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The Legend Of Lord Ayyappa

Om Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

The Legend of lord Ayyappa
Bhagvan Shri Ayyappa Manikanta Swamy(Dharma Shastha) is a deity of Sanatana Hindu Dharma.The incarnation of the dharma shastha born out of the union between two main deites Bhagvan shiva & Devi Mohini (an incarnation of vishnu as a beautiful women ).

The Famous Devotional SongHarivarasanam Mp3 from the Classic Swamy Ayyappan

Sabrimala Official Website:-www.sabarimala.kerala.gov.in

The Sacred Shrine of Bhagvan Dharma Shastha (Lord Ayyappa) is on Sabrimala mountain at the banks of holy river Pampa in between the valley of dense green forest.

The pilgrimage to the sacred shrine of Sabarimala
In the olden times Sabarimala was located in the very deep forests .The Dark green Forest was filled with ferocious wild animals like tigers ,area was inaccesable with adventures& riskfull routes ,therefore only a few prayful courageous devotees managed the difficult pilgrimage.

About Ancient Sabarimala
Sabarimala temple is one of the oldest existing temples in India. Historians and Archaeologists have studied deeply about the temple, its construction pattern the interpretation of the legends associated with Sabarimala etc… and suggested that the temple is at least 4000-4250 years old. But according to popular beliefthe temple is 4800-5000 years old

Ancient Sabrimala

Ancient Rare photo of Sabrimala taken by Utrradam thirunal Marthand varma in 1942 when he came to sabrimala with his brother King Chitra Thirunal Balarama varma Maharaja.

Holy Darshan –The way to Thathwamasi
Sabarimala: Holy darshan at Sabarimala gives the devotee a rare and unique spiritual experience of oneness between himself and Lord Ayyappa, says Thanthri Kandararu Rajeevaru. The devotee carries himself in the ghee filled coconut (Neyythenga); the ghee- his soul- is devoted (Abhishekam) to the Lord while the coconut- his body- is burned in the Aazhi – the stage of Tatvamasi where the deity and the devotee become one and the same.
The preparation for the darsan begins with 41 days’ “vritham”(Spiritual self-Restriction). The customs, conventions, pooja ceremonies and the offerings are connected to the geographical location of the temple. The stepping of the holy eighteen steps is an inevitable part of the pilgrimage. Pilgrims who bear an irumudi on their head are only allowed to get into the sopanam for darshan through the holy steps. It is in this irumudi that the devotee brings the ghee filled coconut for the Lord. Neeranjanam, Pushpabhishekam, Kalababhishekam, Udayastamanapooja, Padipooja etc. are the other major offerings being offered to Ayyappa, the Thanthri said. The holy eighteen steps stand for the eighteen hills in Ayyappa’s garden (poonkavanam) and the concept is that by stepping each step the devotee bows to the deity of each hill. It is in this sense that padipooja is also known as Giri pooja.
Mallikapurathamma, Kannimoola Ganapathi, Nagarajavu, Kochukadutha Swami, Karuppai Swami, Navagrahangal etc are the other deities in and around Sannidhanam. Bhagavathi Seva, rolling of coconut and silk (pattu) are considered to be the vital offerings for Mallikapurathamma. Turmeric and Kunkumam are also being offered there.  The Thanthri appealed the devotees to take maximum care to keep the sanctity of temple premises  at Sannidhanam, the holy river Pampa and other places related to the pilgrimage.

Location of the Holy Temple :
The most famous Ayyappa shrine in India is the one at sabrimala with over 50 million devotees visiting it every year, making it the second largest pilgrimage in the world.
Sabarimala is located in southern part of Thekkedi Tiger Project Sanctuary, Pathanamthitta district of Kerala State in India, It is surrounded by 18 mountains at 914 mts above sea level in Sahayadri Mountain Range.

Click here for viewing Google Earth Images of Sabrimala and River Pamba
Sabarimala Google earth Images

Pilgrimage season begins from the mid of November and extends up to the end of January
Rules & Regulations: An Ayyappa pilgrim is called Ayyappa Swamy. One has to stick to a disciplined, austere life of abstinence for 41 days to proceed to the temple. Should be strictly vegetarian. Wear a type of black cloth and a rudraksha maala or any Japa maala. No hair cut. Go barefoot. . Girls/women only of age below 10 & Above50 years are allowed temple darshan.
A pilgrim carries an irumudikkettu, a cloth bag divided into two by a knot at the middle, that helps to balance the weight of pooja items he carries, among which coconut filled with pure ghee used in Abhisheka of lord Ayyapas idol is very important. They have to trek long distances in the hills.At the temple there are 18 vertical steps one has to climb for darshan of the idol. They are called Pathinettam Padi (Eighteen Step).

Loka Veeram Mahapoojyam

Ayyappa Namaskara Sloka
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa! Loka Veeram Mahapoojyam is the Namaskara Sloka (Stotra) of Lord Swamy Ayyappa or Sree Dharmasastha of Sabarimala Swamy Temple.

from http://www.hindudevotionalblog.com

Loka Veeram Mahapoojyam Lyrics – Swamy Ayyappan Namaskara Slokam

Loka Veeram Maha Poojyam,
Sarvarakshakaram Vibhum !
Parvathi Hridayanandam,
Saasthaaram Pranamamyaham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 1 !!

Viprapoojyam Viswavandyam,
Vishnu Shambho Priyam Sutham !
Kshipraprasaada Niratam,
Saasthaaram Pranamamyaham
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 2 !!

Mattha Maatanga Gamanam,
Kaarunyaamrita Pooritam !
Sarva Vighnaharam Devam,
Saasthaaram Pranamamyaham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 3 !!

Asmatkuleswaram Devam,
Asmat Shatru Vinaashanam !
Asmadista Pradaataram,
Saasthaaram Pranamamyaham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 4 !!

Pandyesha Vamsa Tilakam,
Keraley Keli Vigraham !
Aarta Thraana Param Devam,
Saasthaaram Pranamamyaham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 5 !!

Pancha Ratnaakya Methadyo
Nityam Shudha Patennaraha !
Tasya Prasanno Bhagawaan
Saastha Vasathi Maanase !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 6 !!

Sabarigiri Nivaasam Shaantha Hrid Padma Hamsam !
Sashi Ruchi Mrithuhaasam Shyamalam Bhodha Bhaasam !!
Kalitha Ripu Niraasam Kaantha Mrithunga Naasam !!
Nathinuthi Paradaasam Naumi Pinjaava Thamsam !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 7 !!

Sabarigiri Nishaantham Shange Kundenthu Dhantham !
Shamadhana Hridi Bhaantham Shatru Paalee Krithaantham !!
Sarasija Ripukaantham Saanu Kampeksha Naantham
Kritha Nutha Vipadantham Keerthaye Hum Nithaantham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 8 !!

Sabarigiri Kalaapam Shaastra Vadhwaantha Deepam
Shamitha Sujanathaapam Shanthiheer Nir Dhuraapam !
Kara Dhrutha Sumachaapam Kaarano Paatha Rupam !
Kacha Kalitha Kalaapam Kaamaye Pushkalabham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 9 !!

Sabarigiriniketham Shankaropendrapotham
Shakalitha Dhithijaatham Shatruji Moothapaatham !
Padanatha Puruhutham Paalitha Shesha Bhootham
Bhavajala Nidhi Bhotham Bhavaye Nitye Bhootham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 10 !!

Sabari Vihrithi Lokham Shyamalo Ddhaara Chelam
Shathamakha Ripukaalam Sarva Vaikunta Balam !
Nathajana Surajaalam Naaki Lokaanukoolam
Navamayamani Maalam Naumi Nisshesha Moolam !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 11 !!

Sabarigirikuteeram Shatru Samghaatha Ghoram
Shatagiri Shathadhaaram Shashpi Theyndraari Shooram !!
Harigirisha Kumaarem Haari Keyura Haaram
Navajaladha Shareeram Naumi Vishwaika Veeram !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 12 !!

Sarasija Dalanethram Saara Saaraathi Vakthram
Sajala Jaladha Ghaathram Saandhra Kaarunya Paathram !
Sahathanaya Kalanthram Saambha Govinda Puthram
Sakala Vibhudha Mithram Sannamam Pavithram !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 13 !!

