About the book:
Sacred Complex of the Guruvayur Temple is the first comprehensive study of the tantric aspects of the famous Guruvayur Sri Krishna temple, which has become the second richest and busy pilgrim centre of India in recent years. Guruvayur is the centre of a great cultural tradition embracing sacred and secular institutions with diverse religious and social functions, cultural values and symbolic configurations. Pilgrims from different parts of India and abroad have celebrated the diversity of traditions that have shaped Kerala's culture and religion. The history of Guruvayur is the rich and polyvalent religious history of Kerala. A quintessential expression of this history, Sri Krishna cult of the Zamorin of Calicut found its lasting manifestation in the monumental Sri Krishna temple at Guruvayur. The Guruvayur cult has been hailed for visvapapahatya, removal of earthly sufferings, and bestowal of saukhyam and avesam, earthly well being and pleasure, leading to anandam, or heavenly bliss. The uniqueness of the Guruvayur Sacred Complex is its universal appeal. The secrets of the Sacred Complex of Guruvayur are described in simple language for the lay devotees by the author. The author has combined the humility of a votary with the objectivity of a scientific researcher. This pioneering and outstanding work is expected to receive attention from social scientists, planners and administrators and inspire researchers to study other sacred temple complexes as mirrors to Indian religious tradition.
Table of Content Contents Foreword ix Message xiii Appreciation xiv, xv Preface xvii List of Illustrations xxi SECTION-I THE SETTING Introduction 3 Chapter 1: Architectural Design 13 Chapter 2: Utilization of Temple Space 45 Chapter 3: Sculptures, Reliefs and Motifs 56 SECTION-II THE ACTION Chapter 4: Rites and Rituals Connected with Daily Worship 65 Chapter 5: Rituals Connected with Offerings 73 Chapter 6: Structure and Function of Temple Functionaries 81 Chapter 7: Ceremonies and Festivals 93 Part-I. Seasonal Festivals 93 Part-II. Sahasra Kalasam 100 Part-III. Annual Utsavam 121 Part-IV. Musical Instruments in the Rituals and Ceremonies: Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage 132 Part-V. Krishnanattom 149 SECTION-III THE DIRECTION Chapter 8: Administrative Structure: Continuity and Change 161 Chapter 9: Sacred Complex of the Guruvayur Temple 186 Appendices: I. Miracles of the Guruvayurappan 195 II. Guruvayur Devaswam Acts and Judicial Interference 219 III. Ecology of the Guruvayur Temple 225 Glossary 227 Bibliography 239 Index 241