Thursday, November 29, 2012


While growing up kids never bother about temples, Gods, poojas, homas and such other religious functions as they are more occuppied with their friends, games, playing, etc. This is true with all third generation kids of Badettu family who were growing up in places like Kollam, Allappuzha and Padubidri. But there was a vital difference in that those growing in Padubidri were more God conscious than those growing in urban areas. Vedavyas, Vittala and Seena were typically growing in places where sacred temples like Brahmasthana, Udipi Krishna, Padubidri Eashwara Temple, Kollur Bhagavathi, Annegudde Ganapathi, Kadiyali Durga Temple, Eashwara Temple at Yellur, Kukke Subramanya Temple, Dharmasthala, Kukke Subrahmanya Kshethra and a host of many famous temples in Uchila, Kaupu, Udyavara and others nearby. This constant exposure seems to have distinguished them from their urban cousins and it was always with envy they were looked upon by them. In terms of daily ritualistic practices and mandatory mantras one has to follow every day, these rural cousins were much superior. One of the reasons could be the constant peer pressure which they had to face living in Badettu House under the benevolent Narnappaya and the need to perform daily poojas in the house as well as in the Naga Bhana nearby. Looking back it is only with nostalgia one can remember those old days.

One of the most sacred worshipping places for Badetu family members was the much revered Brahmasthana, where there are no idols or regular pooja as being seen in almost all temples. Probably its special place in the hearts of Badettu folks might be due to the eminent position enjoyed by Narnappaya, the doyen of the family during the last 7-8 decades and even to day he is remembered and talked about by many old timers who still stay or visit Padubidri occasionally. The famous Thambiia and Dakkebali functions that take place even to day attracts many people from far and near who consider Brahmasthana as a highly revered worshiping center in the whole of southern Karnataka. While Thambila takes place every year, Dakkebali functions are held once in two years. One can understand the importance of this unique place when it is known that Dakkebali is celebrated only in any year when Udipi Paryaya is not scheduled.

Badettu Narnappaya occupies an exalted place in the history of Brahmasthana as he was the chief "Pathiri" (Purohit) in that place for a number of years because of his ability to imbibe the spirit of the Goddess presiding over Brahmasthana, Vanadurga. It is said that according to puranas Shakti or Durga used Brahmasthana as a transit point for resting and relaxing after killing the fearful demon Mahishasura.  It appears the Goddess was seen on a swing high on the trees in all Her glory by those Pathiris who are possessed by her. There is no well laid down procedures for selecting a Pathiri but only those who are possessed by the spirit of Goddess come on their on volition wherever they are. During olden days there used to be 10 Pathiris who were performing the ritual which has  come down to 2-3 these days.

Brahmasthana can be accessed through the National Highway # 17, being located between Udipi and Mangalore. From Mangalore and a 37 km drive from Mangalore or a 27 km drive from Udipi can take the visitors to Padubidri town. From there one can travel through a narrow 1.5 km tarred road to reach the sacred grove which has no building or any architectural features to identify except for a thickly wooded place within which the Goddess is supposed to be in. The grove is hardly 500 meters in length and 50 meters in width with no surrounding fence but the boundary being marked by tall trees and shrubs. Eastern side appears like a hillock and the Goddess Khadgeshwari, as She is popularly known or just "Amme" in local Tulu language supposed to be represented by a triangular rock about 9 inches in height, housed in a rectangular rock chamber. The floor of the chamber is white sand and this is the prasada of this sacred place carried home by many devotees.

Those belonging to Badettu family must visit this shrine at least once in their life time, pay obeisance to "Brahmeru" and pray for the health, welfare and prosperity of all the members. If possible a day Thambila also should be sponsored during the visit after prior consent of the management there. There is an office near the entrance of the shrine where bookings for Thambila or Dakkebali can be made. Because of many bookings well advance by people, especially from Mumbai and Chennai, organizing a Thambila or Dakkebali will have to be planned well advance. Besides the auditorium can also be used for functions like Upanayana, marriage, Shashtipoorthy, Shathabisheka etc if early approach is made to the management.

Answer to the last Quiz

Professor Sreenivasa Rao, the present caretaker of Badettu family properties and the eldest son of late Ananthrama who retired as a full fledged Professor of Chemistry Department in Manipal University. He is presently settled down in Chennai with his son Satish and family but visits frequently to carry out all the functions originally being done by Badettu family when Narnappaya was alive.

New Quiz for the current issue

Who among the Badettu family son-in-laws of second generation members rose to become an Income Tax Commissioner at Bangalore?


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