Kanakaprabha of Guruvayur Maraprabhu in progress

published on June 24, 2011

Construction of the golden halo or Kanakaprabha to be installed around the Maraprabhu idol at Guruvayur is in progress at the Sreesakthi Paper Mills yard at Athirappilly, Chalakudy. Designed by Maraprabhu Ramachandran who constructed the Maraprabhu idol 16 years ago, the 52 feet tall , 22 feet wide and 15 tonnes heavy structure is sponsored by S.Rajkumar, MD of Kailas Group and Sreesakthi Paper Mills as a Vazhipaadu to Guruvayurappan. K.S. Ganeshan Achari of Mannar Viswakarma Handicrafts and his team of sculptors render Ramachandran’s design into copper and bronze form with guidance from Krishnakumar Associates, Ajith Engineering Works and P.V.Rajendran. A team of devotees led by A.Mohanan, Chartered Accountant oversee the project.

The Guruvayur Maraprabhu, the largest terracotta idol in the world, stands in the Sreevalsam Guest House compound of the Guruvayur Devaswam at an imposing height of 52 feet, beside the statue of Guruvayur Kesavan. The idol depicts Guruvayurappan as the ‘Maraprabhu’, after the story of Poonthaanam and Melpathur Bhattathiripad. Poonthaanam mispronounced the invocation ‘Amaraprabhu’ in the Vishnu Sahasra naamam wrongly as ‘maraprabhu’ at the temple, and the erudite Sanskrit scholar Melpathur laughed at him for it. Then a voice was heard from the sanctum sanctorum that ‘I am also the Marapabhu’! This state of the Lord as the Maraprabhu [lord of trees] is monumentalised through the Guruvayur Maraprabhu idol.

The Kakaprabha under construction is the first ‘healing golden halo’ in history. The structure is in the divine Anjali mudra with the Hamsa Pranava. The figures and pictures on it are as per the Vishnu Dharmottareeya combining nritya, shilpa and sangeeth. The structure will be filled inside with various Grithams and Siddha medicinal compounds; the most important of which is the very rare Maha Paishachika gritham manufactured according to the 100th vidhi in the Sahasra yoga. Vibrations from the compounds filled in the Kanakaprabha will have a curing effect on the worshippers and in the environment around. Yoga Santhi or eventual peace is the result.

Seers like Mysore Ganapathi Sachidananda Swamigal predicted in 1995 itself that the Maraprabhu would remain away from public adoration for 16 years. Then it would return impressively as the protector of ‘Maram’ for the entire temple city, after a golden halo [kanakaprabha] is put around it. By ‘Maram’ [tree], the seers meant the environment.
The Kanakaprabha venture is the first of the Temple City Beautification programmes conceived by the Devaswam. Its next project also entrusted to Shilpi Ramachandran, is the beautification of the Aanakkottil with a Gajapathi Ganesha idol and temple at the elephant sanctuary at Punnathoorkotta, under sponsorship.

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