Spiritual Tourism XXVIII - Heavens on Earth -
The Thirumala Devaswom Temple, Kochi
This Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Preservative Aspect of Time Eternal. This temple is a socio-religious institution of the Gowda Saraswaha Brahmin community.
Fearing mass conversions by the Portugese, the GSBs ran away from Goa and found their refuge here. This is the biggest temple in Kochi.
The Temple has a gigantic bronze bell. It is the second largest in Asia, It is 4 feet in diameter and and eight feet in height.
The King of Vijayanagaram was a devotee of the Lord of the Seven Hills, Balaji. He had a dream that a sculptor would visit him, when he was unable to visit the Lord. The sculptor appeared and started working on the project. When the sculptor did not come out, the King opened the door and lo and behold ! the idol was there in its divine glory ! Festivals are conducted twice a year, one in April and the other in November. Garudotsavam and Arattu ( when the Deity takes a divine bath ) are famous here.
The Exoteric system has been designed by sages, the same ones who declared " I am the Universal ", Aham Brahmasmi. As Divine Wisdom was unfit and dangerous to the ordinary mundane mind, they devised an outer system for the profane. A system efficient and imperfect. It is obvious that Omnipresent Deity cannot be confined within the four walls of a Temple ! But the Exoteric System lays the foundations for Society, highlighting the Unknown Principle, which is beyond mind, words and intellect ! ( Yatho Vacho Nivarthanthe Aprapya Manasa Sah ).
By Govind Kumar