Monday, January 15, 2018

Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple


The Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple is one of the most famous Templs in Kerala,Besides this is also one of the 108 most celebrated Vishnu Temples.This Temple is in the newly formed Pathanamthitta District of Kerala.An airport also planned here .But in relation to the existence and controversies arose out of it the Airport is stilln hanging in balance. This Great Temple ids dedicated to Parthasarathy a role of Mahavishnu as the Charioteer in the Mahabharath war according to legends.The temple is on the bank of Pampa river which is also famous in relation to Sabarimala Temple.The sacred jwels of Lord Sastha taken from Panthalam passes through the Parthsarathy Temple.Similarly Thanka Angiis also sated to be storedv here every year in the month of December which is known as Mandalam season beginning.Aranmula is also famous for Aranmula mirror,which serves as medium of gift offered to VIPs visiting the state of Kerala. Aranmula is even oterwise famous for Water Sports known as Aranmula Vallam kali which involves Snake boats or Palloyodams.Guruvayur,Ambalapuzha,Thrichambaram,Thiruvarppu,ShriPadmanabha swamy Temple ,Trivadrum,P)oornathreyasi Templer,ThripuniyhuraAnd Vamanamoorthy Temple at Thrikkakkara are the other famous Vishnu Temples in Kerala and neighbouring plces.Aranmula is a small village but has been recognized by the Discovery Channel.Pathasarathy Temples all over Kerala has a dual role toplay beingba Visnu T%emple aswell as a Pachapandave Templse known as those at THRICHTAT,THIRUPULIYOOR,THIRUVARNMULA,THIRUVANVANDUR &THRIKKODITHANAM.dedicated respectively to Yudhishtira,Bheema,Arjuna,Nakula and Sahadeva.It is also said that Arjuna built a Temple at Nilkkal near Sabarimala in order to get relieved from the Sin of Killing his own brother Karna who was in the enemy side but unarmed. ARANMULA GRAMAM is one of the 64 Bhramin Gammas in which Parthasarathy Temples exist.Aranmul is the biggest Grama Temple among all Grama Temples.There is one dedicated to Parthasarathy at Guruvayur which was forcibly taken over Kerala Government recently against strong agitations staged by people.They while doing so even forgot the basis for the Constitution of India which proclaims OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE..Alll those who forget this would appear to be sinners against the Constitution of India. The Aranmula Temple has Golden Flagstaffand has four towers over the four entrances on the outer wallsThe huge and beautiful Eastern tower is accessed through a flight of 18 steps.Descending 57 steps through northern tower,one can reach the Pampa river.Aranmula Temple is a perfect example of Kerala Temple Architecture and most similar tob the EttumanurMahadeva Temple.Parthasarathy is supposed to be owner of 39 villages in and around Aranmula.People living in these villages consider Parthsarathy as their protector.Very wise people indeed! There are many legends in association with Prthasarathy Temple at Aranmula.Some of them are associated with the famous Uthrttathi vallam Kali{Snake boat race}nd THIRUVONATHONI The idol of The idol of Lord Parthasarathy was brought to this place from Nilakkal in a raft made of six pieces of Bamboo.Several Chundanvallams{ snake boats}accompanies the procession through Pampa River.The idol was installed in the Temple on Uthrattathi day of Malayalam month Chingam{August-September}.Uthrattathi in Chingam is the birthday of Arjuna.Tocelebrate tese events people of Aranmula started the famous snakeboatrace called Utthrattathi Vallamkali. Festivals in the Aranmula Temple are vallamkali,Khandavana dahanam and Aarattu . The water carnival is during Onam festival.There is a tradition of sending an offering of rice and other material required for a feast from a nearby village on a water boat.The legendelating to the sending rice by boats relates to a story.It says a devotee once fed a hungry Pilgrim who directed the devotee to send food to Aranmula and disappeared.It is believed that the devotee was none other than Lord Visnu . Snake boats accompany the sacred boat.The snake boats are from Chennithala to Ranni in the east participate in the water sport called Vallamkali.These boats assemble at dawn and sail in pairs for about 2 hours.A snake boat is about 103 feet in length. Each boat has about 4 helmsmen 100 rowers and 25 singers.After the water sport there is anelaborate feast in the Aranmula Temple. Another festival celebrated in Aranmula Temple is known as Khandavanadahanam in the malayalam month of Dhanu.For this Festival a model of a forest is made in front of the Temple with dried out plants,leaves and twigs.Thus a Bonfire is lit as a representation of the original Khandavanam forest fire mentioned in Mahabharatha.The malayalam month of /Meenamwitnesses a festival where Aranmula Parthasarathy is takenin a grand procession on the Garudamount to the Pampa river bank. where the image of Bhagavathy from nearby Punnamthode Temple is brought in procession for the aarattu festival. The offerings in the Temple:The main offering in the Temple is Vallasadya.The village which is offered the commitment of sadya will conduct a boatb race in Pampa river and will have a feast in the TempleThe feast will have Hundreds of items also including sweets.The particular feature of this Sadya when originally performed was that it was not meant for Bhraminc and Nair community alone was supposed to take part in the feast But along with Time ,this condition would appear to have changed and all people are taking part in the feast. Incidentally , recentally as a challenge to this Feast in relation to the number of dishes involved a Sadya was conducted in a college in Irinjalakkuda by certain cultural and educational organization in plantain leaf as in Aranmula.This ,however,did not become a controversian issue for which all should be grateful to Aranmula lord Parthasarathy. In fact nowadays th Aranmula Valla sadya is virtually a ritual feast.This is so because it lasts sixty days and contain morethan sixty exclusive and Exquisite dishes to relish.This is a unique mass feast with strong devotional basis offered to the crew of Palliyodams which devotees consider as a divine vessel of Lord Krishna.This sadya is dedicated to any of the Snake boat{Palliyodam} taking part in the sadya on the day of valla sadyaThe oarsmen (the crew} will come to the Temple through the riverin the boatThey come to thev Nadapandal of the presiding Diety Parthasarathy to offer Nirapara.They perform the Pradakshina of the Temple by singing and chanting Krishbhajans known generally as Vanchipattu.This is highly rhythmic in praise of Lord Krishna. Ont he Ashtami Rohini day the birthday of Lord Krishna also the divine sadya is offered to more than one lakh of devotees from all part of the nations.This also serves the purpose of Annadanams and Oottu in other Temples of Kerala. No doubt to raise water in mouth the main sweet dishes, besides all other vegiterian Dishe, are Adapradhaman, Aravana payasam,Aval mixed with jaggery,Ellunda,Kadalipazham payasam,,Kalkkandam,Parippu pradhaman,Pazhapradhaman,Palpayasam(the most favourite dish of Lord Krishna in Guruvayur and Ambala puzha),Unniyappam are generally served in Plaintain leaves with utmost devotion.In order to complete the taste of the sadya and with a view to filling watwer in mouth the other dishes served in Aranmula sadya areBanana Chips,Sarkkara upperi,Chammanthi,curd,friebanana,curry,Ginger curry,Ghee,Kalan,olan,erisseri(Elisseri)Pulisseri,Pachamoru,Pulisseri kari,Rasan,Sambar,Red cheera Thoran,Thakarathoran,Holy water from Pampa,Chukkuvellam,fried pappadam and many more addedattrractions of modern cookery are served here to relish and get themselves satisfied .Now let us all take rest after a magnificent feast which one would get rarely an opportunity to enjoy such divine taste of feast before announcing that the AArattu of Aranmula Temple falls on 18th January 2018 (Thursday next)! OHM!NAMO NARAYANAYA! Sreedharan Mundanat, 16th of January2018 at Thrissur

