Pampady is a beautiful village in the Kottayam district of Kerala, India. Majority of the people there belonged to Orthodox Syrian Christian Denomination. "Karinganamattom" Family is one such old time, famous Orthodox Syrian Christian Family, a branch of which is the "Moolakara" Family into which Our Thirumeni was born. Parents of Thirumeni:
"Avira", Thirumeni's paternal grandfather had two sons - Kuruvilla and Chacko. Chacko married Ilachi from the Velukottu family from Veloor. They had four sons and six daughters. Thirumeni was the fifth child among the nine of them. He was born on 1060 Meenam, 24th according to the Malayalam System or on April 5th, 1885 (Sunday) according to the English Calendar. Thirumeni's baptismal name is "Kuriakose". Though our Thirumeni's parents were not very rich, it never hindered their prayerful life. Thirumeni's father used to teach the young Kuriakose prayers by making him sit on the father's lap. Thirumeni's mother taught him Psalms from his childhood days. All these instilled Thirumeni to lead a prayerful life from the very young days. House Of Thirumeni:
Thirumeni's father Chacko, built a house in the "Pezhamattathu Plot". This was at the place called "Patham Mile" (10th Mile), North Of K. K. Road (Kottayam - Kumily Road) around 20 km away from Kottayam town. This house was later donated to the Church to built a "Kurishum Thotty" (Cross) by the family members after the Heavenly Abode of Thirumeni. Now a big cross in the name of Pampady Thirumeni stands in the place where initially the house of Thirumeni was situated. Education:
As per the usual custom that prevailed during those times, it was at the age of 5 (1890) that Thirumeni first started his official education. There was at that time, a small school at Karakuzha on the side of K K Road. Later this was moved near to the small church at Pampady. Hence from then on it came to be known as "Pallivathulkal School" (School near the Church Gate). At that time, a very famous teacher ("Aashan") by the name of "Madathil Raman Pilla Aashan" was teaching there. There were two classes in this school with around 100 students. Class 1 was under "Kushumbil Krishna Pillai" from "Erivaloor". Class 2 was under Madathil Aashan. But, Madathil Aashan made it a point to look after the well being of all these 100 students of both these classes.Pallivathulkal School All that was taught in this school was the basic arithmetic and to read and write. Those who wanted to go for higher studies had to go to Kottayam, which was not possible at that time due to lack of conveyance. If a person studies for 4-5 years under Madathil Aashan, he would be proficient in all the required knowledge. Our Thirumeni was a very good student who had a craving for knowledge. He keenly listened to all that was taught in the class. Since he was an obedient and a quite child, he was liked by all. Madathil Aashan was well versed in Tamil. Thus most of his students also learned the same. Among them was our Thirumeni. This is the reason why Thirumeni maintained a good collection of Tamil books later. Character Of Thirumeni:
1890 was a time when caste system was at its peak. Many Nair students also studied with Thirumeni. They never used to go out for lunch as they were not supposed to touch or interact with the lower caste people. Thirumeni used to take Coconut and Molasses ("Sharkara & Thenga") for these students from home, so that they needn't stay hungry. Thus from the younger days Thirumeni had the habit of feeding all those who were hungry. This continued even when he grew up. Thirumeni was known for his hospitality far and wide. Never a person who came to see Thirumeni, returned empty handed!! Prayerful Influence Of Grandma:
During the times when he studied under Madathil Aashan, Thirumeni stayed in the "Moolakara Family" with his Paternal Grandma "Unnichi" at his home in "Pezhamatathu". His Grandma was a devoted servant of God who followed the...