Sunday, June 2, 2013


Lot has been written about the glory and reputation of Brahmasthana, Badettu Narnappaya's pre-eminence there during his hay days and the importance of Thambila and Dakkebali for those born and brought up in the Padubidri village. While some believe that this venerable worshiping place is unique and unparalleled with the Vanadurga avatar here being very powerful, there are many who are not that much convinced about the place and its holiness. Only those who participate in Thambila and Dakkebali will get an idea about the sanctity of this worshiping place after witnessing the performance of Pathiris which at the least is a superhuman phenomenon. Otherwise how any one can explain the "running and jumping" of a person aged above eighty years under the trance when he performs as a Pathiri during Dakkebali?

Badettu family is indeed blessed by Brahmer Amma, as she is popularly known in the local area as seven hundred and odd members of this family scattered all over the world are living a good life with minimum hassles and no major mishaps. Of course we may have instances of unhappiness here and there but life is after all a blend of happiness and misery. If happiness is much more than misery we should consider ourselves blessed. Though Badettu family did not prosper in business ventures as one would expect, God has enabled many of the younger generation to get educated and becoming some body in life. Of course some may feel that it is all because of their brilliance, intelligence and hard work but fact still remains that without God's grace nothing is possible. Thank our Gods for our relatively hassle free lives. 

There has been one peculiar trait in our family about which I always felt puzzled and that is whether our "hiriyaru" really loved us? This is because most of us never had the luxury of hearing a single good word from our parents or showing affection openly and in stead they seemed to be always critical and frowning on us. Even good academic achievements are never publicly lauded. Compare this with present day kids. The parents are always crooning over them showering goodies whether they ask for them or not, spending sleepless nights to coach them during examination season, fighting with teachers and the schools management for giving special attention to their wards and many other things which would be blasphemy for out parents during our school days. Looking back we have to realize that it is not that they were not loving us but they were not knowing how to express their feelings plus some ego! According to Dr P Vedasvyasa Rao, the present "Pithamaha" of Badettu family even our venerable Ajja, Narnappaya had great concern for his grand children as illustrated by the following note he gave to me recently. Same is described in his words below.

"Along with Ajja, Seena, I once attended the night Thambila at Brahmasthana. The Thambila started at 10 pm and was over by midnight at at 12. We returned home and sat for dinner. Generally Seena, aged about 11 years at that time, was an addict of drinking water during food time and it was noticed that there was silence as no demand was being done for water. It seemed some one asked why Seena was silent and not asking for water without realizing that Seena was not there in the house! It was then realized that Seena did not return from Brahmasthana along with us and every one was shocked, becoming literally panicky, the most visibly shaken being Ajja himself. No body could make out why he did not return after the function was over along with us. All of us got immensely scared thinking about the consequences and were silent, almost reaching the breaking point. Ajja, immediately got up after finishing his food in one great gulp, asked me to accompany him with a lantern and literally ran to Brahmasthana . Great silence and a sense of panic only accompanied us as no one dared to talk out of fear of the worst that could have happened. When we reached the place there was complete darkness except for a couple of flickering wig lights that were lighted during Thambila function, almost on the point of extinguishing. Lo!, to our great solace and release of the suppressed grief, Seena was fast asleep  on the flat top of the rock on the northern side of the sandy quadrangle where Thambila was performed. Curiously he was not alone as a dog was also found to be giving company to him lying nearby! Once we approached the place the dog disappeared among the dark interiors of Brahmasthana, never seen there after by any one in the locality. Seena was woken up and Ajja was seen releasing a long sigh, a sign of relief to the stress and agony he was experiencing at that point of time. He was immensely joyful after returning home and shared the same with others. What can one make out of this episode? Every one felt that it was a miracle that Seena was saved and any thing could have happened if he was left there for some more time because of many nocturnal creatures inhabiting the wooded place. We believe that Devi Khadgeswari , our Brahmer Amma herself in the form of a dog was guarding Seena while he was in deep slumber. What ever it is this incident clearly indicates that Badettu Family is greatly blessed by Brahmasthana and if we believe and pray Her, She would always protect us" 

Since Vedavyas was an eye witness to the above episode there is no reason for us to doubt the veracity of the narration. This is not a folklore passed on from generation to generation but a real life happening witnessed by some of the members of the then Badettu family. Prompt action by Ajja, his presence of mind, love for his grandson and confidence in Brahmeru are evident from what Vedavyas has narrated and I am sure Seena and his family will remember this episode as an act of the Goddess. The present care taking of the Badettu house and maintaining all the traditions started by Ajja by Seena and his brothers are indeed a tribute to the sagacity and greatness of Badettu Narnappaya!   

Answer to the last Quiz  

Sethuram was the son of Kollam Vasudeva, Jayaram was the son of Kande Krishnanna, brother-in-law of Vasudeva and Raghuram was the son of the sister of Badettu Narnappaya. Two cousins and an uncle!  

Quiz for the current issue

How many members are in the Badettu family with names starting with the alphabet "A"? Name them.      


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