Hello friends!!! Firstly wishing all our viewers Happy Onam!!! Onam is a Hindu festival celebrated in Kerala. This festival falls in the Malayalam month of Chingam marking the homecoming of the mythical king Mahabali. It is the most important festival of Kerala since ancient times and is celebrated with great enthusiasm and pomp. The carnival of Onam lasts from four days to ten days and each day is celebrated with joy. There is a legend associated with the celebration of Onam. It is a unique festival as it is believed that King Mahabali visits Kerala during this period. It is also believed that the King is so much attached to the people of his kingdom that he visits them annually from the nether world (Patal lok) to see that his people are living happily. The main significance to celebrate Onam is to honour King Mahabali. There is a story attached to King Mahabali.
King Mahabali (an Asura) was the most respected king and was known for his generosity and honesty. The period when he ruled Kerala was known as the Golden age of Kerala. Everyone during his reign was treated equally irrespective of their financial status. People were very happy and there was prosperity flowing everywhere in his kingdom. His fame was soon spreading in all the directions in the Universe. The Heavenly gods as well as nether lands were feeling challenged and began to fear of the growing powers of King Mahabali. There was just one shortcoming of this King- his ego. Hence, Lord Vishnu whom the King was a devotee of, decided eradicate his pride and redeem his beloved devotee of this one sin, Vishnu came to earth in the form of a dwarf Brahmin named Vamana.
The King in his pride asked the dwarf Brahmin what he wanted as he could do anything. Vamana asked for three paces of the land and the King agreed. The King who was a man of principles, stood on his word to give him the land. The Vaman’s first pace covered the entire earth and the second pace covered the skies. This is when the king realized that he was not an ordinary Vamana and then asked him to place the third pace on his head. He realized God’s purpose and the moment Vamana placed his third pace on the King’s head, he was sent to another world. This fatal step proved a blessing in disguise for the good king — the foot salvaged and released him from the recurrent cycle of birth and death. At this time, Lord Vishnu granted him the boon that he will be loved by his people and that he can visit his kingdom Kerala once a year. That is why Onam is celebrated by wearing new clothes and resolving to lead a new life of truth, piety, love, and humility.
This was the story of why Onam is celebrated. But it definitely sends a very strong message to humanity. We need to once again realign ourselves to live a very simple life with truth and honesty. Also, if we want love and respect from people around us, whether it is our personal relationships or professional relationships we need to first become the givers to that love and respect. This also teaches us to live our lives without any ego. The moment we start living our lives simplistically and in truth, the ego just vanishes on it’s own. So, on this festival today let us pledge to re-design our lives based on these values.