Friday has been an auspicious day for a long time now. It is known as Vellikizhamai in Tamil. This day is associated with Asura Guru Sukracharya. This deity blesses people with the good fortune to enjoy the finer aspects of life. Diamonds are associated with Sukra and hence people wear them on Fridays. Men who propitiate Sukra are blessed with a good wife. There are many more stories which are connected with the auspicious friday.

Sukravaram or Friday is the day for offering prayers. Especially the women of the yonder era found the day to be wish fulfilling. They would get up early in the morning and soak their hair in oil. A good bath with shikkakai(Senegalia rugata) would follow. Herbal powder would also be used and the married women would apply turmeric on their person. The hair would be wrapped in the bath towel and the lady would prepare the materials required for the next ritual. A plate would be used for placing burning coal and some Sambrani would be added to it. The best way to use the fragrant smoke would be by covering the plate with a nice bamboo basket.

The women would have meanwhile dried their hair with the bathing towel. They would then loosen their hair on the bamboo basket for sometime. This would help the hair acquire some natural fragrance. The women would then plait or make a tuft with their hair. This would be followed with the adornment of kajal and a vermillion bindi on the face. They would drape themselves with the best clothes at home. Now it would be time for prayers. The pooja lamps will be lit and the women would recite Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam or Sri Lakshmi Saharsranamam in front of the deity. They would offer vermillion and flowers to the deities while reciting the prayers. Thereafter, they would apply the vermillion on the forehead and also the Thirumangalyam ( Mangalsutra ). It would be auspicious to place the vermillion on the place where the forehead meets the center parting of the hair.

A visit to the local temple would be taken up after breakfast. The breakfast would be satvik. Onion and garlic would be avoided on Fridays. Sweets and payasams will be offered to the deities on Friday. Additional lamps would be lit on this sacred day. The women would also offer vermillion and turmeric to their friends and relatives. Visitors at the temple would also be offered glass or lac bangles along with turmeric and vermillion. Flowers will also be distributed. Pourami ( full Moon ) Fridays are considered to be auspicious. Devotees would offer jasmine flower strands to the deities Raja Rajeswari and Mahalakshmi.

One has to worship Mahalakshmi on a Sukra horai on a Friday. This will bless the person with a long life and good fortune. Scholars recommend a visit to the Kanajanur Sukran Temple. The presiding deity Agneeswarar is an embodiment of Sukran. This temple is located near Suryanaar Kovil ( Tamilnadu , India ). Sukracharya was blessed with the knowledge of the Amrita Sanjeevani Mantra due to his devotion to Lord Shiva. He used it to revive the dead demons ( Asuras ). This act of Sukran handicapped the Devas and therefore Kacha , the son of Devaguru Brihaspati was sent to him. Sukra's daughter Devayani fell for him.Kacha learnt it somehow and returned to Indralokam.

Sukra's daughter Devayani gets to marry Yayati later. Asuraguru was the mentor for Vrishaparva those days. Vrishaparva's daughter Sharmishta had been a companion of Devayani and she gets to marry Yayati. Sukra curses Yayati and the outcome of the same makes him a better person. The Thiruvelliyangudi Kolavilli Raman Temple is associated with Sukran. Sukran had obstructed the contribution of Mahabali to Vamana. He had to atone for the same at Thiruvelliyangudi , the famous Vaishnava Sukrasthalam. Skuram regained his energy after offering his prayers at Thiruvelliyangudi. This temple is one of the 108 Vaishnava Divya Desams.

Prayers on Fridays are celebrated in India. The Adivelli festival is very sacred in Tamilnadu. This falls on the Friday of the Tamil month of Adi. Women from the trading community celebrate the Soomangala Sukravaram pooja on five Fridays during the Tamil month of Thai for five years. It has been a must for centuries. Several movies, festivals and songs have been dedicated to the auspicious Friday. People generally do not spend money on non religious items on a Friday. Business payments are avoided on a Friday. They are postponed to Saturday.

Friday is thus an auspicious day. It is good to visit temples and pray on a Friday. People try to desist from getting angry on this auspicious day. Friday has been a giver day. It has blessed humanity from time immemorial. The sacred day has been an important day of the week.

Mr. Rajesh Govindarajulu is one of the founding members of the Verandah Club Pvt. Ltd. He is a leading columnist, historian, jeweler, entrepreneur, and a heritage enthusiast who is earnestly working to revive the past in the light of the present. Experiential learning about the history of Coimbatore is his main course of interest and he is also a panel member of many colleges in the city.

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