Brief History of Our Temple

Kamuthi Sri Veera Makali Amman Temple:
Sri Veera makali amman Temple is situated in the heart of the town of Kamuthi.This temple is full of love, truth and devotion. It is dedicated to the hindu goddess Makali, fierce embodiment of Shakti and the god Shiva's wife Parvati. They are known as guardian spirits or Kaval deivam in Tamil. They are associated to a main deity which is generally ascribed as Kuladeivam by various sects of community and clan groups as part of the tracing their generation through centuries.

Veeramakali is another divine form of Shakthi to destroy evil and protect the good. Loving and most merciful, She gives her blessings to all her devotees.

Maakali's mythology is contained in various Puranic and Tantric Hindu Scriptures (Shastra), where She is variously portrayed as the Adi-Shakti or Primeval Force of the Universe, identical with the Ultimate Reality or Brahman, the (female) Prakriti or World as opposed to the (male) Purusha or Consciousness, or as one of three manifestations of Mahadevi (The Great Goddess) that represent the three Gunas or attributes in Samkhya philosophy; in this interpretation Mahakali represents Tamas or the force of inertia. A common understanding of the Durga Saptashati or Chandi Path (the Devi Mahatmya or "Greatness of the Goddess", a later interpolation into the Markandeya Purana, considered a core text of Shaktism, the branch of Hinduism which considers Devi to be the highest aspect of Godhead) assigns a different form of the Goddess (Mahasaraswati, Mahalakshmi, and Mahakali) to each of the three episodes there in.

Best days to offer prayers:
The best days to offer prayers are Sunday, Tuesday, Friday, Ashtami Navami, Dasami, Sathurdasi, Pournami, Amavasai, Maham Pooram - Tamil New year day, Adi Pooram, Adi Perukku, Navarathiri and Masi Mahotsava.

Kamuthi Sudalai Madan Swamy Temple:
This temple is located in the outskirts of Kamuthi.Sri Sudalai Madan Swamy is the main deity. The other deities in the temple include Sri Pon erulappan Swamy, Sri Thachanamoorthi Swamy, Sri Sivan Enaintha Perumal Swamy, Sri Nalla madan Swamy, Sri Murugan Swamy, Sri Bramma Sakthiamman Swamy,Sri Esakki Muthuamman Swamy,Sri Pazhavesa munisvarar swamy and Sri Sonai karupanaswamy.

Sudalai Madan, is a regional Tamil male deity who is very popular in South India, particularly in Tamil Nadu. He is considered to be the son of Shiva and Parvati. He seems to have originated in some ancestral guardian spirit of the villages or communities in Tamil Nadu, in a similar manner as Ayyanar.

God of the dispossessed
He is the divinity of the dispossessed. Madan is usually considered to be the caste deity of the Nadar, Naidu, Pillai, Senguntha Mudaliyar, Mallar, Konar, Thevar, Paraiyar and other castes found in the southernmost Tamil Nadu. This deity is very popular in the southern districts. Madan is also popular among certain segments of the Tamil diaspora in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and the overseas territories of French in the Caribbean Sea. Large Madan temples are rare. His shrines usually consist of simple stone platforms with stone pillars. Madan's colors are white, red and sometimes blue. The pillars are frequently white-coated red marks. When represented as iconography, it is usually held in an offensive position with arms in hand: a sword or a whip. When holding an ax and a long rope, he commanded all the souls that they are good or bad. Its main weapon is called "Vallaiyam" (a long stick). Madan is also often equipped with his sword and a hat warrior, in this form it is ready to go into battle.

The different names of this deity:
- sudalai Madan Samy
- sudalaieshwaran
- Madasamy
- Madan
- Maharaja
- Pool Madan
- Esaki Madan
- Sudaleshwaran
- sudalayandi
- sudalai muthu
- Maasana Muthu
- Mundan Sami
- Mayandeeswarar
- Mayandi
- solaiseri(alangulam)sudalai madan
- solaiseri(alangulam)elangamani - palavesakaran swamy
- Uoosikatu sudalai
- muniyandi
- muneeswaran
- Iroulappa Samy
- muthu swamy
- ayyanar sasdha
- padma parama eswaran
- vellai pandi
- karutha pandi
- karuppasamy

The myth of origin of Sudalai Madan:
The story about Mada Samy tells of his birth in Kailasa, the mountain home of Shiva and Parvathi. It is said that Devi Parvathi wanted a child, but Lord Shiva had sworn celibacy. He had promised to be chaste at the request of the gods, since they had feared that his union with Parvathi would be so powerful it would shatter the universe. Shiva suggests another way to have a child. He tells Parvathi to go to Patala Loka, the watery underworld, and to gather a spark from the sacred lamp that burns there. Parvathi did so, carrying the spark in the hem of her skirt.

