Cutting Across Caste Barriers, a 'Tantric' Wave Sweeps State

The state witnesses a significant surge in the number of people from different backgrounds belonging to different castes, seeking to learn tantric rituals

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When the material world makes one shrink within oneself, turning to the spiritual path in search of the true identity is nothing new.

But when well-educated professionals like doctors, engineers and advocates as well as hard-nosed businessmen and entrepreneurs, belonging to various castes, dedicate time and money for learning mantras and tantric practices, that were once the domain of Brahmins, one cannot deny that there is a silent revolution in the making. This is precisely what is happening in ‘literate’ Kerala, with an increasing number of people seeking to take the highway to spiritual awakening, and sincerely working to get the nuances of traditional Hindu rituals like ‘Ganapati homam’ and ‘Bhagavathi seva’ right.

“The mantras and tantric lessons were once limited to Brahmin priests or to those born in Brahmin families. But now, the scenario is changing and it can be called a democratisation of rituals as a variety of people, including me, are learning Hindu rituals, which bring a total transformation in life,” said K Sathyadevan, an NRI businessmen belonging to the Ezhava community, who received ‘mantra deeksha’ from his guru and can now conduct a flawless ‘Ganapathy Pooja’.

For psychotherapist Amal M G, who is working at ESI Medical College, Paripalli, the lessons he learnt from the Puthumana Tantra School, is helping him in his medical profession as well.

“There are many questions around us that till now science is unable to answer. In the spiritual plane of Tantra one is expanding and coming close to the universal energy. The energy level rises and those who practice it can become good observers too. This is required in the medical field as well and this is helping me a lot in my profession,” he said.

Puthumana Maheswaran Namboothiri, of Puthumana Tantra Vidyalaya, one of the prominent Tantric schools, with branches in Thiruvananthapuram, Changanassery, Ernakulam and Guruvayur, said that more and more people are opting to learn Tantra and mantras, with reasons varying from person to person.

“The Tantra School was started in 2001 to impart tantric knowledge to everyone without age, sex or caste barriers. Though I faced stiff opposition from a section of Brahmin community during the initial days, the situation is much better now. People coming here range from professionals like judges, doctors and teachers who are seeking peace of mind and ways to bust stress, to those who want to lead strict spiritual lives,” said Maheswaran Namboothiri.

“Many are also learning the temple rituals as there is a real shortage of temple priests today,” he added.

Advocate Muraleedhran Nair, a practicing lawyer and president of Ambalathara Shiva Temple, Thiruvananthapuram, is now learning temple rituals as he is finding it tough to get priests to conduct the rituals at the temple.  “There is a shortage of temple priests in Kerala and I opted to learn as we were finding it difficult to get priests for the temple under the NSS Karayogam. I already I completed Upanayana (the initiation ritual by which one is invested with a sacred thread) and once I complete the course, I will be able to perform poojas at the temple,” he said.

The temple pooja course is of six months’ duration and now, the NSS as well as the SNDP Yogam have their own tantra schools, which are also finding many aspirants.

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