Who Invented Holidays? 8 Days a Month? (Post No.3095)


Picture of Swaminatha Sivachariar in London Durga Temple

Compiled by London Swaminathan


Date: 27 August 2016


Time uploaded in London: 7-32 AM


Post No.3095


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks for the pictures.



Interview with A.V. Swaminatha Sivachariar


I interviewed Sri A.V. Swaminatha Sivachariar on Friday the 26th of August 2016. It was about the Vedic studies in olden days and modern days. Several interesting points came up in the interview. Since I wrote “Why do Hindus worship Moon?” (posted on 31 July 2013) wherein I mentioned Hindus don’t study Vedas on certain days in a month I asked the question about it.

Sri Swaminatha Sivachariyar said:

“People think that Western countries introduced the concept of Holidays in India. But Hindus are the one who introduced holidays in educational institutions before them. The Veda Patasalas (Vedic Institutes) have holidays called ANADHYAYANA days. This means no one is allowed to do Vedic learning (Adhyayana) on those days.


Hindus have introduced more holidays than any other people. The days, Vedic study is not allowed, are the New Moon day, Full Moon Day and a day before that and a day after that. They are called Chaturdasi and Prathamai in Sanskrit. Also on Ashtamis (eighth day after full moon and new moon)


Chaturdasi- 14th day ;it comes one day before full moon or new moon day; Prathamai- first day after full moon or new moon day.


This will add to a total of eight days or more in a month” ( at least two ashtamis, two prathamais, two chaturdasis and one full moon and one new moon days).


I asked him what do the students do on those days. He said:-

“The students are residential students. They stay in Veda Patasalas and study; away from their parents. So they do the cleaning, washing and shopping on those days. Parents come and meet them. And above all, those are the days for REVISION. In spite of ‘holiday’ the Acharya (teacher) comes and supervises the revision. Whatever the students have learnt in the previous week or month, they have to say it loudly. It is called THIRUVAI (repeats).

So the days are used for 1.revision 2.cleaning and washing 3.meeting parents and 4. a break from the daily monotony


Hindu’s Strange Calculator!!

Hindus are taught at the age of seven or nine or eleven a calculating method with their fingers to count 108(Brahmins, Kshatrias and Vaisyas respectively).


They are supposed to recite 108 or 1008 Gayatri mantras thrice a day. For this they use their fingers; they start counting from the bottom line in the ring finger and go clockwise. When they go to the bottom line of little finger it adds up to ten. The tip of the thumb will touch each line while counting. This is done on right hand fingers. When they do ten times Gayatri, the left hand lines will be used to count in tens. So when the left hand little finger bottom line is reached, it totals to 100.


Picture of New Moon (Amavasya) , Ashtami and Full Moon (Purnima)

But in THIRUVAI, the students use their Punul (Sacred thread worn by three castes; nowadays Brahmins only); every time they do one mantra, the sacred thread is wound around one finger; when all the five fingers are used for five times; they go in reverse direction winding the sacred thread over the fingers. Thus each mantra is repeated ten times. This is poor man’s calculator or Hindu calculator. Vedas are unique in the world because they have been passed only through the mouth and never used written materials until today.”


My comments on the interview:

Three years ago I wrote that Hindus don’t study Vedas on these eight days because of moon’s effect over our bodies. Since we see the surging sea waves during the eighth and fifteenth days of the month, the same change is happening in our bodies also; human body contains more water than any other element.


This holiday has been used for at least 3000 or 5000 years. So we can say that Hindus invented monthly holidays. Not only that, they had more holidays than the Jews a, Christians and Muslims. Christians have Sunday holiday because God created the world in six days and took rest on Sunday. Jews have Sabbath holiday from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday. Muslims have holidays for Prayer on Fridays (in Muslim countries). While these people declared only four holidays a month, Hindus declared eight holidays in a month! No doubt that we led the world in inventing holidays and extending to eight days a month. Apart from this, Hindu religious festival holidays are more in a year than any other religion in the world.


Hindus had great memory power in those days. Most of the things are learnt by heart by repeating after the teacher. That is why we don’t have many epigraphs or inscriptions or manuscripts before Buddhist days. They were the one who introduced stones and metals to write all their teachings.


Picture of Ashtami Chandra (Eighth Day moon)

Long live Hinduism!

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