Page1Author - K.R.Vaidyananthan
Of Kerala temples, Stella Kramrisch once wrote:"In this beauteous,bountiful country, between sea and
mountains, green in the density of high trees and fertile land, the temples - 2,200 are in worship - are part of the scene". To an average Malayali, the day begins with a bath in the temple tank. He makes a dash to the temple with the mundu, still wet and circumambulates the deity, chanting the Lord's name. With his forehead, chest and arms smeared with ashes and sandal paste he emerges into the workaday world with the feeling that the day has begun well for him.
Indeed, despite the influence of Marxism and the philosophy, of materialism, the gods and goddesses in Kerala seem more real than elsewhere. Malayali life is intimately associated with temples. All the time they invoke the names of popular deities like Guruvayurappan or Ayyappa. in times of trouble - which is unfortunately very often --they turn to their deities for relief and succour. The gods are even called to witness events like marriage, annaprasanam (feeding ceremony of the child) or any other important occurrence in the family.