Thursday, January 19, 2012

Maa Vilakku

An age old tradition of lighting lamp with maa vilakku. They are done by both the sub-sects, iyer and iyengar. The Saivites do it on any of the Fridays of Thai month or on aadi month in Tamil calendar. The Vaishnavites prepare on Purattasi month.

We light lamp in our home, and invite the Godess (ambal) to our home in the form of "Jothi". This is a wonderful experience every-time. We all can say slokas praising Goddess Parvathi, and recite Lalitha Sahasra namam on these days.

This is not done like festivals and prasadhams are not prepared like other festivals. We have to take head bath, and wear madisar. My mother used to be so strict that she never even have her coffee or tea until she finishes her pooja. Wearing madisar for pooja is believed to be more auspicious.

Thats my mom reciting slokas after lighting the lamp.

While offering the Maa vilaku, we need to put ezhakolam in front of the deity in our home, arrange Thamboolam, flowers, and other pooja items. Also other prasadhams if we have prepared any.

In simple words, Maa Vialkku is a form of offering to the deity in wich a wick is burnt in an edible diya.

Maa Vilakku
(Print this Recipe)

You need:

1 cup - Raw rice
1 cup - Jaggery powder
4 or 5 - Cardamom
1 to 2 cups ghee
3" length - Wick 2 no.s

Wash and soak 1 cup of raw rice in water for 15- 20 minutes.

If you have fresh ghee, use it. Or else take fresh butter to make ghee. We do not want to use the already prepared ghee for lighting lamp.

Drain the soaked rice and spread it on a clean(madi) cloth for 15 minutes.

Grind it in a mixie to a fine powder. Sieve well and the left over can be used for the payasam.

Take a plate (preferably pithala plate), place the rice flour in the plate and add jaggery powder in the ratio 1:3/4 (1 cup rice flour:3/4 cup jaggery powder).
You can do this mixing in a separate bowl, and place it finally in the plate.  Mix well, add the cardamom powder, sprinkling some elaneer (tender coconut water from the coconut which we break for our pooja) and shape it to a lamp. Pour in a ladle of ghee the center and place a "thich thiri"(wick) in the lamp.

Chant prayers while lighting the lamp. Allow it to burn until all ghee is used up.
Offer coconut, betel leaves, betel nuts and  fruits. You may also prepare any kheer and offer.

If you are doing this in a temple, follow the same procedure and after lighting the lamp, the priest might take it to the inner sanctum for offering. Later you may distribute some of the dough to the other devotees present there and bring back the rest for the family.

All religious festivals were intended to reinforce the joy of sharing. Whether there is a science to follow these procedures or not, we might just do it for such small pleasures.

Recite the below sloka, which is equal to all the slokas,
Sarva Mangala Mangalye Shive Sarvartha Sadhikey
Shanranye Trayambakey Gowri Narayani Namosthuthey

The sloka means, "I salute the three eyed Divine Mother Narayani, who brings auspiciosness and who fulfills all the desires of the devotee".


  1. what a beautiful description of our tradition Vidya. Felt good reading it

  2. Vidhya, Wonderful clicks.. n first thai friday u hv completed it.. good.. am yet to do it..

  3. Nice presentation and explanation..

  4. I never knew about this tradition.. Learnt something new today..! Thanx

    My event- Valentines Day Special

  5. Hy Vidhya,
    just found your your space & wonderful presentation..
    Maa vilakku sounds absolutely divine
    Am your happy follower now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime
    Tasty Appetite

  6. My amma too do this same way. I love eating that too........Lovely presentation. Following u


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