The yagna

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Hamlet Act 1, scene 5

The heat was oppressing even as I got out of the car to step on the soil of my ancestors. My birthplace-a little village in the State of Kerala in Southern India.

My grandmother, a tiny woman with nerves of steel, gave me a hug and a broad smile as she enquired about my journey and told the maid behind her to place my bags in my old room.

After chit-chat and general gossip for sometime, she sent me to the ‘kolam’ (a large bathing pool). Dressed in the traditional settu-mundu(a two piece sari), I toweled my hair dry. It was wonderful being back in this house, back to my roots.

My grandmother set out my lunch for me and we settled down to feast on traditional keralite sadya or feast. I commented on how hot it was this year when compared to the last timed I visited. She explained that it had been a year since it had rained. The crops were suffering and drinking water was running out. Even the kulams had less water now, a fact that I had noted as I had my bath. The village panchayat had called a eminent brahmana to perform the rain invoking yagna. Today was the last day and it was supposed to rain at the close of the yagna.

I had my doubts about such things working, being of the general that believed in science and not in tradition as my grandmother put it. I explained that it was not tradition that I was against but superstitions like this yagna which seemed more like money making schemes to me.

I spent the rest of my afternoon meeting my cousins and the myriad aunts and uncles and neighbors in the village.

Apparently the whole village had gathered in the huge temple grounds where the yagna was being performed. I had to appreciate the brahmanas performing the yagna in this blistering heat even if I did not set much store by what they were doing.

Nevertheless, there was something to be said for watching a yagna being performed. Te chants and the smells and sounds added to the flickering flames were hypnotic and created an atmosphere that had to be seen to be believed. I could see the hope on the villager’s faces. Women in traditional sttu mundu with multi-colored blouses, a deep red bindi and sacred chandanam on their foreheads and the men elegant in their dhotis. The little girls played at a distance decked in brightly colored pattu-pavadas.

Splot…I blinked as a drop of water fell on my head…The crowd was murmuring in delight as drop after drop fell on the parched earth…

The rain came down in torrents and the people were dancing with joy as I looked on in disbelief as the yagna fire was completely put out by the rain it summoned.


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  1. #1 by Artswebshow on July 15, 2010 - 4:28 PM

    this is some fantastic writing.

    • #2 by hoiden on July 16, 2010 - 1:33 AM

      Thank u for stopping by:)

  2. #3 by laurenmichelleotheim on July 15, 2010 - 5:18 PM

    This is wonderful! Your writing is so strong and I can feel your personality come through. I was hypnotized by this piece until the very end.

    • #4 by hoiden on July 16, 2010 - 1:38 AM

      wow thanks a lot. thats some great praise. thank u for stopping by:)

  3. #5 by Kavita on July 15, 2010 - 6:31 PM

    A fantastic narration!!! I thoroughly enjoyed the story-like manner in which you’ve put it across…

    Some of these old Indian traditions / superstitions stun me… but the faith that people put in these things is what makes me wonder… Is this faith as blind as we people of science imagine it to be? Maybe it is… but maybe it’s not… Who is to know?

    Your story here has gotten me thinking of the rites/rituals I had seen being performed in our native town – Mangalore. Although M’lore was only my summer vacation hotspot (thanks to all those aunts and uncles there), the difference in ways, and living in general, between Bombay and Mangalore always left me awestruck !

    • #6 by hoiden on July 16, 2010 - 1:37 AM

      yes the faith people have in these is astounding…n my gran says it actually rained after a yagna…n she saw it…somethin even more interesting is that they performed this yagna in a malayalam movie and the rain at the end of the movie was real brought on by this yagna…
      Ur from mangalore…cool:) the difference in cultures is really interesting isnt it???

      • #7 by Kavita on July 16, 2010 - 2:19 AM

        Sure is interesting !!
        Wow! Yagna in a movie, and rain in reality!!! Too much! Gives you second thoughts about a lot of goings-on

      • #8 by hoiden on July 16, 2010 - 3:14 AM

        truly does…my mother tells me a lot of incidents like this one…kinda hard to believe in occult n such till u see them with ur own eyes…rgt?

  4. #9 by buttercup600 on July 15, 2010 - 11:44 PM

    Your writing’s amazing…keep shining girlfriend xxx

  5. #11 by Jingle on July 16, 2010 - 1:52 AM

    tank you for voting ,
    love the image!

