Reciting the divine story of Bhagwan Sri Ramchandra, the Ramayana month observance began in Kerala on July 17.
The Hindus in Kerala observe ‘Karkidakam’, the last month in the 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 to chanting Ramayana, prayers, and worship of Lord Rama. The month is considered inauspicious for deeds other than the worship of God. All the temples and Hindu households observe the holy month of Ramayana. This year, Karkidakam spans from July 17 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, the late P. Parameswaran, affectionately called Parameswarji, popularised the Ramayana among the ordinary Hindu families in Kerala. Ramayana Masacharanam, or observing 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.
Because of the coronavirus, most of the temples in the state remain closed. The rituals, Ramayana chanting, are mainly confined to houses. However, various Hindu organizations and fraternities are conducting a month-long Ramayana chanting and discourses on various digital and social media platforms.