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Kakkad Mahaganapathy Temple ,Kunnamkulam


Eka dantham Mahakaayam Thapthakanchana Sannibham Lambodaram Visalaksham Vandeham GanaNayakam If someone asks me which is the most worshipped Hindu God I would say Lord Ganapathy. In every Hindu Temple Ganapathy is a Upadevatha.Acording to hindu customs Ganapathy Homam is a must before one indulges into any new venture or before housewarming Ceremony .For everything good to come one has to remember Lord Ganesha first as the Lord is known as Vigheswara whose power is to remove obstacle in your path. More significantly ,which is not known to many people being a new discovery in USA THAT PULLING EAR LOBES INCREASES ABILITY OF BRAIN TO REMEMBER MORE.The punishment children gets from teachers is therefore very signficant today. Why I mention this here is due to the custom of Hindus to perform Thppikkaranam {Ethamidal}in front of Lord Ganapathy helps to enhance Brain power. There are enormous numbers of Ganapathy Kshetrams in India.The most visited Temple in India for Lord Ganesha is Siddhhi Vinayaka Temple at Worli{Prabhavathy} in Mumbai In Thrissur also there a very famous Temple of Ganapathy Temple at Kakkad in Kunnamkulam, This great Temple is historically significant.ThisKshetra has the diety Mahaganapathy besides Lord Siv in the form of Vettkku oru Haran.The speciality here for Lord Ganapathy is that the trunk of the Lord is like the trunk of SiddhhiVinayaka in Mumbai.It is also significant that the Flaghoising called Dhwajaprathishta was performed in the year 2002.In the year 2003 the subdieties{Upadevathas}like Navagraha ,Durga,Nagas and Dampathy rakshak and Bhadrakali were installed.Here Friday oottu{Annadanam}ceremony is also performed on first Friday ofv every month after offering Naivedyam to the m,ain diety.The Auspecious occasion of Vinayaka Chathurthy is celebrted in the month of Chingam. On the first saturday of January every year the most attractive and expert performance of breaking 12008 coconuts in relation to Vettekkaran pattu as an offering to Lord siva is also held here.Why I said expertedness is because 12008 coconuts are broken in 3hours and 30 minutes approximately.This performance is worth showing to children.Besides the 8 days Utsavam is also held on the Thiruvathira star day of the Malayalam month of Meenam.The Utsavam also involves programs of artistic talents like Chakyar Koothu,Ottam Thullal,Dance,Bhajan etc .The Aarattu is held on the final day as in th case of any Temple in Kerala. THESE PERFORMANCES MENTIONED ABOVE INVOLVES LARGE AMOUNT OF MONEY . SO ALL DEVOTEES VISITING THE TEMPLE SHOULD GRACEFULLY CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THIS NOBLE CAUSE OF MAINTAINING A GREAT TEMPLE OF KUNNAMKULAM Sreedharan Mundanat 14 th of January 2018 at Thrissur,Kerala.

