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Victor Rathnayaka. Benefits From cod liver oil For copyright matters please contact us at: alfmidea gmail. All the personal belongings of a dead man are given away in charity. Paddy is not pounded in a house where a person has died as the spirit will be attracted by the noise. When the daily supply of rice is being given out, if the winnowing fan or the measure drops, it denotes that extra mouths will have to be fed. If a person talks while the grain is being put into the pot, it will not be well boiled. In the field things are not called by their proper names, no sad news is broken and a shade over the head is not permitted.
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In drawing toddy from the kitul tree, caryota urens a knife which has already been used is preferred to another. If a grave be dug and then closed up to dig a second, or if a coffin be too large for the corpse, or if the burial be on a Friday there will soon be another death in the family. When a person dies everything is done to prevent the disembodied spirit being attracted to its old home or disturbed. Even paddy is not pounded in the house as the sound may attract it. A little of the kenda in a gotuwa leaf cup is kept on a tree or at a meeting of roads and if a crow or any other bird eats it, it is a sign that the deceased is happy; otherwise it indicates that it has become a perturbed spirit.
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Seven days after, there is an almsgiving of rice when a gotuwa of rice is similarly made use of for a further sign. Three months after is the last almsgiving which is done on a large scale; relatives are invited for a feast and all signs of sorrow are banished from that day.
If a person dreams of a dead relative he gives food to a beggar the next morning. The three sources of superhuman influence from which the Singhalese peasantry expect good or ill are 1 the spirits of disease and poverty; 2 tutelary spirits of various grades and 3 the planetary spirits.
Maha Sohona is feet high, has the head of a bear with a pike in his left hand and in his right an elephant, whose blood he squeezes out to drink; he inflicts cholera and dysentery and presides over graveyards and where three roads meet and rides on a pig. He came into the world from the womb of his mother by tearing himself through her heart. He was a Buddhist arhat with the supernatural power of going through the air. He was the son of a queen put to death by her husband who suspected she was unfaithful to his bed. As the queen who was pregnant was being executed, she said that if the charge was false the child in her womb will become a demon and destroy the King and his city.
When any of these demons has afflicted a person the prescribed form of exorcism is a devil dance. Within the enclosure, raised about 3 feet from the ground, is erected an altar samema for the offerings pidenitatu. The offerings consist of boiled rice, a roasted egg, seven kinds of curries, five kinds of roasted seed, nine kinds of flowers, betel leaves, fried grain, powdered resin and a thread spun by a virgin. There are the usual tom tom beaters; and the exorcist and his assistants are dressed in white and red jackets, with crown shaped head ornaments, and bell attached leglets and armlets, and carrying torches and incense pans.
The ceremony consists of a series of brisk dances by the exorcist, and his men, at times masked, in the presence [ 22 ] of the patient to the accompaniment of a chant kavi giving the life history of the devil, with a whirling of the blazing torches. A shed maduva is put up for it and round it is a narrow altar, with a platform in front wesatte. On the altar are placed four kinds of flowers, betel leaves, some cotton, a spindle, a cotton cleaner, a shuttle, a comb, a little hair, a looking glass, a bundle of gurulla leaves, two burning torches and a few cents.
Men of the Oli caste dressed in white and red and at times masked dance from evening till morning within the shed and on the platform. Late at night an oblation is made in leaf-cups of seven different vegetables cooked in one utensil, boiled rice, cakes and plantains. At day break the dancers stretch themselves on the ground and receive nine pecuniary offerings; they then rise up and conclude the ceremony by striking the roof of the shed with a rice pounder.
The tutelary deities are of three grades viz. A miniature elephant in gold or silver is the usual votive offering to him.
Pattini was found inside the mango as an infant of exquisite beauty sucking her thumb. When she grew up she performed wonders and ultimately disappeared within a Kohomba tree margosa. An armlet or a miniature mango fruit in gold or silver is placed at her devala as a votive offering. Before and after the meal is offered, drums are beaten in the ante room.
