SHAKTHA DHARMA, SANATANA DHARMA
Emerging from Veda, the Vaishnava , Shaiva and Shakta Darshana Sampradya is entirely related to Shakta Dharma. Etymologically ‘Sri’ denotes ‘auspicious/ immense radiance’ akin to Maha Lakshmi, whereas in Haritayana Samhita and Brahmandapurana the Sanskrit term is correlated with Maha Tripurasundari. Lakshmi worshipped Tripura and attained the boon from Sundari that She will be renowned as Sri. Tripurasundari is the most radiating one, the Brahma Jnana acquired by Vairagya/ Tapas and Atma Jnana (Self-knowledge), hence referred to be Sri Vidya, Brahma Vidya and Atma Vidya respectively. Sri Vidya bestows both material and spiritual fruits, if practised properly. The realization of Atma Jnana guiding to Nirvana and the accomplishment of all the worldly as well as ethereal desires are feasible through Sri Maha Tripurasundari Sadhana and her tradition is Brahma Vidya Sampradaya.
"Yatrasthi Bhogo Na Cha Tatra Moksha
Yatrasti Moksho Na Cha Tatra Bhoga
Sri Sundari Sevana Tatparanam
Bhogascha Mokshascha Karastha Eva"
The aforementioned Sampradaya sprang from the days of yore, when Siddha Yogeeshwara, a Kaulik and Natha Sampradayi attired in a Kaupeenam (loin cloth) with his locks secured by an Ezhutthani (metallic pen), rambled along the Neyyar River (the Valapattanam River) in Kannur ( Cannanore) district. Whilst his access on Azhikkal, a spot beside Valapattanam Fort, the great Yogi hailed the King of Kolaswaroopam as “Otta Valukkaran” , literally signifies as the 'Possessor of a sword with a hole'. The attendants of the King updated the aforementioned occurence and on his edict, the Yogi was conducted to the palace by the Army Chiefs pertaining to the Chengunni Murikencherry family of Kelu Nayanar. Upon the King's inquiry regarding his label, the Yogi tugged a hair from his Shikha and reeved it through the sword's hole. With a benign smile, the Yogi asserted that “A King ought to have Sookshma Drishti in order to perceive and scrutinize assorted elements by him ”.
The King was skeptical as he assumed the Yogi to be a necromancer, hence enjoined him to vanquish the Scholar and Mantrika in the palace through his Siddhis (real powers). Amidst the combat, the great Yogi designed a simple yantra with his dagger and pierced it in the concenter. Afterwards he whispered certain covert Dhanurvidya mantras, meanwhile performing the ritual Kilakam, the whole mass in the palace sensed immobilization by the Yogi's specific charms. Though he pretended to be cognent, his hesitated mind aimed to analyze the Yogi. The King beseeched him to perform Guruti tarpanam with Upacharam for his Kula Devata. Normally the utensil applied for the rite is tiny and later it must be inverted by the person who excecutes the tarpanam, indicating the culmination of the ritual. With the notion that the Yogi will come a cropper, the King ordered to create a massive cauldron for Guruti puja. The Tinker (Mooshari/ the Mentor of the vessels) moulded the colossal cauldron in a bored 'Kund' (small reservoir), which was later renowned as Aana Kulam (Elephant Pond). The gigantic cauldron was shifted by the elephant to Chamundi Fort abutting Valapattanam Fort. The Aana Kulam as well as Chamundi Fort have an interconnection with Siddha Yogeeshwara Kumaras.
As an initial procedure of the Guruti Puja, the Yogi invoked the Mother Goddess of Kolaswaroopam by chanting the shloka, "Mantra Gadyam". While accomplishing the tarpanam, he saluted Devi as “Amme Sri Porkali Dushta Nigraha Chandi" and Chamunda emerged from the cauldron, splitting it into two. On this perpetual experience, the crowd including the king of Kolaswaroopam and the Army Chiefs dropped a deep curtsy. Harkening to the King's obsecration to honor the Yogi as his Gurukkal, he evanesced. In accordance with the vision and urge of his Kula Devata forenight, the King's quest for Siddha Yogeeswara Kumaras haulted in Kanavam forest. He was domiciled there with another young ascetic in a hermitage. The King knelt down and seeked his guidelines for the defence against the kingdom's rivals. The elder Yogi designated the younger one and his magical abilities along with the war tactics rescued the kingdom . According to the legend, these Yogi brothers were the pioneers of the double stranded urumies. Though the king honoured them with the residential land, but seeked its moeity as the present Kottiyoor was comprised of the land. The ascetic Yogis who were Yoga Naga Kula Brahma Kshatriyas notified that they will never return their reward and in order to recapture it the King ought to engage in a combat. Later they prompted a new dyanasty for the conservation of the seraphic spot, that expedited the reign of Kottayam Raja Vamsa.
