities are from the photographers, who tell when an act is to be performed and from videographers who tell when the mantras are to be started and how much should be told. Also they enter the ceremonial area with their socks on their foot which is disgusting. What is supposed to be a private ceremony is made into an extravaganza of sorts filled with complete anaachara. But unfortunately no one including the purohit tells the brahmachari to perform his sandhya and do his adhyayana and what constitutes aachara and so on.

One event adiyeen saw which I want to mention, as it would be relevant here. Adiyeen went with his family to Vaitheeswaran koil near Mayiladuthurai last year, as it is my family deity. We were put up in Kanchi Shankara mutt.  On the day we came there was a upanayanam going on. We went on with our temple visits and came back to our room around 12.00 in the afternoon. Adiyeen came out of the room and went to the well, to draw water for performing Maadhyahnika and brahma yajna, when adiyeen overheard a conversation between the boy who had this upanayanam and his father.  The boy asked his father whether he too do need to do madhyahnika. The father replied “No only Vaathyars (priest in tamil) do maadhyahnika and people like us who got to school and read well do not need to”. Adiyeen was too stunned for words. In fact the first karma the newly initiated brahmachari gets to do after upanayana is madhyahnika as the ceremony would cross over to noon. This is how Brahmin parents are today and it’s really pathetic.


The 4 Veda vratas listed in the site above 1. Praajapatya 2. Sowmya 3. Agneeya 4. Vaishwadeva pertain to the corresponding portions of the Taittriya Krishna yajur veda (TKY hereafter). When the brahmachari learns each portion he has to take up each vrata one by one and learn it. Sadly this is not followed even in paatashalas now. Other vedic shaakas may have their own vratas during study.  The 5th portion of the TKY called the Aruna involves the TKY Aaranyaka and is involved with forest hermits.

These are the vratas that are performed now during marriage in an abridged manner. Though, adiyeen questions the need for such a thing. If a person does not do adhyayana of a single line in the TKY what’s the need to do all these things during the marriage as done now?. This is just a farce.


This literally means bringing the brahmachari to equality with the world. As the period of brahmacharya involves strenuous tapas (Not just intellectual study) along with study, the brahmachari is said to attain brahmavarchas or luster pertaining to vedic study. If the boy after completing the course of study chooses to marry, the samavartana is performed for him. All the paraphernalia associated with the brahmacharya ashrama like the bhiksa paatra, Krishna ajina,dhanda, the munji belt, and the kaupina are given up in this ceremony. After the samavartana ceremony the brahmachari becomes a snataka brahmana and has 2 yajnopavitas. He is now an eligible bachelor. Now since all these years (10 or 12) he was studying in the paatashala and did not have worldly knowledge he is asked to undertake a yaatra to kashi so that he gains worldly knowledge. He can ask for a girl from a qualified family. During marriage the 3rd yajnopavita is worn indicating entry into grihastashrama. If one understands the sankalpa for the yajnopavita dharana vidhi all this is told there.

The kashi yatra mentioned above is again one of the farces performed in the marriage ceremony today. What has to be done after brahmacharya but prior to marriage is done during the marriage.


This is the dharmic marriage done for 4 days as per the shruti and dharma shastras.  This is one of the most corrupted samskaras today. The biggest lie in weddings performed nowadays is that the purohit (or boy) asks the girl if she can see the Arundati naksharta during the afternoon. Usually weddings are conducted in Tamil Nadu during the summer time frame, when the sun is blazing in the sky. It is not possible to look at the sun. How on earth can anybody see anything!!!. But when I asked the question to the purohita he said that if he asked this question he would be out of business!!!. Actually the star sighting is done on the night of the 2nd day.  Also I mentioned the kashi yaatra farce in the previous section.

When people think of 4 day weddings they immediately think that money is a waste. But they do not bother for one moment on the amount of money being spent on the farce that is called reception (having no dharmic value). I attended a reception in chennai once and saw that 15 varieties of dosa were being served.  Also the reception is conducted nowadays before the wedding which is adharmic.

I had the fortune of attending a 4 day wedding performed strictly according to the shruti and the ceremony was simple. The wedding was performed at home and the person told me that the wedding expense for all 4 days put together was not more than 2lacs. There were no 10 course reception meals.  No pointless quarrels for coffee as happen in Tamil Brahmin weddings.  No Ambattiooru (51 in tamil) mysore paaku or murkku as a seeru. Also there were no quarrels associated with it like one mysore paaku was missing and so on.  It was a simple dharmic ceremony were the purohitas were all ghanapatis and kramapatis as my friend himself is a dvi vedi (he knows the yajus and samans). The vivahaa was performed as per the ekagni kaanda of the KTY. And he had his aupasana agni. Also the shanti muhurtam happened only after the sheesha homa was performed. No kattu sadha koodai or jaanavasm farces.  The couple did not bath for 4 days and drank milk only for 3 times a day for 4 days.

Note that tying of taali is not mentioned as part of the shruti or dharma shastras and is part of kula aachara or family tradition. A dharmic marriage is affected if the ceremonies, till the saptapadi is performed. Even for legal registration this is sufficient. The famous mangala sutra mantra “Mangalyam thantunanee” is not part of any vedic shaaka and comes in the purana(Vayu purana??). So tying of taali may or may not be done in a dharmic marriage and is done solely for social purposes.
Note the rest of the samskaras like performing yajnas depend on a proper marriage.  And if one does not have it than he is ineligible to perform any agni based rite.


The last rites. This in strict technical sense is applicable only for a person who undergoes all the samskaras properly, has a proper vedic adhyayana. Thus for persons not doing these thing it has to be called dahana and not antyeshti.

These are the major 16 samskaras.  The others are yajnas to be performed as a householder. The rest to be continued in the next article…