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Once a year, when the agricultural season begins, between July and August, the in-signia of the gods are carried on elephants in procession through the streets accompanied by musicians, dancers, temple tenants and custodians of the shrine. The godlings are local; those which are worshipped in one country district are not sometimes known in another. Their insignia together with a few peacock feathers are sometimes kept in small detached buildings called kovil with representations of the godlings rudely drawn on the walls.
They then let the cock go among the rest of the poultry, and keep it afterwards, it may be, a year or two; and then they carry it to the temple, or the priest comes for it: for sometimes he will go round about, and fetch a great many cocks together that have been dedicated, telling [ 24 ] the owners that he must make a sacrifice to the god; though, it may be, when he hath them, he will go to some other place and convert them into money for his own use, as I myself can witness; we could buy three of them for four-pence half penny. When the people are minded to inquire any thing of their gods, the priests take up some of the arms and instruments of the gods, that are in the temples upon his shoulder; and then he either feigns himself to be mad, or really is so, which the people call pissuvetichchi; and then the spirit of the gods is in him, and whatsoever he pronounceth is looked upon as spoken by God himself, and the people will speak to him as if it were the very person of God.
He chants no song in honour of the ancient deity but postures in silence with bent knees and waving arms, holding up the bill hooks—the god himself for the time being. When he begins to feel exhausted the performer brings the dance to an end, but sometimes his excitement makes it necessary for his assistant to seize him and forcibly compel him to stop. Kaluwedda is a demon supposed to possess power over the animal race.
After performing certain ceremonies, this propitiatory float is launched upon the nearest river, in a sickly season. I have seen many of these delicate [ 25 ] arks whirling down the streams, or aground on the sand banks and fords of the Ambanganga Matale East.
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Gopalla is a pastoral godling who torments cattle at night and afflicts them with murrain. Masked dances of a special kind involving walking over fire take place in his honour. The peace of the home is impersonated in seven divine mothers who are said to be manifestations of the goddess Pattini. Their names vary according to the different localities. Navaratna Valli is the patroness of the Rodiyas and is said to have been born from the Telambu tree.
A thank offering is made to the divine mothers when children are fretful, when a family recovers from chicken pox or some kindred disease, when a mother has had an easy confinement. Seven married women are invited to represent them and are offered a meal of rice, rice cakes, milk, fruits and vegetables; before eating they purify themselves with turmeric water and margosa leaves; a lamp with seven wicks in honour of the seven divine mothers are kept where they are served; after the repast they severally blow out a wick by clapping their hands and take away what is left of the repast.
Before a house is newly occupied the seven divine mothers are invoked by ceremoniously boiling rice in milk; a fire is made in the main room and over it is kept a new pot full of milk resting on three green sticks placed like a tripod. As the milk begins to boil pounded rice is put into it. The person superintending the cooking wears a white cloth over his mouth. Seven married women are first served with the cooked milk-rice on plantain leaves, and afterwards the others present. After a successful harvest or to avert an epidemic from the village a ceremonial dance gammadu for which the peasantry subscribe takes place for seven days in honour of the gods, godlings and divine mothers.
A temporary building, open on all sides, and decorated with flowers and fruits is erected on the village green, and a branch of the Jak [ 26 ] tree is cut ceremonially by the celebrant and carried into the building and placed on the east side as a dedicatory post with a little boiled rice, a cocoanut flower, two cocoanuts and a lamp. Altars are erected for the various deities and on these the celebrant places with music, chant and dance their respective insignia, all present making obeisance.
Water mixed with saffron is sprinkled on the floor, resin is burnt and a series of dances and mimetic representations of the life history of the deities take place every night. On the last day there is a ceremonial boiling of rice in milk and a general feast.
Planetary spirits influence the life of a person according to their position in the heavens at the time of his birth, and an astrologer for a handful of betel and a small fee will draw a diagram of 12 squares, indicating the twelve signs of the Zodiac and from the position of the 9 planets in the different squares will recommend the afflicted person a planetary ceremony of a particular form to counteract the malignant influence.