Friday, January 12, 2018

SreeKrishna Temple Ambalapuzha.


Ambalapuzha SreeKrishna Temple exists in the Alapuzha District of Kerala State. This Sreekrishna Temple has many a similarities to the Guruvayur Temple.Tha\e main feature that it is related to Guruvayur Temple ,however,is that Lord Sree Krishna of Guruvayur is believed tovisit Ambalapuzha Temple to accept and relish the famous Palpayasam offered to the Diety every day.This Great Temple is built in the traditional Kerala style of Temples. It is believed that the Temple The Historical Temple was built sometimes between 15th and 17th Century AD.It is believed that in 1789 Tipu Sultan planned raid of Guruvayur Temple and in order to keep the idol of Guruvayurappan in tact without any damage,presumably Chembakasseri sree Pooradam Thirunal Devanarayanan Thampuran broughtb the idol to Ambalapuzha and kept here for some time safely!. There is a beautiful and believable legend about Ambalapuzha Temple whis is as follows: Oneday Pooradam Thirunal Thampuran And famous Villwamangalam Swamiyar were walking along the backwaters when Villwamangalam Swamiyar heard melodious sound from playing flute and with his inner vision realised it was Unnikrishnan playing it from a nearby Peepul tree.When Pooradam Thampuran knew this he decided instantly to build a Temple there and thus the Ambalapuzha Templecame into existence here.Unnikannan is believed to have visit to this Temple at noon time in Ambalapuzha to relish the Palpayasam appears to be a true belief. There is yet another most interesting Legend about the Ambalapuzha Palpayasam which is not only brilliant but one throwing light on Mathematics and Chess combines as well. Acording to the Legend ,Lord Krishna himself disguised as a Sage and appeared in front of the King whoruled theregion of Ambalapuzha for a game of chees and challenged the King.The price for the winner was to be decided prior to the game and the King told the sage to choose the price if the sage had won.The sage told his price was a modest one relating to a few grains from the king.The king was surprised why the sage had such a moderate demand instead of Gold ,diamond or such costly items.The sage explained the conditions further as under: The sage determined the the amount of grains by placing grains placing in the Chess board in such a way as the 64 columns were filled with grain. It was in mathematical order of 2 TO THE POWER OF SIXTYFOUR MINUS ONE The amount arrived at was an astronomical 18,446,744073709551615 The numbsr of rice thus amounted to Trillions of Tons of rice. On seeng the Kingb struggling the king to pass through the horns of the Dilemma in which he was ,the sage assumed His original form {LORD KRISHNA}& assured the king that there was no need for the King to pay the grains immeadiately and instead could pay over a period of time by serving Palpayasam in the Temple free to the devotees at noon after Uchapooja{Noon pooja} until the debt is paid off. It would appear to me alone if Unnikrishnan is a regular visitor to Ambalapuzha from Guruvayur at noon ,it would be not merely to taste Palpayasam alone but with a view to supervising whether the practice of giving free palpayasam to devotees is, in fact, continued or not as well. But inspite of what all mentioned above it is ensured that the Palpayasam at Ambalapuzha Sreekrishna Temple is available only on the following conditions: If one reaches the Temple 2 days in advance and booked direct 90 people can get coupons for one litre[liter] each for Rs160/-.If it is Thursday or Sunday 110 people would get Palpayasam on the same conditions. For those who can not book also there is provision to prepare 35 litres daily for 70 people. So every day 70 people get Palpayasam to satisfy the conditions put forward by the sage[Lord Krishna]. So let us all believe that the Lord Guruvayurappan visits Ambalapuzha Temple also at noon daly to relish the Palpayasan as well to ensure that his longlasting conditions are fulfilled in toto¬ like usual "Conditions Apply" we view everywhere!! Coming back to the Great Ambalapuzha Sreekrishna Temple,there are festivals at Ambalapuzha also. The rulers of the Chembakasseri Devanarayana Dynasty were highly religious. So the idol of Lord Krishna in Ambalapuzha is understood to have brought from Karinkulam Temple.Thev bringing of this idol to Ambalapuzha also marked as and referred to by calling it CHAMBAKKULAM MOOLAM WATER FESTIVAL.This festival is conducted every year on MOOLAM star day of the month of Midhunam of Malayalam calendar. The Aarattu Festival as usual in all Kerala Temple begin with flag hoisting ritual on the Atham starday in Meenam {in March-April} & the virtual Aarattu is held on the Thiruvonam in Meenam month No harm done if we call it Ambalpuzha Onam in Meenam month unlike usual Onam at Thrikkakkara Temple and all over Kerala. Sreedharan Mundanat Friday January 12 ,2018 at Thrissur Town

