Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Paradevatha-Remnants of an era by-gone

We have to go at least 4-5 generations back to start the story. Kunnath Achyuthan Pillai Vakkeel (who originally belongs to Edayaly family) is the doyen of the family at that time. He is having a series of very inauspicious happenings in the family. Kalyani,his daughter has died at the age of 32. Another daughter Meenakshy, who had lost a child earlier, had died in the later stages of her second pregnancy. Another daughter Ammu (Annaamma) had been having a series of miscarriages…4 to be precise. That too at the extreme later stages of her pregnancy.

You cannot even imagine the agony of removing the full grown fetuses, four times, by physically cutting them to pieces. Just remember we are talking about the 1910s when such words like keyhole, scanning etc. were unheard of. The strong man,though well ahead of his times, must have felt miserable. So he brings in the famous astrologer Nambiyath Karunakaran Pillai from Paravur for a detailed ritualistic investigation called ‘prasnam’. The elaborate rituals which took place in the adukkala thalam (the dining area attached to the kitchen)of our tharavad (ancestral home)revealed the presence of an agitated ‘brahma rakshass’(soul of an ancient brahmin) and other celestial beings. An elaborate ‘chakra homam’ was performed and a pilgrimage was undertaken by the muthassan(Achyuthan Pillai Vakkeel),muthassi (Kunnath Parvathy Amma) and Annaamma to Rameswaram. And also the ‘brahma rakshass’,'nagathans’ (sarppam or divine serpents) and the other sacred beings were venerated by inducting their presence in these foundations. (see picture above)