Saturday, 4 February 2017

Trikkur Mahadeva temple and other temples - Gods' curative powers

Nobody on this earth is free from worries or problems from  which there is no escape. The nature of problems may vary from people to people and they could be health-related, marital, financial, etc. Having exhausted all other attempts,  for the final remedy, we ultimately take refuge in providence. This is true of people belonging to various religions world over. In  the Hindu pantheon, there are gods and goddesses who are believed to have curative powers. What you need is dedication, intense prayer and above all trust in the deity whom you worship.

Understanding the basic concepts of well-being and happiness is a prerequisite to study health and healing traditions that are in practice in many faiths. With the advent of modern medical technology, a rapid growth of materialistic life and gradual erosion of faith in god due to the intrusion of atheist forces in a few places like Tamil Nadu, the strong belief in prayer, participating in temple rituals, making offerings at temples, etc., has not declined. On the contrary, it has been going up in the past a couple of decades. Along with the modern medicine, the majority of Hindus turn to God, as a last resort, for cure and mental happiness. "Well-being" (su asti or svasti from which the word swastika is derived) is dependent on many things such as a perfect harmony with the earth, planets and the stars. There must be a perfect equilibrium among various activities within our body,  family and society. Proper fairness has to be maintained by us with our living space (control of pollution of soil, water, air, etc.), our forefathers and above all our deities.Trust is a fundamental factor when we approach the god for remedy. "In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond. So, hold the hand of the person whom you love rather than expecting them to hold yours". Likewise, if you put faith in god and say you prayer from your heart he will help you out and that is what the followers of Hinduism have been doing for centuries.

One can not  always expect the continuance of a perfect balance among the factors  mentioned above, as we  may run into rough roads and, sometimes, experience pit falls and roadblocks due to imbalance and disharmony. There may be some blemishes in our Jathagam - astrological chart  and this may lead to loss of peace of mind, delayed marriages, children not doing well in studies, sudden onslaught of poor physical or mental health and so on. The tough phase may be short, but the pain may be unbearable. The Hindu traditions have many ways to deal with them; besides other choices, their traditional idea of well-being, disease and health is often seen  in a religious prospective. The Hindus  believe that certain rituals in the name of gods and goddesses (Sakthi) have positive results in the  case  people experiencing a bad period due to the influence of certain position of the planets and stars in the astrological chart of a person. In the rural India, particularly in the south, it is believed that some diseases are  caused by the fury of the almighty. The customs, narratives and traditional cure are passed on from one generation to another and the idea behind it is to instill the belief and faith in such tradition-bound custom-oriented temple rituals.

 In India, there exists a pluralistic theism among the Hindus who believe that some gods intervene in their lives and keep them healthy. There are pan-Hindu gods such as Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha and some goddesses. In the south, particularly, in Tamil Nadu devotees seek the help of  some Goddesses for childless couple, delayed puberty, cure of some diseases, etc.  Dhanvantri (Vishnu),  Vaitheeswaran or vaihyanathan (Shiva), Mariamman (goddess Parvati/Parasakthi) are a few examples. 

There are innumerable Hindu temples that ar believed to have mystical powers to cure human ailments. Mentioned below are a few Hindu temples and their curative power

Trikkur Mahadeva Kshetram:

Trikkur Mahadeva temple www.tourismeveryone.com
Trikkur Mahadeva Kshetram, near Thrissur is a rock-cut cave temple dedicated to lord Shiva (in Swayambu form - self manifested). It is a pretty old temple atop a hillock and is being maintained by the ASI. There are other shrines dedicated to
Ganapathi, Sastha, Bhadrakali, Bhagavathi, Chamundi and deities.

Fascinating facts:

01. This temple, it is believed, gives relief to those who have bouts of breathing difficulties like Asthma, and breathlessness.  

02. What is the remedy for it? It may sound strange, but it does work. People follow what is called Kayar Vazhipaadu (in Tamil/Malayalam kayar means rope )-the Rope Offering. It is strongly believed to have divine powers to cure problems related to lungs and breathing.
Trikkur Mahadeva temple rope offering. alayamkanden.blogspot.i
03. Rope 'Thulaparam' (scale) offering  is quite popular - offering of many meters of rope equal to devotee's body weight.

 04. With intense prayer/puja, ropes are offered at the thrupatham (holy feet) of the lord. This kind of cure is called  Daiva Vyaapaashraya Chikitsa’ in Ayurveda.

