The Two Forms of Worship

The book on Sree Narayana Guru took me to places where I experienced horror. The mother of Kodungalloor had the “Bhadhrakali” attribute where “Kali”is considered the feminine gender for “Kalan”. In Malayalam Kalan” is the known as the time that devours us.

On the “Bharani” days there is what people call “Kaavutheendal” where the temple is opened for entry of the undercastes. They come possessed by the devil and dance before the Mother Goddess. There is the famous poem which says to poke the Mother of Kodungalloor you need a pole as long as a flagpole.

The Mother is the destroyer of evil. She is naked and just covered by the dress of the decapitated heads of demons and their arms slit from shoulders.

In Bengal this Goddess concept is more beautiful. Every year thousands of figures of Mother Goddess made of mud and plaster of Paris are immersed in the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries. We had occasion to visit West Bengal during the Dussehra-Durga Puja days and witness that great dramatic event.

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