Flash

B L O G

       DEVOTEE'S VOICE

How this small temple rose in fame (keerti) and became very popular.



Two individuals were mainly responsible for this. One is the late Banker Srinivasa Iyer, who had a small bank called "Ganapathi Sahayam Bank" in the gramam itself. He spent a lot of his money and rebuilt the temple. Another good, but known as the man of the village, Javuli Ramanatha Iyer, was responsible for several cultural activities. I witnessed during my childhood stay, Javuli mama, was responsible for bringing a Harikatha Kalakshepam team from Tamil Nadu and they performed in the village Temple for about 10 days. People flocked from all over Tattamangalam; Money collection from the public was fantastic. I think the year was 1942. Javuli mama ensured that the artistes were houseguests for a day in each one of the houses. This was unique, and the SDSU trust was formed also at about the same time.

Two of the festivals were unique t the temple for as far back as I can remember. One is Navarathri festival, when Priests used to gather every evening at this temple first, and after the routine programme, proceed to Sivan Kovil in Eastern Village, and finally to Padinjare Gramam. After the program every evening, at each temple Naivedyam in the form of Sundal used to be distributed. We the village urchins used to follow the Vaidika team from temple to temple, just to collect the eatables from each temple. Another important even is the annual Chaturthi Varam festival. Providing a modest feast to the Brahmins of the village was started by Banker Srinivasa Iyer, mainly from his personal funds. He was a philanthropist. But later on these activities were there only in name, until "Thekke gramam Brahmana Samooham" was formed, much later. Now it is being administered by Rajan (T.E.Venkitaraman), who belonged to Thekke gramam, but living in Padinjare gramam. He has been very active in reviving the temple activities, which have become very popular attracting the attention of people far and near. He has also been a Good Samaritan in the whole area, helping one and all. The keerti of this temple has also spread far and wide. There are hundreds who come from far and wide to worship at this temple.



Padmashri Dr.P.K.Rajagopalan, Chennai
M.Sc.,Ph.D.,M.P.H.(Calif.), Dip. Acar.(Maryland).,CIBiol(London);FRSB (London)
Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine,(London)
Former Director,Vector Control Research Center,Indian Council of Medical Research

Click here to read article "THE STORY OF PALAKKAD IYERS"
Click here to read article "GOD'S OWN COUNTRY IS OUR VILLAGES"
Click here to read article "DOWN THE MEMORY LANE"

       DEVOTEE'S VOICE

Tattamangalam Thekkegramam Sri Maha Ganapathy Temple

Tattamangalam is a town located in the district of Palakkad in the Parasurama Kshetra i.e. Kerala, India. Nestled amidst the luxurious foliage of coconut, mango, banyan, areca nut, bilwa, banana trees and various colourful flowering plants is the divine abode of our Lord Vinayaka, known by the name of Sri Maha Shakthi Vinayakar. Though the Murthy in this temple is small, His Keerthy and Power are unparalleled. Just as a beautiful bloom attracts bees in swarms, the tranquil and serene atmosphere of the temple draws droves of devotees into meditation.

If one compares the site of the temple with all the TTM Village temples, then the location is South-West, called Kanni Moolai, which is very auspicious for the consecration of Sri Ganapathy. Adjacent to the temple is a water tank (Kulam) called Ayyan Kulam.

(Let me recount some stories that were veritable proof of the power of our Sri Maha Ganapathy. These are not to serve any need for personal publicity, but purely to share the sequence of events witnessed.)

It was during World War II, which started in 1939, that Sri Maha Ganapathy Temple of Thekkegramam, TTM took a divine turn in 1941-42 or so. Sri Nanu Jyolsiar of TTM was in Ceylon - today's Sri Lanka - when World War II started. When the war started spreading from country to country, it was a divine call from our Sri Sakthi Vinayakar to Nanu Jyolsiar to return to India for good since his wife Thankam mami and three daughters were settled in Tattamangalam. He returned in 1942 or so to be with his family and to take care of his wife who was about to deliver their child. And his first son, N. Ramachandran, was the Lord's gift, born in April 1942.

Nanu Jyolsiar decided not to return to Sri Lanka but to settle down in TTM after his son was born. He used to go to Ayyankkulam to take bath in the morning and do his Anushtanam sitting in the temple premises. In the same way he used to go to the temple tank and after washing his feet, hands and face, he would return to the temple to finish his evening Sandhya, etc. Sitting in the outer precincts of the temple, he enjoyed doing his tapasya in the most serene and pristine atmosphere. He felt this is a good place for him to concentrate in his meditation.

