Monday, May 16, 2022

Bride Stepping on Sannikallu

8. VaaranamAyiram (Thousand Elephants Dream)

Immaikkum ezhezhupiravikkum patraavaan
nammaiudaiyavan naaraayanannambi
Semmaiudaiyatirukaiyyaaltalpatri
ammee midhikka kanaakandentozhi naan

Stepping on sannikallu

Stepping on Sannikallu

Putting a silver ring on finger (mette)

Meanings:
Immaikkum = Hereaftertaking seven steps around the holy fire,
ezhezhupiravikkum = In this birth as well as in all succeeding seven into seven births, patraavaan: He is the protector in all such births, nammaiudaiyavan= He is our sarva-svAmi; we belong to Him, Narayana nambi: “He who is full of unlimited kalyaanlagunas and the handsome one”, semmaiudaiyatirukaiyyaaltaaLpatri: His light reddish divine hands, Ammi Midhikka: stepping over the stone – ammimidittal. He placed my toe on the grinding stone to wear the metti (silver ring for finger next to toe).

Also read: Seven Steps around holy fire

Lord Krishna making Goda Devi rub her feet on sannikallu

This song explains another interesting ceremony as part of the marriage process in which the groom takes bride’s foot in his hand and helps her to step on the grinding stone (SanniKallu), indicating a wish that their marital bond would be as strong as that stone. While her foot is on the stone, the groom decorates the finger of her foot next to tow with a silver ring called metti (both in Telugu and Tamil).

English Poem

Seven steps taken with Him, to be saviour in this and

Seven into Seven births under His protection, Need no

Heaven, Krishna’s lotus hands picked my foot gently

Stepped on the stone for mette, So I dreamt, my Friend!

After taking seven steps around holy fire, the bride’s foot is gently taken by groom and placed on the sannikallu, a stone used for grinding purposes. For grinding you need one base stone and the other which grinds things over base stone. It’s a couple. One is useless without the other. Having them together is the objective of this ceremony. They should be strong and together all through and the bond should be as strong as the rock is. From another angle, the stone is symbol of Lord Siva Lingam, who is considered as another witness to the marital bond, like holy fire. When there was no process of registration, the marriage used to have been realized as the holy fire and lord Shiva witnessed it in the presence of the guests, relatives etc. The ceremony is considered a process of registration or notice to the entire society that the new couple are legally wedded and bonded couple. The young persons should reconcile to the fact that this beautiful boy or girl is already married and not available for them. The society has to respect them as husband and wife.

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Also read: Ranganatha holds Goda’s hand

Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu
Author is Dean, Professor of law at Mahindra University at Hyderabad and former Central Information Commissioner. He published a number books in English and Telugu.

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