THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA, INDIA, May 23, 2010: Jyotsna Padmanabhan, a 12-year-old girl, is all set to script history by being the first female in Kerala to conduct a Deity installation in accordance with tantric rituals. The girl’s entry into the sanctum sanctorum of the Paikunikavu Sri Krishna Temple at Kattoor near Irinjalakuda on Sunday to conduct the prathishta of Goddess Bhadrakali will mark a new chapter in the religious history of Kerala as there is no precedent of a woman, other than a spiritual leader, conducting a Deity installation.
Jyotsna, a seventh-standard student, belongs to Tharanallur Mana, one of the two Tantri families in Kerala. Born and brought up in the world of temples and poojas, she has developed a keen interest in tantric rituals and started learning under Tharanallur Padmanabhan Namboothiripad, the tantri of many renowned temples including Sree Rama Temple in Thriprayar and Koodalmanikyam temple in Irinjalakuda.
Jyotsna’s father Padmanabhan Namboothiripad said the move was not meant to create any controversy, rather to say that the tantric Hinduism did not ban women from performing rites. “Tantric science says that women are ideal to perform these rites. Problem is with the ritual and practices. Rituals are bound to change in the course of time,” he said. He said he was guiding his daughter in the path of truth and teaching her the best science known to him.