Despite the passage of time, the 'Ramayana masam' continues to be observed with considerable fervour in many parts of Kerala.
Kerala’s ‘Ramayana masam’ begins! Malayalam superstar Mohanal tweeted a sloka to invoke the beginning of Kerala’s Ramayana month. The ‘Ramayana masam’ is observed by Keralites as per the Malayalam calendar year after year and typically falls during the months of July-August. While the first part of the actor’s tweet comprises a single sloka on the Ramayana, a second and separate part of the tweet reads as follows, “May the goodness of the sacred month of Ramayana be with all.” Following the Malayalam superstar’s tweet, Oscar-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty retweeted Mohanlal with the following words, “Today is the beginning of Ramayana masam…let the goodness of it fill our minds and body…gem and genesis of purity.”
Today is the beginning of Ramayana masam… Let the goodness of it fill up our minds and body… Gem and genesis of purity..? https://t.co/nHF1joPsRh
— resul pookutty (@resulp) July 16, 2020
പൂർവ്വം രാമ തപോവനാനി ഗമനം ഹത്വാമൃഗം കാഞ്ചനം
വൈദേഹീഹരണം ജഡായുമരണം സുഗ്രീവസംഭാഷണം
ബാലീനിഗ്രഹരണം സമുദ്രതരണം ലങ്കാപുരീ മർദ്ദനം
കൃത്വാ രാവണകുംഭകർണ്ണനിധനം സമ്പൂർണരാമായണം”
– ഏക ശ്ലോക രാമായണം
രാമായണമാസത്തിന്റെ പുണ്യം എല്ലാ മനസ്സുകളിലും നിറഞ്ഞുനില്ക്കട്ടെ pic.twitter.com/VGbPd2czZR
— Mohanlal (@Mohanlal) July 16, 2020
Significance of Ramayana Month in Kerala
Since the start of the ‘Ramayana masam’ which means ‘Ramayana month’, Twitterati have been tweeting greetings, images from their homes of how they observe the decades-old practice of reading the Ramayana in their homes during the month of ‘Karkidakam’, as per the Malayalam calendar.
For many in Kerala, the months following scorching summer in March-April and then the beginning of the heavy monsoons in June typically mean that the month of “Karkidakam” is one that requires mindful living as these months were known to spell ‘hard times’ for people in general. Most incomes, particularly agricultural, used to be badly hit during the monsoon. Therefore, people adopted ‘Karkidakam’ as a month that is synonymous with simple living and spiritual practices.
Given that work outdoors may be drastically reduced during monsoons and income limited, the month follows the practice of reading the ‘Ramayana’ throughout the month in the evenings, while adhering to minimalistic traditional food items that are suitable to ward off illnesses during the rainy season.
Despite the passage of time, the ‘Ramayana masam’ continues to be observed with considerable fervour in many parts of Kerala. While many children may lose out on the heartwarming opportunity of listening to the recital by their elders, there are many ways including digital rendering to make it a memorable practice for today’s nuclear families to participate in the same.