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Shastardhipoorthi Shanthi

 

Shastabdi poorthi means completion of 60 years. This function is held when a married man reaches this milestone if at that time his wife is also alive. May be in the earlier years when the average life span was very low this used to be an enviable milestone and people were naturally worried about the evil eyes. The function is therefore aimed at ensuring a healthy long life warding off the effect of evil eyes.

There are many variations in the style and even time of celebrating this function in different regions of India and also by different families in the same region. In our family the tradition is to celebrate it in the 60th year before the completion of the 60th year. In Tamil nadu the practice is to celebrate on the day the 60th year is complete. In some families they go on a pilgrimage in the 60th year for this purpose instead of performing homas in their houses. In the practice that is followed in our family the interesting part is the "Mangalya Dharana", which provides a chance for the children to witness a sort of re-marriage of their parents. The rituals done in the Shanthi function for Ramesh and Pommi is attempted to be reproduced here as a sort of indication of our family tradition. Here again there can be variation from time to time depending on the circumstances and the Purohit.

  1. The function starts with the "Punyavarthana", for purifying the environment in which the function is being celebrated.
  2. This is followed by the Pada Pooja (Worshiping of the feet) of the elders along with gifts(Udugore) to the elders,and seeking their blessings
  3. Next is installing the Nandi (Invoking the ancestors in some item For this function a blouse piece tied around a bunch of mango leaves served the purpose.) and seeking the blessing of the ancestors for the success of the function.
  4. Invoking Navagrahas(usually diifferaant grains, one representing each graha kept in plantain cups) and worshipping it.
  5. Installing Kalashas (There was about five kalashas representing Lakshmi Narayana,Markandeya,Mrutyunjaya etc and a single kalasha representing all the sixty years) and Kalasha pooja
  6. After the kalasha pooja the "Homas" were held.The Homas held were, Lakshmi Narayana homa,Ayushya homa, Markandeya homa, Sapta Chiranjeevi homa, Nakshatra homa,Navagraha homa
  7. Avabhruta Snana (Waster is sprinkled over the couple through a "Jaradi", held by the family members. Navaratnas etc. are kept in the "Jaradi")
  8. Mangalya Dharane
  9. Udugore to the old couple, followed by Aarati
  10. Dampathi Pooja (Worshipping of some elderly couple)
  11. Hoovilya (Also called "Sumangali pooja"

(The above is an unedited version issued in a hurry to meet the press deadline and will be corrected and improved upon shortly)