Prathishta / Presiding Deity : Bhagavathy
Upadevatha / Sub Deities : xx
Our ancestors would have certain stories intertwined with historical concepts in their mind. We could see such concepts regarding the deity ‘Muchilottu Bhagavathi’ imprinted in their minds.
A maid hailing from blessed Brahmin family of Maniyottu Mana at Perinchellur near Taliparamba was versatile in logic, philosophy and science of reasoning through ‘Gurukula system’. When arrangements for her marriage were getting ready she was stubborn to choose an equally knowledgeable person as her partner. This lead to a debate in which she was asked to answer to the question from the scholars. She replied that sexual pleasure is the most pleasant thing and pain during delivery is
the most severe pain in the world. On hearing this, the audience stunned and even questions raised about the morality of that Brahmin girl. She was expelled from her illam (home) and society by saying one couldn’t give correct answers to these questions without experiencing those.
The hapless maid expressed her grief before Payyanur Perumal. She moved to theTemple of Siva at Karivellur for praying. It was the period when ‘Padithara Adiyanthiram’ and ‘Koothu’ were being held in temple. She noticed the hearth prepared for cooking meals for Brahmins who came for the feast. She decided to end her life in that fireplace. Realizing the fire was not sufficient for burning her, she requested a ‘Theeya’ individual who happened to pass through that place to offer some dried coconut to the hearth. But he refused and went back. Later a ‘Muchilottu Vaniyan’ who came that way with coconut oil. The Brahmin girl made the same request to him also. Knowing the consequences the vaniyan cautioned her and requested to withdraw her decision. But she was firm in her decision and he helped her by pouring oil in it.
The Brahmin girl on committing suicide had reached in front of Lord Siva. He with great love and affection sent her back to earth to look after human kind. With the blessings of Lord Siva she got the divinity and she reached Perinchaloor and prayed to ‘Thalipparambathappan’. Devi then walked towards Rayaramangalam. Mean while the Vaniyan who poured oil in the fireplace kept the oil pot in the pooja of his house. Devi decided to drink some water and spend some time in the house of ‘Muchilodan Padanayar’. The vaniya lady who was drawing water found the holy figure in the well. Next day the padanayar saw the palm tree infront of his house dried. It is believed that the Devi made her presence visible to the Muchilodan Padanayar when he decided to cut the tree. This is how the Muchilottu Bhaghavathy associated with the Vaniya community. Muchilottu Vaniyan and others in his community started worshipping the goddess as their family deity. Thus the goddess came to be known as ‘Muchilottu Bhagavathi’.
Devi requested Rayaramangalam Devi for a place for her. Rayaramangalam Devi before taking a decision wanted to estimate the capabilities of Muchilottu Bhghavathy and asked her to find a solution for the scarcity of food at that region. She with her divine blessing from Lord Siva produced the best ever harvest and made Rayramangalam Devi happy.
The deep-rooted myth of Sri. Muchilottu Bhagavathi as suggested by Manakkadan Gurukkal, the divine and enchanted figure is the embodiment of the whole universe itself. (Bharahmanda Kadaha). Devi represents herself the three features of the universe. ie, The ocean, The Earth and the Sky.
The ‘Thirumudi’ (Royal crown) which is shaped like a rainbow, is symbolized as the sky, while the body stands for earth and the royal dress (udayada) as the ocean (water). The hanging ixora garlands symbolises as the rainfall. The crescent moon affixed on the royal dress denotes the sun, the moon and the stars. If is believed that the images of the sun, the moon and the stars are visible in the water. Rear side of the royal dress is assumed as the lotus and other flowers. The eight-handed Bhagavathi is
sitting is the water (ocean) with lamps in two hands. They give light (knowledge) to the ignorance and lead them from darkness to light. The ‘Khedaka’ sword and the buckler on the other hands for annihilation and to wipe out 96 deadly diseases and is being blessed with the devotees