Look at the turn of events thereafter. Within a few days, our great stalwarts of those days - banker Sri Srinivasa Iyer Mama and Jauli Ramanatha Mama in consultation with very senior Mama Sri Krishna Iyer Thatha (Sri Chitra Store Easwara Mama's father and our Rajan's grandfather ) - approached Nanu Jyolsiar and put forth the proposal of appointing him as a priest for the temple puja purpose. Nanu Jyolsiar got perplexed for a moment but requested them to give him 24 hours to decide either way. It was Sri Pujai Gopala Mama who played an important role at this juncture. Sri Gopala Mama was a most revered Guru for Sri Nanu Jyolsiar and he wanted to consult Guru regarding the decision he needed to take. Mama advised Nanu Jyolsiar to take up the job without any hesitation or fear. 'There is nothing to be afraid of in this profession if one is sincere' - this is what Mama said. Nanu Jyolsiar accepted and Gramam people were very happy to see that they had been blessed with someone highly learned in Vedic rituals and, secondly, a son-in-law of TTM.

To boost the divine power of the presiding deity in the temple, two important rituals were introduced. One is Astadravya Mahaganapathy Homam . Because of Nanu Jyolsiar and his wife Thangam Mami's proximity to and social contact with Malayali Tharavads viz. Parakkad House, Chonat House (Sri Kochu Nair's), Perumcherry house, etc., and also important residents from Thekkegramam, performing Sri Maha Ganapathy Homam early morning assumed importance and so also Sri Bhagavathy Seva in the evening hours in the temple premises. Every Friday, devotees witnessed these two pujas. Particularly in the month of Karkatakam (Aadi month), all the 32 days, there used to be Sri Maha Ganapathy Homam and Sri Bhagavathy Seva. Here Rukmani Mami and Jauli Ramanatha Mama played important roles in helping Nanu Jyolsiar and Thangam mami. They used to be present early morning in the temple and helped in preparing Modakam, Neyyappam, etc. for the homam as also in assisting in the puja. By 6 am, when the Sun God rises in the eastern horizon, Deeparadhana would be just performed. All devotees from the nearby areas would be present to witness the homam and receive prasadams. A prominent personality from Nair community was Parakkad House Sri Appukutta Menon, a tall elderly person but most eligible bachelor. All these started drawing the crowd of devotees and the temple rose to importance. Though Thekkegramam was small in size, the residents were all very important people of the town. Thekkegramam had people from different walks of like, viz. landlords, bureaucrats, Government officials, teachers, and very importantly banker Srinivasa Iyer himself. To name a few, Balakrishna Iyer, Salt Venkatarama Iyer, Karyakaar, Kavasseri Rama Iyer, Narayana Iyer, among others. Ammaalu Mami was another great lady of the Village, known for treating Kaamalai (Jaundice) with tantric power. Thekkegramam residents were blessed by the Presiding Deity and their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are all well placed in life in various parts of the world.

Sri Srinivasa Iyer (Banker) ensured that daily puja would continue for which he opened a separate account with some personal deposit.

In 1946, another important divine action from the Lord Maha Ganapathy was that HE, as a reward for Nanu Jyolsiar's sincerity, provided him with another temple priesthood with little more income, free accommodation etc. at Neelikkad Sri Varasidhy Vinayakar Temple, which was another private temple in the custody of Sri P. Chami Mudaliar. Here again Chitra Store Easwara Iyer's father Sri Krishna Iyer played an important role in recommending Nanu Jyolsiar to the Neelikkad Temple.

Afterwards what happened in the following years is another divine step. Lord Ganapathy is lord of Samaveda. And one Venkateswara Vadhyar took charge of the priesthood at a later date in the temple and he was Samaveda Vadhyar, well versed in the Sama Veda. Though the temple was not rich enough to hire highly learned people, The Lord helped Himself to get all learned people to carry out the daily puja. One Sri Narayana Iyer, who was Sanskrit Siromani and well versed in vedas and shastras, was among the priests.

Finally the Lord decided to entrust His own House Management in a trustworthy, sincere and totally dedicated person viz. T. E. Venkataraman (Rajan). HIS selection proved to be a wonderful appointment. During the last decade, i.e., 2008-2018, the entire temple premises got a face-lift, additions and alterations were made, Jeernodhaarana Maha Kumbhabhishekam was performed. Rajan is known for his personal rapport that he has built, and his charming approach with one and all has gone a long way in building a corpus for the maintenance of the temple. It will not be out of place to mention that he has handled the entire show single-handedly. No doubt there is still a long way to go in building up the corpus but his sincere efforts are on.

The old tradition of conducting Sri Mahaganapathy Homam, Sri Bhagavathy Seva, Chathurthi Vaaram, Sri Vinayaka Chathurthy, etc. are revived by Sri Rajan during the last many years though it is heard that there was a small period when these could not be performed on a regular basis. Such is the strength and power of the presiding deity of our TTM Thekkegramam Sri Shakthi Vinayakar, true to HIS name and fame.

Shri N. Krishnan
Mumbai
email:nkrishnagiri@gmail.com
Mob+91 918928366035