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Updated: August 5, 2013 18:18 IST

Piety demands hard heads at Tiruchi's Amman temple

L. Renganathan
Comment (3)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Priests breaking coconut over the head of devotees at a unique ritual held at Sri Mahalakshmi Amman Temple at Mettumahadanapuram in Karur district on Sunday.
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Priests breaking coconut over the head of devotees at a unique ritual held at Sri Mahalakshmi Amman Temple at Mettumahadanapuram in Karur district on Sunday.

The extraordinary ritual of breaking a coconut on the head of devotees as fulfilment of vow was performed in the famous Sri Mahalakshmi Amman Temple at Mettumahadanapuram near here on Sunday. Of the 415 devotees who underwent the ritual, some sustained injuries that required medical attention .

The ritual is part of the two-day annual Adi Perukku festival at the Mahalakshmi Amman temple glorified and worshipped by the Kurumba and the 24 Manai Telugu Chettiar communities.

The processional deity of the temple that was taken for a ritual bath in the River Cauvery the previous night, returned to the shrine following the ‘thiruveedhi ula’. Chief priest A. Periasamy conducted special abishekam with sacred waters from the Cauvery.

The traditional lamp was lit atop a special mast in the temple foreground. Then Mr. Periasamy in a trance and with trumpeters in tow stood on a shoe of nails to break coconuts first on the head of seven elders belonging to the two main communities. He started breaking coconuts on the head of devotees who had registered themselves to undertake the ritual as part of fulfillment of vows and thanksgiving.

A medical unit was stationed to attend to emergency and they treated a few devotees who sustained bleeding injuries on the spot.

Some others applied turmeric on the open wound and left. A large number of devotees from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala participated in the rituals.

Mr. Periasamy was leading the ritual as the chief priest for the 29th year in succession breaking coconuts on the head of devotees, following the footsteps of his father Andi Poosari who undertook the sacred chore for 56 years. Mr. Perisasamy's grandfather, Raman, had reportedly performed the task for 62 years.

Revenue and police officials from Kulithalai and Karur besides officials from the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department witnessed the proceedings.

It is impossible to cause brain damage on a religious devotee, since a
functioning brain cannot exist inside such a person.

from:  Nishad Kaippally
Posted on: Aug 6, 2013 at 09:14 IST

crazy, In the name of tradition and culture, even in 21st century such
events happen in the name of religion.

if the 415 devotees planted some trees around the temple or did feed
another 400 people on that day or just talked to their parents or elders
and take care of them it is equivalent to paying respects to God.

from:  Ramalingam
Posted on: Aug 6, 2013 at 00:39 IST


Breaking a coconut on human head is an act of barbarism and should be
banned by law immediately."Of the 415 devotees who underwent the
ritual, some sustained injuries that required medical attention" is
talking of open scalp laceration caused by breaking of coconut on the
head. It is indeed possible many more without bleeding wound may have
suffered “ subdural hematomas are among the deadliest of all head
injuries. The bleeding fills the brain area very rapidly, compressing
brain tissue. This often results in brain injury and may lead to death.
Subdural hematomas can also occur after a very minor head injury,
especially in the elderly. These may go unnoticed for many days to
weeks. With any subdural hematoma, tiny veins between the surface of
the brain and its outer covering (the dura) stretch and tear, allowing
blood to collect. In the elderly, the veins are often already stretched
because of brain atrophy (shrinkage) and are more easily injured” to
quote from Medline Plus web site.

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: Aug 5, 2013 at 17:01 IST
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