, Tounshe is the konkani word for cucumber. It is also the feast of St.Anna of Santana.
This original fertility worship of the tribals got baptized when the missionaries came to Goa. Couples wanting children place their request to St. Anna, this was originally to the anthill goddess Satteri. When the wish is fulfilled then cucumbers are offered to the patron saint.
Cucumber as it is symbolizes the Phallus. The feast falls on 25th of July every year, and is hosted at the church of Curca
The ritual interesting links the earth’s fertility cycle with the human
Cambodians believe that Khmer people emerged from the union of indigenous element and Indians. The legend has it that an Indian Brahman named Kaundiya came to the naga dominated Cambodian, married their princess name Soma and their descendants are Khmer people.
Semites and Mesopotamians believed that snakes were immortal.
Bronze age serpent statures and Hittites shrines with the god holding a serpentine one hand an a staff in the other have been excavated.
In Greek mythology, serpent motif is dominant. Medusa, and hair bad hair, Minoan goddess with a serpent on either hand prefers her role as a wisdom goddess as opposed to goddess of animals.
Python is the earth’s dragon of Delphi who was slewn by Apollo and remade h;her old home has his most powerful oracle.
Aesculapius the son of Apollo learn t the secret of keeping death at bay by observing snakes. To prevent other humans from learning this and turning immortal he was killed.
Jormundgander the middle son of Loki and Angrbooa was tossed into the great ocean that circles the midgrad is the Nordic legend. He then grew so large that he circled the migard and swallowed his own tail. Earning him the name midgard or world serpent.
Zulu tribe of African have the concept of family snake.
Au;Australian aborigines worship a huge python referred t as the rainbow serpent. He is believed to crede the landscape the spirit of fresh water and punish the law breakers. (sounds like our concept of varuna.)
native Americans refer to the rattle snake as grandfather and he is considered the king of all snakes. It figures in number of their dances. Snake worship was part of the Sun worshiping Azetic temple rituals. They believed that the snakes were the portals between the two worlds.
Except for Christianity where snakes are considered evil all other ethnic cultures have revered snakes.
Naga worship people of tulu-malaylabelieve that the earth is held to gather by sa-akarshana– symbolized by the snake sankarshana, or the geomagnetic force. When we talk of nagaworship we are essentially talking about the earth worship. The cult of the naga is strongest at Tulu-Malayala the land recovered by Parashurama the son of Renuka-renu (sand/earth} again the earth motif. Ants are pointers to fertile soil, and the snakes who enter the hive afterwards symbolize the conversion of “Bhu” to “Shri” the wealth, hence another reason for them to be the keepers of wealth. It is believed that the nagas are all on the surface of the earth on the day of the nagapanchami after which they return to patala their residence. Milk and honey is offered to ensure nutrients which are convey to the patala through the sea– this is also a way of improving the nutrient value of the earth. Entire month of atti no farming work is done for the fear of killing the snake, even on nagapanchami, no farming or digging work is done for the fear of killing a snake. Tulu malayala also has other beliefs like a tawa is not warmed as the emerging fumes might irritate the delicate skin of the snake. The worship ritual in itself takes place in a groove housing an anthill. Milk and hone;y are no doubt offered. But no kumkum is applied as the lime in the kumkum might irritate the skin of the snake. Since this kind of co-habitation with nature is not seen in the high lands, images of snakes are made of flour, and worshiped, neither is there a ban on use of kumkum. At the end of the day the image is immersed into a water body. Offerings for the day are also such that the toothless reptile can eat it, the dish is called halubayi( will post the recipe tomorrow) the normal delicacy the rice noodle is not made as it is snake like in appearance. If one sees a dead snake particularly a cobra, it has to be given a funeral ritual that is simlar to the that of a brahmin. Astrologically all troubles created by the Rahu- element which is represented by the snake head, can be absolved by appeasing Naga. The ailments of the nerves and skin are also sarpadosha’s. The skin shedding invader of an anthill is thus honored by the traditions of geopiety.
