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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Maruthorvattom Sree Dhanwanthari Temple

Maruthorvattom Sree Dhanwanthari Temple
The temple is dedicated to Lord Dhanwanthari, who is regarded by Hindus as the Master-God of Ayurveda. Lord Dhanwanthari is regarded as a part-incarnation of Lord Vishnu.Hindu Puranas mention that Lord Dhanwanthari made his appearance from Palazhi (the sea of milk) carrying the bowl of Amruth (the elixir of life and rejuvenation) .
In meditation, Sree Dhanwanthari is visualized as a four-handed, dark-complexioned God carrying Sankha (the holy bugle of Lord Vishnu), Chakra (the revolving blade), the bowl of Amruth (the potion of eternal life and rejuvenation), and Jalooka – the leach used by Ayurvedic practitioners to suck away the vitiated blood from the body.
Dhanwanthari temple has a copper-roofed round 'Sreekovil' encompassing a square 'Garbha Griha' in which the principal deity is installed. There is a 'mandapam' in front of Sreekovil, where idol of 'Garuda', is installed facing the Lord Dhanwanthari and it is also copper-roofed. The temple faces westwards and has an outer square temple (Nalambalam) surrounding a spacious inner lawn. There is an 'Utsava Bali Mandapam' on the right side of the Sreekovil. Idols of Lord Ganapati, Lord Sastha, and Bhagawathi are installed in Nalampalam on the right side of the sreekovil and Lord Siva on the left side. The inner Lawn contains the temple well, the water from which alone is used for preparing 'Nevedyas'. This water remains pure through all seasons and is believed to have medicinal qualities.The Dhwaja is made of Bronze.
Outside of the Nalampalam, in the Meenam Rasi, Nagaraja and other Nagar Gods are installed. On the northern side, is situated the associate temple dedicated to Sree Bhadra Devi.

The name of the place 'Maruthorvattom' is said to have been derived from 'Marunnu Oru Vattam' ( ) which in malayalam means a single dose of medicine, given by the famous Ayurvedic doctor, Vellodu Moos who lived here some 600 years ago, was enough to give relief even from chronic ailments. The idol of Lord Dhanwanthari installed in the temple was the one worshiped in the pooja room of the Brahmin. It was donated to him by a Kshathriya devotee from Vayalar, a place some 8 KM away from Maruthorvattom. It is said that he got a revelation in his dream that he would get permanent relied from his chronic peptic ailment, if he recovered the idol lay hidden in a temple pond by the name 'Kelan Kulam'( ) in Cherthala south, and donated it to a deserving brahmin.

Vellodu Moos was a famous ayurvedic practitioner and belonged to the group of great eight ayurvedic doctors known as 'Astha Vaidyas'. Cheerattamon Moos, another ayurvedic doctor and member of Ashta Vaidya group, was residing near Vellodu Moos's illom. Cheerattumon Moos, who happened to see the idol was very much impressed by its divine vibrance and suggested that a temple should be constructed for the idol, for which he offered financial assistance too.Thus the Dhanwanthari temple at Maruthorvattom was constructed jointly by the two families

An 8 day festival starting with flag hoisting and ending with 'Arattu' ( )on Thiruvonam day is held annually in the month of 'Medam' (April-May).Utsava Bali ( ), Pallivettah ( ), Vilakku ( ), Arattu ( ) are important items of festival days. Kathakali is of prominent priority amongt programs arranged for festival nights. In fact, in no other temple in Kerala, Kathakali is given as much importance as here. Other programs worth mentioning are temple arts such as Ottam Thullal, Pathakam, Koothu, Koodiyaattam etc.
In December every year, Maha Ganapathihomam and Bhagavatha Sapthaham are conducted.
During Navarathri, in the month of 'Kanni' (September-October) Devee Bhagavatha Navaham and Navarathri Sangeetholsav are conducted in the Navaratri Mandapam in Bhagawathi Temple. On Vijaya Dasami day, Saraswathi Pooja and Vidyarambham are also conducted.
Amavasi (New moon) day in the month of Karkatakam (July-August) is a special festival day for the temple. On this day Hindus offer 'Pithrubali' ( ) in holy places, in worship of their dead ancestors. Unlike in other temples, there is no provision here for the traditional 'Vavu bali' ( ). Instead, 'Namaskaram' ( ) offering is made.. 'Padachoru' ( ) along with the dish 'Thalkkari' ( ) is given as Prasadam for Namaskaram.This dish is prepared from the stalk of Kattuchembu (Wild cococasia) and the dish is delicious, nutritive and medicinal. Amavasi of months Thulam (October-November) and Kumbam (February-March) are also observed though with lesser pomp. Thalkkari is available on these days also.

