Thursday, July 20, 2017

1059. The Mystery behind tying the Cat....!

The year was 1924 and a group of young men from Madras Province decided to visit Muktinath temple in Nepal. This temple on the banks of river Gandaki is one among the 108 Divya Desams (sacred place).
The group reaches the Muktinath temple and in the group there was a young man who while swimming in the river Gandaki stumbled upon a fist size “Salagrama Sila” this Sila is considered auspicious among all Vaishnavites and the one who takes it home has to give a milk ablution to it daily as per tradition. Now he has brought the Sila he purchases a cow so that daily he can milk the cow and use the milk for ablution. It so happened that every morning he got up early and milked the cow and went to take bath and there was this cat in his house which would drink all the milk. Fed up with the cat he decides to tie the cat before milking the cow and after the ablution program was over he would let the cat free.

This became the procedure daily. He got married and the procedure was the same, and he had son and the procedure was same but it was not the same cat and the cow but it was their offspring. His son becomes young man and the procedure did not change. Now this person had become old so lets his son do the ablution and the procedure of tying the cat continued. The old man died in the year 1975 and his son who worked for a company was given a quarters and he shifted the entire family to the quarters. As he could not accommodate the cow he sells it but fortunately since cats and dog do not need much accommodation he takes the cat.

The milk to be used for ablution was brought from the nearby dairy and the ablution to the Salagrama Sila was done uninterrupted, but the cat was tied to avoid it drinking the milk kept for ablution. He got married and the procedure remained the same and he had son and the procedure was same but it was not the same cat but it was its offspring. His son becomes young man and the procedure was not changed. This person also gets old and his son who now works for an IT company has no time to do ablution to the Salagrama Sila hence he donates it to the temple but ritual of tying the cat early morning continued.

This person also passes away in 2000 and the IT son gets married and the new bride asks the mother-in-law why the cat is always tied early in the morning. The mother-in-law does not know but she does not want to say “I do not know” and display her ignorance, so she intelligently tells her daughter-in-law that it is a tradition which is been honoured for more than 200 years in the family and even she has to continue doing so. And the cat is tied early in the morning for some time and let loose, even when the milk is stored in the refrigerator. 

The tradition of tying the cat early morning continues and hence the family gets the name “Pillikattu” family meaning the family which tie the cat  (Pilli in Telugu is cat).

This is how we blindly follow some routine procedures giving it the name traditions, The real essence of why it is been done none of us know and none of us care to know also. 

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