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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Differences between the Mohnee and Dashain

by Jwajalapaa Sakasita on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 at 9:36am 


There are too many differences between Mohnee and Dashain. Yet, we newars have wrong understanding that they are basically same. No, there are totally different. Here I list some of basic differences that we have. Please read it, and correct me, if I am wrong. You may also add information that you have. We have to tell our Newah kids that our Mohnee is much more advanced festival, based on sound philosophical ritual and teach us very valuable lessons useful for our live.
  1. Mohni does not assume the killed animals as daitya; Dashain assumes they are daitya.
  2. Mohni has Navaraat - each day is assigned for a particular bhagvati / ajima; Dashai does not have the navaraat. Some of them say - shaktipeeth pujaa but that is not the main culture of majority of dashain festival followers.
  3. Parewa to Shasthi - plenty of free time, usually playing cards and particularly bhutmaali bwoyekegu (kite flying) is the culture of Mohni. Dashain does not include kite-flying, they have playing cards and "ping khelne" (swings on bamboo stands) as the mean to entertain.
  4. Saptami tithi for Mohani is to introduce a small portion of meat in the evening, particularly for the hard working people. This is the day to begin prepare the meat for Astami to Dashami. A minor celebration "ला दुत हयेगु" is done but only few people notice it. After the dinner of Saptami, cooked rice will disappear from the kitchen until Ekaadashi. Saptami tithi for Dashain is a big day of fulpaati. They have a full-scaled procession and puja. I don't know what they eat after puja.
  5. Astami tithi for Mohani is kuuchi-bhoy. It needs preparing full-scale bhoj with at least 12 different ghasa (4 kinds of meat recipes-usually chhoyala, daayekalaa, bhutan, khaayulaa, 4 kinds of vegetarian-recipes-usually aalu, fasi, kauli, waaunchaa, 4 kinds of beans-usually taga-keu,chiga-keu,bhuti,musya), 3 kinds of beverage (tuyu thwon, hyau thwon, ailaa), fruits, sweets and deserts. Other items may be added depending on availability, such as swonpuka, sapumhichaa, tisyah, nhipu, kachilaa, hinlaa, panlaa, etc. Astami for Dashain is "maar haanne din". They cook rice and meat. If the meat is cooked as kawaaf, that means stirr-fried for a prolonged period until fully done, then it is special. No alcohol, no beverage. Rich people add recipes of their wish without having any rule or norms. The tail (puchchaar) meat is given to the person who kills the animal (maar haane maanchhe).
  6. Nawami tithi for Mohani is Syakwo-Tyakwo. Most animals are killed on this day at various shaktipeeth. This is the last day of shakti-pujaa. The same day is also Viswakarmaa Pujaa for Mohani celebrating newars. So they do puja for machinery tools, bhimsen, and equipments they use to make their living. All the killed animals need to perform the ritual of "mwo haayekigu". This is considered as the self-acceptance by the animal to get himself sacrificed to the god. For any reason, if the animal refuse to "mwo - halegu" that animal is not killed. There is huge philosophical reasoning behind this ritual, which you don't find in Dashain. For Dashain, if you have the animal, you have the right to kill because you assume that the animal is the daitya. No, Mohani does not say that. Mohani says, the animal is also a creature like you and me. You have taken him to the god and ask his own permission to get sacrificed for the god. If the animal does not accept to get sacrificed, then you don't have right to kill him. This teaching of self-sacrifice has a link to the tantra-siddhi, which tells you to sacrifice everything - even your life - if you are determined to achieve the ultimate success - the siddhi. Mohani has used the animals for this teaching, and to provide meat for your celebration. On the other hand, Dashain teach to hate devil, and provoke you to kill it, even if it is taking refuse in a weak animal's body. Dashain does not teach to respect the weak-helpless animal, who even can't say to devil 'don't stay in my body, i will be killed, if you stay in my body'. I think, the philosophical message is at wrong place in that killing practice.
  7. Dashami tithi for Mohani is Aaagn Pujaa; where only the people of same kul is stayed together for the pujaa. After the kul pujaa, they do the Naliswaa kwokaegu. Dashami for Dashain is the Tikaa-ko din, they harvest the Jamara. Some of them need a saait for harvesting the Jamara and putting the first Tikaa. For Mohani, the saait is not needed because the whole day is considered as the auspicious day.
  8. Ekaadashi tithi: Mohani has a Payoh jaatraa and showcase of weaponry and sword skill to the public. Since Ekaadashi does not allow to use meat, the swords are tested cutting bhuifasi. The paayoh jatraa are done in different styles and forms. In some region, there is also khadga-hilegu jatraa. In overall, the ekadashi is the day of celebrating the war-time tools and skills. It is also a day to rest at home enjoying Payoh jaatraa. Also, Ekadashi is the day to pay a brief visit to the home of married girls to handover their kuchhi-bhoy at their home. This tells their married daughter that "Even if you are married to a different family and live at different home, you are still our family member, and we care for you". Dashain does not have any of such celebration and culture of connecting with their married daughters on Ekadashi.
  9. For Dashain, Ekadashi to Purnimaa is "tikaa thaapne din", that means, you can go to any elder person you have interest with, and ask to have his blessings for your progress and prosperity. You don't need invitation to go and ask for Tika and blessing in the Dashain. The married girls and her family return back to their home for Tikaa, even if they are not-invited. But, for Mohani, visiting to relatives begins only on dwadashi. All visits are done only after receiving respectful invitation. The culture of invitation is helpful to develop mutual respect and love, as well as better management of guest-service.

These are brief and clearly visible differences only. If we follow on details of rituals, then we have a lot more to document