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Lord Varuna or Lord Jhulelal

Varuna.jpgOne of the supreme deities of the cosmos from the Vedic times and considered responsible for bringing rain, for movement of sun in the sky. Lord Varuna is called as omnipotent and omniscient. He is lord of all water bodies and one of the most prominent deva in Rigveda.

Lord Varuna is very closely associated to the god Mitra. Varuna is one of the Adityas and believed to be an asura, when those beings were still god-like and had not yet degenerated into demons. The deity is also associated with the planets as moon and Soma.

Varuna is memorized as holder of celestial waters rains, oceans etc. He was considered highly furious and so was worshiped with fear as used to punish mortals for their wrong deeds. He was also considered the lord of dead like lord Yama and could confer immortality if he so chose.

In Later ages, Lord Varuna was replaced by lord Indra. Reason can be listed by this incident in the vedic history as legend says that Varuna was supplanted by Indra. As Indra was the only one who could get all waters of universe back from the demon Vritra. Vritra was a demon who stole all the waters of the universe, which was in charge of Lord Varuna.

Varuna then became god of the oceans and rivers; still important, but with hardly the grandeur he once had. The souls of those who drowned went to him, and he was attended by the nagas.

Makara or a sea monster is the mount of Lord Varuna. Lord Varuna holds noose or lasso made from a snake in one hand.

Lord Varun as Lord of Sindhi Community: Jhulelal

Varun Dev, water God also known as Lal Sai, Uderolal, Jhule Lal, Doolhalal & Zinda Pir. Faith has eJhule_Lal.JPGstablished Jhulelal as the Asht Dev (community God) of sindhis. Jhulelal is revered by all sindhis around the world.

The second day of the auspicious month of Chaitra is celebrated all over as Cheti Chand, the prominent festival of Sindhi community. The festival is celebrated all over the world with traditional pomp and gaiety.

Om Vam Varunaya Namah

– See more at: http://www.festivalsofindia.in/Deites/HinduGods/Varuna.aspx#sthash.koJQYUmK.dpuf

Narali Purnima in 2015

Narali Purnima 2015 Date


August 2015


Narali Purnima in 2015Narali Purnima 2015 date is 29 August. Purnima means full Moon. So Narali Purnima is celebrated on the full Moon day of the month Shravan. Narali Purnima is a festival celebrated in western India and parts of Gujarat, Goa, Kerala but mostly in Maharashtra. Maharashtra is a state that is rich in history and culture. It is one of the most important states in India which plays a pivotal role in sea trading. The people of Maharashtra take great pride in their history and culture which is evident from the way they celebrate their festivals and rituals. It is evident that Narali Purnima is a regional festival celebrated along the coastal areas like the ones mentioned above.

Narali Purnima is a festival celebrated by the fishing folk, those who are involved in fishing, salt production and anything related to sea. Narali Purnima festival is celebrated to mark the end of monsoon season and the beginning of fishing season. Prayers are offered to Varuna Deva to seek his blessings for a good fishing season and to protect them from any mishap while in the sea.

Celebrating Narali Purnima in 2015

Narali Purnima in 2015, like every year, will be celebrated with great joy. Narali Purnima or Narial Purnima is celebrated by the fishing community. Narial (naral in Marathi) which means coconuts, are offered to the sea god Varuna, to seek his blessings for a fruitful fishing season, hence the name Narali Purnima comes into the picture. It is believed that an offering of gold coconut to the sea will bring in a lot of luck but since it is a very costly affair many do not follow it.

The rituals performed on this day are very auspicious. The “Yagyopaweet” and “Upnayan” rituals are the most widely followed among all the rituals. “Shudikaran” ritual is performed by Brahmins on this day. The festival of Raksha bandhan is also celebrated on this day. In some parts of the India the ritual of replacing “Yagnopavit” or sacred threads with new ones is carried out.

