Kochi: The maiden  Oushadhewsari Puraskaram,  instituted by Sreedhareeyam  Oushadheswari Temple Trust of Koothattukulam, will be bestowed on  film actor Jayaram in recognition of his outstanding contributions to art and culture at a function  at  the temple on Tuesday,  coinciding with the commencement of the Oushadha Seva pilgrimage season on  the first of  Karkitakam of the Malayalam calendar.

The award, comprising Rs one lakh and citation, will be presented to Jayaram by the temple head Shri Narayanan Namboothiri, after special poojas and rituals marking the beginning of the Oushadha Seva month, during when the specially prepared Ayurvedic medicine will be served as prasadam to devotees visiting the temple.

The award has been instituted to honour distinguished personalities who make lasting contributions in art or medical domains.

The ceremonies will begin with the Ashta Draviya Ganapati Homom to be performed  by priests led by Sooryakaladi Sooryan Parameswaran  Bhattathirippad.

Jayaram,  an accomplished percussion artist  himself, will lead the ‘panchari melam’ performance , featuring 111 artists  from 8.30 in the morning.

Also,  Gaja Pooja, elephant feeding ceremony lining up over 20 jumbos, will  be conducted on the occasion.

Ahead of the Oushadha Seva season, the temple trust had taken out a massive road show called ‘ Oushadha Biksha Yatra’, which had toured 114 temples across the state to collect the basic ingredients for making the restorative medicine to be distributed to people for a whole month.

The medicine will be served from 6 to 12 in the forenoon and 5 to 7 in the evening on all days, from July 17 till the end of Karkitakam (August 16).

The first such massive campaign undertaken anywhere , it marked the revival of a tradition of  invoking divine blessings for universal wellbeing and gathering the basic ingredients for making the special  Ayurvedic   preparation,  served to people in the month of Karkitakam of Malayalam calendar to energise the body and mind.

The first such outreach, planned and executed by leading Ayurvedic institution Sreedhareeyam, also highlighted the concepts and approaches of the time-tested Indian wellness system and its emphasis on building a healthy society. The campaign, carrying the idol of Oushadheswari (Goddess of Wellness) in a   vehicle fashioned as a chariot, had visited all the major temples up and down the state.

It has been a centuries old tradition in  Kerala to take special medicines and follow a strict regimen of simple diet and oil bath  in the  month of Karkitakam (broadly July-August), which will re-energise the body and mind.

By Manoj

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