Every temple is a refuge for the pious person; every deity is benevolent. Bhagavathy, the presiding deity of the ancient temple of Cherpu is something more. She is the Mother and like a true mother, She is determined to make Her devotees prosper and excel. She is the deified sweetness of Maternal Love. As Saraswathy, She blesses them with knowledge and wisdom just as a mother lovingly teaches her children. As Lakshmy, She gives them prosperity; every mother loves to feed or clothe her beloved. As Parvathy, Bhagavathy gives them Shakti; a child knows well how comforting it’s mother’s hands are. The devotee can beg for anything; health, wealth, fame, domestic happiness or knowledge; She grants them all. A mother is everything for her baby, a teacher, a nurse or a provider. Bhagavathy will assume any qualities Her devotees want; except that of an angry destroyer.
A special manifestation that the people often invoke here is that of Shanti Durga. The famous Thantra text Sharada Thilakam describes Her thus: An ocean of Milk and a golden island growing all kinds of fruit-bearing trees and flowers. Mother Durga sits on a jewel-encrusted throne in the middle of this island. She is like a golden glow. She wears a golden dress and jewel studded ornaments. A crescent moon adorns Her head. Her twelve hands hold weapons representing the different qualities that Her devotees seek. They are the conch, wheel, sword, shield, bow, arrow, mace, trident, nectar-crock and jewel pot. Two hands show the sign of refuge and benediction.
Kerala has thousands of great temples, some of them very famous. Yet the smiling, tender Chaithanya of the temple of Padinjattumuri is unique. Bhagavathy is a proud Mother, proud of Her temple, proud of Her children’s devotion and proud of their Excellence. They do not have to invoke Her blessings through unbearable austerities and expensive rituals. A tiny baby does not and need not try to please its mother to make the milk of love flow. Mother’s Love knows and caresses the devotees. Just visit the temple. Mother wants to bless!