The month of Shravan is considered very sacred and auspicious for the very reason that, it is filled with festivals. Narali Purnima is one of the festivals celebrated in this month. Shravan month is mainly dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. Entire month is filled with special puja’s and aarti’s in temples. Shravan Somvar Vrats are one of the most important ritual observed by many during this month. Women observe fast and offer prayers to Goddess Parvati on Mangal Gowri Vrats which is observed on Tuesdays. Devotees offer prayers to Lord Shiva and seek his blessings in this holy month of Shravan. Shravan month is also considered as the mating period of fishes. Hence, fishing is not done during this period. They allow the fishes to mate properly so that their population increase and thus continue to provide with healthy livelihood for the fisherfolk. Celebration of Narali Purnima marks the end of Shravan and the beginning of the fishing season.

On Narali Purnima, the sea god Varuna is worshipped by the fishermen as their livelihood depends on the sea. Singing and dancing is the main attractions of this festival. Sweet coconut rice is prepared for the day and offered to the sea along with the coconuts. After offering the coconuts to the sea, the fishermen decorate their boats with colorful artifacts, flags, paint their boats new and head out to sea after a halt given in the rainy season. If the sea is not nearby, then people go to nearby lakes, ponds or tanks and offer coconuts. Narali Purnima, Shravani Purnima, Rakhi Purnima or Raksha Bandhan circle around the same time.

Narali Purnima: The Significance of Coconut

Coconuts are offered to god as it is considered to be the most purest form of offerings. The water and the kernel inside is believed to be pure and unadulterated. It is also believed that coconut has three eyes which is considered to be depiction of the three eyed god Lord Shiva. As such, it is considered by many as a sacred thing to offer to gods. Pieces of coconuts are distributed as prasads and coconut rice is a special dish for the day.

To conclude we can say that Narali Purnima is celebrated with much mirth and ardor.

Wishing you all a very Happy Narali Purnima, may the Lord showers you with good health and prosperity. Happy Narali Purnima 2015!

“Narali Poornima, The new beginning of the Fresh Fishy Catch!” – The koli way

नारळाची कारंजी (Sweet Naralachi karanji)
Newly painted fishing boat let for fishing after the fest
“नारळी पुनवेचा  सन आयलाय, चला रे कोल्यानो नाचावला”
Kolis enjoying during the Fest
                                                                                                                                ” सन आयलाय गो, आयलाय गो नारळी पुनवेचा, मनी आनंद मावेना कोळ्यांचे दुनियेचा!”
Celebrated in the month of August, the Narial Poornima (नारळी पूर्णिमा) or coconut day is dedicated to thesea god, Varuna (दर्या सागर). It is celebrated by the Koli fisher folks of Maharashtra (महाराष्ट्र) . Also, fishermen from along different coastal regions/districts of Maharashtra like Mumbai, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Thane, Sindhudurga  paint their boats and coconuts are offered to the sea god. Little oil lamps are lit and set afloat amidst the waves and carried in the boats.
जेजुरिचा मल्हारी ( खंडोबा)
आई एकवीरा देवी – कार्ला
सोन्याचा नारळ
Golden painted Coconuts

Narali Poornima marks the end of monsoon & the beginning of the new fishing season in Maharashtra. It is celebrated on the full moon day (Poornima) of the Hindu month of Shravan (this year on 1st August, 2012 on Wednesday). So, fishermen appease the sea-god for safe fishing before sailing out over the mighty sea. Traditional koli style procession, singing and dancing are the main attraction of the festival. Narali Bhaat (Sweet coconut rice) or Narlachi karanji (sweet coconut stuffed bread) is prepared for the day. Narali Pournima, Shravani Pournima, Rakhi Pournima or Raksha Bandhan are the various names given to this festival. Naral (नारळ) means coconut and coconut is offered to the sea, so it is called the Narali poornima. Also, on thi very auspicious day, kolis worshipp their deities like Goddess Ekveera devi from Karla- Lonavla,Lord Khandoba of Jejuri, Goddess Mumba Devi of Mumbai, Gram Devtas (Deity of the village) & ask for their protection.

