Muchilot Bhagavathi

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Muchilot Bhagavathi performed at Perne Muchilot

Muchilot Bhagavathi is the chief goddess of Vaniya community. An exploration into the history of the goddess, Sree Muchilot Bhagavathi, the source of all prosperity, the reservoir of all knowledge and an immeasurable ocean of benevolence, reveals the fact that there are various opinions related to her life. Some of her devotees believe her to be the goddess bloomed from the sweat of Lord Shiva shed at the time of his stupendous dance on the Mount Kailasa. Whereas some others believe her to be a deity incarnated on the earth with a "prasadam" to purgate the world of all kinds of incurable diseases, or a goddess sent to earth in the form of flame to annihilate all the evils on the earth.

But some scholars are of the unanimous opinion that she was a Brahmin virgin born in "Rayaramangalath Mana" in the village of Peringellur, near Taliparamba.[1] Those were the days after the betrothal of the virgin renowned for her unfathomable Vedic knowledge. It so happened that "Peringellur Mootha Gurukkal" (a Brahmin) and his disciples challenged the "Naduvazhi", on the request of the "Naduvazhi" the Brahmin virgin took part in the "Naduvazhi". The mesmerizing arguments and counter arguments darted by the virgin against "Mootha Gurukal" and his disciples stunned them and so they were envious of her. Being very shrewd and deceptive, they meditated to trap her somehow.

So they asked her two questions: "Which is the most excruciating pain?" "What is the most ecstatial state?" "Labour pain" and "erotic state", she answered innocently.[2] They distorted her answers stating that woman having no such mundane experiences could never answer those questions and so she was not virgin. The issue ended up in her excommunication. The innocent and fragile virgin being struck by the arrows of deception from the Brahmins took asylum at the scared feet of "Payyanur Perumal", "Karivellurappan" and "Rayaramangalath Bhagavathi", with a heart full of woes. She adored them and offered all the despairs and throes of her heart before their divine presence and resolved to immolate herself.

As she was preparing her pyre, a "Muchilot Karnavar" happened to reach there. On her request, he poured oil from a pot into the fire with much reluctance.[3] Thus she immolated herself and her soul departed to Lord Shiva. With a fraternal love, Lord Shiva sent her back to the earth with some boons, a golden fan, jewelry and various weapons to redeem the world. The Karnavar having seen the immolation of the virgin was full of grief and kept "Thuthika"(the empty pot) in the "Padinjattakam"(Pooja room), Karnavar's wife had an apparition vision of Sree Muchilot Bhagavathi, as she was drawing water from the well. Meanwhile "Thuthika"(the empty pot) kept in the "Padinjattakam"(Pooja room) started tossing in the air. In an astrological speculation the Karnavar had an apocalypse that the soul of the virgin had been sent back by Lord Shiva to abide in him. The goddess whom the Karnavar places in a silver tabernacle in the "Padinjattakam", to worship began to be known as Sree Muchilot Bhagavathi.[4]

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Media related to Theyyam at Wikimedia Commons