Monday, 4 July 2011

Chakkulathukavu - "Yethra Naryasthu Poojayante Remantha thathra Devatha"

Chakulathu kavu temple, famous for the ceremonial Nari-pooja(worshipping the womanhood), is situated in between the rivers pamba and manimala.From the town of Thiruvalla it only takes a 15 min drive to reach here.

The ancient history of the temple has some divine connections with the story of Sumbha and Nishumbha referred to in the Devi Mahatmyam. The story goes that two demonic characters called Sumbha and Nishumbha derived super human powers through rigorous meditation of Lord Brahma. They received a boon that they could be killed only through a battle with a woman. Such a condition being almost impossible, Sumbha and Nishumbha conquered Indra and other Devas. They became the unquestioned monarchs of the three worlds. The helpless Devas had to flee and take shelter in remote jungles.

Saint Narada feeling pity at the misery of the Gods approaches his father Lord Brahma. Brahma reminds Narada that ups and downs are part of the life and that was what the Demi-Gods were experiencing. There was only one way out for this despicable state of affair. Only one power could restore power and prosperity to Gods and that power was none other than the very Goddess. Devas accordingly moved in search of Goddess. Reaching near Himavan, the epic King of the mountains, they started chanting powerful mantras to appease the Goddess. They plunged into a heartful eulogy of the Goddess who in herself was power, knowledge and creativity.Goddess Parvathy had just arrived on the banks of river Ganga and in the mean time echoes of the mantras reached her ear. Goddess Parvathy grasped the pitiable plight of Devas. There emerged another Goddess from within her. This was the incarnation of Goddess Durga, having taken a divine form to rescue the Devas from the hardships caused by the asuras. The story culminates in a terrible fight between the Goddess and Asuras under the leadership of Sumba and Nishumbha. It was an encounter unheard of ever before. Needless to specify, all the auras were annihilated by the Goddess. The Devas got back the early powers and prosperities. Sage Narada appears in front of them and exhaults them about the invincibility of goddess Durga. She was the cause as well as the witness for the creation, maintenance and destruction the universe as told by Narada.It is believed that the Goddess residing in Chakkulathukavu is the wholesome manifestation of this all-pervading Goddess namely Durga.

Before 3000 years, this area where the temple stands now has been a fearful forest full of trees which are touching the skies, serpents and reptiles with hissing noises and wild animals in barbaric freedom, together created an atmosphere one would shudder to think. Rays of the sun failed to look down through the trees. Afternoons were like midnights.

Into this forest came a hunter along with his wife and children, with an idea of collecting firewood. The hunter saw a serpent moving towards him. Its hood was erect and its noise was fearful. The hunter to ensure their safety attacked the snake with his axe. Without getting hurt, the snake managed to slip into the forest. An expert in the wild habits of animals, the hunter knew too well that an attacked snake is dangerous if spared. So he followed it. He searched through the forest frantically, still he couldn’t spot out the snake. Finally he reached by the side of a lake and near it an age-old 'Chithalputtu'(A structure of sand made by insects) could also be distinctly seen. Upon it hunter saw the very snake that he was in search of. Without thinking much, the hunter thrust his axe again and again upon the serpent. But it was like cutting in the air. Surprisingly, the serpent vanished into thin air.The hunter had a touch of horror. The next second he saw that the shell upon which the snake coiled was broken. Water was oozing out of it. The hunter watched with much awe and wonder. Now there was ‘Akshatham’ (paddy and rice) and ‘Darbha’ (a peculiar type of grass used for pujas). Meanwhile the wife and kids of the hunter joined him. All were spell-bound at the unbelievable sight in front of them.

There appeared a hermit from nowhere with an inexpressible glow of holiness. The hermit informed them that the very Goddess who is the Mother of the Universe has been residing with full powers inside the shell of sand. He advised the hunter to respectfully break the shell. The idol of Goddess as Vanadurga was within it. Narada himself broke the shell and took out the idol. The hunter and his family bowed before it. Meanwhile the hermit had disappeared. The hunter brought flowers from the forest, offered garlands and prayed. That night he had a dream and it’s was in this dream that the hunter understood that the hermit was Narada.

As the sun sent down its gentle golden rays in the next morning, many had gathered near the hut of the hunter. They submitted many offerings to the Goddess. Henceforth that place turned out to be a spiritually exceptional one.Poojas of the temple were structured systematically and members of Pattamana Illam constructed a temple in that spot. The idol similar to that of Sivalainga, taken out by Narada was installed in the Sanctum sanctorum.

The water in the historical pond of the temple had the sweetness of jaggery. ‘Chakkarkulam’ became shortened in the long run and came to be known as Chakkulam. The temple was renovated in 1981. The resplendent idol of Vana Durga with eight hands was installed near the original idol. Lord Shiva, Sastha, Vishnu, Vinayaka, Muruka, Yakshi, Serpent Gods and Navagrahas are installed as ‘Upa Devas’.

No comments:

Post a Comment