In the beliefs that the god will reciprocate, people make vows and
carry them out. Parents desiring off spring promise that if a child
is born, they will donate the child's first hair to the deity
which grant the boon or they will hang a miniature cradle
in a temple to beget a child by god's grace .
If a child is ill the parents or grand parents promise
to present silver or gold articles to the deity on the child recovering
its health. Offerings are made in the shape of parts of the body which
have subject to disease. Elderly persons roll their body around the temples
outer boundaries, on the earthen road several times and even for several
kilometers to thank providence for mercies shown. In
Thiruvannamalai it take the form of girivalam or circling
the hill, a distance of 13 km.
On buying a new car, many persons make the first
drive to a temple. If a cow is purchased, the first milking is used
to anoint a deity. The first ghee melted from the cows butter is
poured in to the temple lamp as fuel to brighten its glow .
When faced with dilemma, instead of considering merits
and demerits, villagers put up some flowers in a temple and see which
way the wind lifts it to decide an issue. Or they draw lots in front
of their favourite deity to decide whether they should go
ahead with a suggested surgical operation etc.
When a coconut is broken in the temple, it should
part in to two regular and equal halves and not break at tangent
in to the eyes of the coconut. A decayed or rotten coconut
foreshadows serious mishap to the devotee .
If two families fill out and they later join hands, each
family contributes a token sum and the money is jointly
deposited in the temple cash-chest to seek the deity's approval
of the reconciliation. Other wise, it is feared that the reunion
may be just a temporary phenomenon .
If the axle of a temple car cracks or give away,
the event is likely to bring misery to that village. Another fear is that
a dwelling house built higher than that of the tower of the local temple
may cause havoc to the inhabitants.
After sneezing, people exclaim 'Shiva', 'Rama '
or 'Krishna'. If some one yawns, the person yawing or his neighbour
snaps his fingers to the right and to the left to scare away evil-spirits
The first pumpkin or for that matter any first produce
in the vegetable garden is donated to the temple-kitchen.
In Thenbaranadu, which is in Thiruchirappali district,
a person sent to select a bride should give up his mission,
if he happens to cross a bamboo, fire wood or a reptile or
if hears the sound of the deer.