When Parvathi Devi returned to Kailasa, she opened the folds of her skirt, and found that the spark had become a shapeless mass of tissue. she was really worried and pleaded shiva to give her a solution. Thus Sudalai madan is often called as Mundan which means a person without head and other body parts. Siva asked Brahma to give the baby a shape. Shiva gave life to the baby. He named him as Sudalai madan since he came to the world because of a lamp(sudar) and he was shapeless. The boy was blessed by everyone and he was brought up as their son.

Parvathi initially fed the child on Amrita (the nectar of immortality) instead of breast milk. So it is said that the child became immortal. However, the child also became desirous for solid food. He went to the cremation grounds ("sudalai") on Kailasa, and began to eat the bodies that were burning there. When he finished those he began to eat everything around ,the other spirits, animals, trees, the ground itself etc. He feasted with a heavy appetite.

Because he ate so much and since he had such a fondness for meat, it was decided that he ought not remain in Heaven. Shiva instructed him to go to Earth, and to care for its people. Sudalai said that if he should go ashore, it must be honored by a feast of eight days. When the festival was over, he said he would not go unless some other requests have been answered.His requirements were: Patients should be cured by sprinkling my ashes. Chronic diseases should disappear with my miraculous power Demons have to flee my staff.

His request was granted and he left Thillaivanam to the land where he knocked on the door of the Bagavathi house. A voice from inside asked: "Who's there? "And he said he was Sudalai, son of Parvathi. For this, he added: "If I am a son of Parvathi, I am a son to you too! "She opened the door and said," If you serve as custodian for all of the seven treasures, I will offer a human sacrifice at midnight. "But while he was performing the work, Pulayan - a famous magician from Kerala - began to disturb him. Pulayan had one daughter. He did not have the wealth to hold his wedding ceremony. The magician has used its power to reveal the hidden things. With this power, he saw the treasures of the house Bagavathi. After having seen, he ordered a thousand evil spirits to bring him the treasures of the shop Bagavathi, saying that if they failed, they would be sentenced to death. The spirits went to the store and stole the treasures when Sudalai asleep. When he awoke, he was shocked to find that the treasures were missing. Since he was born with a miraculous power, he could see Kerala. He said he would Bagavathi in Kerala to retrieve the treasures. Bagavathi pleaded with him not to go because it was the site of a great magician. Sudalai but paid no attention to his plea. He started on his way, carrying with him a thousand snakes, one of each species. Arriving in Kerala, he made a screen with snakes.

A girl who was a friend of the daughter of Pulayan attended the performance and praised Sudalai. Pulayan daughter was itself induced to leave the house to see the show. Sudalai noticed when he picked up a snake and released it into the crowd. The crowd scattered here and there. Then Sudalai wore a thiruvodu [begging bin] in his hand and went Pulayan where he prayed for water. Pulayan girl replied:"There are a lot of water in the river, there are a lot of water in the channel, Go to quench your thirst". Sudalai said "I do not come as a beggar. But I have to marry you".

Then he entered a dense forest of seven hills. He met members of hill tribe. Sudalai was just thinking about how to make Pulayan daughter. Then he took the form of an ant, and crossed the seven hills. When he arrived home, it is Pulayan took the form of a rose and played with the daughter of Pulayan. She kissed the rose and fell asleep. Sudalai made pregnant. The next day, seven men from the hill tribe came to Kerala in search of Sudalai. They asked for a fire to destroy the flies in their farms.

Sudalai asked them:"Give me six cocks for the sacrifice. Give me seven goats to water in blood. Give me the eggs with twenty to one pot of soil and fiber board".

When these things were offered, Sudalai took them in his hands, and immediately broke all into pieces. Sudalai got annoyed and demanded the sacrifice of the tribes Pulayan's pregnant daughter, otherwise he threatened he would kill them. They went home Pulayan and told him about the matter. Pulayan replied that if her daughter was pregnant, he would sacrifice her to Sudalai and went to his house. There he saw that his daughter had already designed. He was amazed and said he would go into the jungle to the cult of Kali, and he asked her to accompany him.