Monday, January 8, 2018

Shri Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple ,Kodungalloor


Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple orSri Kurumbadevi Temple ,Kodungallur is an ancient Temple located atKodungallur in Thrissur District,Kerala.The Goddess is dedicated to Bhadrakali and is popularly knownbas Kodungalluramma by devotees and is one of the four famous Devi Temples besides Chottanikkara Temple,at Ernakulam District,Attukal Bhagavathy Temple at Thiruvananthapuram,Kadampuzha Bhagavathy Temple,in Malappuram District,and Kodungalluramma. On the southern side of Kerala is the Kanyakumari Devi Temple in Tamil naadu, and on the northern side,the Kollur Mookambika Temple,in Karnataka all dedicated to Devi Mahamaya. The devi Idol is usually carved in wood of Jackfruit tree and has eight hands carrying various weapons and Symbols The Historical legends are many in relation to Bhagavathy Temple at Kodungallur out of which the most popular two are 1)The Kali devi Temple is known as that of Kannaki. It is believed the Temple originally belonged to Lord Shiva which was later on replaced by Kannaki or Kali at a later stage. The Kodungallur Bhagavathy Temple is believed to have installed by Bhargava Raman who had also installed more Devi Temples in and around Kerala. The popular belief is that the idol of Kodungalluramma Temple was installed withb a view to saving the devotees from Chicken Pox epidemic. The glaring peculiarity of Pooja rituals in KodungallurBhagavathy Temple is that the same is notb performed by Brahmins as this was originally a Dravidian Temple.This Temple is also famous for removingv cast restrictions prevailed in old time Temples in Kerala. The Kodungalloor Bhagavathy Temple is existing in an area of around 10 acres .The Temple is sorrounded by Banian and Peepal trees.The sreekovil of ther Temple is facing north which is considered as auspeceous and wealthier sidea according to Hindu Mythology and the western chamber of the Temple is vthe abode of b seven Mothers.This is knowjn as Saptamathrukas and is also facing northern side. The western chamber also consists of Ganapathy Idol & Veerabhadra Idol.These idols are facing East and West side respectively.The Idolm of Lord Shiva is facing the Eastern side.It is believed that the offerings should be first given to Lord Shiva and then Goddess Devi.It is strangely believed that the Poojas in this Temple are prescribed by Devi herself.Similarly another typical belief is that Adi Sankara had installed five chakkras from which the Devi assumes super Powers.On the left side of the Temple there is "Samadhi of Vysoori".This is a walled enshrine and it is believed to bring miraclous cure for certain ailments like smallpox,chickenpox,mumps and other cpntageous diseases.The devotees offer Turmeric Powder here to get cure. Fifty meters left to the Samadhi Vysoori there is a Pushkarini or Sacred pond where the devotees take bath before entering the Temple.The belief is that Devi herself constucted the pond using her sacred Sword. FESTIVALS OF KODUNGALLUR BHAGAVATHY TEMPLE: ********************************************* The Kodungallor Bhagavathy Temple is famous for Festivals.The first is Kodungallor Bharani in the month of Kumbha(February-March)and the most important Festival is the THALAPPOLI in the Malayalam month of Makara(December-January) BHARANI is one of the stars in Indian Astrology and is considered as the star of DeviKali and is respected as Goddess of Success. The major Festival of Of Kodungalloor Temple is called "Kodungallur Bharani" which bears a festival look of the entire town.Many people from all over Kerala as well as India assemble here on the Bharani day &sometimes from abroad also. Pagentry&special songs well known for their fun and double meanings known as Bharanipattu is sung by various groups on the roads. There would be several such groups.Earlier various groups from all over Kerala used to arrive here singing such songs all along their way from their native place to the Temple here. But nowadays such groups are lesser but still exists in some parts of Kerala. Kurumba Bhagavathy Temple is worth visiting by all who believe in Durga and Bhadrakali Godesses. On Bharani day one can have a darshan of Bhagavathy Diety with a majestic look withb Angi. So why wait longer?.Plan a visit to this Temple this year itself to make year 2018 a year of Success and Glory. Sreedharan Mundanat Tuesday the 9th January 2018 Thrissur ,Kerala

