PANTHEERAYIRAM

This ritual is performed for the mental peace, family prosperity, and also for the prosperity of the village. Vettekkaran  deity is found in most Namboothiri Manas or in common temples where there are a number of Namboothiri homes in the neighbourhood. In northern Malabar, and also at some old nair houses.  Vettekkaran diety at the Kota Temple in Balussery near Kozhikode district is considered as prime center of all Vettekkaran deities in Kerala.

Vettekkaran is the lord of Saturn. The deity worship is done either as "Kirath Moorthy (Lord Siva) of as the son of Kiratha , with a difference in the base hymns (Manthrams).

The story of Son of Kiratha is like this "In order to teach a lesson to Arjuna, who had become too proud of his abilities, Siva and Parvathy go in disguise as tribal hunters to where he was doing penance (Thapas). A boy is born to the couple during the hunting trip. The boy becomes extreamely naughty and disturbs the peace of the people including saints. Based on their request, Mahavishnu also disguises as a hunter and humbles the boy, gives him a dagger (Churika) and, when eventually pleased, and blesses him."

The first thing to offer this offering is to ask the willingness of the Lord Vettekkaran to accept the offering by performing "Prasna". During Prasna if it is found that Vettekkaran is willing to accept the offering of the devotee the date of offering is fixed and the oracle (Velichipad) will start his 41 days vratha ( Penance) . 

The Pantheerayiram begins with "Mullackal Paattu", which is symbolically invoking the deity from its base position, outside the environment of house, with appropriate rites and accompanied by drums and music. After this, the oracle (Velichapaadu ) carries the idol to the temple riding an elephant and accompanied by the drumming and music with special lyrics. The oracle now represents the deity and wears a red dress (Thattuduthu Pattuchutty) and red flower garland.

The oracle performs a peculiar dance with the accompaniment of drums. This is called "Eedum Koorum". Having two specialist drummers (Maaraars) ensures correct method of drumming . Usually he completes at least two "Eedu" and three "Kooru".

The specialist artist (Kallattu Kurup, a sub - caste) would have by then completed a large colourful picture of Vettekkaran with colour powders (white, yellow, red and green) in Thekkini (a southern room or hall in the Mana or temple). 

The oracle then slowly steps around (Kalapradakshinam) this figure in special rhythms, completing at least seven rounds  and then leaves the venue. The Kurup sings a number of songs in praise of the god, after which the oracle returns, cuts the cordon around the figure with dagger, enters on to the figure and dances (Kalam Kaanuka). Later he goes to the pond, bathes, returns, cuts the hanging decorative palm-leaves  with the dagger and slowly and rhythmically erases the figure.

The final item is for the oracle to break un-husked 12,000 coconut by throwing them on a stone slab according to the rhythm of the special drum beat in a single sitting. The cracking of 12000 coconut will start about 12 midnights and ends at about 3 AM.   This performance is known as "Pantheeraayiram" (twelve thousand). It is Believed that after tiresome battle with Arjuna the Kiratha moorthy became tired and thirsty. The coconuts are broken in order to quench the thirst of the "Kiratha moorthy" ( Lord Vettekkaran).

 

Story of Vettekkaran | Location |Pantheerayiram Photos |Padinjarepattumana Photos|Vettila Jyothisham MethodeVisitors Photos |Important Predictions  |Pantheerayiram |

 

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