Thai Velli – A Celebration among the Womenfolk

All the days of the week are equally auspicious, but Friday occupies a lot more importance in Sanatana dharma. This day is dedicated to the mother goddess, Devi or Shakthi. Friday which falls during the Vedic Tamil month, Thai, is promising. The creative power surges during any given Friday and more so on a Thai Velli (Mid-January to mid-February). This day is ruled by the planet, Shukra (Venus), and has a deep mystical connection with all the devi-s.

It is possible to see the grace of devi in a devotee. Such a person is bound to be intelligent, attractive, and additionally will be endowed with an aura. Every single person can attain this state and all that is required is an invitation to devi. The great devi brings positive energy to anyone and everyone who comes under her influence. An aspirant should nurture the irresistible energy of devi within oneself. Once devi showers her grace by entering the heart of the devout; poverty, depression, lethargy, and ailments vanish.

Thai Velli is auspicious because that is when the sun begins the northward movement. This is the time when all the deities transmit maximum energy, and it can be received easily. Devi Paarvathi, Saraswathi, Lakshmi, are said to be extremely liberal on Thai Velli. This day occurs four times a year and on certain years it occurs five times. Prayers are offered to get the blessings of Devi Lakshmi in the form of Kanakadhaara. Isn’t She but the beloved of Kamaloddhara?

Devotees worship devi at home after having an oil bath. Women mildly smear turmeric on themselves during the Friday bath. Thereafter, they usually wear a green, yellow, red, orange, or pink saree, decorate their eyes with Kajal black and their forehead with a Vermilion Pottu (A mark on the forehead with vermilion). They make plaits of their hair and adorn themselves with flowers like jasmine. Glass bangles are worn and the mangalsutra thread is smeared with soft turmeric paste.

On entering the pooja room, the ladies light the lamp in the room and offer flowers to the deity. They chant small prayers to Lakshmi, Saraswathi, and Paarvathi. The prayers can be of their choice. An offering of dhal paayasam, fruits, coconut, areca leaves, and betel leaves is presented to the deities. Mangalsutra threads are also offered to them.

An onion and garlic-free breakfast is prepared at home and in some cases the lunch is put together as well. The whole family consumes the meal after thanking Devi Annapoorna. Now, it becomes time for an outing. The ladies of the house go to the temple and pray to the devi in the temple. The devi is decorated with turmeric/sandalwood paste. Devotees offer glass bangles to the deity and distribute it along with the pods of turmeric, and turmeric-smeared mangalsutra thread brought from home.

The Friday prayer will ensure that all the positive thoughts become a reality. Devi will become extremely happy and will grant a life of joy. The prayers will be rewarded with peace, and freedom from debt. Worship of Devi Durga, Mahishaasura Mardhini, should be accompanied by the lighting of a lamp during the raahu kaalam of Thai Velli. She will remove all the navagraha dosha-s and the ill effects of evil-intentioned sight. Unmarried girls accompany their mothers to the temples on Thai Velli. This will help them to get a good husband and progeny.

Devi Paarvathi herself is the manifestation of Iccha Shakthi (Power of Will), Kriya Shakthi (Power of Actions), and Nyaana Shakthi (Power of Knowledge). Life is nothing but energy and the Supreme goddess will bless the devotee to manage the same. Village temples add to the lustre by organizing thiruvilakku pooja-s on Thai Velli.

Every woman who participates in this pooja will have a lamp in front of her. The stem of a five-faced lamp would be decorated with flowers and will be lit ceremoniously. All the women assembled would recite a prayer in chorus. Offerings would be made and thereafter the assembled women would exchange pleasantries and the prasad. They would go home and seek the blessings of senior suhasini-s and their husbands.

Long ago, there was a drought in the land. Cattle perished and crops failed. Death and disease reared their ugly heads. People began to suffer and were eager to seek a solution. They began to pray at a local temple. It was one day an elderly couple visited the land and they happened to witness the sufferings of the people. They suggested that all the women get together and perform the Thai Velli Pooja with absolute devotion.

The people of the land stated that the resources were meagre and that the pooja could only be done in a very simple manner. The elderly couple stated that God was only looking at their attitude and devotion and that this focus was required for the purpose of bringing out the power of will, iccha shakthi, in them. They also stated that the power of will, would bring in the power of actions. Once the people received both these powers, prayers would bring in the power of wisdom, nyaana shakthi. The subjects of the village gladly agreed and began the Thai Velli worship.

The power of will made them understand that they should dig and create a lake. The power of action backed by the power of wisdom helped them to collectively complete the task. All the citizens planted trees and while doing so, they had the name of God on their lips. The hearts were full of devotion, love, and compassion. These three synergized and brought out the best in them. Water from the nearby hills had to be brought to the lake and a landslide that had occurred a few years ago had blocked the flow. The team of citizens worked hard to remove the debris and lo, the lake got filled up with water!

All the wells in the land got filled up thereafter. Everyone got to their farm work and eventually, they were able to harvest the abundance with the onset of monsoon.

The following Thai Velli became a big thanksgiving occasion. The guidance of the elderly couple and the convergence of the three shakthi-s viz., iccha, kriya and nyaana shakthi-s endowed the land with plenty of food, cattle, clothes, homes, and all other forms of wealth.

The Thai Velli is thus a very important and auspicious day. Observance of the same will usher in the best for the people of the land.

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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