Occult is a field that deals with the supernatural practices and beliefs that are beyond the comprehension of human beings. These secret phenomena and hidden agencies and cannot be understood without doing deep analysis. Occult in Kerala has been practiced since very ancient times and is inherent in its culture and tradition. Today, it is considered as a professional art and is a much sought after career.
There are several different types of practices that are involved in occult sciences. There are different forms of modes of expression and details related to them. A large chunk of population, as many as 65%, in Kerala believe in supernatural powers. A still larger percentage is of those who believe in God and his powers. Occult in Kerala has a profound influence on the lives of People who mould their lives according to various believes and ideas.
As you go deep to understand these practices, you will come to know that a large number of people have faith in evil. "Evil eye" phenomena that is very common in Kerala. Those buildings that are under construction are protected from the eyes of the public; to do so they are fully covered from all sides. In addition, an effigy is placed near the building so that the attention of the onlookers gets diverted even if they happen to look at it by chance.
Another occult belief which is quite common not only in Kerala but in many parts of India is "evil tongue" or Karinakku. It is said that the tongue of some of the persons is so evil that whatever they say will be true. Even the slightest attention of these people over some object will cause immediate harm to that particular object. Similarly, if these people with black tongue say something about a person that will come out to be true within no time. You will be surprised as you get to know more about these superstitions. The roots of occult in Kerala are very deep and it is very difficult to think about the society without them.
A number of rituals are related to fire; fire walking is just one of them. This particular practice is observed at many places in Kerala including temples. The walk over fire is considered sacred and is supposed to please Gods. This practice is followed after someone observes a penance. In order to conciliate Gods, body piercing is also observed. It involves the use of needles, spears or other sharp objects.
In Thookam, a person's body is pierced with metallic hooks; as he starts bleeding, he is pulled high. After a person is pulled to a height of 32 feet, he is sacrificed on a scaffold. Though this practice is extremely barbarous, it was widely practiced in the state. By the efforts of Bhoomananda Tirtha, it was put to an end in the year 1987. Another occult in Kerala that will attract your attention as you visit this state is "Koottiyattam". It involves injuring the body by sharp objects like knives by the children. These children, after wounding themselves, would make circular ambulation around the temple premises. Due to the objections raised by the educated people of the society, considerable change has been done in these two practices. Instead of binding the devotees with metallic hooks, they are attached to a wheel. In Koottiyattam, children do not hurt themselves with various sharpened items.
Kuttichattan : Yet another superstitious belief that is common in parts of Kerala is that of Kuttichattan which means a mischievous spirit of a God. The term "Kutti" stands for a small child and "Chattan" means a scholar. Kuttichattan is considered to be the son of Lord Shiva who was born to kill the immortal demon Bringasuran. After reading all the ancient scriptures, Kutti killed this ferocious demon and was sent back to earth so that he could protect people suffering from evil spirits.
Snake cult : Serpent worship is quite common in this state. The idols of snake god are worshipped at many places. These idols are placed in natural surroundings and are left undisturbed. It is the age-old belief that whoever harms snakes will get diseases of skin and other ailments. Mannarsala and Pambummekkattu are the two namboothiri houses that are famous for serpent worship. At these places, a number of people suffering from snake bite are treated.
Witch craft : A type of voodoo, "Manthravadam" is a witch craft that involves pleasing supernatural powers. This is accomplished by performing certain pooja ceremonies. Theses pujas are done to ward off the evil, to start a new business or for protection from diseases. The devotees prepare a sacred figure using colors and offerings are made to the fire. This is followed by chanting of hymns. Exorcism, is common even in western countries, is observed by many people in Kerala. Exorcism is done on those patients who are believed to be possessed by evil.
Certain practices involved in occult in Kerala need to be changed or abolished. An awakening on part of people is required to accomplish that.