Shridhaa Nanda Chinthamani Shreenivasam
Sada Sacchidaananda Purna Prakasham !
Udhaaram Sadhaaram Suraadhaara meesham
Param Jyothi Rupam Bhaje Bhootha Naatham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 14 !!

Vibhum Veda Vedaantha Vedhyam Varishtam
Vibhoothi Pradam Vishrutham Brahma Nishtam
Vibhaaswath Prabhaava Prabhum Pushka Leshtam
Param Jyothi Rupam Bhaje Bhootha Naatham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 15 !!

Parithraana Dhaksham Parabrahma Soothram
Sfuraschaaru Gaathram Bhava Dhwaantha Mithram!
Param Prema Paathram Pavithram Vichithram
Param Jyothi Rupam Bhaje Bhootha Naatham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 16 !!

Paresham Prabhum Purna Kaarunya Rupam
Girishaadi Peeto Jwala Chcharu Deepam !
Sureshaadi Samsevitham Suprathaapam
Param Jyothi Rupam Bhaje Bhootha Naatham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 17 !!

Gurum Purna Lavanya Paadadi Kesham
Gareeyam Mahatkoti Surya Prakasham !
Karaambhoru Hanya Sthavethram Suresham
Param Jyothi Rupam Bhaje Bhootha Naatham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 18 !!

Haree Shaana Samyuktha Shakthyey Ka Veeram
Kiraathaava Thaaram Kripaa Paanga Pooram !
Kireetaavath Sojjwalath Pinjcha Bhaaram
Param Jyothi Rupam Bhaje Bhootha Naatham!!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 19 !!

Mahaayoga Peeto Jwalantham Mahaantham
Mahaavaakya Saaro Padesham Sushaantham!
Maharshi Praharsha Pradam Jnaana Kaantham
Param Jyothi Rupam Bhaje Bhootha Naatham !!
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa !! 20 !!

Lord Ayyappan is worshipped in Sabarimala as an ascetic – a celibate meditating in solitude for the benefit of all mankind. The name “Ayyappan” is used as a respectful form of address in Malayalam, and the famous mantra Swamiye Sharanam Ayyappa can be directly translated as Give me shelter, Lord Ayyappa!

The Temple Sabrimala
The main temple where the (holy sanctrum) Shri Kovil is situated at a place called Ponnammbalamade on the sabrimala hill.This place is surrounded by18 mountains. Here the Bhagan Shri Dharma Shastha Ayyapa is worshipped as an Yogi in meditation for the wisdom of every being in the whole universe showering eternal bliss of the ParamAtman to all.

This Ancient place is of great importance in the sacred Ramayana where Bhagvan Shri Rama and Lakshmana met the holy women sabri & the famous Rishya mukha parvat is also situated on the banks of pampa where the vanara king sugreeva take refugee from his evil twin brother bali as bali was cursed by Sage Matanga if he dared to step on this mountain he would die on the spot.Feared of the curse bali never went near that mountain.
All 18 Mountains have individual names & importance
One of the 18 the mountain is named matanga mala where the Great Sage Mahrishi Matanga Muni guru of holy women shri sabri devi did tapasya for ages
The natural beauty of the pampa is also sunged by Bhagvan shri Rama as Pampa Sar in Valmik ramayana (Kishkindha Kand 4-1-1 to 4-1-125).

On this hill sabrimala there is a sacred spot called Sabripeedham where the hut of the the tribal devotee of Bhagvan shri Ram,a tapsvini (Holy women) Sabri’s was located .There she waited the arrival of bhagvan Shri Rama all her life with great patience ,atlast the Lord Sri rama came to her small hut & gave Sabri Darshana of his Supreme Paramatman Pleased by her unmatchable Devotion ,Bhagvan Sri Rama blessed her the with ultimate boon NavadhaBhakti(nine forms of Bhakti) .

The Temples of Bhagvan shir Ganapati & Bhagvan Shri Anjanaya Hanuman swamy are located down side of the hill on the banks of the holy river pampa were the devotees take holy bath before and after the darshan of the beloved lord Shri Ayyappa and get freed from their sins with a holy dip in the dark Green cool refreshing waters of holy River mother Pampa.

Pamba River is the third longest river in the South Indian state of Kerala and the longest river in the erstwhile princely state of Travancore. Sabarimala temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa is located on the banks of the river Pamba.Pamba originates at Pulachimalai hill in the Peerumedu plateau in the Western Ghats at an altitude of 1650 metres

River Pamba is considered as the Dakshina Ganga (Southern Ganges) due to its association with Kerala’s Largest Pilgrim Centre – Sabarimala.

Lord Ayyappan (Sri Dharmasastha) appeared to the Pandalam Raja as a child on the banks of the Pamba River. The Pamba River has been venerated as Dakshina Ganga, and devotees of Lord Ayyappan believe that immersing oneself in the Pamba is equivalent to bathing in the Holy Ganges River. Bathing in the river, believed to absolve one’s sins, is a requirement before commencing the trek through the forest to the Ayyappan Temple atop Sabarimala.

The majestic gold-covered flag staff towers over the sanctum sanctorum or ‘srikoil’. The ‘srikoil’ has a copper plated roof with four golden finials or ‘thazhikakkudam’ shining at the top. Standing on the 18th step, one is in front of the ‘srikoil’ and straight ahead the idol of Lord Ayappa in all His glory.
With the relentless chanting of “Swamiye Saranam Ayappa” (“Lord Ayappa Our Refuge”), pilgrims reach the holy forest abode of Lord Ayappa atop Mount Sabari. One beholds the resplendent ‘Patinettempadi’, 18 golden steps that lead pilgrims to the sanctum sanctorum of Dharma Shasta. All the steps are 5 to 6 feet long and 8 inches wide. The number 18 has great prominence – first five steps signify the five ‘indriyas’ or senses – eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin; the next eight steps symbolizes eight ragas; the next three represents three ‘gunas’ – ‘satwa’, ‘rajas’, ‘thamas’ and the last two steps denote ‘vidya’ (knowledge) and ‘avidya’ (ignorance). By scaling all the 18 steps, one takes the path of self-realization.

The beautiful idol of Lord Ayappa is made of Panchaloha (a five metal alloy) and is about one and a half feet high. Lord Ayappa sits in a meditative pose, with a band around the folded legs and right hand in ‘chinmudra’ with the forefinger touching the thumb indicating “Thou art that”. Lord Ayyappa grants refuge to His devotees and protects them from all evils.

The Story of Lord Ayyappa

Sri Ayyappa philosophy and worship are profoundly spiritual, universal and timeless.

Shastha Gayatri Mantra mp3@ omshivam.wordpress.com

Bhootha Naathaya Vidmahe
Bhavaputhraaya Dheemahi
Thanno Saastha Prachodayaath.

The Bhoothanaathopaakhyaanam is the main Purana containing the legend of Sri Dharma Shastha .

Leela a cursed Rishi women

Leela and her husband Rishi Dattatreya were both children of learned Brahmins. They were very devout(having deep religious feelings) and in deep love for each other. After several years of married life, the Sage Dattatreya felt that it was time for them to renounce the world and turn entirely to spiritual ways. Leela did not agree to the proposal. She won’t let him do so too. The dispute led to a hot arguement. Finally the Sage cursed her to become a she buffalo with devilish disposal.
She who was born to a demoniac called mahishi Asura with the head of a she-buffalo and human body
Leela was reborn as Mahishi, the sister of Mahishasura. Both the sister and brother underwent severe penance and obtained boons from Brahma the Creator.

Mahishasuran, Son of Ramban, undertook a severe penance (Dhavam). Lord Brahma tried to distract his concentration, but having failed in his attempts, he appeared before the Asura and blessed him with a boon. Mahishasuran asked Lord Brahma to give him a boon by which no man in the earth would be able to kill him, and Lord Brahma conferred the boon on him.

Mahishasuran, armed with his boon, began to commit atrocities and murders on the earth and terrorised people. Fearing his wrath, people ran away to far away places.

