Ceremonial initiation of kids to learning alphabets in Kerala

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Cherpu (Kerala), Sep 28(ANI): Hundreds of children in Kerala were initiated to the formal learning of alphabets in a ceremonial way on Vijayadashami that was celebrated on Monday.

To mark this occasion, considered as auspicious particularly by Hindus, elders took their kids to the local temples where they were made to etch the first ever alphabets on grains of rice or sand and thus usher the children to the world of academics.

This notable occasion is known as Vidyarambham (beginning of education) and celebrated every year on Vijayadashmi day of Dussera, believed to be the most auspicious day to imbibe the blessings of Saraswati, Goddess of knowledge and learning.or centuries, the Thiruvullakkavu Dharmashasta temple at Cherpu near Thrissur has been the most favoured venue for this memorable ceremony of Vidyarambham.

The nine-day Navaratri festival and the Vijayadashami day in Kerala have been mainly dedicated to Goddess Saraswati.

In tune with the centuries old tradition, priests guided the young children to write alphabets on a plate of rice grains.

"At this Thiruvullakkavu temple there is a legend that God Devendran had a tussle with Shastav, who came in as an incarnation of a child of Bhrama, and when the God failed in an argument, he wanted to see the actual form of the child. So, Shastav appeared in his real form and since then he is believed as divine being of wisdom," said K Kumaran, Committee Member of Thiruvullakkavu Temple.

"So, in Kerala this temple is considered to be auspicious during Vidyarambam (initiation of literacy) day in which hundreds take part here and elsewhere," Kumaran added.

According to temple officials, about 300 thousand devotees visited the temple on Vijayadashmi for the Vidyarambham.

The rituals, which began at 4 in the morning continued till evening and around 40 Acharyas (spiritual scholars) were present at the sacred ceremony.

In ancient times, priests performed the ceremonial Vidyarambham and helped the children trace their first alphabets on plates of rice. (ANI)

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