Born in 1926 at Wadakanchery in the Thrissur Dt. Of Kerala. Sri Ananthanarayanan holds a master's degree. He entered the Government of India service at an early age and was a Class I officer. His first love has been the propagation of knowledge. The North Bombay Welfare Society's high School in Ghatkopar, Mumbai, is a standing testimony to it. A founder-member of the institution, under his dynamic leadership as president for 39 years the school has come to be rated as one of the best educational institutions in Mumbai. He has also championed other social causes.
Shri Ananthanarayanan has written two books-''Essence of Srimad Bhagavatam'' and ''Shri Guruvayur Temple'' - both published by the Bhavan and has contributed articles on a variety of subjects of public interest.
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the community for the betterment of the quality of life, the Pestom Sager Citizens' Forum has conferred on him the award ''Pride of Pestom Sagar''. The Samaj Shakti Award has been conferred on him by Shree Hariharaputra Bhajan Samaj for his contribution to the field of education.
Chottanikkara Devi Temple is among the most venerated temples of Kerala. The main deity is worshipped as Adi Parashakti in her three-fold aspects of Saraswati, Bhadrakali and Durga. To her right is an image of Vishnu. They together are called Lakshminarayna. The sick particularly those afflicted by evil spirits, find solace and cure by worshipping in this temple and observing the prescribed austerities. The evil spirits are exorcised by the power of the Devi.
I have written this booklet to make it known to the world outside Kerala and to those who do not know the Malayalam language the existence of this temple suffused with sanctity. I have begun the book with a brief note on Hinduism to remove certain misconceptions about the religion. In the section that follows I have given a synoptic view of Kerala and some aspects of its temples to serve as a backdrop to the subject-matter of the booklet.
I am too well aware that what has been written is not original or comprehensive, my purpose being only to kindle interest in the temple.
In the preparation of this book, I have referred to certain books and articles in newspapers and they have been acknowledged at appropriate places by way of footnotes. My thanks are due to the authors of these publications.
I am extremely grateful to Shri Ananthasubramanian, Retired District Judge, Ernakulam, Kerala for enriching this book by writing the foreword.
This booklet is dedicated to the memory of my mother, late N.A. Parvathi Ammal (known as Palu Mami in Wadakanchery, Thrissur Dt, Kerala) Who was a very devout person.
The throng of Devotees in almost every temple even in the remote parts of this blessed land of ours-Bharath, is a sight of immense delight to the true believers of whom many are likely to be interested in knowing about the history origin rituals and festivals of some of the famous temples like the Devi Temple at Chottanikkara close to the City of Cochin.
Sri G.H. Ananthanarayanan, whose S.Q. (Spiritual Quotient) is unquestionably profound as is evident from evident from the two books of his published by Bhavan's Book University-Essence of Srimad Bhagavatham and Sri Guruvayur Temple had done good research and serious studies regarding the temple in Kerala and particularly of the Chottanikkara Devi Temple and his present treatise will definitely satisfy the mental hunger of these who thirst for the basic knowledge of idol workship and other connected spiritual matters correlated to temples and also of the incomparable charm of the Devi at Chottanikkara.
After careful study of the book again, I feel that the i.q. (intelligence Quotient), E.Q. (Emotional Quotient) and S.Q. (Spiritual Quotient) of the learned author are excellent. I whole-heartedly pray for his welfare. I have no doubt that Sri Ananthaarayanan will vigorously continue to cater to the social and spiritual needs of the present day Society. I Sincerely thank him for conferring upon me the great honour of writing the foreword to this excellent book and I wind up with one sloka from Devimahathmyam;
|II||Idols in the Temple||22|
|III||Dissensions and Discovery||26|
|IV||Edattu's Mantle On Aynikked||28|
|V||Mookambika In Chottanikkara||30|
|VII||Evil Spirits-Exorcisation of||32|
|X||Priests, Poojas and offerings(Vazhivadu)||39|
|XI||The Yakshi (Bewitching Which)and Divine Grace||41|
|XIII||Some Notable Personalities||46|
|XIV||Shree Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Seva Sangham||51|
|A||Velichapadu or komaram (Oracle)||52|
|B||Percussion Ensembes in Kerala Temples||55|
|C||List of offerings (Vazhivadu)||59|