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Shri Venkatachalapathy Temple ,Guruvayur


Shri Venkatachalapathy Temple , situated about a KM north east of the famos Guruvayur Temple, is an ancient and unique shrine in many respects.The most important fact about this Temple is that the diety worshipped here is the same as the Diety Balaji(Lord Venkitesa) worshipped in World famous Diety in Thirumala Temple at Thirupathy in Andhra Pradesh. The legend goes that late Pudusseri Vishnu Nanboodiri a famous astrologer had met a sage from Thirumala Temple who arrived in Guruvayur more than 1000 years ago .HE desired to establish a Temple for Venkitachalapathy in Guruvayur where there existed a Temple for Lord Krishna(Guruvayurappan).They discussed the matter in detail by sitting side by side in the Temple Tank of Guruvayurappan praying Him for permission.Lord Guruvayurappan agreed to the suggestion and the sage brought an Idol from Thirupathy and installed at the present Venkitachalapathy Temple here in Guruvayur. The location was known as Thiruvenkidam .It is believed that Lord Krishna desired to have yet another Temple for Him with name Venkitachalapathy to prove the phenomenon that "Whoever worship me in whatever manner I bless them in the same manner".It is also believed that the Lord Guruvayurappan Himself established this second Temple at the same place by making the Sage from Thirumala just an instrument As it is usual, there had been enemies against this second idol and went to the extent of multilating the idol by cutting the head and right hand of the idol unscrupoloususly.The later generation could not make out whose idol it was as all were kept in darkness about the matter.This situation is said to have continued until 1974 when some devotees togethe conducted a Devaprashna{Astrological search)and came to know the real identity of the multilated Lord.As a result another Idol was brought from Thirupathy via almost all Temples in South India to bring it finally to Thruvenkidam and reinstallation was performed in June 1977 in a Grand ceremony under the supervision of the Thantri of the Guruvayur Temple Brahmasree Chennas Parameswaran Namboothiripad & Periya Jeer Swamy of Thirumala who was the successor of the sage who originally brought the Idol to Guruvayur. Thus the Lord and the Divine Grace manifested again in Thiruvenkidam.Now most of the devotees who come to Guruvayur invariably perform a Darshan at Thiruvenkitachalapathy Temple also. There is another important feature about this temple is that after 600 years of installation of maindiety a Bhagavathy idol also installed in the Temple.This mother Goddess Bhagavathy with her generous blessing the Mother Goddess became popular.Venkatachalapathy and Mother Goddess had equal status in the Temple When the idol of Venkitachalpathy was multiilated Godess Bhagavathu assumed full responsibility and protected all devotees .So there soon grew an emotional tie between Mother Goddess and the devotees.She became the refuge and protector.No one returned empty handed from her Divine presence After the Idol of Thiruvenkatachalapathy was multilated ,it was the Mother Shrine who retained the tradition of this Temple.The Mother Goddess Bhagavathy continued during this cloudy period.This explains that for the the fact that the local people continues to recognise this Temple as Thruvenkidom Bhagavathy Temple as the Thiruvenkitachalapathy Temple happened to be known only in 1974. After the Devaprasnam mentioned above both Bhagavathu and Lord Venkitachalapathy (Venkatesa) were known to have equal status in the Venkitachalapathy Temple.The main Sreekovil belongs to Shri Venkitachalapathy. Bhagavathy Temple is in the south east end of the Valiyambalam Ganapathy,Saraswathy,Ayyappan,Naagaraja are also worshipped here as UPADEVATHAS A separate Shrine was also built for the original founder Ramanjaryar. After this reinstallation in 1977,an elaborate system of Poojas and rites have been prescribed. P)oojas are done three times for Venkitachalapathy and Bhagavathy.Milk and Navakabhishekams are done for Venkitachalapathy prior to Uchapooja.Poomoodal is done for Bhagavathy as a part of Uchapooja as offerings from devotees. Muttirackal and Poomoodal are the most popular offerings for Bhagavathy.Muttirackal is done by breaking ceremoniously a coconut at the feet of the Bhagavathy.This is done for removing all obstacles in the path of the devotee in all matters connected with his life like getting job, qualifying in examinations,Marriages,gettig childrens,building own houses,getting suitable brides/Bridegrooms for children,Looking after parents to keep them in harmony,visiting Temples and places,paticipating in competitions,participating in religious ceremonies ,going on pleasant tours and many more.Poomoodal on the other hand gran all wishes and ensure successes in all ventures. The most iportant festival of Bhagavathy is Makarachovva:: *****************************************************************
