Tuesday, October 23, 2012



Vidyarambham, sometimes referred as Ezhuthiniruthu, is a Hindu tradition where children between two and three years old are formally introduced into the world of knowledge. Vidyarambam is a combination of two Malayalam word “Vidya” means “knowledge” and “Arambham” means "beginning”.  Vidyarambham ceremony is dedicated to Goddess Saraswati - the Hindu Goddess of Learning, and is held on the Vijayadasami day (Vijayadasami), the last day of the ten-day-long  Navaratri festival. People of Kerala call this ritual as Aksharabhyasam or Ezhuthiniruthu and they visit Hindu Goddess temples to initiate learning to their children and introduce them to the world of learning and knowledge. In 2012 Vidyarambham is celebrated on 24th October 2012, Wednesday.

Vidyarambham ritual commences with prayers to
  Lord Ganapathi – the remover of obstacles, and then to Goddess Saraswathi Devi. The children sit on the lap of the Guru (teacher) or any elder person who writes ‘Hari Shree’ on the child’s tongue with a golden ring. It is said that writing on the tongue with gold evokes the grace of the Goddess Saraswati. Then, with the help of the Guru, the child is made to write ‘Om Hari Sree Ganapathye Namaha’ in Malayalam with the right index finger. Hari refers to t
he Lord, and Sri refers to prosperity. Writing on sand denotes practice, whereas writing on grains denotes the acquisition of knowledge, which leads to prosperity.After the ritual, slates and other stationary items are distributed to the children. In olden days Vidyaramba was considered a ritual of Hindus only. However nowadays Vidyarambham is performed by the people across all castes and religion. Vidyarambham ceremony is of great importance in Thunchan Parambu at Tirur in Malappuram, Kerala. Thunchanparambu is the birthplace of Thunchath Ramanujan Ezhuthachan, the great poet who is considered to be the father of Malayalam language. Thousands of children are being brought to Thunchan Parambu to be initiated into the world of education and knowledge on Vijaya Dasami day. 

Prof. John Kurakar

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