Vayanattu Kulavan Theyyam [Image Credit: Prashanth Puthiyakandam]
Vayanattu Kulavan Theyyam [Image Credit: Prashanth Puthiyakandam]

The origin of Vayanattu Kulavan Theyyam

Vayanattu Kulavan Theyyam, also known as Adhitheeyan, is one of the major worship figures of the Thiyya community in northern Malabar, Kannur and Kasargod. Other communities like Nair and Nambiar also have worship places for Vayanattu Kulavan. The origin of Vayanattu Kulavan is an interesting and amusing story. 

Vayanattu Kulavan was believed to be born from the soul of Lord Siva. It was when Siva and Parvathy were immersed in hunting as tribals. It was a relaxation period for Lord Siva and Parvathy. They found pleasure in hunting together in the forest. During hunting Siva felt attracted to Parvathy and begged to have lovemaking with her. But Parvathy rejected Siva’s wish. As a result, Siva lost his control, and his body fluid was emitted to the ground. From those droplets, three trees originated from the ground; ‘thenmakal’, ‘karimakal’ and ‘thirumakal’.

Among these three trees, thenmakal (coconut tree) begins to produce an overflowing river of toddy. Shiva indulged in drinking this toddy. In pleasure, Siva started to immerse in ‘Siva Thandav’. He completely forgot about Parvathy. Parvathy worried about her husband’s condition, so to stop that, she gently patted the tree and stopped the flow of toddy. 

After a while, Siva returned to the tree to have his next sip of toddy; he was depressed and became furious. As a consequence, Siva punched his thighs. As a result of the punch, Adhitheeyan was born, and Siva gave the authority to Adhitheeyan to collect Toddy from Thenmakal. As an obedient child, Adhitheeyan respected his father’s decision. He started to collect toddy and serve Siva without fail. 

Siva became happy because his favourite routine was back. But Parvathy was not at all pleased about the fact that Siva was getting boozed up every day. Parvathy seeks help from Lord Vishnu and successfully exiled Adhitheeyan from Devaloka by subjecting him to Siva’s anger. Expelled from heaven, Adhitheeyan was born as “Vayanattu Kulavan” on earth. 

The term Vayanattu Kulavan means the head of a group. Kulavan was born to a regular devotee of  Lord Shiva Neelimadathingal Thammarasseriyamma. Kulavan’s daily routine was to hunt and drink toddy. When the time came when there was no toddy was not available on earth, Kulavan decided to consume it from the toddy (Astamadhukalasham) which was preserved in “Kadhalivan” for his father, Siva.

At the time when Kulavan attempted to drink from his father’s share, Siva appeared in front of him face red and furious. Siva cursed his son that he would live blind for the rest of his life, and all of a sudden, he lost his eyesight. Kulavan felt guilty for his action and begged Siva for mercy. 

Ultimately Siva felt sorry for his son and offered two silver eyes for him. But even after wearing those silver eyes, Kulavan couldn’t see anything properly, and he again pleaded to his father for another way to regain his eyesight. Then Siva gave him a light stick and asked him to see the world with the light coming from the stick. Kulavan started his journey with his father’s offerings but faced many difficulties along the way. 

But Kulavan lost his patience eventually, and out of anger, he threw his silver eyes and light stick towards “Vadakkumanniran Mahaparvatham”. The silver eyes he threw ended up in Siva’s  ‘homakundam’ while the lightstick ended up in the courtyard of  “Adhiparamban Kannan”. 

Kulavan advised Kannan to place the firestick in his parental place. From that day onwards “Vayanattu Kulavan” was considered as a deity, especially among the people from the Hindu “Thiyya” community. 

Vayanattu Kulavan Theyyam

Now let’s explore the details of Vayanattu Kualavn Theyyam. We already saw that Vaynattu Kulavan is the son of Lord Siva, especially because of his ferocious and powerful presence. Theyyam is usually performed in temples and sanctified groves. During Theyyam, deity is implored through intricate rituals and dance, complex makeup, vibrant costumes, and dynamic dance movements to characterize it. 

Kulavan means leader or the ‘head of a group’. The Thiyya community usually call Kulavan ’Thondacchan’ Theyyam. The term “Thondachan” is used to call ancestors or distinguish individuals in a family or community who typically belong to the same caste. It is a kind of worship conventional in Kolathunadu. The esteemed figure in the Thiyya community is  Vayanattukulavan Theyyam, known as the Thondachan of the Vayanattukulam family. 

It is believed that Vayanattu Kulavan has the power to heal illness, bring wealth, and keep safe from evil spirits. There is also a belief that this Theyyam is an older person with unclear vision and he is the God who answers the prayers of his devotees. During special occasions and festivals, people from several communities seek blessings from Kulavan.

Vayanattu Kulavan Theyyam Photos

Vayanattu Kulavan Theyyam
Vayanattu Kulavan Theyyam [Image Credit: Prashanth Puthiyakandam]
Vayanattu Kulavan Theyyam [Image Credit: Prashanth Puthiyakandam]
Vayanattu Kulavan Theyyam [Image Credit: Prashanth Puthiyakandam]

Writen by

Rony John is a passionate Content Writer with a Master’s degree in English Language and Literature. She has over a year of experience in freelance content writing, honing skills in crafting engaging and compelling content for websites and social media platforms. Her writing style is both versatile and creative, allowing her to adapt to various niches and industries. She has written for fields like lifestyle, fashion,  self-improvement, spiritual growth, positive thinking, inner peace, and meditation. Join with Rony to explore the vast heritage and culture of Kerala through Hiddenmantra.

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