Ayyappa Charitham (History of sabarimala)
Chowrymulla,the principal temple of the mountain deities lies north east 5 ½ miles from it,the road to it,difficult,desending to the pumbay,which is about 150 paces wide,and is crossed by a crazy causeway,the annawattum ghat from whence the road ascends a wood ridge to the temple, about which it is a little plan but confused, it is built on an elavted mount faced with stone,the gate on the north to which access is had by a flight of 18 granite steps,it is surrounded by a strong wall about 150 feet square ,the temple is small and covered with plates of copper, the annual festival takes place on the 12th of janurary and continues for a peroid of 5 days,devottes from the most remote parts of india visit it,the number yearly amounting to from 10 to 15 thousands most of whom during makara villaku festival.
In 1950 the Sabarimala temple burnt by some thefts and temples Dharmashastha’s idol was lifted, at that time Sri Vimochananda was Sabarimalai tapasvi, he gave way to Sabarimala with the Travancore board and Kerala police and they constitute the temple was burned to ashes this was coming into dreams of Swamy Vimochananda and the rest was history, He started a motion to construct the Sabarimala temple and along with that he owed to construct the temples all over the globe in response to the happening in 1950 at Sabarimala, as we know today we can look all over the world Sri Ayyappa temples
Swamy vimochananda was in Vijayavada and in the part of the movement he started was giving the oath of Ayyappa Mala and he made many followers, it was very tough to go to sabarimalai of sahya forests of Kerala in those days, after many years he constructed a temple in Gollapudi of Vijayawada Andhra Pradesh.We can state with pride that Swamy Vimochananda is the first guru swami of Sabarimala and his imagination to carry forward the Ayyappa Deeksha is gods own vision,It is said swami vimochananda first recited harivarasanam in sannidanam.
Mukkalvattom Ayyappan Temple, Muhamma,Alapuzha.Mukkalvattom in malayalam literally means 3/4ths of the whole. Ayyappaswamy as ARYAN KERALAN had come to Cheerapanchira, the family of Kalari exponents through a common contact called Arthungal Velutha a.k.a Arthungal Veluthachan was introduced to the eldest Panicker of Cheerapanchira as Sabariyar. Since the Cheerapanchira Kalari owed allegiance to another chieftain, and, since Ayyappan was from Pandalam,a different kingdom,he was reluctant to admit Ayyappaswamy as his student.But when the Panicker looked at the radiant face of Ayyappaswamy he could not say no,and admitted the Lordinto the Kalari.Lord Ayyappaswamy mastered the a martial art fight called POOZHIANGAM and became the greatest of the Panicker ‘s disciples.Ayyappaswamy had left behind his Kacha and Sword at Cheerapanchira. The Panicker’s daughter Poonkodi wanted to marry Ayyappaswamy, but,the Lord refused the offer as he was a naishtika brahmachari. He gave her His ‘Kadakavala’ a type of bangle,as a token of appreciation of her bhakti towards Him.This later formed part of the Thiruvabharanam from Pandalam. Now it is irrecoverably lost.After Ayyappan’s Mahasamadhi at Sabarimala, Poonkodi joined as a sanyasin and finally merged in the Shakti whom we call Malikapuram today.Days after Ayyappaswamy had left Cheerapanchira, He made a surprise visit to Cheerapanchira to meet his guru,but could not.The Guru who came to know of this later was very upset and grief-stricken to have missed meeting his illustrious pupil.That night the Guru had a dream in which Ayyappaswamy instructed him to build a temple using a log which would be seen floating in the nearby backwaters.The Lord assured his guru has 3/4ths of His presence would always be in Mukkalvattom and the remaining 1/4ths at Sabarimala. This is with reference to Manimandapam and not the Mahayogapeedam atop the 18 holy steps.On Makaravilakku day the Mukkalvattom shrine will be closed and the NIRASANNIDYAM of full presence of the Lord is believed to be both in the Mahayogapeedam inside the sreekovil and Manimandapam. Ganesh swami has photos of the sword and Kacha(a type of cloth tied over the waist during a duel).,which I think he had posted earlier.Swamiyudae Thrippadangalae Sharanam AYYAPPA. Swamiyae Sharanam AYAAPPA.
The one on the box is a “dhoti-like” worn during warfares..
Swami saranan Ayyappa pooja details
Malikapurathamma is the most important upaprathista in Sabarimala. There are two beliefs on Malikapurathamma, that it is the demon that fought with Sri Ayyappan as Mahishi. Once the demon was defeated, a beautiful lady emerged from the body and wished to remain with Sri Ayyappa. Another belief is that the daughter of Sri Ayyappa’s guru become a Sanyasini and want to remain with Sri Ayyappa, As per thantric view, pilgrims has to worship Malikappuram as “Adiparasakthi”.