The Devas seeing the atrocities committed by Mahishasuran came to the conclusion that only a divine power could kill him and approached  Chandikadevi (Mahishasuramardhini) pleading to put an end to Mahishasura who was misusing the boon given by Lord Brahma. Chandikadevi set out on her mission and killed Mahishasura in a duel, on earth.
Mahishi. daughter of Karamba, brother of Ramban undertook a severe penance in order to take revenge on the Devas, who were responsible for the death of her brother. Lord Brahma appeared and offered to confer on Mahishi any boon except that of immortality. Mahishi asked Lord Brahma to bless her with a boon by which nobody, except the son created out of the union of Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Haran), would be able to kill her. Lord Brahma gave the boon and Mahishi went to Devaloka and started harassing the Devas.Since this was an impossible prospect Mahishi deemed herself to be indestructile and became very proud, agressive and arrogant.
She unleashed terror in all three worlds.

The killing of Mahishasura by Durgadevi fanned the flames of arrogance. Mahishi became unstoppable. The gods under the leadership of Indra left Amarapuri not able to stop her. The rude and crude subjects of Mahishi devastated heaven.

.Mahishi, daughter of Karambaasura undertook a severe penance in order to take revenge on the Devas, who were really responsible for the death of the Asuraas.

Lord Brahma appeared and offered to confer on Mahishi any boon except that of immortality. Mahishi asked Lord Brahma to bless her with a boon by which nobody , except the son created out of the union of Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Haran), would be able to kill her. Lord Brahma gave the boon and Mahishi went to Devaloka and started harassing the Devas. This boon made her very more evil and egoistic that she oppressed the three worlds and placed herself on the throne of Indra, the king of the Devas, the celestials.

On the earth all sacred rituals came to a grinding halt, as Mahishi would not allow any such thing. Learning and prayer became unheard of. The weight of crimes became unbearable for Mother Earth. She appealed pitiously to the Lords for redumption. They consoled her and promised proper action. Though confident in the Lords’ abilities all wondered how a son will be born to two males. What they did not understand was that “Adwaitha Brahma” was beyond such sectarial considerations.

The Devas and the Rishis prayed to Lord Vishnu to give them relief from her oppression and Lord Vishnu assured them protection.

Because of a curse of the sage Durvasa, the Devas were also in another great trouble then having lost their everlasting youthfulness. However, the Devas could somehow manage to get temporary co-operation of the demoniac Asuras, their eternal enemies and they together churned the Ocean of Milk from which emerged the Amrita, the potion that would bring them back eternal youth. However, the Asuras forcibly took away the Amrita. Lord Vishu, thereupon assumed the form of an enchantress called Mohini. The Asuras fell an easy victim to her charms and Mohini deceptively took away the Amrita and handed it over to the Devas.

Lord Shiva granted a boon to an Asura: He was given the powers to reduce to ashes anyone he touched. The Asura turns against Shiva. Shiva went to Lord Vishnu. Vishnu assumes the form of a beautiful woman, Mohini. The Asura was hynoticed by her beauty. As a precondition to marriage, Mohini wants him to dance with her for once. He forgets everything and dances like her, placing his hand on his own head. The Asura is turned in to ash.
There upon Lord Siva wanted to see that most beautiful form of Mohini and seeing the most enchanting form fell in love with her form.Lord Shiva himself fascinated by Devi Mohini and weds her .A son, Dharma Shastha was born to them. Lord Ayyappa born out of the union between two main deites of Bhagvan shiva & Devi Mohini (an incarnation of vishnu in women form ) called by the name Harihara Sudan. Thus the impossible condition for the destruction of the demoniac Mahishi – the she buffalo – was materialized. (The story thus engagingly highlights the oneness of the spiritual aspects of Siva and Vishnu and the vibrant Power of that Unity conceived by Dharma Sastha.) .

However, according to the above-mentioned Purana the Devas placed this child born to Lord Siva and Devi Mohini on the banks of Pampa while the Mahishi was doing intense penance again to get more powers.

King Rajashekara (a King of Pandaya Dynasty one of the Ancient Kerala Dynasties) of Pandalam was very courageous and nobel in his deeds. People were living happily and prosperously during his regime. However, the king was very unhappy that he had no children and his subjects were also worried that he had no heir to inherit his kingdom. As per the wish of the queen, both of them prayed Lord Shiva for blessing them with a child.

On one auspicious day the King went for hunting in the forest adjoining the banks of River Pampa, along with his men. He started hunting courageously in the dense forest which was a sanctuary for many fercious wild animals. After that hunting was over, King Rajashekara advised his men to take rest and sat there entertaining himself with the sight of the natural greenish beauty and the waterfalls, of the forest.
At that time, he heard a sound of baby from somewhere in the forest. Surprised, he went around and reached the banks of River Pampa .
There he saw a very beautiful and divine baby child with signs of a Great Kshatriya
Chakravarthy (King of Kings)and a golden chain with a bell Mani(a beautiful &precious stone ) was around his neck and (i.e. Lord Ayyappa) kicking his legs placed on the soft banks of Pamba river.

A black Cobra was sitting as guard near the Baby’s head. As soon as the king embraced the Little baby in his hands the giant serpent disappeared .The king was in a dilemma whether to take the child to the Palace or leave it there itself While the King was engrossed in his thoughts, a Great Yogi Sanyasi appeared before him and told the King that he need not be afraid of the child and take him to the Palace and that the child belonged to Kshatriya capable of mitigating all sufferings.

The yogi further stated that since the Child had a mani around his neck, his name be called “MANIKANDAN” and when the child completed twelve years, the King would know his divine history. After uttering these words, the yogi Sanyasi disappeared.

The King of Pandalam was very joyous, he took the child to his Palace and briefed the Queen about the incident. The King and the Queen, having prayed to Lord Shiva, for a child, were very happy that they had been blessed with a child. The people also felt happy that a heir to inherit the Kingdom after the King, has been found
However, the minster of the Kingdom who was thinking that he would be the next crown after Rajashekara was worried.

Then the child was named Manikandan, Prince manikandan began to grow in the Palace, everything began to prosper in kingdom. He was taught all martial arts and sastras and the Guru was surprised at his brilliance and agility and the extraordinary talents. The Guru came to the conclusion that he was not an ordinary child, but a divine power. After completing his education under the Guru, Manikandan approached the Guru to offer his Guru Dakshina.

When Manikandan went to his Guru for his blessings, the Guru told him that he already knew that he was a divine power and he was blessed for having been given an opportunity to have Manikandan as a student. The Guru further told Manikandan that he had one request to make and that was that his only son who was dumb should be given speech. Manikandan called the Guru’s son and put his hands on his head and immediately Guru’s son had his speech. Manikandan requested the Guru not to reveal this to anyone and went to the Palace.

In the meanwhile, the Queen gave birth to a male child and the child was named RajaRajan. King Rajashekara, impressed with the talents of Manikandan, decided to crown him, treating him as his eldest son. He ordered the minister to make arrangements for the same. The minster hated this and started devising plans to prevent Manikandan from being crowned to the throne and to annihilate him. He tried various methods including poisoning of food, but failed in all these. However, Manikandan’s body bore an injury due to these and ordinary physicians could not cure it. Lastly, Lord Shiva disguising himself as a physician, treated Manikandan’s injury and cured him.
Prince Manikandan grew as an extremely brilliant boy. People began to admire him as the re-incarnation of Lord Dharma Sastha. Before his twelfth year, Ayyappa could master all Shastras and Vedas as well as the art of warfare.(All Eighteen levels of Kalaripayet) .

