Sunday, June 27, 2010
OM Chira Sancharam, A visit to Ochira temple
If you wish to go for an adventurous ride then you should try Kerala’s private bus, especially the one in the villages. F1 races are not popular in the village but the bus drivers are no less than any Michael Schumacher. My mother was here in Kerala in lieu of my sister’s vacation. She asked me to accompany them for visiting a temple and I accepted it. We managed somehow to get into the bus that had no seats, free for us. I could not find anything written as “only for men” but there were wordings in red “only for women”, “disabled”, “old citizens”. I had to stand straight holding my hands on the iron rods above me. The bus started and I was dragged from left to right, then right to left making my compete body swing in all the directions possible. This is idle for a person who wishes for a daily workout. Finally, after a one-hour workout we reached the temple Ochira.
Ochira previously known as “om chira” (the land of parabhrama) is located on the borders of Alapuzha and Kollam district of Kerala. Ochira does not hold significance for a particular god but here the belief is “one god” that is within everyone and they can discover it through their service towards others. Most parts of the temple are open area with banyan trees and beneath them the pujas and prayers take place. I will not say much about Ochira rather you can read it through the website www.ochira.com.
We reached Ochira by 12 Pm and luckily, we got the chance to eat the popular Ochira kanji (plain rice porridge/ thick water on overcooked rice). The temple authorities serve kanji everyday and the rich and the poor consume it as a prasadam. Devotees offer the rice and the moong dal required for the kanji as a service towards god.
We purchased a plastic can and spoon to drink the kanji. There were visitors who forget to bring vessels and they shared a part of our meal. My mother say to share prasadam with everyone and you get the real benefit after that.
While worshiping we could see some ox in the temple, they are called Ochira kaala (ochira’s Ox). Ox was decorated with clothes and flowers and people used to worship them as a vahana(means of transport) of Lord shiva.
People also dropped coins on the cloth at the forehead of the ox, worship it while the man holding the ox would pick these coins, and put them into his bag. There are many beggars and handicaps seen on the path from the start to the end and the passengers drop coins in front of them. It appears as a charity but for some it is a means of income. People say that these handicaps and beggars now hold large cash sources.
There were shops selling toys on the roadsides to attract the children. I heard my Aunts child crying for a “ben-10” watch. Ben 10 is a cartoon character and children are mad about him and the watch he hold. They say the watch holds several Aliens and on pressing it, they would turn into the corresponding alien selected. Kids are always interesting whatever they say; they always have some logic behind it.
There were several photographers and videographers seen in the temple premises and later I came to know that they were for shooting the marriage. We moved to the last temple and I was astonished to see the marriage invitation on the way. It says “Renjini weds Abilash” and the kids and Aunt’s were in search for such an incident to shower their teasing on me. The only difference was that there was an “H” missing in this groom. I was satisfied that it was no marriage arranged for me without my knowledge. My mother hinted me that it is time for me and I understand it is also a time for “hide and seek”. Let us see who wins this game.
I enjoyed the time spent with my Mother and sister and that’s sufficient for me to live until December when I plan to Visit them.