Onam

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  • Topic: Vishnu, Bhagavata Purana, Vamana
  • Pages : 2 (687 words )
  • Download(s) : 2107
  • Published : March 6, 2013
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Essay 1 ONAM
Onam (Malayalam: ഓണം) is a festival celebrated by the people of Kerala, India.[1] The festival commemorates the Vamana avatar ofVishnu and the subsequent homecoming of the legendary Emperor Mahabali. It is the state festival of Kerala and falls during the month of Chingam (August–September) and lasts for ten days. The festival is marked by various festivities, including intricate flower carpets, elaborate banquet lunches, snake boat races, Onappottan, Kaazhchakkula in Guruvayoor, Puli Kali, Kaikottikkali, Kummaattikkali, Onathaar, Onachamayam, Onathallu, Thrikkaakarayappan, Thumbi thullal, Onavillu etc. This is one of the very few festivals which is celebrated with most number of cultural elements.\ Onam is an ancient festival which still survives in modern times. Kerala's rice harvest festival and the Festival of Rain Flowers, which fall on the Malayalam month of Chingam, celebrates the Asura King Mahabali's annual visit from Patala (the underworld). Onam is unique since Mahabali has been revered by the people of Kerala since prehistory. According to the legend, Kerala witnessed its golden era during the reign of King Mahabali. The Brahma-Vaivarta Puranam explains that LordVishnu wanted to curb the pride of Indra; and therefore positioned Mahabali in great power.[2] The Bhagavata Purana reads "He [Vishnu] will take the kingdom away from Purandara [Lord Indra] and give it to Bali Maharaja."[3] The subjects under Mahabali's reign were happy and prosperous and the king was highly regarded, so much so that even the gods under Indrabecame jealous of Mahabali as was intened by Vishnu, and they approached Vishnu claiming that Mahabali is now equivalent to an Indra. Once Vishnu was assured that Indra's pride has been contained and that a world with two Indras represents imbalance, Vishnu assumed the form of a dwarf: Vamana. Vamana requested three steps of land for him to live in. Given a promise of three steps of land by King Mahabaliagainst the warning...
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