{Kalaripayet or Kshatriya Vidya in sanskrit}The most Ancient & Highest level of martial art ,also called The martial Art of Gods.This Knowledge was first taught to the Warrior Sage Parushurama by Lord Shiva.
Parshurama taught this to his twenty one selected shishyas
These 21 warrior Sages were the first Masters of this Kalaripayet
The High levels of this Kshatriya Vidya is still unknown & only basic knowledge is known to man

The Kingdom of Pandalam was then under threat from some oppressive chieftains. Ayyappa went around the country to eliminate all the enemeis and beside this he started teaching the importance of Sanatana Dharma to his peoples & taught them the real aim & meaning of dharma is to attain Self realization & doing nishkaam karma for the wisdom of all mankind. . Irrespective of caste, creed or religion, a large group of people followed him to assist him in maintaining law and order. Among his chieftains were Vavar and Valiya Kadutha and Kochu Kadutha, who were from the tribal Warriors. Eventually the oppressive chieftains were vanquished
When Pandalam and neighbouring areas became calm and peaceful a and free from the terrorists,King Rajashekara wanted to make Ayyappa his successor to the kingdom of Pandalam. But Ayyappa himself had no such desire.
Having failed in all his attempts to kill Manikandan, the wicked minster approached the Queen and told her that she had her own son, it was not correct to crown a person who came from the forest. He further told the Queen since Arthasastra itself has justified any misdeed if it was done to extract a good thing, he would suggest that the Queen should pretend as if suffering from severe headache and stomach pain and he would make the physician tell that only a tigress’ milk should be brought to cure the Queen and since Manikandan would only go to the forest to bring the milk, he would be in danger from the wild animals and even if Manikandan returned without bringing the tigress’ milk, the King’s love for him would not be as before. The Queen, became a prey to the minsters plot and agreed to do what he told, so that her son could succeed the King to the throne.

The Queen, as told by the minster, cried out loudly that she was suffering from severe headache and stomach pain and the King, believing this, called the minster to bring in the best physicians to treat her. The Physician, brought by the minster examined the Queen and told the King that the Queen had been suffering from a dangerous disease and it could be cured only by applying Tigress’ milk .The King sent several of his men to the forest for bringing this milk. The King understood that it was an impossible task and wanted his dear Queen to be cured at any cost and offered half of his Kingdom to anybody who brought the Milk.
When the King was thinking about this, Manikandan asked him to let him go to the forest promising to bring the milk. However, the King told him that he was awaiting to be crowned to the throne that he was also not of age and hence refused to let him go. Manikandan told the King, in spite of his refusal, he had to go lest he would be cursed for not curing the Queen. Since the King persisted in his refusal Manikandan wanted the King to promise to do something he wanted. The King gave the promise and asked him what he wanted and immediately Manikandan asked the King to permit to go to the Forest. The King felt disappointed that he had been tricked and with no other alternative permitted Manikandan to go to the forest.

King Rajasekara made arrangements to send a group of his loyal men along with Manikandan, which however was refused by Manikandan on the ground that the tigress might run away seeing the crowd of soldiers. King Rajashekara sent along with Manikandan necessary foodstuffs and coconuts with three-eyes, in remembrance of Lord Shiva. The Panchabuthas, sent by Lord Shiva, accompanied Manikandan to Forest. However, on his way Manikandan, came to know the atrocities of Mahishi in the Devaloka, he went there and fought a battle with Mahishi. During the conflict, Manikandan threw Mahishi down to earth from devaloka and she fell on the banks of Azhutha River. Manikandan clashed with her at Azhutha river again.

Eventually, Dharma Sastha killed Mahishi and threw away the dead body at Azhutha, on the eastern side of the river Azhutha, which is a branch of the river Pampa .

When Dharma Sastha killed Mahishi her purified soul transformed in to a divine beautiful girl. After appearing from the body of demon Mahishi, she thanked dharma sastha for reliveing her soul from the curse & asked the boon to be lifelong devotee of lord Ayyppa., she made a request to Lord Ayyappa to marry her. But Ayyappa said that he was a Brahmachari and so he could not marry her. But she continued to plead to marry her and then Lord Ayyappa said that He will accept her when the day comes when no first time visitors comes to his shrine.The lord ayypan blessed her to be a goddess named Maligapuratha amma and be worshipped by all devoties of lord Ayappa.
The thankful and overjoyed Devas and Rishis prayed to Him and worshipped Him by installing an Sankalpik (Divyamuriti)a divine idol of Dharma Sastha at Ponnambalamedu. They showered the idol with flowers and worshipped it by performing Pooja with camphor flame. Eventually, sage Parashurama installed the idol of Dharma Sastha at the same sacred spot.

After blesssing divine girl Manikandan went to the forest for the tigress milk, when Lord Shiva appeared before him and told him that though he had done good for the Devas, still there was one main task and that was to give comfort to the King Rajasekara who was very concerned about him.

Lord Shiva further told him that he could go to the Palace with Lord Devendran in the form of a tiger. With Manikandan on the tiger, all female devas in the disguise of a tigress and male Devas, as tigers started their journey to the Palace.

When Manikandan, with the tigers, approached the Palace, the people who ridiculed him when the started his journey to forest whether he wanted a toy tigresses, really got panicky seeing the violent bunch of animals and started running helter skelter.
Just then, the same yogi Sanyasi who appeared before King Rajasekara when he picked up Manikandan at the forest as a baby, appeared again at the palace and told King Rajashekara the real identity of Manikandan. Hearing this, the King stood in great surprise and silence. He saw Manikandan riding a tiger and people running away. Seeing the King, Manikandan descended from the Tiger and told him that since the tigresses were there, he could get the Queen cured with their milk. King Rajashekara, fell at his feet and asked to forgive him for whatever happened without his knowledge, and asked him to send back the tigers as the Queens ailment had been cured the moment Manikandan went to the forest.
King Rajashekara told Manikandan that the minster was responsible for all these things and hence he should be punished. However, Manikandan told the king that he need not punish the minster and all had happened only through the will of God, and he told further that time had come for him to go to Devaloka since the task for
which he took avatar himself on the Earth is completed and the king and the queen asked for forgiveness .

Then Manikantan gave a Darshan a spiritual vision to the king.,seeing the lord ‘s Dharma Shastha in Purna Roopa the king get filled with emotions of happiness, grief, fear, wonder and devotion and self-surrender, the king stood praying for the mercy and blessings of Manikantan. He repented he could not fully visualize the truth of the divine powers of the Lord and repeatedly requested Him to forgive him for behaving as if He were his son only. The Lord lovingly embraced the King who prayed to bless him by freeing from ego and the worldly life of birth and rebirth and grant moksha(salvation). He told the King that he was destined to return.lord ayyappa blessed the king &queen &asked the King what boon he wanted from him and he was ready to give it as he was much pleased by his devotion. Immediately, King Rajashekara requested the lord that they wanted to raise a temple in his memory and suggest a suitable place for the temple.

Manikandan aimed an arrow which fell at a place called Sabari, where in Sri Rama’s era a Sanyasini called Sabari observed Dhavam. Lord Ayyappa told the King to renovate the temple of Lord Dharma Sastha at Sabarimala, which was in a very dilapidated condition. The king agreed and made arrangements for the renovation of the temple. When the royal entourage, which included the armed forces carrying all the necessary materials for construction and stocks of food reached the place which is today known as Saramkuthi, near Sabarimala temple , Ayyappa requested the king and his soldiers to leave all the weaponry beneath a big banyan tree there, as carrying of weapons to a temple premises was a sacrilege. Accordingly, the sword, spears, clubs etc. were left at the foot of the banyan tree and the entourage proceeded to the temple. This was on the sacred ‘Makara Sankranti’ day. Suddenly a big storm arose accompanied by heavy rains and fog. Visibility deteriorated and the people could not even see each other. When the storm and rain subsided and the fog gave way, Ayyappa was seen merging into the idol of Lord Dharma Sastha in the holy Sanctum . King Rajasekhara was heart broken seeing this and implored Ayyappa, “I have made all arrangements for your coronation and what shall I do with all the ornaments which were made for your coronation ceremony? As an answer the king heard a voice from the direction of the idol : “I am entering eternal meditation and Cosmic Consciousness for the welfare of the universe. However, every year at the time of Makara Sankranti, I will wake up from my meditation and open my eyes to see and bless this world. At that time you may adorn my idol with all the ornaments that you have made for my coronation ceremony. All who worship me are blessed as they will come closer to my Universal Consciousness.” With these words, Lord Ayyappa closed his eyes and entered into meditation once again. .

