Tradition at its best

20150802_12271720150802_11580320150802_11535420150802_115444Our home stood in between a grove of towering trees situated in the lush green Thaikkattusserry ,small and beautiful village tucked away from the hustle20150802_122552 20150802_130843 of Thrissur town, which didn’t proffer any kind of pursuit… apart from the temple festivities, though the tranquility of this little piece of golden land is unparalleled. This modest land is where medicines were born. Moreover the temple deity here is believed to have the divine medicine in abundance in her pot of gold. This is also the land of doctors who laced their magic with medicines by drying grinding and rolling the herbals that grew in surplus here. In the air wafted the pungent and sweet whiff of the ayurvedic medicines being prepared in the big traditional kitchen of the’ Vaidyasala’

Padmasree Ashtavaidyan Sri ET Neelakandan Mooss, founder of Vaidyaratnam is rather like a sovereign to the people of Thaikkattusserry. Not a soul in the rural community is unwaged as his munificence isn’t limited to just curing people but further more helped them by employing them and keeping them blissful healthy and prosperous. In remembrance of this great persona his son Sr ET Narayanan Mooss decided to erect a museum, a museum that would be unique by all means. The museum was inaugurated by our former president Late Sri A P J Abdul Kalam, and the foundation stone was laid by the divine Matha Amritanandamayi. The Museum at a snail’s pace rose up to a building of magnificence.

And I guess the museum’s been here, prouder than ever for two years… Everyone’s been saying that the museum is a ‘must visit’ tourist attraction in Thrissur. And the funny element is that I pass by it more than a dozen times every day, but on no account went inside. It was just another traditional structure for me until…

It was a Sunday, apparently a gloomy one. And my little chunkies who never had an inclination towards Choto bheem and Chutki rather found their solace in them. They glued themselves on to the beds, indolently munching on a packet of fried tapioca chips, while chota bheem gulped down his laddoos, in each and every episode. That’s when I got a call from my Cheriamma, whom my children dotingly called ‘Muthi’ . She had called to ask if we would like to go to the museum, which was just about  20 meters from my house.

‘Yes’ we are coming ! , was my reply

And finally I was there; we entered through what seemed like an ancient door that creaked and dragged itself open to one of the most graceful buildings I had ever come across in my life. I stood there for a second as if in a trance, gaping open mouthed, awed by the beauty and magnificence of it all. The grounds… The ponds, the landscape, the fountains . A ‘Thulasi Thara’ stood firm adding grace to the traditional structure, outside the middle of the front yard ( ‘Poomukham’)

A guide took us to what we could call a mini theatre, modern ambience carefully blended into traditional wooden grandeur. A quilt, plush and soft was laid on the soft cushioned floor. Wooden ladder back benches queued neatly in the room facing the screen. And the guide started with a  short 3 D film on Ayurveda. From there we were taken to the main building.An ancient medicine box with all sorts of medicines and a ‘Velli kol’ sat there in the corner of the ‘Poomukham’. And in the middle stood a huge bronze idol of Lord Dhanwantari. Afterwards we were taken inside the main structure of the building were everything from life size yogis , horses etc to  the beautiful murals highlighted  on the walls was simply breathtaking!  And toward the end of the room there was a look alike figure of Ashtavaidyan Padmasree E T Neelakandan Mooss. And the kiddies had fun swiping their hands over the plastic betel leaves, as whenever they swiped a recorded blessing ‘Ayushman Bhavah’  of the late ET Neelakandan Mooss could be heard. From the corner of the room a flight of wooden steps with wooden railing coiled steep and winded, landing us on the top floor, were all of us were given 3 D safety glasses. On the top floor was a huge 3 D photo gallery. An airy library with old and tattered however well preserved books were lined up in wooden shelves. A video of all the treatments were also played on an LCD Screen. And yet again we reached a staircase that took us down to a landing where a huge wooden sculpture of Lord Nataraja was mounted. And the guide informed us that this was made using the root of a tree. From there we stepped outside were we could see the ‘Nakshathra Vana{ The star forest}. To our right was the Saraswathy Mandapa.We were so excited when we saw the star forest that we started clicking pictures. But the guide said that we had one more place to go – ‘The Acharya Gruha’

This was a replica of the Elayadath Mana, the ancestral house of the the great Astavaidyan family,a place where we could connect ourselves, we all had this quick flash rewind of our childhood memories of coming to this ‘Mana’ for the ‘Kettu thaali’ function . As we entered, there stood with all divinity Thaikkattusserry Bhagavathy inside the ‘Nadumittam’ -courtyard. Water from all four sides fell on her. It was quite a sight. An array of family photos were put up on the wall.

And there he is !!  all of us together chimed.

The guide asked, Who?

He Yadhukrishnan!

Who is that? The guide asked

Here he is , Our little elephant Yadhukrishnan! who was like a pet to us villagers… I said

He sighed and went off to explain other important things, but for us each and every fixation here was equally significant.

Here in Acharya Gruha, there was a display of some random things that the late Padmasree ET Neelakandan Mooss had used. His chair, the bed he had used, the coffee table over which he seemingly must have had his evening coffees, an old grandfather typewriter, an old calendar, old coins, pens, gifts that probably were given by friends. Finally we stepped out of the Acharya Gruha, after writing a lengthy feedback in their register that probably they never flipped over, but still I made it a point to pour in my heart on that piece of paper. That’s when we saw Gautham Buddha meditating under a tree. We slowly went near him as if a slight movement would disturb him and sat under the tree.

Peace Peace and Peace

Priceless yet

Now a days scarce, He gave us

Oh Lord Budha!

Our Pranams to you!

Protect us oh Lord Budha

From evil forces Fierce!!!!

20150802_130641After taking a couple of photos, we decided to leave and thanked the guide who was so patient and informative. He requested us to stand near the Idol of  Sri Sankaraacharya for a photo to upload it in their site. Halfheartedly we came out of the museum. A boring and depressing day turned out to be the best day of our vacation!


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