Friday, March 4, 2016

“ AALATH “ RITUAL OF OF KASHMIRI PANDITS



                                                                                  


“ AALATH “ RITUAL OF OF KASHMIRI PANDITS


THIS RITUAL CARRIES THE VEDIC MESSAGE OF “ATITHI DEVO BHAVA” OR “A VISIT OF THE GUEST IS LIKE VISIT OF GOD HIMSELF “

I have been discussing some Rituals specific to kashmiri Pandits with some  Vedic scholars. Upon conveying details of “ AALATH“ ritual of kashmiri Pandits and seeking clarification on it , a learned scholar clarified as under :


“ I believe kashmiri Pandit culture and Rituals have evolved from Vedas and also from the Shaivite Traditions. This tradition, as you say of welcoming a Guest at the entry point or at the Door by an elderly woman with a lota or small container of water held in a plate having some rice and flowers and then moving the water container symbolically around his body and finally carefully throwing away everything at a proper place is Nothing but Abhisheka .

So good a tradition. I would say that Atithi ( Guest ) is Shiva. And Shiva needs Abhisheka . The honoured Guest at the Door has to be worshipped and welcomed . And at that time , Shiva is both a personal Guest and a cosmic presence who is welcomed at the same time to one’s home and heart. The elderly woman who welcomes the Guest at the Door becomes pious by this very act and attains the status of Parvati . To welcome a Guest at Door steps is like an offering to God or Shiva. Hold on to this Beautiful tradition. “


During olden days when a potter would bring pots for the shivratri celebrations to a kashmiri Pandit Household , Aalath was also performed for him at the doorstep. May be a symbolic  welcome to lord  SHIVA .

Need more clarification.

( Autar Mota )



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