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[sv-rituals] Re: [Oppiliappan] Pancha Kanyah Chiranjeevi

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Sun Apr 14 2002 - 19:30:24 PDT


Dear SrIman Krishnaswamy:

The significance behind the application of the five dots
of oil and sweeping them to invoke the anugraham of the Five 
kanyAs arises form the slOkam that is rcited with this ritual:

AhalyA DhroupadhI SeethA TaarA MandhOdhari TaTA

The prayer to these great Ladies is for the destruction of
all amangalams including pancha mahA paathakams ( most 
heinous sins). As you indicated in your note, these
are women of great piety and exemplary women , who have
recieved the ParamAnugrahm of the Lord during their lives.
One is Lord's own consort who made SrImath RaamAyaNam ,
an account of Her story ( SeethAyaa: charitham mahath). 
AhalyA was deluded by Indhran, suffered and got redeemed
from the dust of Lord Ramachandran's Thiruvadi. Dhroupadhy
was saved by Lord KrishNa (Maana samrakshaNam ) because
of Her MahA VisvAsam in the Lord during time of distress
in DuryOdhanan's court. TaarA and MandOdhari recognized
the Parathvam of the Lord , even when He had to punish
their husbands ( Pulambals of TaarA and MandOdhari).

DaasOham ,

At 05:06 PM 4/13/02 -0000, you wrote:
>Dear Bhaktas,
>Adiyen heard a discourse on Ramayana recently when the Ahalya Shaapa 
>Vimochanam event was narrated in detail. I remembered then a practice 
>followed in many families in the past (I was born 1924). When 
>grandmother applied oil to the head of her grand-daughter for oil-
>bath, she used to make five dots with the oil on the floor, naming 
>each dot as: Sita, Tara, Ahalya, Draupadi & Mandodari, collecting all 
>the dots together with one sweep of her fingers and first applying it 
>to the middle parting on the head with the prayer: 'pancha kanyah 
>These five ladies all had suffered in some way or other. In addition, 
>Tara became Sugreeva's wife after her husband Vali was killed by Rama 
>to make Sugreeva the king; Ahalya was aware that Indra had come to 
>her with lust, pretending to look like her husband Gautama, for which 
>she was turned into stone until the touch of Sri Rama's feet gave her 
>deliverance; Draupadi became the wife of the Five Pandavas and was 
>humilated on the orders of Duryodhana while her husbands silently 
>witnessed her shaming in public.
>Our myths and ancient practices all invariably carried some lesson in 
>moral values and dharmic way of living. What is the moral behind the 
>practice of "Pancha kanyaah Chiranjeevi"?  Even today, I have seen 
>this practice in many families that follow tradition as a cultural 
>I attend Bal Vihar sessions where Indian students in USA do ask for 
>clarifications to strengthen their faith in our religious practices. 
>I feel that it is necessary to come forward with correct and apt 
>explanations in these modern times. I shall be grateful if our 
>group's learned members can contribute some elucidation based on  
>authority. Obviously, the practice was intended to convey some 
>message to the child; therefore, mere justification of the events to 
>an adult mind cannot be the answer.
>MK Krishnaswamy

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