Muthappan – The Hunter God
Muthappan, also popularly known as SreeMuthappan, is a Hindu deity and is regarded as the combined personification of Thiruvappanaand Vellatom. Thiruvappana and Vellatom, in turn, are manifestations of VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,.. and Shiva, respectively. Hence, MuthappanMuthappan
Muthappan, also popularly known as SreeMuthappan, is a Hindu deity and is regarded as the combined personification of Thiruvappanaand Vellatom. is considered as a unified dual god representing both ShivaShiva
Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ... and Vishnu. The name Muthappan in Malayalam language literally translates to “grandfather”. Muthappan is one of the most popular and important deities of India, especially the southern Indian states of Kerala and Karnataka, and is revered and worshipped by devotees with immense zeal and devotion.
Muthappan is generally depicted as a man with a painted face and displaying the attributes of hunters. He carries a spear, lance, and bow and arrows with him. He is mostly shown to be clad in animal skin. Muthappan is always shown to be accompanied by one or more dogs. Dogs are considered sacred by the followers of the deity. Moreover, dogs are found in large number in and around the temples of the deity.
Legends state that once upon a time there was a landlord named AyyankaraIllathVazhunnavar who belonged to the Namboothiri Brahmins It is one of the caste of Hindus. They are known for their knowledge of ancient, sacred scripturescommunity. His wife was PadikuttyAntharjanam and she was a great devotee of Shiva. The couple, however, was unhappy as it had no child. In order to have a child PadikuttyAntharjanam offered prayers and sacrifices, and observed intense penance in order to please Shiva. One day she saw Shiva in her dream. The following day, while she was returning after taking bath in a nearby river, she saw a beautiful child lying on a bed of flowers. She took the child with her to home and she along with her husband raised the child as their own son, with great affection and love. The child grew up to be a great hunter and used to visit nearby jungles for hunting and gathering food items. Afterwards, he used to distribute the food among the poor people and also used to be involved with the backward communities and classes. His parents, however, did not like this as his actions were against the traditions of the Namboothiri Brahmins community. They always told him and even requested him to stop his mingling with the backward people but he did not listen to them. One day, AyyankaraIllathVazhunnavar became very angry and he decided to take the matter into his own hands. that day he censured Muthappan very severely. Upon this Muthappan appeared in his true divine form in front of the parents. AyyankaraIllathVazhunnavar and his wife PadikuttyAntharjanam then realized that their son was not any ordinary man but was a god. Muthappan then left his home and went to Kunnathoor.
Muthappan was mesmerize by the beauty of Kunnathoor and decided to stay there for a while. He was also very fond of the toddy obtained from the palm trees there. There was a worker who used to yield toddy from palm trees named Chandan. Chandan once realized that toddy from his palm trees was being stolen by someone. In order to catch the thief he decided to guard them at nights. One night, from a distance, he saw an old man stealing toddy from his palm trees. Chandan became infuriated and aimed his bow and arrow towards the old man. But before he was able to shoot even a single arrow, he felt unconscious. When Chandan did not return home, his wife went out to search him. She then saw him lying unconscious under a palm tree and started crying. She then saw an old man on that tree and called him as “Muthappan”. She also prayed to god to save her husband. Soon, Chandan regained his consciousness. His wife then offered several items like slices of coconut, boiled gram, burnt fish and toddy to Muthappan. The same kind of offerings are made to the deity even today.
Temples, Worship and Beliefs
There are numerous temples of Muthappan all over the southern states of India. The most important temple of the deity, however, is the Muthappan Temple, also known as ParassinikadavuMuthappan temple, which is located on the banks of the Valapattanam River in Kannur District, Kerala. One of the most important rituals of the worship of the deity is MuthappanTheyyam, also known as Theyyattam, which is a dance form dedicated to Muthappan. Muthappan symbolizes reverence, wisdom, knowledge, prowess, skills, faith and honor.