As per Saint Agasthya’s advise, King Rajasekara laid the foundation stone for the building the Sabarimala Shrine. Bhagwan Manikandan, had made it clear that he would grace only those devotees who offer Dharshan after performing Vritha for fortyone days keeping themselves isolated from family desires and tastes and leading a life like Brahmacharya, thinking of good things always, and that while coming for his darshan, they shall carry the holy irumudi on their heads, as the Bhagwan did when he went to the forest to fetch tigress milk, and bathed in River Pampa raising slogans of Saranam and climb the eighteen stairs.

As graced by the Bhagwan ayyappa King Rajashekara completed building of the temple with eighteen steps to reach it. When the King was thinking how to put Dharmasastha’s figure in the temple for darshan to devotees, he recalled the words of the Bhagwan, the River Pampa was a holy river as River Ganga, Sabarimala was a holy place as Kasi. Dharmasastha sent Parasuraman to Sabarimala who carved the figure of Lord Ayyappa and installed it on the day of Makarasankranthi, the day on which the Makara Jothi appears.
To abide by the divine commandment, `Thiruvaabharanam’ ( a set of holy ornaments) is brought to Sabarimala every year on the Makara Sankranti day which falls around January 14th each year. The idol of white horse which was deared to lord manikantan is placed on the top of golden dwaja stamba & the sacred Sword used by bhagvan hmself is also worshipped by devotees with great respect .
Ayyappan is also known as “Kaliyugavaradhan”, since He wil bless us to attain Moksha in this difficult age of KALIYUGA

The shrine of Lord Ganapati:
To the south-west of the main temple is the shrine of Lord Ganapati, known as Kannimula Ganapati. The special offering to this deity is Ganapati homam.
Homakund: There used to be a large homakund (Sacred Fire) in front of the shrine, which burned constantly, fed by the coconut shells thrown by the devotees, after offering the ghee. As the coconut shells gets consumed by the fire, the sins of the devotees are believed to be cleansed. Due to the growing crowds in the temple, the homakund has now been shifted to a location below the temple.

Bhasma Kulam: About a 100 metres away is the shrine of Malikappurathamma. route to the shrine is the temple pond, Bhasma Kulam, in which hundreds of devotees take a holy bath in memory of the tapaswini Sabari who entered a fire to end her mortal life. It is after her that the peak is named Sabarimala.On account of the number of people who bathe in the pond, the water is frequently drained out and refilled with fresh water.
Situated on a small hillock, the Malikappurathamma temple houses the shrines of the Devi and Kaduthaswamy. Devotees also worship a trident and lamp here, and offer coconuts. The coconuts are not broken, however, but are just rolled on the ground .
To the left of this temple are the shrines of the snake god and goddess, Nagaraja and Nagayakshi. Here, tribals beat on drums, play stringed instruments and sing sarppa pattu to protect devotees and their progeny from the harmful effects of snakebites.
,Malikapuram Temples at Sabarimala is dedicated to Malikapurathamma. The small temple is located on the right side of the main temple at Sabarimala. There is an interesting story of Ayyappa and Malikapurathamma. The popular belief is that Malikapurathamma is the beautiful woman that emerged from the body of Demon Mahishi after the demon was annihilated by Lord Ayyappa. The first time visitors, to the Ayyappa temple pierce sharakol, or arrow, at Sharamkutti on the way to the Sabarimala Temple. Every year Malikapurathamma is taken from MalikapuramTempleto Sharamkutti in a procession to know whether any Kanni Ayyappas have arrived. She returns back sadly after seeing thousands of Sharakols at Sharamkutti and the godesse still waits for the day lord ayypa would fullfill her request. The most important puja and offering performed at the Malikapuram Temple is Bhagavati Seva. Pattudayada (silk cloth dark blue in color as the dark blue color was dear to Bhagvan shri Dharma shastha because dark blue symbolizes deep meditation or dhyaan samadhi), Pottu (Bindi), Chandu, Kanmashi (Kajal), and Vala (bangles) are the other main offerings. A unique ritual performed by Ayyappa devotees at Malikapuram Temple is the rolling of coconuts.
The other shrines near Malikapuram Temple are that of Nagaraja, Navagrahas and Kochu Kadathu Swami. Mani Mandapam the place where Lord Ayyappa meditated before merging with main Murti in the Sabarimala Temple is also located here.
Kadutha and Vavar Swamy are also located in close proximity of the main temple.Shrines of Kaduthaswamy and Karuppaswamy: At the foot of the Patinettampadi are the two shrines of Kaduthaswamy and Karuppaswamy, who stand like dwarapalakas or guardians of the holy steps, to ensure that they are not polluted by thos
e who tread on them without fulfilling the rigid austerities required of them. They are also believed to protect the devotees from the evil spirits of the forests.
According to legend, Kadutha was a great warrior who helped the Pandalam king defeat the armies of Udayanan and other enemies. When the king came to Sabarimalai to reconstruct the temple, Kadutha came with him to protect him. Ultimately, he became so attached to Ayyappa that he decided to spend the rest of his days with his Lord.
Also near the Patinettampadi is the shrine of the Muslim Vavurswami. While there are several accounts of identity of Vavur, it is generally believed that he was a warrior who was defeated and subdued by Ayyappa, and later became a one of the shishyas or disicple. It is believed that Lord Ayyappa himself instructed the Pandalam king to build a mosque for Vavur at Erumeli and a shrine at Sabarimalai.
These are the other three temples which a pilgrim must visit during his pilgrimage.

Every year millions of devotees throng to Sabarimala irrespective of caste or creed and adorn themselves with beedjapamalas and irumudis, chants slogans on Lord Ayyappa, bathe in holy river Pampa, climb up the eighteen steps and get the grace of Lord Ayyappa, the Dharmasastha.

“Makara Jyothi” OR Spiritual Divine light

For those who dont know….This divine phenomenon of a light appearing happens every year on a Sanatan hindu festival called “Makara Sankranthi”.
On the day of Makar-sankranti, the chariot of the Sun-god enters the Makar-rashi (one of the zodiacs). The process of entering a new sign of zodiac occurs every month, but since the Sun enters the makar-rashi in this month, thus a distinguishing meritorious period is generated & during this span, the sattvaguna (quality of goodness) is specially enhanced.

As per vedic Astrology the transition of sun from dhanu rashi to makara rashi is called makar sankranti .This day is auspicious to all santana dharma hindus, the starting of uttarayana is considered as the day of yogis ,this is the sameday when great yogi Bhishma of Mahabharata attained salvation through yogic samadhi.
Lord Manikantan incarnated on the earth on Makara Sankranti day or Makaravillaku & went to Yoga Samadhi on this Auspicious & sacred Makra Sankranti.
Thus this day is very important in the life of Lord Ayappa devotee & for all Hindus of Sanatan Dharma.

Every 14 th approx January on Makara Sankranti at the sacred Sabrimala the whole universe and the mother nature herself comes to witness this spiritual wonder.
The Spiritual divine light appears three times for a few seconds and goes away. Legend has it that Lord “Ayyappa” himself appears in this form every year as promised to his devotees

There are several explanations regarding the 18sacred steps before the lord ayypas idol but in all of them most emphasis is on the number 18 The18 sacred steps are considered as the 18 Yoga Margas described in the “The Shrimad Bhagvad Gita” & 18th one the moksha Sanyasa yoga would take the true devotee to Self Realisation .


Thiruvabharanam procession

Thiruvabharanam is the sacred ornaments of Ayyappan, the presiding deity of Sabarimala temple. The ornaments are made of gold. It is believed that these ornaments are made at the orders of the Pandalam King, who adopted Ayyappan as his child.

