What is a nivedhyam and what is its significance?
A nivedhyam is an offering made to the deities. Even though the idols of the deities are made of stone, five metals or any other material, they are not mere inert objects, but are considered active matter imbibed with energies that can connect and resonate with human life forms. They have manifested in various forms on Earth, thus making themselves available to influence and elevate the lives of those who are willing to connect with them. While offering delicacies like sweets and fruits is a good way of expressing our gratitude to the divine forms, there is a much higher and practical intelligence involved in this form of worship. Of the six tastes, only sweet is considered generally satwic. Satwa is a pure, light, clear, calming and harmonizing energy that opens the mind and promotes wakefulness. Fruits themselves are natural sweets which are pleasant in taste and are nourishing for the body. Similarly, brown rice, nuts and seeds, milk, honey, raw sugar and jaggery are also satwic foods, and when consumed in balance, they provide a better power of perception, as they nourish both the brain and the heart. Thus, these offerings come from the practical logic to encourage the use and consumption of satwic foods as a healthy body-and-mind-building mechanism. Such foods allow the mind to stay clear and focused. It can be easily observed that behind all the practices that are performed as remedies, like nivedhyam, there is a clear understanding of the mechanics of body-mind consciousness and their relatedness. Understanding this underlying principle helps to appreciate and approach the remedies with better focus and reverence.
What is Noorum Palum?
Noorum Palum is a special oblation prepared with rice and turmeric powders that are mixed in cow’s milk. This is an important offering to the Snake God and remains popular in quite a few Kerala temples.
What is the spiritual importance of a snake?
Sarpas, or snakes, carry a lot of spiritual and religious significance. They are even regarded as divinity or God. The snake is believed to represent eternity as well as materiality, life as well as death, and time as well as timelessness. It symbolizes all 3 core processes, those of creation, preservation and destruction. People worship snakes too like any other deity, making them offerings of milk, fruits, etc. Hence, any harm caused to them or to their places of dwelling amounts to committing a sin that may incur for the person concerned and his or her family a dosham, or a curse.
How is the Noorum Palum Nivedhyam made and what are the benefits of doing it?
In this ritual, an oblation of Noorum Palum is made reverentially to the Snake God as a nivedhyam, accompanied by an elaborate ceremonial worship. This remedy is done basically for getting a progeny. This worship done to the Snake God will help to lessen or remove the karmic influences of the devotees and bless them with a good and healthy child.