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Questions & Answers

This service is to enable you to ask any questions pertaining to religion and/or culture. We'll look for the answer from one of Pathirikai collaborators in the relevant field.

Funeral Ceremony explained by Sri Govindarajen Payaniandy Gurukkal

  1. Quelle est la position à observer en exposant un cadavre sur un canapé (tête, pieds., soleil levant, soleil couchant etc) ?

    Tête vers le sud, les pieds vers l'ouest

  2. Quelle est la position dans laquelle un cadavre quitte sa maison?

    Le cadavre quitte la maison faisant face à sa demeure pour la dernière fois en le faisant sortir la tête en premier .

  3. Quelle est la signification de frotter du lilas écrasé sur la bouche du défunt (par ses proches)?

    on se sert du lilas qui est un microbicide ou l’huile.sur le corps pour une dernière purification avant l'incinération'

  4. Quelle est la signification de frotter du vibhudi sur la personne décédée?

    Vibuthi pour les sivaïtes c'est la libération et la protection de l'âme et aussi représente Anava[ego], Karmam[action] et Mayai[illuson].

  5. Si la personne décédée va être brulée, qu’est-ce qu’il faut faire avec les cendres récoltées le lendemain matin, peut-on en partie disposer dans une tombe et l'autre partie verser dans la mer?

    Il faut verser les cendres dans la mer ou la rivière en récitant des prières.

  6. Quelles sont les rituels à suivre pour le "Ettoo" "Caroomadee" et "Tevson"?

    Ettoo c'est huit jours qui ne représente rien pour l'âme et donc il n’a aucune nécessité. Le Caroomadee ou Mokchadeepam c'est pour l'action du défunt pendant son passage sur la terre aussi pour le repos de l'âme.

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Wedding explained by Sri Govindarajen Payaniandy Gurukkal

  1. Is Marriage Compatibility necessary?

    Our society seldom accepts anything at face value.Even in simple matters such as buying vegetables, the decision is only madeafter sufficient scrutiny of the product offered and necessary pricecomparisons. The same procedures are repeated in every one of our otheractivities. Thus, when we spend so much time and effort in determining thesuitability of even consumable products, should the selection of a life partnerbe left to luck and good fortune? Certainly not! In fact an important decisionsuch as this cannot be left to chance, especially since Hinduism has providedus with an alternative means. Tamil scriptures contain details of ascertainingwhether a prospective bride and bridegroom are compatible with each other ornot.


  2. What are the elements of compatibility?

    A Tamil wedding is inviolable. Tamil marry for life.Divorce is not a Tamil concept. Therefore, marriages should only be contractedbetween compatible individuals. The compatibility (porutham) of a man and awoman intending to get married is determined after taking into account 21 separate factors. Of these the following 10 are considered more important.

    1.     Thina Porutham

    This is also known as Natchathira (star) Porutham. Itdetermines the Health and Life of the prospective couple.

    2.     Kana Porutham

    If this porutham is absent or weak, then the life of thecouple will not be satisfactory. The couple will not see eye to eye with eachother and will be constantly quarrelling.

    3.     Mahendra Portham

    This porutham determines progeny (children). Absence of thisporutham results in childless marriages.

    4.     Stree Theerkka Porutham

    A strong Stree Theerkka Porutham will ensure a prosperousfamily life. The couple will always enjoy the Blessings of Mother Mahalakshmi.It also means that the wife will live long as a Sumangali (that is, she willnot be widowed).

    5.     Yoni Porutham

    This relates to the physical compatibility, that will ensurethat the married couple will enjoy a good physical relationship with eachother.

    6.     Raasi Porutham

    This porutham also relates to children. When this porutham ispresent it means the couple will be blessed with children. This porutham isdeemed to be at its best when the couple share the same Raasi (that is,astrological sign).

    7.     Raasi Athipathi Porutham

    This porutham also determines marital bliss and prosperity.

    8.     Vasiya Porutham

    The presence of this porutham means that there will be strongand mutual physical attraction between the couple. This would result in afamily life based on love, mutual respect, understanding, and co-operation.

