Sankaracharya, the famous jnani, vedanthi and siddha was once proceeding to Sringery in Mysore from kaladi in Kerala. He happened to pass through Guruvayur and it was the time of seeveli in Guruvayur temple. The procession had reached the North West corner Sankaracharya did not attribute much importance to the seeveli and he was about to go straight without paying his respect to the Lord.
Miracles of Guruvayur Temple
Miraculous and mysterious events will bring any temple to limelight and will make it the esteemed resort of believers. For the first time in the recorded history of the Guruvayur temple, such a thing happened in 1586. An erudite scholar, Melpathur Narayana Battathiri was a great rationalist and almost an atheist. A severe attack of rheumatism made him completely disability and disappointment. He was cured both from his physical disability and Bhajanam (seva) in Guruvayur. And ever since, almost every day closes here with some or other miracles Ã¢â‚¬â€œsome unexpected solution of a perplexing problem! Miracles have become so common today that people take it as a matter of course. Quite ironical, these miracles may seem to be particularly n this age of advance science.
Miracles may go here, something, unnoticed they being quite private and personal. For the lord, noting is too great and noting is too insignificant also. He will lend his helping hand to all alike; the only thing is, you must seek it, with utmost humility, sincerity and faith. Ask, and it is granted and sometimes even more! And now the number of pilgrims here goes on increasing by leaps and bounds. Another mysterious aspect here is that offerings are being made to the lord not only by Hindus alone, but by those who belong to other religion also. And they do it fully and strictly conforming to all the temple rules, disciplines and restrictions. The recent rush of pilgrims has given Guruvayur such an all-India importance that the central govt. has started considering seriously of linking up (connecting) Guruvayur with the main railway line The lord is worshiped here as the supreme Brahman the formless infinite, omnipotent and omnipresent. The idol is the symbolic representation of this.
So the devotees can conceive him in any form they like. Saints like Melpathur and bhakthasiroomany Vasudevan Namboothiri propitiated him as Mahavishnu. Poonthanam Vilwamangalam, Prince Manavedan (who become Zamorin later) and Kurooramma as Balakrishnan. The variyar attendant of Vilwamangalm believing his masterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Ëœadvice (given jokingly), worshipped him as a buffalo. Neither the ecstasies of the Vaishnava cult nor the exacting disciplines of the Saiva cult are found here nor do we have the wild orgies of the Sakthi cult also. A devotee can follow his own choice, permitted by his physical and mental health, in bhajanam and other disciplines, of course, subject to the general disciplines of the temple. Parents can do bhajanam on behalf of their children, husband, and wife and vice versa.
In appearance the lord does not look unapprochable like Siva or frightful like Kali. Adorned with all jewels and garland and illuminated with varied lights, He appears always sweet smiling and glorious. The Lord is not exacting in his demands He is not a taskmaster. It was not until Cheramam Perumal Nayanar was about to fall upon his drawn sword and kill himself that Lord Siva designed to vouchsafe his approval ; and it was not until Ramakirshna Paramahamsa rushed to take KaliÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sword to kill himself that she appeared before him. But lord Guruvayurappan used to be present with Vilwamangalam and Kurooramma, always as a child, according to their conception of him as Balakrishnan; he even used to tease them; with childish pranks 1 Ã¢â‚¬ËœNo deity in any Hindu temple is so easy to be pleased, so quick to forgive and so liberal to give as Lord Guruvayurappan.
The first thing that one sees while entering Guruvayur from east is the huge banyan tree with the gigantic Garuda at its foot. This is called Manjulal, the banyan tree of Manjula. A solemn devotee of Lord Guruvayurappan, Manjula, a warrier girl by birth, used to bring every night a garland, which the Melsanthi used to the place on the idol. One day she came so late that the temple was closed when she reached the foot of this banian tree.
Formerly, there was only one priest at Guruvayur temple. Once, on an urgent and unavoidable business he had to go away. He asked his twelve year old son to perform the Pooja, and left the place. Quite innocently, the boy believed that the deity would eat up the nivedyam offered by the priest and he saw that the deity did not stir though he requested very earnestly. He became completely upset,
A devotee of the Lord, Poonthanam used to go every month to Guruvayur, walking all the way of about 100 kilometers, for bajanam. Once on his way to Guruvayur, he was attacked by robbers. Realizing the seriousness of the danger he was in, and with only Guruvayurappan to save him, he closed his eyes and cried out. “With what haste, o lord! Thou did’st to Droupathi’s help,With what haste, o lord!
Though both Poonthanam and Melpathur were great devotees of Guruvayurappan, the great poet Poonthanam, who wrote his verses in Malayalam (the vernacular), was famous for his bakthi, where as Melpathur, an erudite scholer and great poet in Sanskrit was known for vibhakthi. They were contemporaries and were in contrast with each other, in every respect. Melpathur was born in to a family of scholars privileged in the teaching
With all humility and innocence, a varier, once asked his master Vilwamangalam, in what form he was to meditate upon the Lord. Jokingly Vilwamangalam replied:”as a buffalo! “But the servant took it in all seriousness and thought that it might be another avathara of the Lord, just like the avathara of fish, tortoise etc. , and he started to meditate upon the lord as a buffalo! He used to come to Guruvayur with his master
With the miraculous cure of Melpathur’s rheumatism as already pointed out, Guruvayur suddenly appeared in the limelight as a healing centre. A profound scholar, and slightly intoxicated with pride, Melpathur, in his youthful days, led a reckless life and as a result, he was attacked by rheumatism while he was only twenty-five. All sorts of known treatment proved to be of no avail and life appeared to be a curse.
Kurooramma and Vilwamangalam were two earnest and pious devotees of Lord Guruvayurappan. They were contemporaries and cousins. Like Poonthanam, the eternal child. Kurooramma became a widow before she was blessed to be a mother and in those days, a Brahmin lady, once a widow was cursed to live a widow forever. So she adopted “Balakrishna “as her son.
Chembai held his audience enchanted and filled with bhakthi by his blessed songs; Senkalipuram Anantharama Deekshithar did the same by his distinguished discourses in Tamil. Unfortunately he had to give up his discourses due to some disease and he was compelled to avoid all public appearance. A devotee of Lord Guruvayurappan he started regular bhajan
Melpathur was in his twenties, when he was subjected to this attack of rheumatism. But Kunjianujathi Thampuratti of Zamorin's family was eighty years old when she could not even stand up. She was brought to Guruvayur in a hammock. Some time in 1890. She started her Bhajanam with all possible rituals thereof and soon she was able to walk and make her circumambulation
It was sometime in 1940. The three year old child of a couple of Ooty was attacked by the dreaded disease, polio. The parents tried all the available allopathic treatments, with little avail. The case of the child became completely hopeless and the desperate parents took the child to an ayurvedic physician. The doctor was sure that the poor Child was fated to pass away shortly.
Thaikad swamiyar was once attacked by scrofula. He tried all the known treatment. But his illness only increased. When all the known treatmentsproved to be a failure, he came to Guruvayur and started his Bhajanam. He continued his Bhajanam for a few months, during which period he even served as a servitor in the temple. At the end of the Bhajanam, he found himself completely cured of his disease.
The Brahmin Uriamadhom was suffering from acute rheumatism, which caused him to be carried from place in an ure (a basket suspended by coir. ) His madham (residence) became uri and he was called Uriamadhom. As all his attempts for the cure of the disease proved to be of no avail, as a last resort, he was brought to Guruvayur. He had brought with him a bag full of gold and silver to be offered to the lord after he was cured. He used to take the bag with him always