Guruvayur temple’s new head priest is a man of many talents

Ayurvedic doctor, YouTuber, vlogger, and singer are some of the attributes of the new melshanti of the SreeKrishna temple

September 21, 2022 07:08 pm | Updated 10:20 pm IST

Kiran Anand Kakkad is going to be the next head priest or Melshanti of  the Guruvayur Sreekrishna temple.

Kiran Anand Kakkad is going to be the next head priest or Melshanti of the Guruvayur Sreekrishna temple. | Photo Credit: -

An Ayurvedic doctor, who is also a Youtuber, vlogger, and singer, is going to be the next head priest or melshanti of Kerala’s famous Sreekrishna temple in Guruvayur here.

Thirty-four-year-old Kiran Anand Kakkad, hailing from a long line of priests and who was practicing Ayurvedic medicine in a Russian Ayurveda clinic in Moscow for six years, was selected as the next head priest of the temple last week by a draw of lots. He will assume charge next month for a period of six months.

“It is by God’s grace, His blessings, that I have this fortune,” he told PTI.

He will assume charge next month for a period of six months. “It is by God’s grace that I have this fortune,” Dr. Anand told PTI.

However, before he could even apply for the position, he had to undergo pariharas and pujas (remedial rituals). According to customs, those going to foreign lands are not permitted to be part of temple rituals. When abroad, it would be difficult for most people to perform nityakarma (daily practises) and as a consequence, they might have incurred physical tendencies that might interfere with the prompt practise of rituals, he said.

On why he left a successful career in Russia, Dr. Anand said, “I come from a long line of priests. We are one of the four othikkan families of the Guruvayur temple. As my father is getting old, he asked me to take over the traditional duties,” he said. Othikkans are priests who perform rituals like abhisheka or pantheeradi puja in the temple. He also has plans to open an Ayurvedic clinic. But the plans are shelved for six months, as he will have to stay in the temple during his priestly tenure.

Dr. Anand, who was taught rituals and Vedas since young, is also trained in Carnatic music and the mridangam. “I received training in music from four gurus,” he said.

On why he opted to study Ayurvedic medicine, he said, “My parents underwent a specific Ayurvedic treatment regime called Pumsavana for having a male child. My maternal uncle had knowledge of medicines and treatment that could make that happen. As I was born subsequent to such an Ayurvedic treatment, I wanted to make it my profession.”

At the same time, he pursued his passion for music and incorporated it into his profession. Therefore, besides being a panchkarma specialist, he is also a music therapist.

Dr. Anand has sung in music albums, cover songs and also manages a YouTube channel with his wife, also an Ayurvedic doctor.

On his YouTube channel, one can find songs sung by the couple, their travel video logs, their experiences in Russia, and health-related tips.

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