Falling on the first Tuesday of the malayalam month of Makaram(January)this festival has become the festival of whole community.There is such an emotional approach to this festival that there will not be a single person in and around Guruvayur who does not visit and have Darshan of Bhagavathy on this day.The Makarachovva festival is inaugurated 10 days in advance in the Temple by hoisting the Flag of the Temple and collection of PARA(a measure of 10 Edangazhi)a conventional offering of grains to their full measure by devotees of the Bhagavathy.The Komaram [ {Oracle}or Velichappadu with a sicklelike sword in hand] collects the Para from 2nd day after Flag Hoisting from devotees all over the place from their home.The Oracle is supposed to possess the Power of Bhagavathy when he performs the role of Velichapadu{Komaram}.The velichapadu is accompanied by Drums etc.Besides,the Temple court yard is filled with Paras on the day of the festival offered by devotees direct to the Temple. This kind of PARAS are offered in many of the Bhagavathy Temples in Kerala.A nearby famous Temple of Bhagavathy at Thechikkottu kavu in PRAMANGALAM(Thrissur) is one of them. The acceptance of these Paras by the Komaram at the end of the festival procession is a colorful ceremony of charged devotion.Procession with Caprisoned Elephants at noon and earl morning and the final rites in the Pattupanthal are the important features of the Festival.On the Festival Day Laksharchana is also being conducted at the Temple.But the sense of intense and deep devotion that one derives on Darshan on this Day accompanied by the Aravanapayasam which is the special prasadam is beyond words.It is to be experienced to know the divine feelings! KARKIDAKA POOJA,VISHU VELA,NAVARATRI,are the other festivals relating to to Bhagavathy Temple being celebrated with devotion every year.It is expected to improve every year with the increased Devotees to celebrate these festivals with more gaiety! THE ANNUAL BRAHMOTSAVAM OF lORD vENKITACHALAPTHY: ******************************************************* THE ANNUAL bRAHMOTSAVAM starts on the Punatham star in MEDOM month of Malayalam and continues for a few days in the Venkitachalapathy Temple.This Utsavam is being celebrated every year since reinstallation in 1977. The Thantrasastra NaveenkaranKalasam was performed in the Temple in 2007 .This is an interesting process comprising of Thantric rites including reinstallation of the idol and rejuvenaion of the power of the dieties was conducted in 2007 by making use of one thousand pots(Kalasams)filled with various liquids and charges with Chaitanya(Divine Power)generated by the Mantras chanted by the priests are poured over the idol to rejuvonate the power of the diety as part of the Naveekarana Kalasam. Thantric rites for the rectification in the erosion of power of the diety due to omissions and commissions are an important part of the annual Festival.The rejuvenated energy overflows and envelopes sorroundings extending energy to all.Public feedings and cultural programmes are also conducted during the Utsavam. The Lord is taken on a caprisoned elephant followed with the drums five times each morning and evening during the first three days after the flaghoisting.This is important feature of the Utsavam. Most important days of the Brahmotsavam are the last three days.UTSAVABALI(Auspecious for Darshan)Pallivetta (Symbolic destruction of Evil)&Aarattu(Holy Immersion of the Lord in the Tank)which marks the culmination of the Festival. The Aarattu Procession withn the lord on the caprisoned Elephant taken around the roads in the village is a colorful sight and at the same time is a devotionally charged experience.The true Devotees wait at the gates of their houses with various offerings in their ecstasy to receive the Lord which happens only once in an year! After the procession returns to the the Lord is immersed in the tank following Thantri rites and the devotees who throng on the main Ghats of the Temple tank also simultaneously dip themselves in the Temple tank.Here again the emphasis on devotion dipping in the Temple tank charged with divine Power on the Idol immersion. After the Aarattu Lord is again taken on the mounted Elephant for NINE PRADKSHINAMS around the Temple and at the end of the ninth the Flag hoisted is lowered ans deposited and the Utsav comes to an end.However,the Utsavam really ends when twentyfive Kalabhishekams are done and with Athazhapooja and Sreebhoothabali the Brahmotsavam finally declared over.Then Ayyappan Vilakku Festival which is being conducted in the premises of this Temple on the 15th of December every year.At least for the Last 40 years the Ayyappan Vilakku by the Guruvayur Ayyappa Bhajan Sangham has become an important Annual event of this Temple THE PUBLIC ANNADANAM in the Morning,Noon and at night WITHOUT ANY RESTRICTION OF RELIGION CAST or CREED or numbers contributes weight immensely to the SOLEMN ,DEVOTIONAL&PIOUS ATMOSPHERE in which LORD AYYAPPA is present everywhere.. OHM! Namo VENKITESAYA! SWAMY SARANAM! AMME MAHAAYE ! Sreedharan Mundanat 21st December 2017, at Thrissur ( Courtsey:Thorough study of Net info+ many visits to the temple and discussion with local people)