    • #12 by hoiden on July 16, 2010 - 3:15 AM

      Thank u jingle for nominating me n for ur support:)

  6. #13 by brian on July 16, 2010 - 3:07 AM

    you paint quite the picture with your words…that last scene with everyone dancing in the rain…i can see their joy and it leaves me with a smile.

    • #14 by hoiden on July 16, 2010 - 3:15 AM

      Now u’v made me smile with ur kind words:)

  7. #15 by Kavita on July 16, 2010 - 3:28 AM

    I have an award for you for all your coolness…
    And I would love it if you accept it… Here it is…


    • #16 by hoiden on July 17, 2010 - 1:31 AM

      wow thank u:)this is awesome:)

  8. #17 by lesliepaints on July 16, 2010 - 5:01 AM

    I like how this builds ad how your doubt of tradition carries us along. Excellent writing, Hoiden!

  9. #19 by Collin on July 16, 2010 - 5:53 AM

    Wow!! awesome. Really nice post. I liked it.

    • #20 by hoiden on July 17, 2010 - 1:40 AM

      Thank u for visiting:)

  10. #21 by ram0singhal on July 16, 2010 - 5:57 AM


    many time people ask which language god understands?
    put the question on search engine of cosmic intelligence and
    click your mouse ………answer appears as………..

    ” since all languages comes out of silence anyone can communicate with me in any language or in silence.”

    yagna is a collective communication in silence…that is conversation with nature………or with atoms…

    We will know god through modern science but we must test the nector of the precepts and the wisdom of the sages and saints who explored the non-attributive .

    we may compare the modern scientific finding in the light of the wisdom of saints and may be amazed to similarities in both the findings.

    For example:-

    We could only know particles of atom by year 1900-50 as neutron ,proton,electron and their properties but thousands of years before this fact was expressed through mythological wisdom stories like in Hindu philosophy V ISHNU as neutron, BRAHMAN as proton,and SHIVA as electron.and all together they govern the TRILOGY..

    many time people ask why mythological and wisdom stories?

    VISHNU= visual information systems human’s new understanding.

    and you are a good story teller………

    bless you………..

    • #22 by hoiden on July 17, 2010 - 1:46 AM

      rightly said…communication with god goes beyond languages or caste…its somethin people forget…and the expansion of VISHNU interesting:)thank u for stopping by and sharing:)

  11. #23 by Sandra on July 16, 2010 - 6:04 AM

    Interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

  12. #25 by Pamela on July 16, 2010 - 6:19 AM

    Really impressive.

  13. #27 by tracyhsays on July 16, 2010 - 7:09 AM

    Very good read!
    I really enjoy, and am intrigued by spiritual mysteries. This one is fantastic. Bravo!

    Tracy H

    • #28 by hoiden on July 17, 2010 - 1:43 AM

      great:)thank u for stopping by:)

  14. #29 by Doraz on July 16, 2010 - 1:23 PM

    You do have an amazing style of writing. 🙂 Keep it going strong. Have a fun weekend.

    • #30 by hoiden on July 17, 2010 - 1:43 AM

      thank u…have a great weekend:)

  15. #31 by Jingle on July 16, 2010 - 5:10 PM

    a pink award,
    two additional ones to pick,
    hope that you enjoy a beautiful weekend!
    ignore it if you dislike them.

  16. #33 by JuliaChristie on July 17, 2010 - 3:36 PM

    What a very different life you lead than my own. Fascinating! Thanks for your visit and looking forward to reading more of your lovely poetry and stories.

    Smiles and very nice to meet you!

    • #34 by hoiden on July 18, 2010 - 1:40 AM

      🙂 Great 🙂 nice to meet u 2:)

  17. #35 by nanno1982 on July 17, 2010 - 3:50 PM

    You write in a very amuzing and mysterious way.. I’m glad I stopped by.. Thank you for visiting my pages..

    • #36 by hoiden on July 18, 2010 - 1:40 AM

      thank u for stopping by n ur welcome:)

  18. #37 by fiveloaf on July 17, 2010 - 5:01 PM

    just added you into my blogroll, feel free to have me added.. thanks hoiden!

  19. #39 by Jamie Dedes on July 18, 2010 - 5:18 PM

    A story and experience to treasure. Thank you so very much for posting it. And, Hoiden, thanks again for the Pink Award and back at you: Enjoy!

    • #40 by hoiden on July 19, 2010 - 2:16 AM

      thank u for visiting:):):)

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