Main offerings to Malikappurathamma are, Turmeric powder, (Manjal podi), Saffron powder, (Kumkumam podi), Jhagri (Sharkara), Honey (then), Plantain (Kadali Pazham), and red silk
” Kalabham Ezhunnellathu”
According to Thanthra, God is beyond form and name. It is the essence and totality of existence. It can not be invoked or installed in its wholeness. When we evoke or install it, it becomes a Deity, showing some characteristics of God, depending upon the nature of the Mantras used and the Sankalpas the persons who performed them had at the time of the consecration.
Everything in this universe is God. Man, Yogi, devas, Asuras, Devils etc are different manifestations of God. The difference is in the layer of their manifestation, or we can say that each of them exists in a particular field of vibration. If everything is God, what is the purpose of going to the temple and worshiping there? Only because, Deity in a temple is the purest form of God’s vibration that Man can invoke and conceive.
At the time of Pratishta (Installation), Thanthri uses the Moolamanthra specific to that Deity repeatedly to create a particular field of vibration. All the Kriyas (rituals) performed at the time of consecration are aimed at the creation of that particular field of vibration, which is why in Kerala, each Deity has different moola mantra and Bija mantra and the mantra of a particular Deity is not used for another Deity.
The devotee while entering the temple automatically tunes himself to that field of vibration and as a result all the negative elements are eliminated from his being. The aim of the daily pooja is to keep that field of vibration constant and that of the special pooja is to strengthen it. ‘Kalabhabhishekam’ is a very important special pooja usually performed in Kerala for the strengthening of the chaithanya of the Deity.
According to Yoga, the universe is made up of several principles and matter Principle (not the gross matter) is the grossest of them. It is said that all the other principles which are more subtle than this one exist in it in more subtle forms. ‘Kalabha’ (sandal paste) is the symbol of ‘Pridhwee Tatwa’. (Matter principle). So, by using Kalabha for the strengthening of the chaithanya, symbolically all the ‘Tatwas’ (principles) by which this universe is believed to be created are used. There are two broad steps in this: 1. Kalabha Pooja 1. Abhishekam.
The Kumbham (newly created field of vibration) is taken into the sanctum sanctorum with ‘Paani’ and ‘Melam’. In the sanctum sanctorum, too, a subtle platform is created through some mantras and after that Abhishekam is performed. With the help of some Nyasas, Priest, fixes all the elements and principles in their proper positions in the casual, subtle and gross bodies of the Deity. After that daily pooja is performed.
Puspabhishekam is the showering of flowers on the Idol of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala Temple. This offering is made by thousands of devotees. The flowers and leaves that are used in Pushpabhishekam ritual are Tamara (lotus), Jamanthi, Arali, Tulsi (Basel), Mulla (Jasmine) and Kuvalam (bilva leaves).
URALKKUZHY THEERTHAM (URAKKUZHY)
Uralkuzhi Theertham is on the Vandiperiyar–Sabarimala route. It is about 1 km north-east to Sannidhanam. The name of the place is derived from the shape formed due to the falling of water on the rock (‘Ural’is a grindstone with a small dip used for making flour). The water from this spring is taken for the ‘abisheka’, the holy ritualistic bathing of an idol using water. Devotees usually take a holy dip in this teertham, which can wash away the sins of a lifetime. The water flows towards the Kumbala Teerth.
Devotees sometimes take a bath at Ural Kuzhi on their way to Sabarimala on account of its religious significance – it is believed that this is where Ayyappa took a dip to cleanse himself of his sins. Thousands of pilgrims follow the same practice every year, and cleansed both in mind and soul, they continue on their trek towards the holy hillock.
TRADITIONAL ROUTE – ERUMELY to SABARIMALA
The Thanthris of Sabarimala
The Thanthris,who are traditionally in over-all charge of the Sabarimala temple belong to the family of Thazhmon Madom at Mundankavu,Chengannur in Kerala.According to tradition ,they were the Brahmin priests brought from Andhra Pradesh by the ancient sage Parasurama and they were appointed as the Thanthris of Sabarimala and a few other temples.A Thanthri is the Chief authority with discretionary power concerning the methods of the rites and the rituals to be performed according to the temple tradition.In Sabarimala temple such Poojas as the Udayasthamana Pooja,Padipooja and Ucha Pooja are performed by the Thanthri.The Abhisheka,the libation of the Idol with sanctified water,after opening the Sanctum Sanctorum in the morning,is also performed by the Thanthri.He is also in charge of all the special rites.The morning pooja called Usha Pooja and the evening Athazha Pooja are performed by the Melsanthi,the Chief Priest.Thanthris post is inherited, while the melsanthi is selected every year.
