Reciting the divine story of Bhagwan Sri Ramchandra, the Ramayana month observance began in Kerala on July 16.
The Hindus in Kerala observe ‘Karkidakam’, the last month in Malayalam calendar as Ramayana month, chanting the verses from Adhyatma Ramayana, Malayalam translation of Valmiki Ramayana by medieval poet Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan.
Karkidakam month is dedicated for chanting Ramayana, prayers and worship of Lord Rama as the month is considered to be inauspicious for deeds other than the worship of God. All the temples and Hindu households as a whole observe the holy month of Ramayana. This year, Karkidakam spans from July 16 to August 14.
The Hindus in the state owe a great debt of gratitude to a Sangh Pracharak who resurrected the tradition of reading Ramayana during Karkkidakam month. RSS Pracharak late P Parameswaran, affectionately called Parameswarji, popularised the Ramayana among the ordinary Hindu families in Kerala. Ramayana Masacharanam or the observance of Ramayana month in Karkkidakam at Hindu temples and homes was a concept mooted by Parameswarji at the Vishala Hindu Sammelanam held in Kochi in the late 1970s.
In view of the spread of coronavirus, this year, most of the temples in the state remain closed, and rituals and Ramayana chanting are mainly confined to houses. However, various Hindu organisations and fraternities are conducting a month-long Ramayana chanting and discourses on various digital and social media platforms.