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Mammiyoor Mahadeva Temple,Guruvayoor


Mammiyur Temple also known as Mamiyur Shiva Temple or Mamiyur Mahadeva Temple is situated about 200 meters north west to the world famous Guruvayur Temple in Thrissur Distr,Kerala. The unique feature of the Mamiyur Temple is that the Temple enshrines the idol of Lord Vishnu in a Sanctum Sanctorum next to that of Shiva.Mamiyur Shiva Temple is the only Temple where Lord Shiva&Lord Vishnu are worshipped in equalm Status.It is believed that the pilgrimage of Guruvayur Temple would be incomplete if the Mamiyur Shiva Temple is not visited. As a shortcut to avoid the Blessings from Guruvayur many people especially local people make a salutation to the Shiva from the Left Bhagavathy Temple while they perform a Pradakshinam in the Bhagavathy Kshetram in the first turning point.This is a very common sight. But most of the people from outside are told by the guides to visit Mamitur Temple.Inspite of this many miss Mamiyur Temple and returs\n withe divine feeling of having achieved full Blessings from Lord Guruvayurappan.Unfortunately there are no sign boads to let the devotees to know this in Guruvayur Temple.However, as almost all devotees do visit the Temple every Malayalam month the blessings from the Lordc do not go missing for Devotees. There is even a procedure to visit the Guruvayur Lord on the last day of Malayalam month and stay overnight to visit next day so that 2 months Blessings can be achieved in two days. The hotel industry in Guruvayur get the benefit of two days stay by devotees instead of one. There is a legend thatafter the departure of Lord Krishna to Vaikunnda at the end of his AVATAR , the abode of Dwaraka was swollowed by the sea.His own Vigraha idol designed by Himself was floating on the waves.Planet Jupiter and Vayu Bhagavan found the idol and was searching for a place for the installation of the idol.They came to Kerala which was created by Lord Parasurama and chose the bank of Rudratheertha which was the then home of Lord Shiva. In Mamiyur Temple excluding two months of June and July and part of August the temle celebrates various kinds of festivals during the remaining months of the year.Lalith SahasraNama Archana is performed in a grand manner on the Saraswathy Pooja day during the months of September -OctoberChildren from all parts of India gather here to participaten in the Sangeetharchana event Aksharabhyasa which denotes the beginning of Schooldays of children also takes place on Saraswathy Pooja Day. Special Poojas are performed in the Temple on Shivaratri day which usually falls in the months of of February-March of the year. There are shrines for LordsMahavishnu,Ganapathy,Muruga(Subramanian),Dharma sastha,Brahmarakhas in this Temple Shrines for Serpent God and Mother Bhagavathy are also avilable here and Poojas are performed. Mamiyur Temple is the only one Temple in which a special Pooja on name Rig veda Dhara chanting Mantras from Rig veda is performed in India as far as avilable knowledge goes.Any one who knowsv any more Temple performingb this Pooja may kindly offer such information as necessae=ry for devotees to relish.This Pooja is generally performed between 6-45 and 7-15 in the morning.Devotees can participate in this pooja by paying the stipulated rates notified in the Temple.Ganapathy Homams of higher rates and lower rats are performed on option from a Devotee on any selected day with advance booking. An added attraction in this Temple is the Murals paintings .in fact there is a rare picture of Visnu in Ananthasayanam pose with Lakshmi near the head of Bhagvan and Bhoomidevi at the feet which could not be found in any shop in Guruvayur , Thiruvanantha puram or elsewhere. on enquiry when I was entrusted with the job by my Late Cheriyamma .Finally the picture shown as last in the photos above was got from the iside Mural paintings of Mamiyur Temple.Later on I found the photo in one of the hotels in the western Nada also. That is Nostalgia.So next time you visit Guruvayur Temple kindly make it a point of visiting Mamiyur Temple also so as to become receipiemnts of all Blessings from Guruvayurappan as well as Lord Shiva also. A similar Temple is existing in Mundur between Kecheri and Thrissur towns in Kerala. Ohm!Nama:Sivaya! Sreedharan Mundanat 17th December2017 at Thrissur.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Koodal Manikyam Bharatha Temple,Irinjalakuda