Reinforcing the famed communal harmony in Erumeli, the famous Chandanakkudam festival was conducted at the temple town with religious fervour and gaiety on Saturday.
The festival, which commenced with Malisa procession from the Nainar Mosque in the afternoon, is being conducted as a prelude to the ritualistic Pettathullal in Erumeli. Being known as the symbols of the Hindu-Muslim communal harmony, Chandanakkudam festival was conducted under the aegis of Mahalla Muslim Jama-ath on Saturday.
Erumeli Petta Thullal
Erumeli Petta Thullal is a ritual dance performed by devotees as part of their pilgrimage to Sabarimala. Erumeli is small village situated 56km from Kottayam. At the Petta junction of Erumeli, there is a Sastha temple (Kochambalam) and mosque (Vavarambalam) facing each other. Pilgrims on their way to Sabarimala, gather here in groups to participate in Petta thullal. It is a frenzied dance with chanting of Ayyappa mantras and hymns, accompanied by loud music created by traditional instruments. Prior to Petta Thullal, the pilgrims smear colour on their faces and bodies and dress like forest-dwellers.
Also known as Petta Kettu, Petta Thullal starts from the kochambalam and the dancers proceed to the Mosque, in the name of Vavar, who was a close friend of Ayyappan, to pay their homage. They are ceremonially received there and goes around the mosque. A representative of Vavar Swamy will then accompany the group to the big temple (Valiambalam) which is about a kilometre away. Petta Thullal comes to an end after going around the the big temple. The devotees wash their bodies in the small river nearby and go to Sabarimala.
Petta Thullal takes place almost everyday from the 1st of the malayalam month of Vrichikam (around November) till a couple of days prior to the Sabarimala temple closing on January.
Padi Pooja, or the pooja of the Pathinettam Padi, is performed in the evening on certain days at the temple.Padi pooja in the name of the 18 Hill Gods of Lord Ayyappa was conducted after Pushpabhishekam.Thantri performed the ritual in the presence of Melsanthi.The hour-long ritual by decorating the Holy Steps with flowers and silk cloths after lighting traditional lamps on each step, concluded with performing “aarathi” by the thantri.
Bhagavathy seva – Malikappuram
Bhagavathy Sevai is for worship of Devi Durga practised mostly in Kerala. This Puja is done in temples and in homes as well. It is very beneficial as such. This is
done in the evenings. So the preparation starts in the afternoon itself. The priest draws a special kolam design (Sri Chakram) on the floor and fills with colour powders.
(Black is avoided). This is named as Padmam, which is the main kolam. On either side
of the Padmam two smaller Kolam is made and filled with colour powder.
Next step: – Three Kithhuvilakku – One Big and two smaller ones are readied. They are
well polished and filled with Til oil, and cotton wicks (Thiri) are placed in the lamps in
five directions (anju mukham) for the Main Big Vilakku. This Big Kuthhuvilakku is placed on the Padmam. The other smaller Kuthuvillakkus are placed on kolams on either side of the Padmam. They contain only 2-directional thiris (rendu mukham). About the smaller lamps – one represents Lord Ganesha and the other is for Devi Saraswathy.
The lamps are lit by the priest and puja begins.
Next step :- The Puja starts with lighting of the lamps. The Lord Ganesha, Devi Durga
and Devi Saraswathy are invoked in the Kuthuvilakkus. First Puja is done for Lord
Ganesha and Naivedya (Kela, Coconuts, Pan Supari etc) is offered. Next Devi Saraswathy is worshipped. The Naivedyam offered is Vadai, Kela Coconuts Pan Supari.
Then Devi Durga is worshipped. This is done a bit elaborately as compared to the other
two deities. The priest recites Devi Mahatmyam. Then he recites the Lalitha Sahasranamam using a lot of flowers for the archanai. Then he does Kumkum archanai
reciting the Lalitha Astothram and then later on he recites the Lalitha Trishathi.
A series of Namaskarams are offered by the assembled devotees, to the deities, interspersed with different stotrams/mantram/slokams in praise of Devi.
Then the Neivedyam is offered which is very special- the Nei Payasam to the Bhagavathy. This Payasam has a very unique taste and it cannot be described in words. Heavenly !
