Oh what beauty there is at the feet of nature, where every single cell is singing a divine song, carrying on a divine role. For every other being’s happiness.
Oh what an act every creature plays in this divine play; A dance worth dancing to. A song worth listening to. Humbled I remain; at the feet of glorious life! Always unlearning what I thought was permanent. Always changing when I thought I had seen it all.
Kerala is god’s playground, the immense downpour of perennial rains; the rich diversity of Flora and fauna. The humility of nature overflows even in the remotest corners.. even in man’s conscience and heart. The people adapted to nature worship for many ages now; everything useful is from nature and extremely eco-friendly. This most applicable to their modes/methods of worship and even the object of their devotion.
Kerala has remained for ages now; the center ground for shakti cult and worship. For people there shakti, and mother *devi* worship is a part of the grand whole of nature. There is no mother and goddess if there remains no nature. This is the simple and age old truth people of kerala have realized.
I had the great fortune of travelling to one such locality in kerala, near the famous Venice of the east *allepy*; some 40 odd kilometers from there is the quaint town of Chertala. Chertala is famous for a number of reasons, apart from it being on the banks of the grand “Vembanadu” lake which spans like a sea almost (as it is actually the backwaters stemming from the Arabian sea), the lake beautiful and pristine has also given birth to communism and the feeling of brotherliness. Chertala is the hub of also goddess worship and I had the excellent opportunity to witness this.
There are two famous temples dedicated to mother goddess here, though I was able to visit only one of them (close to the place I was staying), the temple is in the district of vazhipad; and the devi is called Varanad Amman.
Varanad amman has the form of ‘Bhadra Kali’ , she is in her extreme mood here, unlike her sister goddess located a distance away, where she is not as ferocious. When we describe mother goddess in different forms, it is mainly a mood of nature we are worshipping. A mood or a state of creation or dissolution. Here the mother is stronger than the rest, here she remains in perpetual state of dissolving everything she has created, and at the same time upholding all things till the time comes for them to merge back.
Oh She is divine, par divine! I have never witnessed anything such. The eyes of mine; overflowing with tears expressing love and gratitude at everything she has every done for me. She knows what a spoilt brat I am, always challenging existence and energy. I have never taken anything from her but her grace. Oh she knows my inner being; Oh she saw me that day when I first set my humbled life in front of her, oh she knew it that day when my unworthy gaze set upon itself the divine miracle that were her beautiful awe inspiring feet!
I flew into Ecstasy at arriving upon the little sanctum sanctorum of the vayanad mothers home. Most temples in kerala are not really creations of kings or men who have glimpsed some little power in their life. These temples are generally sources of power where medicine men and tantrics have ‘seen’ power emanating unusually ‘more’ than the rest of the surroundings. So sometimes the temples are extensions from what used to be homes of the priest who lived close to these sources of power, sometimes they are in pristine natural habitat inside jungles, where there might be outpouring of spirit and such.
The vazyipad temple is almost on the banks of the huge lake, now a big temple; i can easily imagine how it might have been in the past; perhaps a humble shack which withheld such insane beautiful energy, there are thousands of ravens close by. The mother kali’s vehicles. They seemed to me as some sort of spirits, who have been close to her for a long time now. There were some 100 odd families of ravens where I was staying. They all used to start screaming their lungs as soon as night fall came about. Which was so strange to say the least, cause birds go to sleep by twilight, and these were completely different. All perched on tall coconut trees, and they immediately felt ‘my’ energy; for the very first night i spent in my accommodation over there was the loudest and strangest. They were up all night calling and screaming at some invisible force for all i could fathom (this was when I did not know that there was this temple close by); perhaps they were urging me to come and see the beauty that was Amman; located so near.
The next day I ventured and saw the beauty divine manifested in gold and metal. The goddess’ face emanates some sort of ethereal energy. She is maha-kali here; she is extremely ferocious and completely un-tamable. And yet; she exudes such motherly love; I cannot fathom even to describe it in words and human understanding. She holds a cup with divine knowledge in one hand, and in the other a divine all seeing cleaver. Which is used to cut one’s head from material attachments. What energy! What power! and I was on the floor in divine rhapsody; howling from within, at what I was at her feet. A miracle of existence and nothing else. A cell glowing from within; the fire emanating her grace~
I went there everyday from that day onwards for the period of a week which I was there( I was there due to some work; otherwise I might have permanently settled over there). The temple exudes power and simple serenity. Oh how can I describe this to the city folk; who believe clubs and busy shopping areas are centers of power and serenity!
Divine mother was magnanimous enough to arrange for my own mother to come and see the temple and meet me as well during the week, my mother had some work in trichur due to which she had to fly down during this time and we were fortunate enough to witness the power and love of Amman together, we both met only for a period for perhaps half and hour; which we spent in contemplation and content inside the temple premises. It was truly peaceful with eternal mother watching over eternal mother.
One of the evenings I went to the temple; and I was taking my usual self around the sanctum for a stroll; and as I completed my first round around; I saw on the stupa which is outside the temple- facing the mother; sat a very beautiful cute small white owl.
The owl was truly gorgeous. It was from another world. Yes it was! It had its eyes open wide; and was staring at me the whole time, and I felt blessed yet again! It was so beautiful to see the idol of mother goddess in front of the stupa inside the temple; and the owl sitting right near me outside, with its eyes wide open staring deep into the seat of my soul!
It really did feel exactly like that, I do not know how long I stood there (it was quite a while) and yet the owl was not threatened nor did it move away, its eyes ever present on me. It was somehow sizing me up; my person and my qualities. Perhaps it was seeing what all had to be removed or remodelled so that I could better serve my mother.
I loved the moments I spent with my magik mother; my magik totem; the animal more powerful than any other. The sacred magical white owl of varanad amman!
It is truly a special place to visit; south of the country especially kerala; where constant- increasing amounts of shakti worship is instigated from ages past unknown. For anyone who has ever felt the love of their mother to be somewhat therapeutic, or perhaps freeing. It is a sure shot bet that visiting any of the shakti-piths in god’s favourite country would enhance such feelings umpteen times more!
Wishing you peace and love unconditionally forever; across space time and dimensions.