Thiruvabharanam is kept in the Srampickal Palace of Pandalam, which is close to the Valiyakoikkal Temple, inside the Pandalam Palace premises. A few days before the festive season starts, a procession carrying the holy caskets containing the sacred ornaments proceeds towards Sabarimala around January 12 every year.[1] At around 1 o’ clock in the afternoon of the day the sacred procession starts, an Eagel, popularly known as Sree Krishna Parunthu, is sighted circling above the temple and seen accompanied with the procession. Devotees believe that this is Vishnu upon Garuda accompanying the Thiruvabharanam from Pandalam to Sabarimala where again the kite is found hovering above the temple.
The royal representative of the King of Pandalam accompanies the procession in a palanquin. On the Makaravilakku day, Ayyappan’s idol in Sabarima is adorned with these sacred ornaments. After the festive season, the return procession of the Thiruvabharanam starts from Sabarimala and reaches back Pandalam.
The Thiruvabharanam procession follows the traditional routes through forests, hills, and rivers. A team of representatives (not belonging to the Royal Family) takes the holy caskets on their heads. The procession is accompanied by hundreds of devotees and armed policemen. The procession is warmly welcomed by different associations and temples on the way to Sabarimala and back.
The Sacred Thirvabharnan

Thiruvanbharanam procession carries three cases or caskets. They are the main Thriuvabharanam box, the Velli Petti and the Kodi Petti. These contain the following:

Box 1

Prabha Mandalam
Valia Churika
Cheria Churika
Aana (Elephant) – 2 (miniature replica)
Kaduva – 1 (miniature replica)
Velli Kettia Valampiri Sankh – 1 (Conch shell with q right hand spiral – Silver covered)
Lakshmi Roopam
Poothattam (A ceremonial plate for carrying flowers)
Navarathna Mothiram (Navarathnam ring)
Sarapoli Mala – Traditional temple necklace
Velakku Mala – Traditional temple necklace
Mani Mal – Traditional temple necklace
Erukkum Poomala – Traditional temple necklace

Box 2

Thaila Kudam for Kalasam
Required Pooja utensils

Box 3

Kodi Petti
Netti Pattom for the elephant
Chattah Idunna Jeevatha
Flags of Talapara and Udampara
Mezhuvatta Kuda

Hari Harathmaja Ashtakam

Hari Harathmaja Ashtakam or Harivarasanam ,the divine song(also known as Hariharasuthāshtakam) is a devotional song composed in the astakam metre, recited at sabrimalaat main door of the holy sancturam sreekovil, before closing the temple door every night. The song was written by Kambamgudi Kulathur Iyer and Swami Vimochanananda sang it for the first time at Sabarimala.Though there have been many versions of this song sung by many renowned vocalists. The Sabrimala plays the rendition by Padmashri Dr Kj Yesudas every evening after the final pooja. Harivarasanam is written in highly Sanskritised Malayalam.
In the olden times Sabarimala was located in the deep jungle area with adventures& riskfull routes ,therefore only a few prayful courageous devotees managed the difficult pilgrimage. The temple opened during the Sabarimala season (November to January) but otherwise was only open on the first day of every malayalam monthVr gopala menon, from alapuzha used to accompanyThirumeni Eashwaran Namboothiri, the Melshanthi (head priest), to Sannidhanam every time, and would stay there by himself even when the temple was closed, remaining undisturbed by the wild animals. Later, when Devaswom Board was formed, it is believed that he was asked to move out. He eventually died at a tea estate at Vandiperiyar.
Gopala Menon used to recite “Harivarasanam” with all devotion during his time at Sannidhanam, and when Thirumeni Eashwaran Namboothiri heard about the passing away of the Revered Menon, he was deeply saddened. At the end of the day’s rituals, the Namboothiri was about to close the doors of the Sannidhanam when he remembered the dedication and sacrifice of the Revered Gopala Menon and he then began to recite “Harivarasanam”‘ he feeled a divine presence as lord ayyappa was was making him sang the ashtakam, starting a nostalgic tradition that remains unbroken to this day.
Today, as the final verses are being sung, all the assistant Santhis (priests) leave the Sreekovil one by one. As the song ends, only the Melsanthi is inside. He extinguishes the lamps one at a time and closes the doors for the night.Itis belived that this ashtakam is loved by Lord Ayyppa so all devotees recite this devotinal song with pure& full heart.

Harivarasanam Viswamohanam
Haridadhiswaram Aaradhyapadhukam
Arivimardhanam Nithyanarthanam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

Repository of Hari’s boons,
Enchanter of universe,
Essence of Hari’s grace,
He whose holy feet is worshipped,
He who kills enemies of good thought,
He who daily dances the cosmic dance,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.

Saranakirtanam Bakhtamanasam
Bharanalolupam Narthanalasam
Arunabhasuram Bhoothanayakam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

He who likes song of refuge,
He who is in the mind of devotees,
He who is the great ruler,
He who loves to dance,
He who shines like the rising sun,
He who is king of all beings,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.

Pranayasathyakam Praananayakam
Pranathakalpakam Suprabhanjitham
Pranavamanidram Keerthanapriyam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

He whose soul is truth,
He who is the darling of all souls,
He who created universe,
He who shines with a glittering Halo,
He who is the temple of “OM”,
He who loves songs,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.

Thuragavahanam Sundarananam
Varagadhayudham Vedavavarnitham
Gurukrupakaram Keerthanapriyam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

He who rides a horse,
He who has a pretty face,
He who has the blessed mace as weapon,
He who bestows grace like a teacher,
He who loves songs,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.

Tribuvanarchitam Devathathmakam
Trinayanam Prabhum Divyadeshikam
Tridashapoojitham Chinthithapradam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

He who is worshiped by the three worlds,
He who is the soul of all gods,
He who is the lord of Shiva,
He who is worshipped by devas,
He who is who is worshipped three times a day,
He whose thought is fulfilling,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.

Bhavabhayapaham Bhavukavaham
Bhuvanamohanam Bhoothibhooshanam
Dhavalavahanam Divyavaranam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

He who destroys fear,
He who brings prosperity,
He who is enchanter of universe,
He who wears holy ash as ornament,
He who rides a white elephant,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.

Kalamrudusmitham Sundarananam
Kalabhakomalam Gathramohanam
Kalabhakesari Vajivahanam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

He who blesses with enchanting smile,
He who has is very pretty,
He who is adorned by sandal paste,
He who has a pretty mien,
He who is a like a lion to the elephants,
He who rides on a tiger,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.
Hari Harathmaja Ashtakam

Srithajanapriyam Chinthithapradam
Sruthivibhushanam Sadhujeevanam
Sruthimanoharam Geethalalasam
Hariharathmajam Devamashraye
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa
Saranam Ayyappa Swamy Saranam Ayyappa

He who is dear to his devotees,
He who fulfills wishes,
He who is praised by Vedas,
He who blesses life of ascetics,
He who is the essence of Vedas,
He who enjoys divine music,
Son of Hari and Hara,
I take refuge in thee God.
My refuge is in you Ayyappa,
My refuge is in you Ayyappa.

By Shri Kambangudi Kulathu Iyer
Translated by Shri P.R.Ramachander

Sabarimala Temple

Thanga Anki
Thousands of devotees today thronged the famous hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa here to offer prayers to the deity here on the occasion of “Mandala Puja.”

Prior to the pooja, the Ayyappa idol was adorned with the ’thanka anki’ (golden attire).

The temple will be closed after ‘Athazapuja’, marking the culmination of the 41-day ‘mandalam vrithom’ (penance). It will reopen on for the Makaravilaku festival on January .

a procession with the “thanka anki’ is taken to sanidhanam (central shrine that seats the deity) from Sree Parthasarathy Temple at Aranmula, from where it started

The Anki was presented to the Sabrimala Ayyappa temple by late Chithira Tirunal Balarama Varma of the erstwhile Travancore Royal Family.

Thanga Anki procession carrying the ornaments worn by Lord Ayyappa in a specially-decorated vehicle being taken to the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala.

Makara Nakshatra

The Makara Nakshatra is totally different from Makra Jyothi, some people get confused with Makra nakshatra & Makara Jyothi .Makra nakshatra is a celestial star (Nakshatra Devanagari: नक्षत्र,Sanskrit: nakshatra, ‘star’, fromnaksha, ‘approach’, and tra, ‘guard’) or lunar mansion is one of the 27 divisions of the sky, identified by the prominent stars in them, used in Jyotish
This is Uttram Nakshatra in Malayalam or Uttra Phalguni Nakshatra in Sanskrit.
The Birth Star of Lord Ayyappa.The main puja the Prathishta Karma of the idol of Lord Ayyappa is done in the presence of this star in the sky.This beautiful Makra nakshatra or Star can be seen in sky right after the sunsets at the horizon.