She replied that she was the eldest daughter, was born by the grace of the gods, and refused to go to the forest. But he did not listen to his words and took her into the forest. There he laid her on a wooden platform and tied tightly. She was crying. Sudalai ordered Pulayan quickly to his sacrifice. Thereupon Pulayan became very distressed and asked Sudalai kill him, but spare his daughter. Finally Sudalai Pulayan compromise with and married his daughter. maiden name is Pulayan Isaki.

The narration and singing of this myth in the Koothu Kaniyan takes two to three hours. During this performance, komarathadigal are owned by the spirit of Sudalai and dance vehemently. They perform divination and sacred ash provides for the faithful. In general, Masikalari Sudalai many people are possessed by the spirit of Sudalai and dance. Traditionally, each temple has several Sudalai komarathadigal attached. It is important to note that in worship Sudalai Koothu artists and shaman have no direct relationship with the faithful who are gathered in the temple for worship. Only komarathadigal have direct contact with devotees. Komarathadigal listen to the problems of devotees perform divination and sacred ash applied to the faithful. The main function of a performance Koothu Kaniyan is to invoke the spirit of the Sudalai komarathadigal, and function of a shaman is to perform the rituals, which are directly related to the divine and evil spirits.

In addition to the performers Koothu there is a man of the community Kaniyan whose role is to perform rituals such as kathuthal kaappu, kaivettu Kaniyan (blood sacrifice by tearing off his hand), Pothala vetaiku (the "hunt" the cemetery), and Theralive koduthal (offering food in the cemetery) in a Sudalai Masikalari. Usually this is a person who has retired from performance Koothu Kaniyan. He works as a shaman ritual component and directs the entire Masikalari.

Siva proclaimed that Mada Samy's protection and kindness would be re-paid with offerings of cooked food and drink, and thus he would always have a meal, as well as people who would pray to him. So Mada Samy came to earth, accompanied by a number of singers and dancers who were sent by Shiva to see to his worship.

The cult of this deity:
We find this deity primarily in the family temple at the meeting. According to some devotees, "Madan" was revered on the island by landowners as a guardian to monitor the plots and farm animals (cows, goats, etc). For the occasion, "monestarlons" (Kalou (roller) which symbolizes the representation of the god) were installed, prayers and offerings it receives each month. Finally, in thanks, every year animal sacrifices are made. Formerly, it was found that the statues carved in stone and representative of "Madan" were rare at the meeting. The "monestarlons" were actually more frequent. But with the evolution of Hindu worship, Reunion, there is now this change and more representation in the form of statue (carved stone, concrete or wood) are present in different family shrines.

His worship is held by the sacrifice of a goat or russet colored cocks at the ceremony called "malbar service." Reunion in some families is proceeded by the sacrifices of pigs in his honor. This practice is even more discreet, as it is true that the temples are rare, only the lucky ones are invited. In the temples, statues and "monestarlons" are dressed in white cloths, blue or red referring to its legend, its origins and its shape.

In general there is no regular or daily worship in the Sudalai temples. In some popular Sudalai temples worship takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays where as in others, the last Tuesday and Friday of every Tamil month. Worship varies from place to place and from temple to temple. However, the faithful celebrate an annual festival for Sudalai, which is locally known as Masikalari. This annual festival is celebrated in all Sudalai temples but in different seasons. Masikalari is usually celebrated for three days with a Friday or Tuesday as the central day. It can occur once a year, once every two years, or once every few years, depending on the financial position of the devotees. Masikalari is a complex event, including several rituals, worship, prayers, animal sacrifices, and folk arts. It is the celebration of a particular group of people meeting at a time and place to worship the deity with a series of vows and offerings.

VETTAIKU POTHAL: "hunting" in the cemetery:
At midnight of the Masikalari, another ritual known as vettaiku pothal (goes to the cemetery) is performed. Komarathadigal are active at the moment. They wear black pants to the knees decorated with a red border and a bell attached to the bottom. They also wear a crown made of black cloth and decorated with a red border. They hold a pantham (a flashlight) in one hand and a great sword in the other. All komarathadigal dance fiercely and vigorously. A Kaniyan Koothu is performed with energy to maintain komarathadigal in a state of possession. At midnight, both the shaman and interpreters Koothu Kaniyan begin to leave the temple and head to the cemetery with komarathadigal. Only the Shaman, artists Koothu Kaniyan, and komarathadigal are allowed to visit the cemetery during this time.

