[Advaita-l] ’atiraatram' - a Vedic ritual coming up in Kerala

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Mon Apr 18 13:25:01 CDT 2011

> Last year I happened to interact with a very young Vedanta Vidwan Dr.
> Maheswaran Namboothiri who had come for the vAkyArtha sadas at Sringeri.
> Only at close quarters did I notice that he had a thin shikhA at the right
> side and I even questioned him on this. The shikhA merges with the usual
> cropped hair.

The size and prominence of the SikhA has varied over time, if you
compare portraits and photographs from even a hundred years 
ago to what is done now. 
> Also, in the Kerala yajna photographs that we have just seen, the ritviks
> are all clad in white. In Bangalore and Sringeri I have seen these clad in
> yellow. Maybe this, along with the shikhA, mundanam, etc. is a deshAchAra.
> I have known that generally Namboothiri women do not put any thilakam on the
> forehead even if they are sumangali-s, although there may be exceptions.
> This is considered amangalam in other parts of the south.

Nambudiri women also often wear white saris. In fact, their wedding 
sari is traditionally completely white. In other parts of India, women
avoid white saris, except when widowed. There is a lot of diversity
in these traditions across the various regions, but the Nambudiris
have maintained some of the oldest customs, without change, over
a number of centuries. 

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