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Showing posts from December 12, 2015

On Velichappadu – Oracles in Kerala Temples a Vanishing Culture

Velichappadu was an important aspect of temples in Valluvanad region in Kerala. Velichappadu has the power to know the mind of the deity and he communicates it to the people. They are noted for their deep red color dress, long hair and the unique sword that they carry which are decorated with small bells. Velichappadu, also known as Komarams, is no longer an important aspect of temple culture.
Anu Prabhakar writes in DNA about the vanishing culture of oracles in Kerala Temples  The practice of instating a velichappadu (oracle of God) at temples is a phenomenon particular to the Kerala belt of Valluvanad, dotted with small towns like Ottapalam, Shoranur and Pattambi. Decades ago in such towns, a fantastical figure like a velichappadu used to enjoy a lot of importance. His advice was believed to be the word of God himself. No one dared to challenge it. And a man being anointed as velichappadu was a matter of pride for the entire family.
Today, however, youngsters shy away from becoming …

Ayyanar – About Tamil Village God Ayyanar

Ayyanar is the all powerful village god in Tamil Nadu and He along with his 21 companion gods protects villages. Huge images of Ayyanar with weapons in hand and riding horses are a common site in Tamil Nadu. One of the most popular beliefs is that Ayyanar is the son born to the Mohini Avatar of Vishnu and Shiva.

Ayyanar and his retinue of 21 gods are worshipped as protective deities. The most important companion of Ayyanar is Karuppuswami and Veeran. Pushkala and Purnakala are the wives of Ayyanar.

Some of images of Ayyanar and Karuppuswami are 20 feet tall. Ayyanar is always atop a horse.

Karuppuswami is sometimes depicted in sitting posture. Ayyanar with his whip and Karuppuswami with his Aruval (a large sickle) stand guarding villages on its outskirts. Karuppuswami is identified by his thick black moustache.

One of the most important offering to these village deities is lemon. One comes across Trishul – trident – and spears decorated with lemons in the Ayyanar shrines. In most shri…

Nagchandreshwar Temple at Ujjain - Temple on the top floor of Mahakal Temple in Ujjain

NagchandreshwarTemple is located on the third floor of the world famous Mahakaleshwar Mandir in Ujjain. The temple is unique in the sense as it is open only on the Shravan Shukla Paksha Panchami. This is the famous Nagpanchami day.

In the temple, Shiva and Goddess Parvati can be seated on Sheshnag or Ananta Sesha. It is the believed that this murti was brought here from Nepal in 7th century AD. This is a very rare murti of Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

In the templeShiva is also worshipped in the Shivling form.
Here Shiva is given importance as one who has the power over nagas or snakes. He is also one who gave refuge to Chandra – the moon god.
The temple is vividly described in the Puranas.
The first two stories of the MahakalTemple houses the Mahakaleshwar and Omkareshwar forms of Shiva.
The temple is located near the holy lake named Rudra Sagar.

Gupteshwar Mahadev Mandir on Madan Mahal Mountain in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh

To look within is simple and that is why we forget it

Our scriptures constantly prod us to look within. This is simple. Therefore, we constantly forget it. We learn complicated mantras and rituals for desire fulfillment. However, the door to bliss, which can be easily opened, is always forgotten.

People take simple things for granted and ignore them.

If to look within were to be a complicated process; then there would have been the satisfaction of achieving something. This is because we are all bothered about end results. We have been taught that God is complicated and the way to reach God is complicated.

We cannot digest the fact it is so simple to reach God – just look within.
Where is the God located in a temple? In the inner most chamber called sanctum sanctorum. Temple is the human body and God who resides in us is constantly trying to talk to us.