These are moments filled with fear and terror. The name of the ritual, Pothala vetaiku means "to go hunting ". When engaged in this hunt, should anyone cross the path of spirit possessed by hunters, for fans to believe that the deity to fight and kill those who do. On the way to the cemetery, the hunting party is led by the shaman, who holds a clay pot on his head or shoulder. Along the way, the shaman throws eggs in all directions. This is known as Pali this (providing all directions). The komarathadigal, shaman, and the faithful in general believe that with a supply of eggs, they protect against evil spirits. As the eggs are thrown away, evil spirits do not cross the path of hunters. After reaching the cemetery, all the komarathadigal dance vehemently and start looking for corpses. Sometimes they bite a human bone obtained from the cemetery or in the vicinity and dance.

Food offering in the cemetery :
The earthen pot, which is owned by the shaman, contains food that was offered to the deity in the temple. It consists of boiled rice, meat curry, vegetable curry, boiled eggs, cottage cheese, and ghee. After reaching the cemetery, the shaman lays a plantain leaf on the ground and put bananas, incense sticks, holy ash, vermilion, sandalwood paste, betel leaves, areca nut, and camphor on it as an offering to the deity. He sacrifices a lamb, a pig and a rooster, and shed their blood in the clay pot. He cuts his hand with a sharp knife and offers his blood as a sacrifice, pour into the pan and mix with the blood of animals. He then shapes the food into several bowls and place each of the four cardinal points on banana leaf. Finally, he takes balls of food in his hand and throws them in all directions. Throwing balls of food, the shaman and komarathadigal think that the Godhead share the food with the shaman.

Therefore, to protect from evil spirits the shaman a shaman komarathadi holds tight in his hands while the shaman throws the balls of food in all directions. They believe that the food will not thrown on the ground. Theralive In the vernacular of these balls are called food and the ritual of throwing them is known as koduthal Theralive, which means "offering of food balls. "After completion of this ritual the shaman takes the animals were sacrificed for him, looks up and asks the deity in a loud voice:" Will I stay here? "After receiving the divine answer:" All right, you can stay here, he takes his hand and eggs in circles three times around the head of each of the performers and Koothu komarathadigal Kaniyan to protect against the evil eye. Finally, it lays the eggs away and begins to leave the cemetery. The main function of this ritual is to maintain koduthal Theralive divinity in the cemetery and prevent it from entering the village. The ritual performers told me that the way to the cemetery, they are possessed by the spirit of the deity, but they return as ordinary people. After the ritual, they return to the temple. The next day, remove the Kaniyan kaappu hands of the komarathadigal. This marks the end of the Masikalari.

All these myths and rituals are traditionally passed down from generation to generation. Most people say they did not know the reason and meaning of many of the rituals performed in the temple, saying they were simply following the example of their ancestors. There are mythological background to the rituals of worshiping Sudalai and the role of community in these rituals Kaniyan. The mythical story explains that Sudalai is very fond of eating corpses, and thus is considered the leader of all the evil spirits. This is why Sudalai worship temples were erected near cemeteries. Sudalai temples are also famous for witchcraft, black magic and healing practices. The sacred ashes of Sudalai temple is considered very powerful to drive away evil spirits and to cure diseases.

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✔ PERUMAL ARUMUGA 1977 Sudalai Madasami Kathai [A Tale of Sudalai Madasami]. Nagercoil: Kalachuvadu.

✔ GANAPATHIRAMAN 1986 Tirunelveli Pakuthiyal Siru Theiva [Folk religious practices in the region of Tirunelveli] Valipadu. Tuticorin: Noolakam Tirumala.

✔ JOHN, SIMON 2001 Iyamma Kathaikal [myths told by Iyamma]. Palayamkottai: Kaalathi.

✔ NAIR, RAMACHANDRAN 2003 Thudiyana Samigal [strong deities]. Chennai Makkal Veliyeedu.

✔ SHANMUGASUNDARAM, S. 1993 Sudalaiimaadan Valipaadu [Sudalai Maadan worship]. Bangalore: Kaavia.

*Source: Courtesy Asian Folklore Studies & Gale, Cengage Learning* *Click here For more specific information *

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