South India’s temples unveil a lot of history for sure, they also unmask a lot of unheard, untold stories taking any devotee by surprise and stunned by the spectrum of their own little knowledge. They are enticing places anyone would love to visit . While the temple series continues, here is another Goddess temple, situated in Malappuram district of Kerala, Kadampuzha. One of the huge(within) temple structure one would witness, Goddess Parvathy is omnipresent in every atom of the ambience that she would appear right in front of your eyes whenever you fondly remember her.
What makes the temple different from other temples is the absence of an idol of the main deity. There’s a hole which is created by the mighty arrow of Lord Shiva which he shot in order to summon Ganga for quenching Parvathy’s thirst. Adi Shankara perceived it to be the source of immense power and hence advised not to have an idol. Only an arch like structure is kept on top and sometimes a shield for devotees’ reference. Shankaracharya built the temple according to Shastra, on the stone right in front of this he perceived the divine presence of Lord Shiva.Narasimha Moorthy, Sudarshan Chakra, Naaga Kanya and Shasta are worshipped at the temple.
The origin of the temple dates back to the Third Parva/Vana Parva of Mahabharata. As per Krishna’s advise Arjuna went to seek the knowledge of celestial missiles/ divine astras. In order to obtain Pashupathastra from his Lord Pashupati, Arjuna started severe penance at the foothills of Himalayas. Seeing the intensity of his penance, Lord Shiva and Parvathi wanted to test Arjuna’s loyalty. They transformed themselves into Kirata king and wife. Though Shiva was happy at his disciple’s intense devotion, he wanted to shed the ego away from Arjuna which otherwise his Lord knew would hinder him from attaining greatness by the possession of Pashupatastra.
Meanwhile, Mookasur, a demon was on his mission to kill Arjuna on the instructions of his master, Duryodhan. Disguising himself into a wild boar, he charged towards the meditating Arjuna. The warrior instinct in him took charge and in a fraction of second he opened his eyes to pierce the wild boar with his arrow through its mouth. The kirata king too let loose an arrow to kill the wild boar which pierced through its hindquarters. There arose an argument between the two mighty warriors whose arrow was the cause for the animal’s death. The kirata king acted annoyed and he started prodding Arjuna into a fight. Arjuna wanted to avoid fight with a silly man, but the kirata king went to the extent of abusing Arjuna’s brothers, mother, wife and also his Lord, Shiva. Arjuna now found it hard to restrain himself and a terrible fight ensued.
Parvathy, who was a silent spectator till now, started getting worried every passing moment looking at the ferocity of the fight. She ran to each to stop them foreseeing the end with one getting grievously hurt. She knew, if her Lord gets really angry, no force can withstand his wrath. When her efforts to dissuade Arjuna from the fight failed, she turned the arrows of Arjuna into flowers(jungle geranium). Bewildered though, Arjuna, the unmatched warrior, started shaping arrows of the flowers. Each flower, multiplied by thousands, within no time Shiva was completely covered with flowers. Arjuna then tried attacking his enemy with his bow, but that too was snatched away from him by the kirata king.
Without any weapons left, Arjuna started punching his enemy with his bare hands.But the kirata king flung him to a great height soon to come crashing down the earth. Arjuna finally realised that his enemy is no ordinary being and he was humbled. He understood what the wife of kiata king was trying to tell him. Filled with deep anguish and being remorseful he prostrated at the feet of his beloved Lord. The couple then bestowed Arjuna with boons and also with Pashupatastra after imparting its knowledge.
Before returning to Kailas, Parvathy requested for some water to quench her thirst. Shiva then shot an arrow to the earth to summon Ganga. Parvathy then requested her Lord that the place they were then to be known as her place where whatever boons will be granted to those who come beseeching with a pure heart. She also requested her Lord to make his presence felt in a stone before her. The same place when Shankaracharya, Goddess’s own son gave a definite shape, became the land of supreme devotion.
The main offering here is Muttarukkal(cut away the obstacles). The devotee gives a coconut after removing its husk to the priest with the devotee’s name and birth star in Malayalam. The priest in turn breaks the coconut in front of the deity. If the coconut breaks evenly it’s believed that the obstacle is cut and if it breaks unevenly, the devotee is asked to bring another and the process is repeated until it breaks evenly. Trust me, between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. the goddess has a feast of coconuts! I swear, stand before her with your mind devoid of all distractions, your wish is done!
Also free your mind from ego, be a child seeking knowledge, affection, love and care from its mother, the Universal Mother, who knows nothing but love her children, will definitely hold your little finger.