Karrupar shrine in 2013
Sivakaliamman temple of Serdang, Malaysia is a a rather prestigious temple most Malaysians are aware of. A unique feature of this temple is that of the karrupar deity who is pooled by generous mounds of salt.Devotees are allowed to offer salt around the deities
to an extent where they are immersed in it...
So what is the relation between this salt ritual and Karrupar ?
Salt is associated with Lord Vishnu and Vaishnavism,specifically as being originating from Vaikuntha ( the abode of Lord Vishnu ) . Vaikunta is the place or stage of no ' kunTitha' - a stage where there is no dullness or stupidity ; no mutilation,misery or grief and no fear.
The Lord of the Universe is the Lord enshrined in your heart.If you play on the heart strings with ecstasy, the heart will be Vaikunta itself.
Vaikunta as the abode of God means a place that is changeless.Many things may change in a man,but his heart is changeless.
Where the singing of the Name of the lord fills the air with its splendour and fragrance,that place is indeed Vaikunta- abode of Vishnu.
Image : Offering of salt to Lord Vishnu in Ananda Bhawan Restaurant,Sungai Petani branch.This practice seems to be more common in Northern Malaysia rather than the south.
Puranas apparently glorify salt for its divine qualities.Salt is revered as it plays an important role in various aspects - particularly food.In many cultures,salt is also used to repel negative energies.
Coming to Karrupaswamy..
Karrupar is a deity who has legends associating Him to Lord Vishnu.He is more often seen as Kala Bhairava or the fierce aspect of Shiva.
Nevertheless,many see Karrupar as the fierce form of Krishna as well..Another commoner view is the parallel between Karrupar and Kalki - the 10th Avatar of Lord Vishnu.
Karrupar - who is depicted as a fierce lookingwarrior deity,dark in colour ( illustrated blue) with a machete or sword held high, riding a white horse , with a Naamam tilak ( forehead marking used by Vaishnavites - devotees of Lord Vishnu ) adorning His forehead.These are the standard features of Sri Karrupar.
The parallels in Lord Kalki's form
Link below will enable you to read in-depth on the connection between Karrupar worship and Perumal worship by ancient tamils :
Another interesting point to note is that,the Karrupar in Sivakaliamman temple is also called by the name ''Uppiliappan''.Uppiliappan is the form of Lord Vishnu in Uppiliappan temple , Kumbakonam, India.
In a nutshell,this temple adores the touch of Vaishnavism and this has found its expression in the Vishnu-expression of Karrupar.That's the reason for the salt bath.Even Pratyangira Devi in this temple is expressed under the touch of Narayana.
Pratyangira Devi of Sivakaliamman temple.She holds a conch and chakra ( disc ) prominently,as how Lord Narayana would.This is something unique to the deity in this temple.Other Pratyangira shrines do not hold this feature.
Lord Vishnu holds the conch and chakra to symbolise sound and time.The conch indicates sound and chakra indicates time.Lord Shiva,similarly expresses sound through his damaruka and time through the trident ( trisula)
Sound and time are the essence of the universe or creation.
Lalitha Sahasranam archanai is done every Fridays,besides grandiose Yagyas and poojas on special occasions,in this temple