Last weekend I visited Kollur Mookambika Temple. This South Indian pilgrimage centre is a popular choice for both tourists as well as devotees. Devi Mookambika is the goddess of knowledge. But what I sensed there was something different. The small town (or should I address it as a village) near the Kudajadri Hills is a location blessed with a wonderful greenery. Unlike the temples of Kerala, Kollur permits everyone without any discrimination in the name of religion or gender.
I felt Mookambika temple is a venue to present your talents before others. More than a place of worship, it is a location to meditate and unwind. One of the peculiarities I observed here is that the visitors/devotees are so relaxed. Rarely did I spot people hurrying up to get back home. In spite of all these positives, lack of hygiene disappointed me. Tourists dump all wastes in that beautiful place making the village and the holy Souparnika River spiteful.
Again, I feel I perceive things in a completely different way. Even when I visited Kollur, what I sensed there is the power of a lady. Though it is a deity, a female is worshipped there with all respect. Men bow before that powerful lady and beg for blessings. Do I sound a bit odd? Feminism that held my thoughts and writings earlier is slowly on the way back! Oh… I deviated from the topic. I admire Mookambika as a lady of power and determination. With all the male gods boasting about their supremacy, she stays different. Situated in a silent zone, her temple provides relief for thousands of fellow human beings. However two questions remain unanswered…
- Why can’t females do pooja at least for Goddesses?
- Why is entrance restricted to ladies in that temple too during their days of menstruation? (After all, devi is also a female!)
Secondly, the chariot procession in that temple is simply awesome. Luckily, I’d witness the procession in golden chariot too. Personally I feel the royal charm it offered will beat the elephant safaris seen in other temples. Though devi also takes rounds on elephant at times, chariot processions are more important here. I am against using tuskers in temples. No God will like torturing that huge creature.
The only reason why people make elephant suffer is because it is a veggie. If it is a carnivorous, I am sure man will not dare to touch this poor thing. Also why don’t we substitute with statues of jumbos in places where the elephants are required to stand still for hours as part of rituals! After doing all the cruelties, we blame tuskers for expressing its frustrations.
Elders keep their mouths shut when I question about the irrelevance of some rituals either because they don’t have a perfect reply or they fear speaking against God (in other words against so called the rules laid by Almighty)!