Thiruvilakku Sastha temple

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Thiruvulla Kavu Dharma Sastha Temple

By
P.R.Ramachander

Thiruvullakavu Dharma Sastha temple is in the Peruvanam division of Kerala. This division was supposed to have been created by Lord Parasurama and had very learned Brahmins who were considered as great Vedic Pundits. (Please see the write up of Peruvanam shiva temple) . This is temple is again in the village of Perumbilliseri, near the small town of Cherpu near Trichur. It is believed that the famous saint Vilwamangala saw that the idol of this Sastha was being held in the right hand by Lord Shiva of Peruvanam and later a new temple was consecrated separately for Dharma Sastha on the right of The Shiva temple. It seems he chose to call it as “Thiruvulla Kayyor” But there is a theory that the actual name of the temple is Thiruvalakkavu(Holy temple on the right) . Some people even refer to it as Thiruvellakavu( Holy temple of water) . But any way the present name is Thiruvullakavu. Since the word “Thiru” represents Goddess Lakshmi , this name may mean as “A temple where Lakshmi(wealth) is there.”
It seems in olden times a Varrier who used to go by this way , saw a brilliant powerful light coming from the field where this temple is situated. When he examined the place he saw there the a small stone statue of Sastha . He immediately brought the trustees of Peruvanam temple , who consulted an astrologer , who told them that it is a Sastha (Son of Lord Shiva and Vishnu) idol. They immediately got a temple built up there . In the temple along with Sastha are his wife Prabha on his left and his son Sathyaka on the left. Kindly note that Lord Ayyappa, who was the incarnation of Dharma Sastha was a Brahma Chari. In Some places Sastha is being consecrated with two wives viz Poorna and Pushkala. Some people believe that he had only one wife called Prabha , who had the two forms of Poorna and Pushkala. In front of these stone idols , there is a slightly bigger idol of Sastha with a spear (soola) made of Panchaloha. The morning Abhisheka is done to the Pancha Loha idol and it is kept behind the stone idols later.
This Sastha is considered as one who gives knowledge . This is possibly based on an incident which happened at the temple.
It seems once there was a priest there by the name of Pattathu Vasudeva Bhattathiri. He was of very average intelligence and was assisted in his duties by a young Varasyar. One day the Varasyar left to her home and by the time The Bhattathiri closed his temple torrential beating rain started. Due to this Bhattathiri was not able to leave the temple . Due to this Bhattathiri decided to sleep in the Verandha of the temple without food. Then Sastha came in his dream and asked him to open the temple and eat the Banana fruit which was offered to him and was kept before him. Bhattathiri obeyed the order. Next day early morning the Varasyar came in search of him. She saw there was some transformation in case of Bhattathiri. He had become a great poet. When she asked , as to the turn of events, Bhattathiri related to her all that has happened. Then the Varasyar asked him as to where he had put the Banana peel after eating the fruit. When he showed him the place , she ate all the left over peels. She too was transformed in to a poet called Ikkali Varasyar. Both of them have a great place in Malayalam literature.
Due to this incident , this temple became very famous as the place where you can get knowledge and wisdom. Every Vijayadasami (Tenth day of Navarathri) day thousands of little children learn their first alphabets at this temple. Even on the other days children brought here and are allowed to start their way to education at this temple. The most important offering to this god are Unniyappam (Neyyappam in Tamil) and Kadalippazham(A particular variety of Banana) .The main festival of the temple starts on the Uthram star of the month of Kumbham (February-march) . That day The God is taken round on an elephant. And it ends on the hastham star of the month of Meenam (March-April)
The Darshan timing of the temple as given in the web site of the temple (http://www.thiruvullakkavudevaswom.org/) is as follows:-

Darshan Time Morning - 5AM - 10:45AM Evening - 5PM - 8PM

Pooja schedule Nithyapooja/Nivedhyapooja - 6:30AM - 7AM Trippuka - 7:30PM - 7:45PM Thanthripooja - Morning on Muppattu shani days

During mandala maasam Darshan Time Morning - 4:30AM - 10:45AM Evening - 5PM - 8PM

Pooja schedule Nithyapooja/Nivedhyapooja/Mandalapooja - 6AM - 7AM Trippuka - 7:30PM - 7:45PM Thanthripooja - Morning on Muppattu shani days

Ezhuthiniruthal Every day at morning 5AM - 10:45AM Except on Mahanavami and Atham naal of Meenam


NB: The Sreekovil nada remains closed during the above mentioned pooja times. After trippuka, in the evening no offerings can be done at the temple.