Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vaikom Mahadeva Temple

Vaikom Mahadeva Temple
This is a very big temple with an area of approximately eight acres. It is believed that
Vaikathu Appan (God in Vaikom temple) has three different aspects. By saluting him in
the morning, you get wisdom, by doing it at noon you get victory and by doing it at night
you get happy life.
There is a story about the origin of this temple. It is believed that an Asura called Khara
got three Shivalingas from Lord Shiva himself. He brought them to Kerala, holding one
by his teeth and one each in his left and right hand. While the Lingam held by his teeth
was consecrated in Kaduthurthi, the one held in his right hand was consecrated in
Vaikom and the one held in his left hand was consecrated in Ethumanur. People believe
that if we can visit all these temples on the same day, it is very propitious.
The 4-5 feet tall God stands on a two feet high pedestal. The Uthsava Vigraha is
decorated with golden crescent, three eyes etc. The statue is normally decorated with
Bilwa leaves and other flowers.
On the south of the temple, is the temple of Panachikkal Bhagawathy. She is
considered as Vana Durga. There is no roof over her idol . It seems that after the temple
was built, there were problems created by a Yakshi. So people went and requested for
help from Vyagrapada Muni. He told them that one Gandharwa maiden had become
Yakshi due to the curse of Agasthya. She can be saved only by an assistant of Ganapathi
called Trishuli. So all the people prayed Lord Ganapathi. Then Lord Ganapathi sent
Trishuli to remove the curse given to the Yakshi Trishuli cut her in to three pieces and
threw those pieces. The present temple of Panachikkatu Bhagawathi is in the place where
her trunk fell. Where the head fell, there is a temple called Moothedethu Kavu and where
the legs fell, there is a temple called Koodachelu Bhagawathi. It is believed that The
Ganapthi statue in the north eastern portion of the temple is due to this incident.
The greatest offering in Vaikom is Annadhanam. Originally the feast was restricted
only to Brahmins but now it is for everybody. It is believed that Lord Shiva and Goddess
Parvathy partake in the Morning feast at Vaikom in the form of Brahmins. The prasada of
the temple is the ash collected from the big main kitchen of the temple. Daily all that is
prepared is offered to God, before offering it to others. It is believed by partaking in this
morning feast all incurable diseases would be cured and wealth will accumulate in our
The Vaikathu Ashtami (dhanu month-November-December) which is celebrated for 12
days, is the biggest festival in this temple. There is a custom of sick people rolling on the
leaves used to eat after the feast. People believe that one such leaf was used by Lord
Shiva and if you happen to roll on it, all your diseases would be immediately cured. From
the Subrahmanya temple of Udayanapuram, Lord Subrahmanya goes out to kill the
Tharakasura and Soorapadma. It is believed that the Ashtami feast is given by Lord Shiva
for the victory of his son. After the feat Lord Shiva waits outside the temple for his son in
the east side of the temple. After his victorious son comes. Lord Shiva along with his son
takes up seat in the east gate and great offerings are made to the father and son. The
Kaimal belonging to Karuga hose has the right to give the first offering. When he returns
people shout at him and throw arecanut peals at him. The reason for this is not known.

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