Two essential ceremonies are conducted in Brahmin Households in the South.
These are followed as a More than as one sanctioned by Sruthi or even Smriti.
More is a Group of practices followed by a specific group rather than as a matter of personal choice.
These are followed in the South of India, in the States of Tamil Nadu,Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra.
One is Samaradhanai and the other is Sumangali Prarathanai.
Samaradhanai is conducted before or after an auspicious occasion like Ayush Homa, Upanayana, Pilgrimage , Marriage.
This is conducted for any auspicious occasion.
This is conducted either before or after the event .
In Samaradhanai , Family Deity is worshiped at Home and people are fed.
In Sri Vaishnava Sampradaya, this is called Dhadhiyaarathanai.
In those case where people are not sure of their Family Deity, the Pooja is offered to Lord Subrahmanya, in the case of Iyers, and in the case of Sri Vaishnavas, Lord Balaji.
The other ceremony is the Sumangali Prarthanai.
This again is a custom practiced and it does not find a reference in the Sruthi or Smriti.
This function is more of sentiments practiced in the Family.
This has to be performed, as a thumb rule, following the practices of the ancestors.
While it is not advisable to start this practice if it has not been practiced by the ancestors, it is equally essential note that the practice is not to be discontinued if it had been in vogue in the Family.
This is a function meant for women, married with Husband being alive.
This has to be performed once a year for one Gothra and more than once in year should not be conducted.
Tuesdays and Saturdays are to be avoided.
Fridays during the Waxing of the Moon is advisable.
Wednesdays/Thursdays are also permissible.
Ashtami,Navami Thithis are normally avoided.
Panchami is preferable.
In this function the Blessings of the departed Sumangalis, those whose deaths precede the death of their husbands are sought and those who died young before getting married.
Generally, if the daughter is getting married, the event is done before the marriage.
In the case of a son getting married, this is performed after the marriage, with the Daughter-in-law conducting it.
7 ladies and 2 young girls (preferably below the age of 10) are invited to participate in the function, partake the feast and receive thamboolam.
The total number of ladies should always be in Odd numbers.
The maximum number of ladies allowed normally is 11.
Minimum is 5 +2.
Advisable that unmarried Girl is about Eight Years as it is believed that she represents the Devi.
The ladies who sit for the puja represent all the women of the family who are no more alive.
The function is presided over by the elderly lady members of the family.
Usually the kartha is a sumangali from the family.
The gifts to the ladies vary among families and depend on the financial status of the kartha, very similar to the nandi sradham.
The menu for the feast is also very similar.
9 yds saree in silk or cotton is be bought along with a Blouse piece.
The preferable colours are red, yellow and green.
Invite and procedure.
Those to be invited, kumkum, haldi, oil, shikakai, vasanai podi are to offered at thier Home a day earlier
On the morning of the day, wash the 9 yds saree & a blouse piece with madi (shuddam)after bath & dry.
The Person conducting the Sumangali Prarthana should not take an oil bath.
Kalyana kolam/Rangoli in the entrance, and semman & tie “ mavilai” at Home.
For the pudavai kalam – put a square kolam, (padi kolam), over that keep a palakai & put kolam on that.
In front of that, put a kolam to keep the elai.
On both sides of the Pudavai(Sareee) kalam put kolam for 2 elais , beside for elais facing North, East is preferred next
Fold the dry saree so that the “ pallu” comes on the top.
The corner of the same should face N. Fold the blouse & keep on that.
On the saree keep the following:
A small mirror
Oru kavuli ( 100 no:s) vethalai
Plenty of Kali paakku
Plenty of urundai manjal
Nalangu manjal – (mix of haldi and chunnambu) on a vethalai
10 yds malli, kathambam or roses
Maruthani on a vethalai
A ball of haldi & water on a vethalai
Chullu vella urndai in a vethalai.
A gold chain.
In a “ kudam” – water to which cardamom powder and dry ginger powder are added.
One sombu( Vessel for storing water) of panakam
One sombu of neer mor.
Coins to give ladies with vethalai pakku
On the kolam in front of pudavai kalam, put double nuni elai, one overlapping the other.
Nuni should face North.
On other kolams, place elais and Water for Drinking.
Start before or after Rahu kalam.
When the ladies arrive give them manjal mixed with water, to wash their legs, apply and welcome them.
Then give them chandanam(sandalwood paste), kumkum & flowers & ask them to take their seat near the elais.(plantain Leaf)
Offer all items on menu to the pudavai kalam first & hthen serve clockwise to other elais.
Show “ doopa deepam” to pudavai kalam first & then to all ladies.
The “ conducting person” should take in the hand akshathai & flowers, sprinkle below the pallu of the saree in the pudavai kalam & pay your respects( in mind) to all the deceased sumangalis of the family.
Show karpooram (Camphor) .
Now offer a teaspoon of Water to the pudavai kalam and to all women in their hands.
They are to drink it , start eating.
Nobody should get up halfway through.
After everybody finishes eating, again offer a teaspoon of water to thepudavai kalam & move the pallu corner to the North.
One of the daughters in law should eat the pudavai kalam sappadu.
After meals the ladies should be given naeer mor, panakam & chukku vellam.
Then smear haldi on their legs and apply nalangu.(Mehendi)
Offer flowers, maruthani, chandanam & kumkum.
In a plate keep lot of vethalai, pakku, gundu manjal, coconut, kumkum bharani, comb, mirro, coin, 2 bananas, blouse piece – keep in their paLLU.
Give akshathai in their hand, do namaskaram ,request them to Bless you.
After the person who conducts has eaten, she must give the saree to a poor woman who also is asked to eat.
The custom varies from family to family.
Best procedure is to get Family Elders’ advice .
avarai or kothavarai curry.
Poosani Kootu .
Mor kuzambu .
Kadalai paruppu sugar kosemalli .
Paasiparuppu savoury kosemalli .
Coriander thogayal .
Ginger, mango pickle.
Curry leaf thogayal.
Ulundu Vadai .
Sojji appam .
Lemon rice .
Kalathukku paruppu .
No Appalam or Vadams.