Story of Karadayan Nombu
Savithri was a princess of a rich kingdom in ancient India.She was born as the daughter of King Asrapathi. She was the only child of her parents. When she attained the age of marriage, she told her father that she would herself search for a suitable husband for her.She wished to marry Sathyavan who lived in the forest. Despite being warned by the palace astrologer that he would die within a year of marriage, she married Sathyavan. Days passed and the last day of Satyavan’s life as per the prediction dawned. On that day, Satyavan made Savitri sit under a tree and went to fetch fruits and logs for fuel. After sometime, he returned feeling very tired. Savitri made him lie in a bed made of fresh green leaves keeping his head in her lap. As Satyavan started closing his eyes, there appeared in front of Savitri, a huge figure with a bison as his vahana. Savitri with her dedication and devotion could immediately recognize the figure as Yama, the God of death.
She immediately saluted him and asked him the purpose of his visit. Yama replied that as destined Satyavan’s life span was over and he had come to take his life to the other world. Saying this Yama started walking away with Satyavan’s soul. Savitri left the body of the lifeless Satyavan under the tree and started following Yama. Yama forbade her from following him, saying she could not follow him to the other world, as Yama loka was inaccessible to living beings. Only souls of dead beings are taken there. Savitri insisted on following her husband’s soul. Yama could not stop her from following him. At last, Yama agreed to grant her three wishes on condition that she would go back. She agreed. She asked as the first boon, that her in-laws get back their lost kingdom which Yama granted readily. For the second wish she asked that, as she was the only child of her parents, they get more children. This was also granted by Yama immediately. As the last wish, she asked that she should have many children which also was granted by Yama in his eagerness to get rid of her. Only after granting this wish, Yama realized that he had been tricked into granting Satyavan life, as a pious and pathivratha (chaste) woman like Savitri cannot have children if Satyavan were to be dead. Yama had to accept his defeat and restore the life of Satyavan. Savitri came back to the tree where she had left the lifeless body of Satyavan. By the blessings of Yama, Satyavan woke up as if from his sleep and Savitri narrated the happenings to him. To offer her gratitude to the Gods, Savitri immediately made a simple neivedyam with available things on hand, Rice & dals and tied the mangala sutra once again as her husband had got back his life. Her offerings were durwa grass and peepal leaves.She performed neivedhyam with wild rice and toor dal. That is kaar arisi and thuvaram paruppu.The preparation is known as Karadai nombu adai – the festival takes its name from the unique Kara Adai dish. It is believed that Savitri cooked such a dish and offered it to Lord Yama along with unmelted butter as a sort of thanksgiving for sparing her husband’s life. This is how Karadaiyan Nombu festival came into existence. I thank Jaishree for sharing this story in her blog. You can find that in the link below.
Click this link for Karadaiyan nombu Sweet adai & salt adai recipes
Images of Karadaiyan nombu pooja from Tamil Vratha pooja vidhanam book