Honoring the Father.

Gokarna Aunsi, Kushe Aunsi,

The legend of Gokarna is something that every Kannada child is grown up with.

We have heard the story of Shiva Bhakta Ravana promising to get Shiva’s atmalinga for his mother, when Shiva gives him the linga he tells him don’t put it on the ground. For it would take root as soon as it was placed on the earth.

As Ravana moved south, he needed to ease himself but he could not put the Linga down, he saw a young boy tending to cattle he requests him to hold the linga for him.

The boy agrees on the condition that he would have return when the boy shouts out three times. Ravana agrees. But just as Ravana begins to ease himself the boy calls out three times loudly in quick succession and places the linga down before Ravana could reach him. For this was a ploy by the gods, they did not want Ravana to take the atma linga to Lanka.

Ravana tries to extract the linga in vain, but all the effort he puts in alters the shape of the linga, it begins to resemble the ear of a cow. Hence the Shiva temple at Gokarna in Karnataka is Gokarnanatha.

The other day when I was researching something I came across Gokarna Aunsi in Nepal, it was about a Shiva temple where the linga was shaped like the ear of a cow. Now that intrigued me. this town in Nepal is on the banks of river Bagmati.  In 1582 the Gokarna Mahadeva temple was constructed there. people came on the Aunsi  or Amavasya that is the new moon to pay homage to the dead.

The Kushe Aunsi or the new moon of the Hindu month of Bhadrapada is revered as father’s day in Nepal. This is the day people make offerings to their father living or dead at the shiva temple. This is also known as Bubako Mukh Herne Din that is looking at father’s face in Nepali. Apart from giving gifts there are also rituals attached to this.

If the father is alive then the boys touch their father’s feet with their forehead and look into his eyes, while daughters touch the father’s palm before looking into the eyes.

If the new moon falls on a Monday it called Somavati Aunsi or Somavati amavasya making it more sacred for rituals performed to honour the ancestors. Or Pitru pooja.

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About somavati amavasya–https://galleryofgod.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/what-to-do-on-somvati-amavasya/

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