Kathai Kathaiyam Karanamam

Tales We Heard Sitting In Ammupatti’s Lap

Matha, Pitha, Guru, Deivam

Posted by ammupatti on January 20, 2008

We were all taught early in our life that our parents and teacher are the living Gods visible to naked eyes, with whom you can interact. While we were taught to pray in front of an invisible entity called god visble entities  are required for children to imitate, learn, worship love etc. When a child is born it knows only the mother, then the father steps in and later the teacher. Via this teaching, the child is told to treat them as equal to god. Prayer as a daily ritual was inculcated from a very early age and as soon as children were able to understand, they were asked to do namaskaram to Ummachi (God).  So they would join the mother/grandmother/other elderly people in their prayers.  Thus it was very easy for the child to relate to God from early childhood. The following story was narrated to teach them the importance of being respectful to their parents (read elders); that they were here because God cannot  teach them everyday discipline.
Once upon a time, Shiva and Parvati received the gift of a ripe mango. Their children Ganesha and Karthikeya, both wanted the full fruit. The parents were in a dilemma and decided to give them a test: the winner would get the fruit.  They announced, “Whoever goes round the world and reaches back first will be the winner.” Karthikeya immediately set off on his vehicle the peacock. Ganesha with his vehicle Mooshika (mouse) prostrated himself in front of his parents, went around them once and claimed the prize. To the question of how, Ganesha said, “Our parents are the whole world to us. So by going around them once, I have gone around the world.” The happy parents gifted the fruit to Ganesha. When Karthikeya came back after going round the world, he saw Ganesha with the fruit in his hand. His non-understanding of this simple truth upset him so much that he went away to live alone and meditate in the hills of Palani.

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8 Responses to “Matha, Pitha, Guru, Deivam”

  1. Ranju said

    Dear Mami,
    What a great idea. One thing I always wonder about is all the different proverbs we have in tamil and what the origin of those are (for e.g. the story now made famous by A K Ramanujam – summa irrukiya, swarupate kattatuma). A series that tells the folktales/stories behind proverbs like these that would fill a huge void.
    http://www.tamilnation.org/literature/Tamil_Proverbs.pdf has a list of proverbs but I can’t read tamil :-(

  2. Smitha said

    Dear Mami,

    It is a wonderful idea. As an avid reader of your food blog, I have no doubt that this one is going to be a resounding success. Best of luck!!!

    Thanks for all your hard work.

  3. Anon said

    The way I have heard this story from my grandpa is that it was Narada who came to offer the fruit (mango) to Shiva & Parvathi. The Gñâna Pazham (or fruit) had unparalleled taste which is why the Lord had to decide which one of his kids would deserve the fruit.

    I am sure there are many more variations of this story …

  4. Nirmala said

    Dear Mami,

    I enjoy reading all the articles in your website as I can relate to most of the things that you have written. When I see the pictures I remember how my mom does the exact same things when we go to see my parents, or when they come here in the US. I have a 2 year old daughter and I would love to recollect all the stories/or learn new ones from your website and tell her every night.

    Thanks for all the hardwork you are putting in towards these sites. Very much appreciated.

    thanks,
    nirmala

  5. Devi said

    Dear Aunty, thanks for taking the time to do this! A suggestion – can you also post the little poems/rhymes we heard as kids. I have a 5 month old baby and am desperately trying to remember the ones from my childhood – like
    Nila Nila Odi Vaa, Aanai Aanai Azhahar Aanai, etc
    I would really appreciate it much if you post them along with stories.
    Thanks!
    devi

  6. priya said

    Dear mami,

    This is truly a good project. Being a frequent visitor of ur food blog i really like ur way of presentation, and enjoy reading all the articles. I have two daughters, 5 years and 2 years and would like pass on the stories to them which we heard when we were kids. Appreciate if you could post such stories.
    Thanks!
    Priya.

  7. Lakshmi said

    Very nice Ammupatti . All treasures.Thanks a lot

  8. Suvasini Ramajayam said

    Dear Mami,

    Have been following both your Blogs since a long time. Can you Share “Mayil Ravanan’s Story” too?

    Thank you.

    – Suvasini Ramajayam

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