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Murugan Worship in the Nilgiris with special reference to Badagas

Author: Emerald Bhojan Hariharan
Article Category: Culture, Information
  Published on Nov 12, 2006 : 01:56:36 PM
Abstract:
The article is an extract from the postings of Mr.Bhojan in the website http://www.murugan.org.

Murugan Worship in the Nilgiris with special reference to Badagas



by Mr. Bhojan ( excerpts from http://murugan.org/events/2001_synopses/new_synopses.htm>http://murugan.org/events/2001_synopses/new_synopses.htm )



The Nilgiris is called by tourists as Queen of Hill Stations. The total area of the Nilgiris is 25, 425sq.kms. The total population is around 8 lakhs as on date. Out of this BADAGAS are the single largest population. The Badagas had been migrated from Karnataka during Tippusultan's Reign in the then Mysore. Badagas speak Badagu, since there is no script for the language they write in Tamil only. The hamlets - villages are called as HATTI. There are 362 Hatties in the Nilgiris. The Badaga people used to wrokship lord SHIVA and PARVATHY only by calling them as IYYA (GRAND FATHER) and ETHAI (GRAND MOTHER). But now almost all Badaga villages have lord Murugan Temples. Most of the young generation people workship lord Muruga only. It is rare to see a house without the portrait of lord Muruga. Moreover almost all the villages have formed a spiritual group called Palani pathayathra kuzhu (devotees go to Palani by walk). Even aged young also take part in it.

Because Lord Muruga is believed to be dwelling in hills only, Badagas are also proud to be in the hill area of the Tamil Nadu. Perhaps this may be one of the reasons why they trust him more. Their trust in the Lord is perhaps like Kannappa Nayainar (i.e.) their belief is more or less blind one in nature. They don't follow the normal formalities to be followed as specified in the Puranas. For example they do not take KAVADI, ALAGU KUTHUTHAL AND PENANCE, because they feel these are hard jobs and they require more devotion. But they have their own way of worshipping Lord Muruga. When ever and where ever they go the first word utter by them is Muruga only. Let it be a marriage engagement or wedding cermony or any other small function, they first do puja for Lord Muruga only and then dotheir main function. In many villages like ANIKORAI and MARAGAL they sing a version from Thiruppugazh Natha Vindhu galathi namo namo atlast and then only they take the scorp to the graveyard because they strongly believe that only lord Murugan will accompany the soul to the other world.

The Badagas have a separate type of poetic form singing the glory of Lord Muruga. In other parts of Tamil Nadu people sing Thiruppugazh, Thevaram, Thiruvasakam and other songs during festival and other festive seasons. But Badagas have a seperate type of poetic form in singing the glory of Lord Muruga. In other parts of Tamil Nadu people sing Thiruppugazh, Thevaram, Thiruvasakam and other songs during festival and ohter festive seasons. But Badagas normally donot sing these. They have their own songs. These songs are melodious and impressive in nature. These songs are normally sung in chorus. Every song has a poetic form. The feeling of their devinity and love are revealed in these songs. In most cases, the devotees cry and weap and other devotes dance in ectacy when the devotees sing the songs. These scenes are normally not seen anywhere in the Tamil Nadu. Badagas have a seperate and peculiar and beautiful steps in dancing for the devotional songs. Though many God's are worshiped by Badaga people, still Lord Muruga is the ISHTA DEIVAM (Personal deity) and there are many songs sung upon him, which we can normally hear every where in Nilgiris almost in every function, every day.

 

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 » About the Author
Name: Emerald Bhojan Hariharan
Details: Great Grandson of Mr.Dhotti Halli Maistry, supervisor under british rule, Grandson of Gedda Guruvan, Son of Mr.G.Bhojan & Mrs. Mangalam Bhojan. Dad is a retired Civil Engineer and Mom is a Planter.

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