Jyotsna Padmanabhan, a 12-year-old girl, is all set to script history by being the first female in Kerala to conduct an idol installation in accordance with tantric rituals. The girl’s entry into the sanctum sanctorum of the Paikunikavu Sri Krishna Temple at Kattoor near Irinjalakuda on Sunday to conduct the ‘prathishta’ of Goddess Bhadrakali will mark a new chapter in the religious history of Kerala as there is no precedent of a woman, other than a spiritual leader, conducting an idol installation.
If you tag it as a revolt by a group who does not have a clear-cut idea of the existing rituals and rites, you are mistaken.
Jyotsna, a seventh-standard student, belongs to Tharanallur Mana, one of the two Tantri families in Kerala, the other being Thazhamon.
Those leading her as considered to be the last words in the tantric rituals.
Born and brought up in the world of temples and poojas, the girl had developed a keen interest in tantric rituals and started learning it under Tharanallur Padmanabhan Namboothiripad, the tantri of many renowned temples including Sree Rama Temple in Thriprayar and Koodalmanikyam temple in Irinjalakuda.
The rituals at Paikunikavu Sri Krishna Temple will begin at 9 a.m. when the girl will enter the ‘Balalayam’ to invoke the deity in a ‘kalasam’. This will be installed at the renovated sanctum sanctorum. Jyotsna’s guru Tharanallur Padmanabhan Namboothiripad will lead the tantric rites.
Friends and well-wishers of the family have arrived to witness the sacred event.
Jyotsna’s father Padmanabhan Namboothiripad said the move was not meant to create any controversy, rather to say that the tantric science did not ban women from performing rites. “Tantric science says that women are ideal to perform these rites. Problem is with the ritual and practices. Rituals are bound to change in the course of time,” he said. He said he was guiding his daughter in the path of truth and teaching her the best science known to him.
He added that there was no caste difference in performing the rites.
Jyotsna who started learning tantra at the age of seven, told ‘Express’ over phone from Irinjalakuda that she had interest in tantric rituals from childhood.
“I will continue to learn more,” she says.