Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thiru Onam, Thrikkakara Temple and Birthday of Lord Vamana

Emperor Mahabali was a honest and generous ruler and this mighty King dethroned Lord Indra who ruled the celestial 'Deva Lokam'.Lord Indra's mother Adithi Devi became very sad and frustrated about this and sought the advice of her husband 'Kashyap Prajapathi' who was a Saint.He suggested her to propitiate Lord Vishnu by performing a penance 'Payovrat'.She performed the penance for the period as told by her husband sincerely with devout.Lord Vishnu appeared before her and assured her that he would help to regain the throne for Lord Indra.He said that he would be taking an incarnation as 'Vamana' for this purpose and would take birth as her son.
On one 'Thiruvonam' star day in the month of Chingam Lord Vamana was born to her and at the time of birth the baby had four arms like Lord Maha Vishnu.Immediately the child transformed to an  young dwarf with two hands.Many of the Gods and Goddesses gathered there at that time and offered gifts for the lad who assumed the form of a 'Sanyasi'.Kashyap Prajapathi offered him the waist chain, his mother gave him the Sanyasi attire,Drinking water vessel 'Kamandalu' was given by Lord Brahma Deva, 'Akshamala' used while chanting prayers was given by Saraswathi Devi.He also got gifts which are used by Sages such as a 'Chatram'( palm leaf umbrella) and a utensil   to receive alms.
He reached 'Thrikkakara' where Emperor Mahabali was performing a 'Yagna' at that time and Emperor Mahabali  received the young sanyasi as a honorable guest.As per the traditional custom Maharajah  washed the feet of the guest,gave him a seat and inquired  about his needs.The Sanyasi replied that he needed three feet of land to sit and meditate.Guru Sukracharya who was the adviser of the Maharajah warned Maharajah not to agree for that charity  because by his mental  powers he understood
that the guest was Maha Vishnu and the intention was not fair for the King.
Maharajah but consented the sage to measure his required land from that place itself.Suddenly the young dwarf Sanyasi grew up to the skies, measured Earth and heavens with two feet measure and there was no space left for the third one.The King bowed down to him and requested to put that step on his head.Lord Vishnu before sending the Maharajah to 'Patala' told him that he would be immortal for ever and in due course he could earn the throne of the heavens also.
Mahabali requested Lord Mahavishnu that his presence must be there at Thrikkakara for ever and he should be given consent to come to   Kerala once in an year during that period and see him at his temple at Thrikkakara.Lord Maha Vishnu agreed this request and it is believed that every year Mahabali visit Kerala and Lord Maha Vishnu at Thrikkakara Temple during this period and people celebrate Onam to greet their great King and also to celebrate  the birthday of Lord Vamana Murthy who is Maha Vishnu itself.
From available records it is estimated that the temple at Thrikkakara was established around 2500 B.C.In the olden days when Kerala was under 'Perumal'  reign Kerala was divided into 64 provinces and each province had it's own King.The supreme ruler would be the Emperor 'Perumal'.In that period the temple at Thrikkakara was a mighty temple complex with 28 shrines in the same complex and  had big temple towers etc.The festival was celebrated for 28 days commencing from Thiruvonam star day in the month of 'Karkidakam' to Thiruvonam star day in the month of Chingam.All the rulers of the 64 provinces arrived at Thrikkakara as per the order of the 'Perumal'.People from far and near of Thrikkakara also used to participate.The last ten days of the annual festival was celebrated in a grand gala  manner.'Pookkalam', a floral  arrangement with fresh flowers was done in the 'Mandapam' of the temple during those days. Sweets and feast were served for everyone at the temple complex during the festival days.
For those who could not attend the celebrations physically at Thrikkakara, it was  requested by the 'Perumal' to make a flower arrangement in front of their houses for ten days from 'Atham' star day to 'Thiruvonam' star day in the month of Chingam and also to make sand idols of 'Thrikkakara Appan' who is the deity of that temple in the 'Pookkalam'.Onam Celebration was initiated in this manner and also the Pookkalam arrangement at the homes.  Many people make sand idols of Thrikkakara Appan also called as 'Onathappan' and worship at the Pookkalam by offering a sweet item known as 'Poovada'.In all the temples of Kerala especially in  Lord Maha Vishnu termples 'Thiruvonam'
Star day in the month of Chingam is very auspicious and considered as the birth day of Maha Vishnu itself  because 'Vamana Murthy' took the incarnation on that day.
After the reign of the 'Perumals' the glory of Thrikkakara temple diminished.The Kings of the Provinces did not summon  for the festival of that temple.Later the temple complex suffered severe damages by invaders and was lying in a neglected and decadence condition.
The present temple structure was constructed by Travancore Maharajah 'Sree Moolam Thirunal'.The annual festival of Thrikkakara temple where the presiding deity is 'Vamana Murthy' (Lord Maha Vishnu) is in the month of Chingam and at present celebrated




 for 10 days from Atham Star day to Thiruvonam Star day.Pookkalam is arranged at the 'Mandapam' of this temple  during those ten days as per the tradition now a days also.  

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