In Kerala, each family in a village has a designated temple, normally of Devi, which is called Adima Kaavu. Till my marriage my Adima Kaavu was the one where my parents go. But after marriage my Adima Kaavu changes to the one where my husband’s family worships. It is called Pallassana Kaavu (the Devi temple of Pallassana, in Palakkad).
This is in a remote village and we will have to pass through paddy fields. Hence you enjoy the fresh breeze coming from the fields. There is a small pond in front of the temple where we feed the fish, and wash our feet and hands before entering the temple. Men will have to switch over to dhoti and angavastram.
We try to visit this temple once a year, and often succeed. We have Darshan of Sridevi and give our humble offerings to Her. We pray for the welfare of one and all.
The entrance to the inner prahaaram is very small and one has to bend pretty down to enter through that. And there in the Garbha Griham, sanctum sanctorum, you see the sparkling Devi sitting in the simhasan, her eyes full of compassion, face lit up with a tender smile, nose with an attractive nose-ring, gem-studded earrings, and neck decorated with jewels. Fresh hibiscus and jasmine flower garlands add to Her beauty. All told, you get a new energy standing in front of Devi with full alankaram (decoration). Our mind gets filled with happiness when we have darshan of Amman. And one feels like standing there for ever, but alas, the crowd managers keep reminding you to move on to let others too have darshan. During parikrama I often chant Lalitha Sahasranamam and get a feeling of satisfaction. As we leave the temple premises, we feel fully energized.
Our parents have inculcated the habit of doing daily prayers twice a day. Initially we used to chant as a part of our daily chores. Gradually, we started praying for a purpose – to get good marks in school, or get admission in a good college… Then at the later stage of our life, we have an exclusive puja room, and we feel that She is with us, guiding us in each and every action of our life. Om.