But Makara Jyothi is a True Spiritual Miracle it happens only on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, marking the end of the three-month Sabarimala pilgrim season. & the Spirtual Divine Light appears on the horizon of the hill shrine for three times and vanishes away.At that special moment whole area the Sabari hills and the foothills at river Pampa get reverberated with religious chants.

For many years scientists & atheist organistions tried their best to crack this mystery but all of them failed & ran away. Nonone on this earth was or is or will be able to to break the faith of a Ayyappa devotee.
The number of Ayyappa devotees & followers is still increasing at every moment…

Details of Vrutham

The austerities (Vrutham) starts on the first day of the Malayalam month Vrichikam ( November 14/15/16 ) for those devotees who intend to worship Lord Ayyappa on Mandala Pooja Day( around 25th December ) or Makara Sankranti day (around Jan 14th). “Makara Sankranti” day is the most auspicious day at Sabarimala and ” Mandala Pooja day ” is considered as second most auspicious day. Nowdays the temple is open to devotees on 1st day of each Malayalam month and other kerala festival days such as “Vishu”, “Thiru Onam”, etc. However 41 days minimum vrutham is necessary before the day of Pilgrimage to Sabarimala as per the conditions of the pilgrimage.

The vrutham starts from the day of wearing of “Thulasi Mala” (garland) or “Rudraksha Mala” with the locket of Lord Ayyappa. The mala is to be accepted from a temple Priest or Guru Swami (The devotee who has visited the Sabarimala Temple several times and who can guide the other devotees in all matters relating to Sabarimala pilgrimage) after the mala is duly sanctified in a temple/ or pooja room. .After wearing the “Mala” the devotee is called as “Ayyappan” or “Swami”( in the name of Lord Ayyappa) till the completion of his pilgrimage and removal of Mala thereafter. The eligible female( aged between 1 and 9 and above 50 years) devotees are called as “Malikapuram”( The Shakti of Lord Ayyappa).

Waterfalls in the forest

During the period of Vrutham utmost care should be taken by each devotee to keep their mind and body clean,pure and balanced. The devotee is expected to live like “sadhu” and his action,word,thought should not under any circumstances hurt the feelings of the others. The devotee should avoid all worldly pleasure Only Vegetarian food should be taken for pure mind & pure body. They are also not expected to cut hair and nails a shave. Black / dark blue dhoti and shirt is the proper dress for the vrutham. Wearing Chappal, Shoes are not allowed as per traditional rule of the Vrutham. Absolute Bramacharya during the period is essential without which no devotee should go to Sabarimala Temple. The devotee is expected to pray in the morning and evening after taking bath. Before each meal devotee should pray and take the meal as “Prasadam” of Lord Ayyappa.

Without proper Vrutham Pilgrimage to Sabarimala is not at all advisable. The mental satisfaction of the pilgrimage can be attained only through the proper Vrutham.May the Lord Ayyappa help everybody to follow the rule of traditional Vrutham for theattainment of salvation of the soul.

Pooja Details

This ritual of bathing the Ayyappa idol in ghee is considered an important offering to the deity. It is symbolic of the pilgrim’s self-realisation. The pilgrimage itself is a symbolic journey of the individual soul merging with the supreme reality.In fact, the filling up of an empty coconut with ghee is the most important ritual before the beginning of the Sabarimala pilgrimage. Even before filling one’s irumudi kettu, the pilgrim fills up the neythenga or a coconut filled with ghee, with sarana mantram on his lips.

Before filling ghee into the coconut, the devotee drains out water in the coconut symbolising the draining out of his worldly aspirations. He then fills up empty coconut with ghee, the ghee representing the soul and coconut the body.

This coconut is broken only at the hill shrine and the ghee is taken for abhishekom. When the pilgrim stands before the idol and Neyyabhishekom is performed, the merging of jivatma with the paramatma takes place.The broken pieces of coconut are thrown into the sacred fire(Homa Kund) kept alive throughtout the season on the temple premises. The burning symbolises, devouring of all impurities of one’s heart in the fire of knowledge developed through devotion to Ayyappa.
One important fact that authorities quite often fail to inform the devotees about this offering is that the neyyabhishekom is performed only till the ucha puja (special puja at noon). Abhishekoms are also perfomed with milk, tender coconut water, water, honey, vibhoothi (sacred ash), sandal paste, flower, etc.

The pushpabhishekom is performed only after deeparadana. Flowers are brought by the devotees. At times, pilgrims from Tamil Nadu bring along truckloads of flowers of various hues.

Ganjai, (a rare variety of plantain used only for rituals), malaru (broiled paddy) and jagri are offered to Kochu Kadutha Swamy, believed to one of the trusted lieutenants of Lord Ayyappa during his war against dacoit king Udayan.

Pepper, incense sticks and rose water are offered to Vavru Swamy, the Muslim confidante of the Lord.The Paanans (members of the caste by the same name who sing in temples to please snake gods) are made to sing before the Nagaraja and Nagayakshi idols to ward off evil spirits.

Sachets of turmeric powder, normally carried along with other puja materials,are emptied around the temple of Malikappuram, adjacent to the hill shrine. Other than this saffron, silk and betel leaves are also offered to the goddess.Another unique offering is the nalikeram uruttu. The devotee can purchase a coconut from the temple counter and he rolls it around the temple and later breaks it in front of the shrine.

Devotees burst Kathina (crude cracker made by packing gun powder in a very thick iron tube) in front of the Pathiettampady. This offering is made to please all gods. It is also believed that the explosion will scare away all evil spirits haunting one’s family.

Other pujas offered to the lord are udayasthamana puja and a day’s puja. The puja is now performed only during the first week of Malayalam months other than the mandala and Makara vilakku seasons as it affects the routine at the hillshrine during the annual congregation.

This is an elaborate puja made at the pathinettampadi, the 18 steps leading to the hill shrine. Though this puja was performed throughout the season, of late it is offered only when the temple opens during the first week of Malayalam months in view of the heavy crowd during mandalam and Mahara vilaku seasons.

The three main pujas during the mandalam season are the usha puja, ucha puja and athazha puja performed at morning, noon and night, respectively.The usha puja is performed at 7.30 am. However, there is stipulated timing for other pujas as it will depend on the crowd and number of neyyabhishekoms.While the usha puja and athazha puja are perfromed by the chief priest, the ucha puja is performed by the tantri. Another feature of the ucha puja is the offering made on 25 kalasams (metallic pots).At the morning puja, ushapayasam is the nivedyam (offering to the Lord). vellanivedyam and aravana (special payasam made during the mandala and makara vilakku seasons) are offered at noon and vellanivedyam and appam are offered for athazha puja.

SHRINE OPENINGS ( 2009- 2010)