    9.     Ratchu Porutham

    This determines the life span of the husband. In the Tamilfamily, the husband is the breadwinner. The well being of the whole family revolvesaround him. It is the prayer of all wives that their husbands be blessed with along and healthy life. Widowhood is something all women pray not to happen tothem. Therefore, the life span of the husband is of utmost importance. Thus, ifthis porutham is weak or absent, the proposal will usually be called off.

    10.  VethaiPorutham

    When this porutham is strong the couple will be able toanticipate and thus avoid ill-luck and misfortune.

    However, our Sastras have ordained that a marriage maybe solemnised if the following five poruthams are sufficiently strong:

    ·        Thina Porutham

    ·        Kana Porutham

    ·        Yoni Porutham

    ·        Raasi Porutham

    ·        Ratchu Porutham


  3. What are the proper occasions for a wedding?

    1.     What is the most appropriate day?

    The most appropriate days areWednesdays, Fridays, Mondays, and Thursday. Weddings MUST NOT be conducted onTuesdays.

    2.     What is the most appropriate Tithi?

    The most appropriate tithis are Duathiyai (2ndday), Thiru thiyai (3rd day), Panchami (5th day), Sapthami(7th day), Dasami (10th day), Ekadasi (11thday), and Thriyodasi (13thday) of the Valarpirai (that is, betweenthe Ammavasai and Pournami).


    Cathurti (4th day), Astami (8th day) and Sathurdasi (14thday) are NOT SUITABLE for weddings.

    3.     What are the appropriateNatchathirams?

    The proper Natchathirams are Rohini, Mirugashiridam, Magam,Uthiram, Ashtham, Suvathi, Anusham, Moolam, Uthiradam, Uthirattathi, andRevathi.


    Natchathirams NOT SUITABLE for weddings are Bharani, Karthigai, Thiruvathirai,Aiyiliyam, Pooram, Ketai, Pooradam, and Pooradathi.

    4.     What are the most suitable months?

    The most auspicious months are, Aavani (August – September),and Pangguni (March – April). Weddings may also be conducted in Thai (January –February), Vaikasi (May – June), and Aani (June – July).


    Weddings MUST NOT be conducted in Aadi (July – August), Puratasi (September –October), and Margal(h)i (December- January).

    5.     What are the appropriate Lagnas?

    The most suitable Lagnas are Mithunam (Gemini), Kanni (Virgo), and Thulam(Libra).


    Mesham (Aries), Virichagam (Scorpio), and Kumbam (Aquarius) SHOULD BE AVOIDED.


    In order of importance, Vaaram supercedes the Tithiwhile Natchathiram precedes the Vaaram. Lagna precedes Natchathiram. If on theselected Lagna, Lord Guru and Lord Sukkiran are strong, all otherinaupiciousness will be over-ridden.


    ·        Weddings should be conducted duringValarpirai (that is, during the period when the moon is growing).

    ·        The seventh House of the Lagnaselected for the wedding should not be occupied by any graham (planet).

    ·        The day of the wedding should notbe the day, date, or the natchathiram on which either the bride or bridegroomwere born.

    ·        Weddings in the morning are theMOST auspicious.

    ·        Weddings after 12 noon are notrecommended.

    ·        Weddings MUST NOT be conducted whenthe bride is having her monthly period.

    WeddingsSHOULD ONLY BE conducted when either the bride or the bridegroom are under theinfluence of Lord Guru. Otherwise, the wedding should be postponed until theoccasion arises.

  4. What is the thaali?

    The culmination of the various rituals of a weddingceremony is the knotting of the Thaali around the neck of the bride by thebridegroom.

    The Thaali informs the whole world that the woman ismarried and should be treated with the respect due to her status. The Thaalialso serves to remind the lady that she is somebody’s wife and is thereforesubject to Stree Dharma. For these reasons, the Thaali is considered as theguardian of a married woman. Tamil women treasure the Thaali greater than eventheir lives.

    TheThaali is actually the string,not the gold ornament attached to it, which signifies one’s Varna. The Thaalishould be made of string or thread only and not of gold or other expensivematerial since the philosophy of the Thaali is applicable to all Hindusirrespective of their economic status in life. Also, the Thaali must be knottedthree times. A gold chain cannot be knotted.

  5. Why three knots?

    The three knots signify that as a wife she is subjectto her husband, his parents, and God.



    The weddingMantra

    While knotting the Thaali the following Mantra will berecited.

