In the rich and varied calendar of the Tamils, Panguni Uttiram is probably the last major celebration and religious activity of the year. Panguni, precisely Panguni Maasam, is the last month of the Tamil calendar; it starts mid March and ends mid April. When the moon transits the Nakshatara (star/ asterism/ constellation) ‘Uttiram’ during this particular month, the day is called as ‘Panguni Uttiram’. Panguni Uttiram often coincides with Full moon or Pournami, but not always.
WHY IS THE DAY IMPORTANT?
Our Yogis, Rishis, Munis and Siddhas of yore have realised that particular planetary alignments and astronomical configurations always have certain effects on the earth and all its inhabitants. After studying and experiencing these subtle environmental conditions over centuries or maybe thousands of years, along with guidance by inner forces, they have discovered that certain days were more propitious than others for spiritual progress.
And, events recorded in our Puranams and other sacred scriptures also point out to several important occurences on specific days. These events may have occured tens of thousands of years ago, but they serve as good indicators and pointers as to how naturally good certain days are for specific activites.
Panguni Uttiram is such a day; deemed propitious not only for spiritual practices but for reminding us of the need to fulfill earthly and materialistic needs in line with Dharmam, or religious precepts.
It is said that Lord Siva united with Gowri at Kanchipuram on Panguni Uttiram. In the same unitive spirit, Kanda Puranam tells us that Lord Muruga married Devayanai on Panguni Uttiram. Vaishnava Puranams also indicate that the saint Aandal wedded Lord Ranganatha on Panguni Uttiram.
It is clear therefore that Panguni Uttiram glorifies Grihasta Dharmam or the part of a human being’s life dedicated to marriage and the fulfillment of marital duties; an important pillar of our society. One thing to be noted is that our Gods do not marry in a literal sense. It is a sort of enactment by the divine to make us remember the pure and purposeful nature of marriage. Our ultimate Lord manifests as divinely perfect couples to guide us on the proper path. Consequently, to emulate this divine conduct, is our duty.
So, Panguni Uttiram is a perfect day to celebrate marriages or simply to ponder on the beauty of marriage and the creative and virtuous qualities it brings out in human society. In major temples of Tamil Nadu and across India, grand Kalyana Utsavams are held on Panguni Uttiram, so that people may absorb the energy generated by a union of the Gods and bring that energy into their own lives.
WHY THE KAVADI ON PANGUNI UTTIRAM?
Since Lord Muruga is said to have united with Devayanai on Panguni Uttiram, the day is marked significantly by Murugan Bhaktas. In all Murugan temples, there are elaborate Abhishekams, processions and Kalyana Utsavams.
In Mauritius, the best way devotees pray and seek the blessings of Lord Murugan is through performing the Kavadi. The Kavadi process is a beautiful way of uniting with this great lord and his subtle and powerful energy. The Kavadi bearer can be likened to a bride waiting to unite with her lord. Performing the Kavadi gives the devotee a perfect opportunity for purifying his/her body and mind and to tune to the beautiful all-permeating light of Lord Muruga.
At the Siva Subramanya Thirukkovil in Quatre Bornes, Mauritius (Kovil Montagne), Kavadi was first organised on Panguni Uttiram in early 80’s so as to allow children, elderly persons and people who cannot walk long distances to carry a Kavadi. Back then, the procession started right down in the kovil yard and moved towards the kovil. Since some years now, the route has been changed and the procession leaves from Mariamman Thirukkovil on Berthaud Avenue.
What one needs to remember, is that while engaging in any activity on Panguni Uttiram, be it carrying a Kavadi or attending prayers, or doing an Abhishekam, one must do it with the spirit of uniting with God, getting closer and closer to him. This is the real marriage, the spiritual marriage all souls are destined to have. AUM.
Malai Kovil Press Team