MANNARASALA, The ancient household (illam) now built for modern times known as Eringadappally Illam “Moolakudumbam” or the main ancestral house sanctified as the residence of Brahmins believed to be appointed by Lord Parashurama to perform poojas for the serpents in Manarasala Temple. The legends say, Lord Parashurama gifted this land to a Brahmin family who hailed from Irinjalakkuda, a place in the present Thrissur district.
After many years and several generations, a childless couple – Vasudevan and Sridevi (heirs of the family) were blessed with two babies after long years of prayer. It is believed that one of the two babies was a five-headed serpent and the other, a normal human child. After a few years, the serpent disappeared into the household Nilavara (cellars) and allowed only its mother Sridevi to serve him. This is how the concept of Amma was established in the Temple.
From then on, the wife of the eldest member in the family took over the charge as Amma and this has continued for generations. The present Amma, Ramadevi took charge as the priestess in 1993 from Savitri who attained samati at the age of 91. Savitri amma took charge of Devaki Andharjanam at the age of 14. Savitri Amma came to Mannarasala as a family bride at the age of 13, her married life lasted only for one year. Obviously, she did not have any children. Amma’s regime lasted for 75 years. Little is known about the predecessor of Devaki Antharjanam. When an Amma attains samadhi, her feet are washed with holy water. This is then poured on the body of the designate when she is appointed as the successor.
On normal days the family priest did all poojas inside the temple, Amma performs the poojas on Ayillyam and Pooyyam stars of every Malayalam calendar month. On Ayillyam star of Kanni and Thulaam months of the Malayalam calendar, pooja includes ezhunnellippu, the ceremonial procession like ritual. Amma performs poojas in the sacred place for 12 days prior to Ayillyam star of Karkkidakam month.
Uruli kamazhthu is a famous offering related to the temple. People believe that childless couples offering “urulli kamazthu” will be blessed soon. So many couples came here to fulfill their wishes. Amma gives darshan to the devotees every evening from the nilavara. She sits near the door, devotees queue up to have her darshan and say their mental agonies and grievances. Amma consoles them and advises solutions and also gives them vibhooti, the sacred ash.
Mannarasala Temple is a perfect example of motherhood and an eco-friendly life.