    ‘’Maanggalyam Thanthu Naanena

    Mama Jivana Hehthuna

    Kande Pathnaami Subagay

    Sanjeva Sarathas Satham!’’

    It means:

    ‘’ This is a sacred thread. It will enable me to livewell. I am knotting it around your neck. May you attain all auspiciousness andlead a successful life.’’

    From the meaning it is obvious that this sloka must berecited by the bridegroom himself.


  6. What Is The Sapthapathi? (Theseven steps)

    The wedding ceremony does not end when the bridegroomties the Thaali around the neck of the bride. There are several more rituals.Among them is the Sapthapathi. This ritual requires the bride to walk sevensteps around the Homa Pit. The philosophy behind this ritual is as follows:

    The bridegroom will hold the right toe of the brideand guide her every step. After each step, he will recite the following slokas:

    1st step: ‘’Aegamishe Vishnuthvaan Vethu’’

    Which means: May God grant you good food and clothesgenerously.

    2nd step: ‘’ Tvae Oorjay’’

    Which means: May God bless you with Good Health.

    3rd step: ‘’Treenee Virathaaya’’

    Whichmeans: May God assist you in observing your Viratas (fasts).

    4thstep: ‘’SathvaabimeMayoh Bhavaya’’

    Whichmeans: May God grant you good life.

    5thstep: ‘’PanchuPasupyahaa’’

    Whichmeans: May you be blessed with many cows (symbol of wealth).

    6thstep: ‘’ShatRuthupyahaa’’

    Whichmeans: May all seasons be favourable towards you.

    7th step: ‘’Saptha Sapthopyeo Hethvipyeo Vishnuthvaan Vethu’’

    Which means: May all your religious activities succeedby God’s Grace.


  7. Why do we exchange Garlands?

    According to Hindu traditions garlands may only beused once. A garland that has been offered to one Deity will not be offered toanother Deity. Similarly, a garland used on one individual will not be used norwill it be accepted by another individual. In fact, wearing a garland alreadyworn by another is considered inauspicious.

    However, the Tamil wedding rituals require the brideand bridegroom to exchange garlands. There is a profound philosophy in thisritual.

    The act of exchanging garlands signifies that a Tamilhusband and his wife are not considered separate individuals. They have beenunited into a single family unit by the marriage ceremony. The two separateindividuals are now equal partners of a Tamil family unit. Being parts of asingle entity they may of course share garlands, just like they will shareeverything else.

    This ritual also symbolises that a Tamil family isbased on the principle of equality and mutual respect.

    Usually the garlands will be exchanged three times.


  8. Why do we step on the Grinding Stone

    During the course of the wedding the bride is requiredto step upon a grinding stone (ammi) and view the Arundhati, a star in the constellation of the Great Bear. As she steps on thegrinding stone she will be told:

    ‘’Just like this grinding stone be firm at alltimes and in all matters come what may.


    Arundhati is the personification of chastity. As a result, she shines as abright star.

    She will guide you along the path of virtue. May you discharge your StreeDharma

    (duties) with her blessing.’’

    Asthe bride steps upon the grinding stone the bridegroom will carry her foot oneafter the other and will place a silver toe-ring known as ‘’minji’’ around hersecond toe, in a public ceremony. We need no further proof of the status of aTamil wife.


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Praying at Home

  1. In which direction should the samy in our house face? Do we have more than one possibility?

    L'orientation du Samyarei doit etre en harmonie avec les grands courants d’énergie qui traversent L’univers. Le Swamiyarei lui-même  étant  considéré comme une représentation  de L’univers  et  aussi  du corps  humain, c'est  ainsi que selon  les  données contenues dans les Agamam ou Vastu, le Samyarei dédiée  a:

    • La Déesse Kali doit  être oriente vers le nord,
    • Nataraja vers le sud [axe sud-nord du champ magnétique], 
    • Shiva  et Ganesha vers l'est,
    • Muruga et Ammen vers nord-est.

    Un choix judicieux de l'orientation du murthis ou photo crée des conditions optimales pour une meilleure concentration des baktens en leur permettant de capter au mieux les ondes positives. Par ailleurs pour des raisons pratiques les Divinités orientées vers nord-est bénéficient de meilleures conditions de luminosité.


    Sri Govindarajen Payaniandy MSK.

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