Culture in South India prohibits the new couple from having sex during the month of Aadi(July- August). This traditional practice has many social and scientific implications.
Yes, it is true. The culture in South India even today does not allow sex in the month of Aadi in Tamil Nadu (Karkidaka in Kerala) which starts in the middle of July and ends in the middle of August. It may seem to be a superstition or foolishness to those who do not go deep into the traditions.
Cultural significance of Aadi or Karkidaka
The month of Aadi among the Tamils and Karkidaka among Malayalees has particular significance to many popular Hindu festivals and ritual celebrations in both Indian states. These practices link the people to the age old sentiments and customs that have passed on to our modern generation traditionally. According to traditions this month is inauspicious and so it becomes obligatory to seek the mercy of Gods through prayers, offerings and ritual ceremonies.
Sex prohibited and couples separated
It is advised that this inauspicious month is not suitable for sex and so couples especially the newly married are separated. The first day of Aadi is called Aadipirappu (birth of Aadi). The previous day parents of a newly wedded bride invite their daughter and son in law ceremoniously offering them new dresses and ornaments. The daughter has to spend the month in her father’s house.
Ayurvedic reasons for sex prohibition
This month is the weakest month of the year, easily causing diseases due to change in the climate. Monsoon is strong during these days spreading diseases through water and air. Sex life in this month may lead to defective issues and other complications. That is why marriages, family celebrations and other communal activities are not held in this month. The couple gain strength during this month, both physically and spiritually.
The sun starts his journey towards the south from the northern hemisphere in the beginning of this month. The beginning of Aadi marks the beginning of Dakshinayanam (the sun traveling towards the south). It means the sunset for the celestial beings (gods of heaven). People spend the days in reading Ramayana and scriptures and in meditation. They take medicated foods and drinks to strengthen and immunize their body and mind. They dedicate special offerings to Sun God.
“The real meaning behind this couple separation has many scientific implications,” says Sundaram Swamigal, a scholar in Hindu traditions. If the bride conceives in this month, she will deliver the child in the second half of May (Chithirai), the hottest period of the year, which may harm both the child and the mother. Moreover, contagious diseases like small pox, etc. are more prevalent during this time.
Another practical reason is that this is the time for busy agricultural tasks of cultivation when the bridegroom has to focus his whole attention to agriculture, not diverted by his sex activities! Rivers and streams are filled with water due to monsoon rains and men cannot waste their time in other engagements. They have to get up very early in the morning and involve themselves in their duties.
Every festival has much to do with the social life of people. Hinduism gives more importance to these social implications. These rituals and celebrations create occasions for marketing. Harvested sugarcane and other crops are offered to gods. They are sold in Fairs and markets. Nowadays it is an occasion for promoting sales through offering rebates and prizes.
Sex is a part of social life and it should not affect the normal life in any way; rather it should help for a better healthy life. Hence the traditional prohibition of sex during this month can be justified. But it should also be noted that this is a traditional practice of South India which was started thousands of years ago when neither birth control nor family planning was necessary!
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