Versova koliwada (वेसावा कोळीवाडा) in Mumbai has also got its unique style of celebrating this festival, where, kolis of Versova come together for a traditional procession at around 5:00 – 6:00 pm in the evening accompanied by traditionally dressed koli men & women who carry coconuts along with them, which are finally worshipped & are offered to the Sea God. Also, the main attraction being the paintedGolden coloured Coconut or Sonyacha Naaral (सोन्याचा नारळ), which is also offered to the Sea. This event is really worth watching & a memorable one. “Thanking you”.
-Yours sincerely,
Mohit N. Ramle
” दिड्कीला बोंबील पंधरा!”
koli women at Versova beach selling Bombay Duck fish


Source:  Godaam, Majlis
Godaam literally means ‘storehouse’ in English. It attempts to ascribe new meanings to the vocabulary of collecting and cataloguing images and texts, one that is active with multiple nodes of interaction in the processes of collection, dissemination and production.
Koli Women: Livelihood Practice 1
Director: Abeer Gupta
This event, along with others under the category of Koli in the same site, depicts the day cycle in the life of a fisher woman in Versova fishing village. The event starts at around 11’0 clock in the morning at the Versova beach. The fishermen come back after the whole night trip into the deep sea. The casual workers store the catch in baskets and carry them to the market which is in the close proximity. The women take over from this point and run the trading starting around 3pm. Versova is a wholesale market and mainly people from retailers’ markets and big hotels and restaurants make their purchases here. The trading of fish in Mumbai is traditionally a women’s field. The Koli women are a distinct feature of Mumbai. Before the small islands were joined together to make a big city this region was full of salt pans and fishing hamlets. The fisherfolks are called Koli community. In the community tradition Koli men go to the deep sea to catch fish. While the women run the entire marketing section. Marketing involves wholesale market, retailers’ market and door to door vending. Some women are connected with fishing boats and some others buy fish in the wholesale market and sell in the retailers’ market. In the process Koli women often dominate the public space of the city with their impressive gait, professional confidence, 9 yards sarees and antic jewelry and stinking merchandise. They can be seen in the local trains, taxis and 3-wheeler auto rickshaws and in the pedestrian by-lanes making brisk business.

Mumbai’s fish markets – almost 800 of them – is another special feature. These markets are mostly ran by Koli women. They are the licensees of the Municipal Corporation and the licenses are inherited along the women’s line – mother-in-law to daughter-in-law to grand daughter-in-law. But currently the spree of development and gentrification in the city the Koli community and their livelihood have come under serious threat. The fishing is affected seriously as hi-tech trawlers owned by corporations are killing the business for the small and traditional boat owners. Moreover, the construction projects around and over the sea (buildings, bridges and chemical spewing establishments) have driven the marine lives further away from the coast. On the other hand, the fish markets, once considered as an important characteristic of the city are under threat of extinction. In the real estate development policy the single story markets on prime land are considered as colossal waste of property. In the name of public health and development there has been a scheme to demolish some of the markets. The third angle is entry of migrant workers from other parts of the country into the fishing trade. Many migrants from the Uttar Pradesh, popularly called as Bhaiyyas, these days are either working for the fishing boats or vending fish at door steps. The traditional base of Koli community is threatened by the vitality and enterprise of these migrant male workers. The right wing political parties Shivsena and Maharashtra Mahanirvan Sena (MNS) have taken this opportunity to turn the issue into a communal clash. In recent years there have been many violent incidences around the conflict between kolis and migrant workers in fish market. While actually the issue is that of an organized sector (the Kolis) and unorganized labour force (migrant workers). Unfortunately the labour movement or feminist movement never paid much attention to this issue, resulting it to fester into a communal clash.

This event is part of a series to document the Koli community in that context.

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