List Of Daily Rituals & Timings At Sabarimala
Ritual : Timimg
Opening of sanctum sanctorum : 4.00 a.m.
Nirmalya darshanam : 4.05 a.m.
Ganapati homam : 4.15 a.m.
Neyyabhishekom : 4.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m
Usha pooja : 7.30 a.m.
Ucha pooja : 1.00 p.m.
Closing of sanctum sanctorum : 1.30 p.m.
Opening of sanctum sanctorum : 4.00 p.m.
Deeparadhana : 6.30 p.m.
Pushpabhishekam : 7.00 p.m.
Athazha pooja : 10.30 p.m.
Harivarasanam : 10.50 p.m.
Closing of sanctum sanctorum : 11.00 p.m.
Opening and closing of Sabarimala Sree Dharmasastha Temple for the year 2009 – 2010 – 2011
Month Pooja Opening Date Closing Date
December 2009 Mandala Pooja Mahotsavam 15-11-2009 26-12-2009
Mandala Pooja 26-12-2009
January 2010 Makara Vilakku Mahotsvam 30-12-2009 20-01-2010
Makara Vilakku 14-01-2010
February Monthly Pooja (Kumbham) 12-02-2010 17-02-2010
March Monthly Pooja (Meenam) 14-03-2010 29-03-2010
Utsavam Kodiyettam 20-03-2010
Utsavam Aarattu –
Painkuni Uthram 29-03-2010
April Vishu Mahotsavam 10-04-2010 18-04-2010
Vishu Darsanam 14-04-2010
May Monthly Pooja (Edavam) 14-05-2010 9-05-2010
Prathistha Dinam 23-05-2010 24-05-2010
June Monthly Pooja (Midhunam) 14-06-2010 19-06-2010
July Monthly Pooja (Karkitakam) 16-07-2010 21-07-2010
August Monthly Pooja (Chingam)
Thiruvonam 23 16-08-2010 25-08-2010
September Monthly Pooja (Kanni) 16-09-2010 21-09-2010
October Monthly Pooja (Thulam) 17-10-2010 22-10-2010
November Sree Chithira Thirunal
Aatta Vishesham 04-11-2010 05-11-2010
Mandala Pooja Mahotsavam 16-11-2010 27-12-2010
December Mandala Pooja 27-12-2010
Makara Vilakku Mahotsavam 30-12-2010 20-01-2011
January 2011 Makara Vilakku 14-01-2011
Events : 2009-10
S No
Prior to the Utsavam, Shudhi Kriyas consisting of Prasada Shudhi, Vaastu Bali, Vaastu Punyaham, Mulayidil will be performed.
Bimba Shudhi Kriyas consisting of Chathu Shudhi, Dhara, Panchakam, Panchagavyam and 25 Kalasam will be performed.
Kodiyettam (Temple Flag Hoisting) will be conducted during Makara Rasi. On Kodiyettam day, no Neyyabhishekham will be performed from 0700 hrs. It will re-commence after Kodiyettam.
Sribhutha Bali will be performed.
Utsava Bali will be performed. The Lord will be taken to special mandapam for the Utsava Bali. The ceremonies will commence at about 1300 hrs and will be over by about 1600 hrs. Utsava Bali darshan will be from 1400 hrs. On these days.
Palli Vetta will be undertaken.
Villkku Ezhunallipu
Arattu to Pampa.
As the Siveli Vigraham will be away at Pampa on the Aarattu day from morning till evening, temple darshan will not be possible till the Vigraham returns to the temple after the Aarattu.
Swamy Saranan Ayyappa
Routes to Sabarimla

The Holy Pampa River
The holy Pampa or Pamba plays an important roll in the Sabarimala pilgrimage. After passing around 102 steps the pilgrims can reach at the Pampa Maha Ganapathi Temple. Breaking coconuts is the main ritual here. Neelimala, Appachimedu, Sabareepeedam, Saramkuthi are the other divine places en route. At Pampa three hospitals are operational during the festival period apart from an information center.

Historic temples route to Sabarimala:

NILACKAL MAHADEVA TEMPLE: This is an important Temple en route to Sabarimala in between Plappally and Pampa. This is an intermediate halting area (with parking facilities).
ERUMELI SASTHA TEMPLE: Erumeli Sastha Temple, an important meeting place in the pilgrimage of Sabarimala, is very famous. There is also a Muslim Temple near to the Sastha Temple. Ayyappans go to Sabarimala after worshipping at these two temples, a symbol of Hindu-Muslim unity. The pilgrims go to Sabarimala after ‘Pettathullal’ at Erumeli. Pilgrimage to Sabarimala without Pettathullal and worship at the above mentioned temples is incomplete. Erumeli Temple is about 38 km south of Kottayam. The nearest Railway station is Kottayam.
PANDALAM VALIYAKOYICKAL TEMPLE: The procession of Lord Ayyappa begins from Sree Dharmaa Sastha of Pandalam Valiyakoyickal Temple during the Makaravilakku Festival. The nearest rail station is Chengannoor (12 km).
KULATHUPUZHA SASTHA TEMPLE: The Sastha Temple at Kulathupuzha is very ancient. The idol at Kulathupuzha is called ‘Manikantan’. It is believed that the Temple was constructed by the king of Pandalam. But the idol was discovered by a Brahmin from Kottarakkara years later who started the pooja there. The King of Kottarakkara heard about this, and constructed the present temple. Feeding to the fishes in the nearby river is an important ritual here.
CHANKOIL SASTHA TEMPLE: Achankoil Sastha (Arachan) temple is a sacred place where pilgrims from Keralaand nearby states pour in throughout the year. The nearest railway station is Shenkottah.
ARYANKAVU SASTHA TEMPLE: The legend behind the Ayyappa of Aryankavu is similar to that of Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha. The only difference between the two are that Sastha was brough up by the Pandi Raja of Madura and not the Raja of Pandalam. There is a beautiful water fall known as ‘Palaruvi’ in the dense forest area about two km away from the temple premises. The temple is about 86 km away from Thiruvananthapuram-Shenkottah road.
How to reach there
The normal itinerary of a Sabarimala pilgrim is to reach Erumely before proceeding to Pamba through the Mannarakulanji-Chalakkayam Road and trekking the forest road to reach the shrine.
FROM PATHANTHITTA: Mannarakulanji-Vadasserikkara-Perunadu-Plappally-Nilakkal-Chalakkayam-Pamba (Distance: 69 km)
FROM THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: There are two routes:
1. Ayoor-Punalur-Pthanmathitta-Pamba (Distance: 184 km)
b. 2. Kottarakkara-Adoor-Pathanmthitta (Distance: 179 km)
FROM CHENGUNOOR: There are two routes to reach Pamaba from Chengunoor, the nearest railway station to Sabarimala:
1.Chengunoor-Aranmula-thekkemala-Pathanamthitta-Pamba (Distance: 93 km)
2.Chengunoor-Aranmula-Ranni Blockupadi-Vadasserikkara-Pamba (Distance: 88km)
FROM KOTTAYAM: There are several routes to Pamba from Kottayam, one of the main transit points in the pilgrimage. The important five routes are the following:
1. Kottayam-Changanassery-Thiruvalla-Kozhenchery-Ranny Blockupadi-Vadasserikkara-Pamba (Distance: 119 km)
2. Kottayam-Kodungoor-Chamampathal-Manimala-PLachery-Chethonkara-Athikkayam-Perunadu-Pamba (Distance: 105 km)
3. Kottayam-Kangazha-Pathanadu-Manimala-PLachery-Chethonkara-Athikkayam-Perunadu-Pamba (Distance: 104 km)
4. Kottayam-Karukachal-Manimala-Mukkada-Edamon-Athikkayam-Perunadu-Pamba (Distance: 100 km)
5. Kottayam-Ponkunnam-Erumely-Mukkuttuthara-Pambavalley-PLappally-Pamba (Distance: 90 km) This is one of the easiest routes to reach Pamba.
By RAIL: The pilgrims can reach Kottayam & Chengannur by Railway (Broadgauage) and Punalur (Metre Gauge) and from there by bus to Pampa.
By AIR: The pilgrims can reach Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi & Nedumpassery by Air and from there by bus to Pamba.

Sree Ayyappa Devotional song Lyrics by ShriTKR Bhadran

Ore Oru Lakshyam Sabarimamala Ore Oru Moham Divya Darsanam
Ore Oru Margam Pathinettam Padi Ore Oru Manthram Saranamayyappa
Saranamayyappa Swami Saranamayyappa

Orumayotukooti Ozhuki Vannitunnu
Charana Pankajangal Paniyuvan Varunnu
Oruvapussu njnagalkkoru vachassu njangalkkorumanassu njalkkorutharam vicharam
Akhilarum Varummu Nin Saranam Thedi Hariharathmaja Nee Saranamayyappa
Saranamayyappa Swami Saranamayyappa

Ore Oru Lakshyam Sabarimamala Ore Oru Moham Divya Darsanam
Ore Oru Margam Pathinettam Padi Ore Oru Manthram Saranamayyappa
Saranamayyappa Swami Saranamayyappa

Vanathalam Virakkum Valiya Sabdadhara
Surapatham Nadumgum Saranasabdadhara
Atavikal kadannoo malakalum Kadannoo
Paramapavanam Poonkavanam kadannoo
Varikayayi Njangal Arikilayi Njangal
Hariharathmaja Nee Saranamayyappa
Saranamayyappa Swami Saranamayyappa

Ore Oru Lakshyam Sabarimamala Ore Oru Moham Divya Darsanam
Ore Oru Margam Pathinettam Padi Ore Oru Manthram Saranamayyappa
Saranamayyappa Swami Saranamayyappa

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