Thursday, December 8, 2016

Kolam and it's importance in self realization - Part 1

Kolam is a form of painting that is drawn using rice powder. A Kolam is a geometrical line drawing composed of curved loops, *drawn around a grid pattern of dots.*

In South India, it is widely practised by female Hindu family members in front of their homes. Kolams are known by different names based on places, Hase in Karnataka, Muggulu in Andrapradesh, etc.


Kolams are thought to bestow prosperity to homes. Every morning in southern India, millions of women draw kolams on the ground with white rice powder. Through the day, the drawings get walked on, rained out, or blown around in the wind; new ones are made the next day.

Every morning before sunrise n during sunset in the evening, the floor of the house is cleaned with water and the muddy floor is swept well for an even surface.

The kolams are generally drawn while the surface is still damp so that it is held better. Occasionally, cow-dung is also used to wax the floors.

In some cultures, cow dung is believed to have antiseptic properties and hence provides a literal threshold of protection for the home. It also provides contrast with the white powder.

Decoration was not the sole purpose of a Kolam. In olden days, kolams used to be drawn in coarse rice flour, so that the ants don't have to work that much for to long for a meal. The rice powder is said to invite birds and other small critters to eat it, thus inviting other beings into one's home and everyday life: a daily tribute to harmonious co-existence.

It is a sign of invitation to welcome all into the home, not the least of whom is Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity. The patterns range between geometric and mathematical line drawings around a matrix of dots to free form art work and closed shapes.

Folklore has evolved to mandate that the lines must be completed so as to symbolically prevent evil spirits from entering the inside of the shapes, and thus are they prevented from entering the inside of the home.

Though not as flamboyant as its other Indian contemporary, Rangoli, which is extremely colourful, a South Indian Kolam is all about symmetry, precision, and complexity.

Due to these design's complexity, trying to figure out how, exactly, these designs were drawn can be a challenge that some viewers find enjoyable.


The mathematical properties of Kolam is being used in Computer science field. Kolam patterns are studied and algorithms are developed for regenerating kolam designs with different patterns has been done. Algorithms for drawing kolams are used in development of *Picture drawing Computer software.* Kolams are used for research in the Computational Anthropology. As Kolams have a strong relationship with contemporary art and art history, they are used in the artwork and media field.

*Kolam and Self Realization:*

Ok fine, now we all know about what is meant by Kolam… Now, have anybody of us think as why they added the kolam in our regular daily doing and inside spirituality and with Goddess Lakshmi particularly…!!?

What is the significance of first putting the kolam in pooja place and then keep the lamp over it in Pooja room?

We all know, Goddess Lakshmi refers to the “Divine light”…. So, there should be a strong connection between this kolam and Divine light…

Why to put kolam in the entrance of the house and in the place where we light lamp in the pooja room? What is the real link our seers found this tradition?

Now, let us take it step by step n analyze…

*First Step:*

Every morning before sunrise and during sunset in the evening (*i.e. during the sandhya vandhana timing*), the entrance of the house is cleaned with water and the muddy floor is swept well for an even surface.

*Sandhya vandhana timing* - The time when both the sun n moon is visible at that time.. the only time, when we are able to breath through our both sides of our nose, rest of the time, we are able to breath only either through left or right that alternates every 2 hours..

So, we are cleaning the place(near the doorsteps starting from the entrance of the house) with water…

This is the first step to be followed in our gnana meditation also…. Cleansing ourselves with tears by focusing the eyes fixedly over a point, most passionately on lamp with complete surrender towards the divine… the tears being the real Ganga...

*Second Step:*

Now, we are sweeping all the dirt left over in the entrance…… Yes, we need to sweep our karmic dirts that are stored within us also by first spreading water (by letting tears run down from eyes by concentrating on light, especially with the right eye…)... this water/tears are also made to come from the entrance only.... coz, the *"Eyes are the real entrance of the Parama padham"*....

*Third Step:*

A Kolam is a geometrical line drawing composed of curved loops, drawn around a grid pattern of *dots. So, the starting point is the dot*….

We all should have heard of the saying *“Everything starts with the dot and ends with the dot”*….

What is this dot? What is the greatness of this dot?

The same dot concept and the starting n ending the kolam in the same dot should be really thought well.

In the gnana level meditation, when we go on shedding tears and clear our sin, the eyeballs will become more clear n from inside the pupil, the eye sight will become more sharp and clear.

*Our karmas, being stored inside the black hole in the pupil* also melts in that pure heat developed within us by this gnana thavam slowly and from within the pupil, we are slowly able to see our own eyes, first the white, then the black and finally *a sharp spark from within our pupil.*

Before these, we first will hear the *nada, the unstruck sound,* from *Brahmarandhara* just like the opening of a bud… after which, we are able to see n realize all these and a lot much reality with the grace of god n by developing our inner peace n compassion n love globally without being blocked n locked by our habbits developed so far with almighty’s grace…

*So, this spark/fire resembles very much a dot…(the base of the real kolam that's put inside)*

Only, this dot is the beginning of the life journey within us to know about the self…

*It’s this dot or spark or fire, the real saver of us… the padma paadham, the rama patham, etc….*

Once we catch this spark/dot inside us, our eyes, we are really blessed, with god’s blessings, if we go n just being silently watching that dot/spark n surrender ourself totally there, our karmas will be burnt by it’s heat…

So, now i hope we all understand *the importance of the dot in the kolam…*

So, all our traditions are to be much analyzed to know it’s real existence to take us within us n to realize ourselves n to be one with the almighty residing within us… only our projection is seen as the outer world…. It exists outside, only to show, that in some form, it’s inside us…..

We need to analyze n understand the greatness of our older tradition…. Just if we see in outer world view, nothing will be known to us…. They framed the daily doings n rules only after knowing within their selves very well… They have given us in coded form, so that when one gets the maturity to think in the right manner with complete surrendering ability n with complete passion, nature unfolds them the reality…

Have a nice day… Hope u all enjoy this explanation…

In the website “How to do meditation or Penance as told by gnanis of all religions…. “, you can get a clear picture of this gnana thavam/meditation/Penance with much more clearer explanations from many great seers…

                                   ..... to be continue in next part... 

Courtesy: Sri Umadevi Srinivasan 👣

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