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Alumpeth Devi Temple of Kerala in India
Alumpeth Temple is an ancient kalari temple of Sri Bhadrakali (Devi), located in Vathikulam, a remote but beautiful village in the state of Kerala in southern India. Vathikulam village is accessible by a road that travels 7 km towards the east from Kayamkulam town. Kayamkulam is a famous town on National Highway 47 about 108 km north of Trivandrum and 110 km south of Cochin. Kayamkulam is also well connected by rail.
The motive behind the incarnation of Sribhadrakali (Devi) is to save the gods from offense and despair, people worship her in times of joy, neglect and impending emotional distress. Devi is also known as the goddess on call at times when life is in danger and existence seems impossible. Because the Alumpeth Temple is in the form of the ancient Indian Kalari (a school of literal and martial arts), people depend on it when their progress in educational, cultural, scientific and legal endeavors is thwarted by enemies or negative situational factors.
Sit in a comfortable position with your eyes closed and chant the mantra:
“Ya devi sarwabhootheshu
namasthasyai namo nama:”
several times and attain bliss.
Regardless of size or quantity, devotees offer everything under the sun to Devi. The offerings range from a wreath or flower to an elephant. Friday and Tuesday are very important for this prayer. Better follow Velliyazhcha Vritham (Friday Fasting Prayer) to solve lingering problems. The program begins on Thursday after an evening bath, taking no solid food except fruit from Thursday evening until Saturday morning. Intoxicants, non-vegetarian food and sex should be avoided during these hours, one should bathe twice a day and chant the above mantra, this should be continued for several weeks until the desired outcome is achieved. This prayer has great significance from both a naturopathic and yogic perspective.
Lord Shiva married Sati, daughter of King Daksha and they lived happily in Kailasa. Daksha conducted a yaga (a great ceremony and feast in honor of the gods) where Siva and Sati were not invited. Despite Siva’s warning, Sati attended the yaga expecting her parents to apologize and accept her. But she was neglected and insulted in public. Sati felt desperate and ended her life by jumping into the fire.
Lord Shiva became enraged and beat his hair on the ground giving birth to two terrifying figures, Sri Bhadrakali (Devi) and Virabhadra. They destroyed the yaga and killed Daksa (Devibhagavatham Chapter 7). Therefore, Devi is believed to be a savior on call at times when one’s respect is violated.
Alumpeth Temple is the holy seat of Sri Bhadrakali. Yogiswaran (ancient family head) of the Mulamoottil family was a devotee of Goddess Panayannarkavu who brought the Devi through penance in the 16th century to the Alumpeth temple. Yogiswaran is the physical founder of this temple. Yogiswaran’s predecessors were the chief accountants of the kayamkulam dynasty and enjoyed immense power, wealth and all the virtues of feudalism. It was a glorious period in the history of the temple. In 1924, the large family and wealth were divided into 7 branches, the seventh branch being the Alumpeth temple.
Eravankara Punchaman Madom Thirumeni is a thanthri (spiritual head) and this position in that family is hereditary. The temple committee appoints poojaris and other temple employees from time to time with the consent of the thantris.
Siva: The third of the thrimoorthi (Hindu Holy Trinity) responsible for samharam (destroying ion). In the Alumpeth temple, Siva sits close to the Devi. Purakuvilakku, Dhara and Mrithyunjaya pooja are important for Shiva.
Ayyappa: Son of Shiva in Vishnu. Ayyappa sits near the Devi in the temple. During the sabarimala season, devotees of Ayyappa crowed at the temple to begin their sabarimala pilgrimage.
Veerabhadra: Brother of Devi, born along with her to Siva at the time of Daksha’s murder.
Brahma Rakshas are considered as part of Lord Vishnu.
Yakshi: friend and helper of Devi. Tender coconut is her favorite offering.
Nagaraja and Nagayakshi : The king and queen of snakes worshiped in ancient Kerala. Panoor Kavu, bushes 1 km away. southwest of the temple is also known for snake worship.
Yogiswaran: Chief of an ancient family and founder of the Alumpeth temple. His seat is Kadanath Kalari, 600 m south of the main temple.
Gandharwan (celestial musician) also sits in Kadanath Kalari.
The main festival in this temple is on “Pathamudayom” (10th day of Medom month). It usually comes on April 23rd every year. The festival begins with a special pooja for the main and minor gods. In the morning, ladies offer “Pongal” to the goddess. Pongal is a custom where ladies cook pudding in the temple premises to fulfill their long cherished dreams. Kalasam, ezhunnallathu are conducted during the day. At night there will be traditional cultural programs like Kathakali, music competition, Koothu, Theeyattu etc. The festival ends the next day early morning with gurus (holy sacrifice) and fireworks. Vijayadasami is another festival in this temple. Devibhagavatham (an epic text on Sree Bhadrakala) is read. Children from nearby places are brought for vidyarambham (beginning of learning). The spiritual leader writes the alphabet in children’s language in gold.
During the Sabarimala season (Vrichikam, Dhanu months) special Ayyappa Poojas are conducted. Ayyappa devotees kukurikal here for Malayidil (beginning of 2 months of penance for Ayyappa) and kettumuruckal (preparing bags for sabarimala pilgrimage).
Other Hindu festivals like Onam, Vishu, Deepavali, Sivarathri, Bharani, Ayilyam, Ekadasi are also celebrated. The Rohini star of each month is also important here.
A short list of the main offers is provided. The stated price is for 1 year. Devotees can book offerings by sending a cheque/draft drawn in favor of Secretary, Alumpeth Devikshethram, Vathikulam, payable at Kayamkalam. This may be accompanied by a cover letter stating the subject of the offering, the devotee’s star/date of birth. Pooja offering will be conducted on the same day of every month for a period of 1 year (12 poojas) and prasadam (blessed remains of pooja) will be sent to devotees by post.
Ganapathy Homam: Special offer for Ganapathy (Vinayak) to remove obstacles and adverse factors in life (Rs. 1250/- / $40).
Mrithyunjaya Homam : A word that means defeating death. It is a Siva Pooja which is performed with the aim of saving the life of a person whose life is in danger. It is believed that Lord Siva dares to even destroy the god of death to save his devotees (Rs. 1500/- / $50).
Sathru Samhara Pooja : Special offering to Sri Bhadrakali for complete destruction of enemies (Rs. 1500/- / $50).
Noorum Palum: A special offering to Nagaraja and Nagayakshi for begetting children and healthy growth of the next generation. (Rs. 1500/- / $50).
Ayyappa Pooja: Excludes the devotee from bad luck due to the influence of Sani (Saturn). (RS. 1500/- / USD 50).
Payasam/pudding for Veerabhadran (Rs. 200/- / $5).
Payasam/pudding for Brahmarakshasa (Rs. 200/- / $5).
Tender coconut and yakshi varapodis (Rs. 200 / – $5).
Full Day Pooja: For Main and Sub Deities includes all items 1 – 8 and unique pooja on behalf of devotee to Sri Bhadrakali (Rs. 10000/- / $250).
Devotees can also contribute to the development of the temple. The recent such contribution includes the building contribution of Mr. Pallickal Sunil. Another is the attractive protective wall of the temple built in memory of Panoor Kizhakkathil Thankamma Kunjamma and Thottathil Raghavan Unnithan.
To visit [http://www.geocities.com/alumpethtemple]
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