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Revathi Pattathanam - History and Customs
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Revathi Pattathanam history and customs is given here. Revathi Pattathanam is the annual assembly of scholars at the Tali Temple at Kozhikode in Kerala. It was started in early 14th century. The event usually lasts seven days and is held under the supervision of the Saamoothiri (Zamorin) of Kozhikode. Read the history of Revathi Pattathanam below.
is the annual assembly of scholars at Tali temple at Kozhikode in Kerala. Founded in the early 14th century, the festival usually lasts to seven days and is organised under the supervision of the Saamoothiri (Zamorin) of Kozhikode.
The most important event of the festival is the debates between the scholars on various subjects. The winners of the event will be conferred upon the title
along with a traditional 'panakkizhi' (purse of money).
Revathi Pattathanam - History
The Calicut Grandhavali (Calicut Chronicles) is the book that gives information about the festival. According to the history, the Zamorin Raja confiscated the Tali Siva temple at Kozhikode and displaced sixty Saivite Brahmin trustees using force, when he was the Naduvazhi (chiefetain) of Eranadu. Eventhough some of the trustees resisted to move, they were executed. Soon after getting control of the temple, the royal family began to feel bad omens. The family suffered with the absence of descendants. They got afraid of their ancestry going extinct. This led to discussions and debates and was widely interpreted as the consequence of the curse of the Brahmins. Brahmanahatya (murder of Brahmins) is one of the five great sins for Hindus, as explained in 'Dharmashastras'.
It was a Saiva saint named Kolkunnattu Savankal proposed a solution for it in the end of the thirteenth century. He advised the Zamorin to establish a competition of scholars on the Revathi asterism, the birth asterism of Raghavananda, a poet and contemporary of Savankal, every year. The proposal was accepted and it led to the inception of Revathi Pattathanam in early 14th century. Since the event starts on Revathi asterism, it was named so. The word Pattathanam is derived from 'Bhattadanam' , meaning 'awarding of the Bhatta' in Malayalam. Bhatta is a title given to Scholars. Many scholars allover from India came to participate in the fest and it was regarded as one of the prominent events in South India during the medieval period. The scholars used to take part in the competition for the Bhattasthana (the seat of a bhatta) include the famous Uddanda Shastri from Tamil Nadu. In the incipient times the contest were limited to four fields of knowledge namely Tarkka, Vyakarana, Mimamsa and Vedanta. Later, many more subjects got added gradually.
The fest usually lasts to seven days from the asterism of Revathi in the month of Tulam. The competition is conducted on the two mandapas (platforms) on either side of the entrance hall of the Tali temple. The judges are chosen from the winners of the Bhattasthanam in previous years. They are called the 'Old Sabha'. The Zamorin would have his seat at the southern end of the hall on the southern side of the temple. There would be lighted lamps on the sides of mandapas representing the theorems Bhatta Mimamsa, Prabhakara Mimamsa, Vyakarana and Vedanta. The debates always maintained a high degree what made it famous and intense. The disregarding of the candidature of Melpathur Narayana Bhattathiri, the author of Narayaneeyam and Prakriya Sarvasvam and a great scholar, by the Old Sabha almost six times is only an example of it.
The Pattathanam has its own way of notification and invitation. The invitations are sent to the two important councils of Brahmin scholars in Kerala. They belongs to Cheviyannur and Kotamangalam. Interested scholars participate in heated debates. There would be also cultural and traditional programmes accompanying it. The judges keenly examine the performance of each participant and make the winners' list. It's Mangat Achan, the minister of Zamorin, who announce the list of winners. The winners would be presented with kizhis (purses) containing 101 Panam each. They get recognised as great scholars and often called Smartas (one who is proficient in the Smritis). The Zamorin used to abase himself before them seeking blessings.
Revathi Pattathanam Nowadays today also, the event is held traditionally. Many scholars come to take part in the debates. The Revathi Pattathanam of 2011 begins on 8th November.
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