Amritananda, a Yogi from this lineage disseminated Shaktism across North Kerala and Nadanta renovated Meppad Madom for the propagation of Meppad tradition, encompossing Yoga Naga Kula. Adi Siddha Gurukkal of Meppad practised Divya Yoga Marga, hence had his Samadhi in Yoga Agni (the Yogic Fire) and in this sacred locus, a cryptic Brahmavidya Gurmandal Prathishta along with his Kula Devatha and Upasana Moorthies are worshipped at the temple, well-known as Meppad Kalari or Meppad Mantrashala. Though there are various stories related to Odunatha, Odangara and Parasuram, the practise of Sri Vidya with Chirakkal Raja Family persued from the span of Chirakkal Rama Varma Valiya Raja and Meppad Valiya Raman Gurukkal. Nadanta Ananda Natha Saraswati/ Ananda Battraka was allied to this tradition through his grandfather Meppad Kammaran Gurukkal, who turned into the Disciple of Brahma Sree Madhava Acharya Swamikal, a Sri Vidya Yogi of Paripayi and Panniyottillam Sampradaya afterwards. Swami Nadanta reloaded Meppad Sampradaya and Para Prasad Sri Vidya Tradition, which follows Tripurasundari Rahasyam and Kularnava Kriya Padhati of Urdwamnaya.
Meppad Kammaran Gurukkal, the grandfather of Nadanta was a prominent Tantric born in the Traditional Shakta family, who were granted the privilege by Parasuram. He was a revered Sadhak of Yogeshwari Durga and Sri Vidya , along with a versatile practitioner of Mantrikam (Ashta Karmas) and Vaidyam (Ayurveda). From his young age, he practised Mantra, Tantra , Yoga and Sanskrit verses and took poorna deeksha in Sri Vidya under Madhava Acharya Swamikal. By the zestful influence of his Tantric uncle and the Gurus named Madhava Swamikal,Veshala Swamikal, Yogeeshwara Swamikal, for one mandalam he meditated in the Meppad Mantrashala/ Mantrika Kalari to attain Siddhi. The attempt of Ashta Bhairavas to halt his japa was quashed by Devi Shoolini Durga's affirmation to the Bhairavas that he is her son and endowed with Siddhi.
Gurukkal explored diverse places to acquire specific tradition and met discrete Gurus. Since the age of 40, he practised many Vidyas and later got married. To protect dharma, his Siddhis were utilized for spiritual services such as Bhada Mukti, Peeta Pratishta and the removal of many hazards faced by the society. He was the pioneer of the Ayurvedic medicine, 'Maha Rasnadi'. The whole Guru dakshina were donated to the construction of schools and preparation of Ayurvedic/ Siddha medicines. Unlike his Guru Nijananda Yogi, the Disciple of Brahmananda Swami Shiva Yogi, he was completely into Divya marga, the veritable Yogic path.
As Grihastha Avadhuta, Meppad Gurukkal resided in Parvathy Nilayam, a three storey building with large well and huge Goshala. Everyday his consort, Parvathy Amma served food for the poor in the backyard of the house. Gurukkal had a vast field where he cultivated paddy, arecanut, coconut etc and contributed to the needy. Nadanta was brought up in Parvathy Nilayam. When Gurukkal was relaxing in the courtyard, little Nadanta was beside him. On his enquiry about Nadanta, Parvathy Amma replied that he is the son of their eighth child Karunakaran. According to the instruction of Gurukkal, Nadanta was seated on his lap. While he embraced the little one with a smile, a drop of Betel leaf juice fell upon Nadanta's pate. This was the origin of his first initiation or deeksha and couple of days later, Gurukkal had his Samadhi.