Lord Dhanwanthari being an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, 'Janmastami' ( ) in the month of Chingam (August-September) is celebrated with great rejoice as the birthday of Lord Krishna. 'Unni Appam Nivedyam' ( ) is a special vazhipadu on the occasion.

It is believed that Lord Dhanwanthari revealed himself to the world on Thrayodasi Thithi of Black fortnight in Karthika month of Saka Varsha (October-November), during the churning of the sea of milk (Paalazhi) by Devas and Demons. Hence that day is celebrated as Dhanwanthari Jayanthi.

On all Thiruonam days (once in a month) there is a special pooja.
Important Vazhipadu
Kathakali Vazhipadu
Bhagavan Dhanwanthari, at Maruthorvattom is very fond of Kathakali. He is particular that it should be played right in front of him in the 'Anakkottil' and not on stage. Many devotees offer Kathakali Vazhipadu. The most played 'Katha' is 'Santhana Gopalam'.The interesting thing about this Vazhipadu is that it is performed only after first birthday of the child so that he or she can take part in the play.
Maha Nivedyam.
This is the most important Nivedyam vazhipadu of the temple. ‘Palpayasam’ with one urn of milk(7.5 liters) is the ‘Maha Nivedyam’ since only fresh and pure cow’s milk is used for preparing this Nivedyam
This can be offered only on the first Thursday of every month of malayalam era. This is a medicinal nivedyam intended to cure devotes of peptic ailments . This offering is made at Pantheeeradipooja in the morning of first Thursday of the month. The prasadam is given at 8.30 AM and it has to be consumed on empty stomach, the same day.
Attayum Kuzhambum.
This medicinal nivedyam also, is available only on first of Thursday of every malayalam month. It is regarded as a remedy for acute rheumatic ailments. This Nivedyam is nothing but ‘Narayana thailam’ of ayurveda, fortified by the blessings of Lord Dhanwanthari. The word atta or leach in the name of the vazhipadu is only a symbol of blood purification. The nivedyam does not contain any leach.
This is an offering make to propitiate ‘Pithru’s or forefathers both near and remote, Though it can be offered every day, New moon days(Amavase) especially of the Malayalam months Karkkadakam, Thulam and Kumbham are of special importance. It is believed that Namaskaram Vazhipadu at Maruthorvattom is equivalent to yearly Pithru bali.
Thiruvonam Pooja.
Couples who, even after several years of married life fail to produce a child take resort at the feet of Lord Dhanwanthari and get their dreams realized. They come to the temple, partake in poojas abstinence or fasting till Ucha pooja(Pooja at noon) and eat with reverence the ‘Thrikkaivenna (Butter) Plantain fruit Plapayasam and Nivedya choru given as prasadam in the temple ‘Oottupura’. Attending twelve Thiruvonam poojas is believed to give an offspring without fail.
Panthirunazhi & Athazham.
This offering is made for family welfare. It is a sadya (feast) given to vedic Brahmins as representatives of Bhagavan. Brahmins, recite Sahasranama by sitting in the Kshetra mandapam, eat the food and receive dakshina. The devotee and his family members eat the prasadam in the temple oottupura. It is also believed to propitiate ‘Pithru’s’
Athazham (Supper) is a vazhipadu similar to panthirunazhi. This is conducted in the nights of temple festival.
Prasadam Oottu (Temple feast).
Prasadam ottu is available on prathishta days at Dhanwanthari temple, Dhwaja prathishta day, Bhagavatha sapthaham days and Navaha yagna days,all thursday and Thiruonam day.

To ensure that fresh and unadulterated cows milk is made made available for preparing Nivedyams, the temple administration maintains a gosala, in the temple compound. The dairy supplies sufficient quantity of good-quality milk to the temple.

The Temple lies 3 KM to the south of KSRTC bus station, Cherthala and 5 KM to the south east of Cherthala railway station.

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