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Temples & Legends Of Kerala
Kulapati's Preface Author's Preface
Introduction The Temple Of Sri Padmanabha
A Temple Of Serpents The Goddess Who Has Periods
Aranmula Parthasarathi Ambalapuzha Krishna
Sabarimala The Fierce Lord Of Ettumanur
The Benign Lord Chottanikara
Kaladi A Temple For Kannaki
A Temple For Bharata Sri Rama Temple At Triprayar
The Vadakkunnathan Temple The Lord Of Guruvayur
A Temple For Rama And Lakshmana The Historic Tali Temple
Tiruvangad Peruma Rajarajeswara Of Taliparamba
Trichambaram Krishna Temple Other Temples
Major Sections
Temples & Legends Of India
Andhrapradesh
Maharastra
Kerala
Himachal Pradesh
Tamilnadu

Bengal

Assam
Bihar
Somanatha

INTRODUCTION

Sankara's Advaita reconciled popular Hinduism with the philosophy of the Upanishads. By offering worship to Siva, Vishnu and other gods of the Hindu pantheon without any difference, Sankara
condemned the narrow sectarianism of his contemporaries, and re-affirmed the truth of the Vedic mantra, "Ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti -, the reality is one, the sages call it variously. A popular form of worship, which Sankara established, is Shanmata-the worship of Surya, Ganapati, Kumara or Subrahmanya, Siva, Vishnu and Devi. His stotras or Slokas in praise of the various deities have given the learned as well as the illiterate a form of prayer at once simple, consoling and exhilarating.

Rich Heritage of Temples

Small wonder Hindu religious activity received a great impetus under Sankaracharya and before long became a predominant religion in Kerala. "And the fervors imagination of passionate saints, poets and people" as Mulk Raj Anand put it, "created a rich heritage of unique temples, built like domestic houses, with ample courtyards and tiled conical roofs."
The accompanying ritualistic arts of dance-drama, such as Kathakali, Kutiyattam, Mohini attam, and the folk styles, like Theyyam and Ottan Thullal, were rehearsed generation after generation. The walls of the shrines were painted in large-scale adumbrations of the legends of the gods, in vivid colors to offset the greens of the earth.

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