The Koodalmanikyam Bharatha Temple at Irinjalakuda,in Thrissur District is a very ancient Temple .The earliest evidence belongs to a stone inscription attributed to the Chera king Stanu Ravi Varma as back as in 854 AD who donated vast area of land for the Temple.It therefore would appear to be reasonable to assume that the Temple must have been in existence quite sometimes before this date. It is therefore to be believed that thousands of years ago the entire area now known as Irinjalakuda was a dense forest a number of Rishisunder Kulipini Maharshi were engages in an ancient Yagna offering severe penance to please MahaVishnu.Ultimately pleased with the intensity and sincerety of their devotion,the Lord Vishnu appeared before them and offered to satisfy their wish.All they wanted wasthe eternal presence of the Lord at the place.The Lord readilyb agreed to the earnest wush of the Rishis. The Rishis now prayed to Deva Ganga to Bless the sacred Yagna bhoomi with her presence.As the springs of River Ganga fountained and inundated the area the Rishis were immersed themselves in the sacred waters and became one with thev Lord Vishnu. The presence of Ganga is believed to continue in the Kulipini Theertham named after the name of the chief of Rishis. This tank on the northern side is believed as sacred as Sanctum Sanctorum. The speciality of thos tankn is that Water Snakes frogs etc commonlly found in this considered to be a special boon and merit.Water for preperation of Nivedyams is taken from this tank alone.Priests/Poojaris after taking bath in outside tanks have to take a dip in Kulipini theertham before entering Sanctum Sanctorum. The Temple itself was not built immeadiately after the incident mentioned above had taken place.The place was not inhabited for many yearsprobably.The traditional legends about how the temple came to be established say that a local chieftainVakkay Kaimal had a dream one night in which a mysterious person appeared before him and told him that four idols have been washed ashore and that these idols are to be installed at four different places.The Kaimal being and ardent devotee hastened to thev seashore to find four idols lying there as indicated in the dream.They were duly installed at 4 different places as indicated below: Rama at Thriprayar (22 KMs northwest of Irinjalakkuda, Bharatha at Irijalakkuda itself,Lakshmana at Moozhikulam(30 KMs southwest of Irinjalakkuda and Satrugna at Payammal(5 KM south of Irinjalakkuda).It is believed that worshipping at these 4 places on the same day was highly meritorious .It is believed that Ardent devotees used to cover these distances on the same day by walking or in Bullock carts.But nowadys it is much easier to make these trips on the same day.In the Malayalam month of Karkidakam(July 15th to August 15th,called the RAMAYANAMASA, thousands of Devotees do this special pilgrimage (Popularly known as Nalambalam Thozhal) to become themselves recepients of Blessings from the above Gods. The Lord at Koodal Manikyam Temple ,Irinjalakkuda is known as Chaturbahu Vishnu with Conch,Chakra,Gada,and Japamala is believed to be none other than Lord Bharatha the brother of Lord Sreerama. Lord Bharatha is supposed to be waiting anxiously and devotedly for the return of Rama from exile for 14 years and later on learnt from Hanuman that Rama had reached the outskirts of Ayodhya .Thereafter he was much relieved and Happier .Bharatha in this mood is worshipped here in Irinjalakkuda.Naturally ,Hanuman is also present at the Thidappally of Irinjalakkuda Temple. ADistinctive feature of Bharath Temple is thatthere is only one single Pradishta here .Even Lord Ganesha usually found in every Temple is not present here.Usually when Thulsi leaves are offered to the Diety of any Temple the seeds of Thulasi are fell and scattered in the premises ,how this phenomenon does not happen here is a Mystery not solved so far!One explanation ,however,is that Tulsi plant being sacred it is worshipped where it is found.But somehow,Thulasi is forbidden frm growing here by some unforseen Power! There is also one story that a ysrterios person used to enter Sanctom and Sanctorum of Tempies he visited and transferred the Chaitanya in a Conch he carried to be taken to his village.Howeven this person with the conch fell down and got his conch broken so that the Chaitanys of many Temple he had gathered got consolidated here.The divine Chaitanya consolidated here is known as Sangameswara.So although there is just one Prathishta of Bharatha here ,the priests (Namboodiris )perform their Seva for Vishu ,Siva and Devi here. The main "Nivedyams" offered to the Lord here on the day of "Avittam" star in the Malayalam month of Thulam is the famous :Mukkudi nivedyam" and "Brinjal Nivedyam".This ancient Temple is ,perhaps,the only Temple in India dedicated to Lord Bharatha.The diety here is often called "Parabrahma Moorthy "also. Koodal Manikyam Temple is a Marvel in Architecturan beauty.The impressive Gateways,Round shaped Sanctum Sanctorum ,the majestic Koothambalam and carvings in wood nd stones on the wall are all attractive features of Art and Architecture.The Murals on the wall on either side of the Eastern entry to Chuttambalam also needs special mention. So why wait to plan a visit to the Temple preferably in the next Ramayana Masam which is just 6 months from now? Jai Lord Bharatha the most honest, Sincere and devoted brother of Lord Sreerama! Sreedharan Mundanat 16th of December 2017 at Thrissur 680 004 ( Source :Net,Hearsay,Discussion with the local people and from visit to thev Temple)