Lakshmana Temple at Thirumuzhikkalam, Kerala
By Adideva Giridhari Dasa - 8.3 2017
Located near Ernakulam, locals call this Temple as Muzhikkalam, one of the most exquisitely scenic divya-desam Temples. The Lord revealed the Srisukti (or Thirumozhi) to sage Harita at this place. Thirumozhi means “sacred language”. Kalam means “place” in Malayalam. Thirumozhikkalam or “the place of the sacred revelation” morphed over time to Thirumuzhikkalam. The Lord is known is Thirumuzhikkalathan, or “the Lord of Thirumuzhikkalam”. He is also known as Appan, or “the Father” and Srisuktinatha.
The Lord appeared at this place as a result of the great penances of Harita Maharsi. The sage, one of the six masters of the Puranas, received divine revelations from the Lord. The Lord taught the sage, details of varnashrama-dharma and the Anustana Prakarana (containing the duties to be performed during the five periods). Later, the sage compiled a samhita to delineate these teachings. Though the Lord’s pratyaksa happened to sage Harita, the installation of the Deity was performed by Lord Parashurama.
Lord Lakshmana is said to have built the gopuram, mantapa and the prahara of the Temple. During His travels, Lord Lakshmana met Harita Rishi here. The sage reminded Him of the harsh manner in which He dealt with Lord Bharata, when the latter had visited Chitrakuta, in an attempt to convince Lord Rama to return to Ayodhya. The sage requested Lord Lakshmana to repent by executing penances. Pleased by this act, Lord Bharata is said to have personally traveled here and embraced Lord Lakshmana.
There are four Temples in this region, each dedicated to Lord Rama and His three transcendental brothers. Lord Rama’s Temple is in Chalakkudi. The Deity here was damaged by the invading army of Tipu Sultan. The beautiful Bharatapuzha River, which is one of the puskarinis of the Temple, flows within a stone’s throw of the backyard of the Temple. One can get completely absorbed in the tranquil atmosphere prevailing here. There is a grilled door to the left of the sanctum sanctorum, where worship is performed every day, despite no Deities being present there. The priest mentioned that Lord Rama, Srimati Sitadevi and Sri Hanuman reside there and the worship is performed for Them.