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Representations bali of the nine planetary spirits, of the 12 signs of the Zodiac, the 27 lunar asterisms, the 8 cardinal points, the 7 intervals of time, and the 14 age periods are made of clay and are placed erect on a large platform of split bamboo measuring about 12 square feet—the arrangement varying according to the advice of the astrologer;—and on the floor is drawn an eight-sided or twelve-sided figure where the celebrant dances and chants propitiatory verses in honour of the planets.
The afflicted person sits the whole time during the music, dance and chanting before the images holding in his right hand a lime connected by a thread with the chief idol, and near him are 2 cocoanut flowers, boiled rice, a hopper, 7 vegetable curries, limes, cajunuts, betel, raw rice, white sandalwood and hiressa leaves. Mars Angaharuva rides on a peacock with an elephant goad unkusa in hand, entwined with gamboge leaves kolon and propitiated by the Kali Murta Baliya; the coral pravala is sacred to this planet.
David de Silva. II , page Major Forbes. One will not start on a journey, if he meets as he gets out a beggar, a Buddhist priest, a person carrying firewood or his implements of labour, if a lizard chirps, a dog sneezes or flaps his ears. Nor will he turn back after once setting out; if he has forgotten anything it is sent after him, he never returns for it. That the object of his journey may be prosperous he starts with the right foot foremost at an auspicious moment, generally at dawn, when the cock crows; his hopes are at their highest if he sees on the way a milch cow, cattle, a pregnant woman or a person carrying a pitcher full of water, flowers or fruits.
Thieves will not get out when there is the handa madala ring round the moon as they will be arrested. A lizard warns by its chirp; if it chirps from the East pleasant news can be expected, from the South news of sickness or death, from the North profit and from the West the arrival of a friend. Something similar to crystal gazing is attempted by means of a betel leaf smeared with a magical oil; a female deity Anjanan Devi appears on the leaf and reveals what the gazer seeks. Dreams that prognosticate a good future are kept secret, but bad ones are published.
When a bad dream is dreamt it is advisable to go to a lime tree early in the morning, mention the dream and ask the tree to take to itself all the bad effects. Dreams at the first watch of the night will be accomplished in a year, at the second watch in eight months, at the third watch in five months, and at the dawn of day in ten days.
If a person dreams of riding on a bull or an elephant, ascending the summit of a mountain, entering a palace, or smearing himself with excrement he will obtain an increase of wealth. If a person dreams that his right hand was bitten by a white serpent he will obtain riches at the end of ten days. If a person dreams of a crane, a domestic fowl, an eagle or crows, he will get an indulgent wife. If the teeth of an individual in his dream fall out or shake his wealth will be ruined or he will lose a child or parent but if his hands be chained or bound together he will have a son or obtain a favour.
If a person dreams of an extensive field ripe for the sickle, he will obtain rice paddy within ten days. If a person dreams of an owl, a beast in rut or being burnt he will lose his habitation. If a person dreams of nymphs dancing, laughing, running or clapping their hands, he will have to leave his native land. Words of Power called Mantra are committed to memory and used for various purposes. Jugglers utter them to raise a magic veil over the eyes of the spectators, and sorcerers to detect thefts, to induce love, to remove spells to cure possession and to inflict disease or death.
Mantra are uttered to keep away animals. Om buddha namas saka situ.
Amulets yantra made of five kinds of metal gold, silver, copper, brass, iron are similarly worn for avoiding evil and these are either pentacle shaped, crescent shaped or cylindrical enclosing a charmed ola leaf, charmed oil or charmed pills. Persons suspected of theft are made to stand with bared backs round an ash plantain tree and as it is struck with a charmed creeper, the culprit gets an ashy streak on his back.
They are also asked to touch a charmed fowl in turn and the fowl begins to crow as soon as the thief touches its body. Charmed branches are hung up by hunters and wayfarers near dangerous spots.