Friday, April 14, 2006

Moveable Feasts

Morning time for Vishu celebration and Ishtar, goddess of fertility and a man who knew a temple could be built in three days because a temple is not a building, but two or more people. We even call a body part temple. That is where worship and communication really dwells. Our temples.The cliche phrase... our body is a temple? Do his followers experience his witty and wise reference to temple?

Vishu occurs this time of year. Coincidence?

Ishtar/ Easter and Vishu occur dependant on astronomical calculations. For Vishu ritualistic food includes raw rice, golden cucumber, betel leaves arecanut and some ritualistic objects include fresh linen, a metal ball, mirror, yellow konna flowers and coins. These often recall prosperity or fertility. A sacrifice and sharing for prosperity in the coming new year. A new year is a re-birth, a reincarnation of celestial personas and seasons.

For Vishu there is another paralel to Easter besides the date. There is a morning surprise(like egg hunting?). To wake up and go to an altar and what you see forecasts your future year. The mirror, the abundant food symbolizing prosperity and abundance.(fertility?)

Does the following sound familiar?

Legend: The Kollam era is said to have begun on the day Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu, created Kerala by making the waters of the Arabian Sea recede. Parashurama had vowed to exterminate the Kshatriya caste from the face of the earth. In keeping with this oath, he went to war with Rama, who was a Kshatriya.

During the battle, he realised that Rama was none other than the seventh incarnation of Vishnu. He realised that the purpose of his own life had come to an end and decided to spend the rest of his life in meditation. For this, he wanted a place where he could meditate in total peace. The gods granted him a boon according to which, he was to throw his battle axe into the sea and land would rise along the distance it covered. This is how Kerala was created.

I find for me it recalls several stories. King Arthur, Hamlet, and Moses?

Because April is originally Eostremonat we have Easter being derived from Ishtar, meaning April. The date of our ritualistic eating for both Vishu and Easter is determinded by the moon...and often changes so that is why it is a moveable feast.

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