05. That the temple has heaps of ropes suggests how much faith the devotees have in the presiding deity here and the prevalence of breathing problems among the people in this region.
 

 06. The other offering is anointing or bathing of the idol. Devotees have  Dhara (Abhishekam) performed on the idol  at noon and it consists of  108 and 1008 pots of water to be used for this ritual, once the people are freed from the ailment.

07. In all Shiva temples, the main Viruksha (holy tree) is Vilva/Koovaram). Offering Pushpanjali - offering of a certain number of Vilva  leaves is done  as a token of gratitude for the cure. 


08.  Karuka Homam or lighting of oil lamp  (lamp behind the Lord) is practiced on behalf of young children who have breathing problem.

http://aalayamkanden.blogspot.in/2012/03/where-short-hands-grew.html

Ettumanur Mahadevar temple:

Ettumanoor Mahadevar Temple, Kerala Temple Advisor

 Ettumanur, a small town, about 60 km from Kochi in southeastern Kerala, has a pretty old  temple dedicated to lord Shiva; here he is Mahadeva. This traditional  Kerala-style temple is believed to have curative powers and lots of devotees come here for health reasons and for a permanent cure of their ailments. People are known to have been cured of  stomach ailments, epilepsy attacks, etc., and in many cases the doctors gave up on them. Once cured, the devotees offer Thulaparam - rice equal to their body weight as a token of their gratitude to the lord here. In many cases the head temple priest gives them prasadam  medicated ghee that must be taken for 41 days in the morning after bath and puja. They must chant the mantra "Om Namah Sivaya" and do meditation. After the stipulated date, they can see the result. The deity here is highly revered 
 and Sri Adi Shankaracharya (788-820) of Kaladi once 
visited this shrine and composed his great devotional work "Saundarya Lahari" here.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ettumanoor_Mahadevar_Temple

 Garbharakshambigai Temple, Tamil Nadu:
 Garbharakshambigai Temple  dedicated to Lord Shiva is in Thirukarukavoor, Tamil Nadu,  and  is about 6 km east of Papanasam town and is 20 km south east of Kumbakonam. It is a popular prarthana sthala. The place is also called Tirukalavur(Karu means womb, Ka means save and oor means village. Since the womb  (Garbhapai in Tamil) is believed to be saved by the goddess, the village is called Tirukarukavoor. Lots of couples visit this temple for the safe delivery of the baby  and the health of the mother and the baby.
Gopuram Garbharakshambigai shrine,TN./en.wikipedia.org/

Gunaseelam Vishnu temple, Tamil Nadu:
Gunaseelam Vishnu Temple dedicated to Mahavishnu is located 20 km (12 mi) from Trichy city, Tamil Nadu. It is  on the banks of the river Kollidam. 
Gunaselam Perumal with a cane. Anudinam.org
Those suffering from impaired vision, physical disabilities, depression and mental  disorders pray for remedy in the temple.This temple is believed to have mystical powers to cure  the mentally-ill  people, who are kept on the temple premises for 48 days. At the end of the 48 days, it is believed, that their illness is cured by the grace of the presiding deity,  The presiding lord is Prasanna Venkatachalapathi and the idol in the sanctum has a Perambu (cane) which is believed to have the power to cure the mentally challenged people. Before closing the temple at noon, the Pundits - Bhattacharyas offer special Tulsi Thertham to the devotees. The temple has set up a mental health rehabilitation centre that has been allowed by the Tamil Nadu Government
gunaseelam Perumal temple, TN. FindMyTemple
  the first of its kind in Tamil Nadu.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prasanna_Venkatachalapathy_Temple

Vaitheeswaran Koil, Tamil Nadu:

Vaitheeswaran Koil, a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva located in Tamil Nadu is a famous one and the temple is always crowded on auspicious days.  Shiva is worshipped as Vaitheeswaran or the "God of healing" (vaidhya Natha Swamy) and it is believed that prayers to Vaitheeswaran can cure all kinds of ailments. It is also  one of the nine Navagraha (nine planets) 
shrines and is associated with the planet Mars (Angaraka). It is 7 kilometers  from Sirkazhi and16 km from Mayiladuthurai.
Vaitheeswaran Koil. tamilnadu-favtourism.blogspot.com
The holy waters of the Siddhamirtham tank within the temple complex contains medicinal properties, and a holy dip is believed to cure all diseases.

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaitheeswaran_Koil