There are scores of people in the world who seem to be magnets for calamity. They live their lives jumping from one difficult to the next, surrounded by unstable individuals. Some believe themselves victims of fate and decry a universe they regard as malevolent. Others view their chaotic circumstances as just punishments for some failing within. Yet, in truth, neither group has been fated or consigned to suffer. They are likely unconsciously drawing drama into their lives, attracting catastrophe through their choices, attitudes, and patterns of thought. Drama, however disastrous, can be exciting and stimulating. But the thrill of pandemonium eventually begins to frustrate the soul and drain the energy of all who embrace it. To halt this process, we must understand the root of our drama addiction, be aware of our reactions, and be willing to accept that a serene, joyful life need not be a boring one. Many people, so used to living in the dramatic world they create, feel uncomfortable when confronted with the prospect of a lifetime of peace and contentment. The drama in their lives serves multiple purposes. Upset causes excitement, prompting the body to manufacture adrenaline, which produces a pleasurable surge of energy. For those seeking affection in the form of sympathy, drama forms the basis of their identity as a victim. And when drama is familial, many people believe they can avoid abandonment by continuing to play a key role in the established family dynamic. The addiction to drama is fed by the intensity of the feelings evoked during bouts of conflict, periods of uncertainty, and upheaval. Understanding where the subconscious need for drama stems from is the key to addressing it effectively. Journaling can help you transfer this need from your mind onto a benign piece of paper. After repeated writing sessions, your feelings regarding the mayhem, hurt feelings, and confusion often associated with drama become clear. When you confront your emotional response to drama and the purpose it serves in your life, you can reject it. Each time you consciously choose not to take part in dramatic situations or associate with dramatic people, you create space in your inner being that is filled with a calm and tranquil stillness and becomes an asset in your quest to lead a more centered life.
The Naga cult Ants were dominant members of the earth’s eco system, about 100 million years ago. Though humans were not around ants made it a suitable for agriculture, drove pests away killed weeds dispersed seeds,(a change in climate altered all this.) the worship of anthills as fertility symbols is still seen in Goa and constantly referred to as Satteri. Their southern cousins, worship the snakes who occupy the ant hill once the ants move out. The symbol of rejuvenation and recycling of earth’s resources. Snakes are associated with rebirth death and mortality. This is basically because they shed their skin. In the south particularly Tulu-Malaya has a strong serpent worship cult. In places like Kupudu and subramanya live snakes are worshipped. Many families and area are linked with snake and snake worship. This could be because sacred lore has it that the Parashuramkshetra that lies to the north of mahabalikshetra(Malabar) was land claimed by parashurama from the seas. If one accidentally killed a cobra, or even saw a dead one it had to perform the final rites for it. Everyone has their own snake experience to talk of. The believe it or knots. Some important snakes from Hindu mythology: • Sheesh/ adishesha/ sheshnaga, is imagined to be a 1000 hooded snake. Lord Vishnu is believed to be reclining on him, has been the sibling of the lord in every avatar, also protected him form the thunderstorm during his postnatal journey from maturate to vrindavan. • Vasuki coiled himself round the mandara, to churn the ocean. So that the ambrosia of immortality could be extracted. • Kaliya the multihooded terror of the river Yamuna who was conquered by Vishnu • Manas the queen of snakes, the image of the universal mother, particularly for the oja- tantrics of Assam. • Ananta the endless snake who circles the world. • Padmanabha the guardian of the south • Astika the half Brahmin and half naag. Presence of snake in a dream is considered good in Hindu ethos. If the snake bites you then it is good. The snake is the also the symbol of the kundalini or the vital energy within .
Snakes are associated with rebirth death and mortality. This is basically because they shed their skin.
In the south particularly Tulu-Malaya has a strong serpent worship cult. In places like Kupudu and subramanya live snakes are worshipped. Many families and area are linked with snake and snake worship.
If one accidentally killed a cobra, or even saw a dead one it had to perform the final rites for it.
Some important snakes from Hindu mythology:
- Sheesh/ adishesha/ sheshnaga, is imagined to be a 1000 hooded snake. Lord Vishnu is believed to be reclining on him, has been the sibling of the lord in all his avatar, also protected him form the thunderstorm during his postnatal journey from maturate to vrindavan.
- Vasuki, coiled himself round the mandara, to churn the ocean. So that the ambrosia of immortality could be extracted.
- Kaliya the multihooded terror of the river Yamuna who was conquered by Vishnu
- Manas the queen of snakes, the image of the universal mother, particularly for the oja- tantrics of Assam.
- Ananta the endless snake who circles the world.
- Padmanabha the guardian of the south
- Astika the half Brahmin and half naag.
All over India the festival is celebrated in various ways.
Standard being snake idols being offered milk , incense and gifts.
In certain districts of Bengal mud idols of the god with a serpent on either shoulder is worshipped on the shravan panchami. The worship is with animal sacrifice either pigeon or goat. This is then emersed into water, before that the snakes on the shoulder is taken out, it is believed curative for paediatric diseases.
In other places of Bengal small cork houses are made and decorated with snake motif, this is then sprinkled with blood of the animal sacrificed.
Many such rituals and their implications are listed in the book the serpent as the FOLK-DIETY in Bengal