At last Kalpoora Harthi is done. Small cubes of kalpooram is placed like a circle
surrounding the Kuthuvilakkus and they are all lit together. So a beauthiful ring of fire with the Kuthuvilkkus in the middle is made. Its such a beautiful sight. Then devotees make a Pradakshina of the 3 lamps. As a beautiful
ending to the Puja, Nadaswaram (Mangala Vadyam) is played. One or two (or more)
ladies are given mangala samagri (pan supari, kumkum, haldi, blouse peice etc.)
Nei Payasam, vadais are distributed to all present as prasadam.
PAINKUNI UTHRAM FESTIVAL
The 10-day annual festival at Sabarimala temple here will begin on March 25 with the kodiyettu ceremony. The kodiyettu ceremony will be conducted under the leadership of Thantri brahmasree Kandararu Rajeevaru between 9.38 and 10.20 am,
Utsavabali, one of the important rituals to be conducted during this festival, would be held from the second day of the festival on March 26 to April 3, the ninth day of the festival. The ritual, that will be conductedunder the leadership of Thantri Rajeevaru, would begin at 11.30 am and conclude with utsavabali darshan at 1.30 pm. The Pallivetta ritual would be held at Saramkuthi at 10.30 pm on April 2. As part of the ritual, the procession carrying the thidambu of Lord Ayyappa would be taken out on caparisoned elephant from sopanam at 9 pm, and after the conclusion of the ritual, the procession would reach sopanam at 11.30 pm.
The arattu ceremony, the ritual marking the conclusion of the festival, would be held at arattukadavu on the banks of Pampa river opposite of Pampa Lord Ganapathi temple under the leadership of Thantri Rajeevaru at 11.30 am on April 3. For the ritual, the procession carrying the Sreebali idol of Lord Ayyappa in a thidambu on a caparisoned elephant would be taken out from Sannidhanam at 8.30 am after arattubali at 8 am. On reaching near Anjaneya Auditorium at Pampa, the procession would be given a reception under the leadership of TDB president M P Govindan Nair,Sri.Subhash Vasu,Sri. P.K Kumaran(Members,TDB),P.
After the reception, the Sreebali idol of Lord Ayyappa would be taken to arattukadavu for the arattu ceremony. Thantri Rajeevaru and Melsanthi Ezhikode Krishnadas Nampoothiri would conduct the arattu at 11.30 am. After the arattu ceremony, the Sreebali idol of Lord Ayyappa would be kept Mandapam in front of the Sreekovil of Pampa Lord Ganapathi temple for ‘para’ offerings by devotees and darshan.
At 4 pm, the arattu procession would return to Sannidhanam from Pampa. On reaching Sannidhanam at 6.30 pm, the temple festival would be concluded after ‘kodiyirakku’ and Valiya Kanikka.
Utsavabali, one of important rituals connected with the annual festival, was held at Lord Ayyappa temple here on Thursday. The ritual was conducted under the leadership of Thantri Kandararu Rajvaru in the presence of Melsanthi Krishnadas Nampoothiri.
The two-hour long ritual, held in the name of Hill Gods of Lord Ayyappa, began with the lighting of traditional lamp by the thantri at 11.30 am. The ritual was concluded with Utsavabali darsan for the devotees at 1.30 pm. The seven-day long Sreebhoothabali, the other important ritual during the annual festival, will be held after Athazha pooja at 9 pm from March 27.
Vilakkinezhunnellippu, the procession carrying the thidambu of Lord Ayyappa on a caparisoned elephant, will be held for four days from March 29.
Meaning of the pallivetta procession
The Pallivetta is the ritualistic royal hunt of the Lord Ayyappa to drive off the evil spirits, conducted on the ninth day of the festival under the Banyan tree that stood in Saramkuthy.
Vishu Kani or Vishukkani is the most important ritual performed on Vishu, Malayalam astrological New Year in Kerala. Sabarimala Ayyappa temple (Sabarimala Devaswom) is the great place to observe Vishukkani Darshanam. Vishu Kani 2015 time will be from 4 am to 7 am on 15 April 2015.
Vishu Kani Darshanam will be followed by Neyyabhishekam. Many special pujas like Padipuja and Udayasthamana puja will be held during the eight days of Vishu festival in the temple.
Vishu Mahotsavam begins on April 3 and ends on April 19th with Athazha Puja.
Sahasrakalasa pooja was held at Lord Ayyappa temple on 11th April evening after ‘deeparadhana,’ as part of Sahasrakalasam, to be conducted on 12th April, 2015.
On Vishu day (April 15), the temple will be opened at 3 am for Vishukani. But for common devotees vishukkani darshanam will be from 4 am. Abhishekam and Usha Pooja are performed from 3 am. Hon’ble Travancore Devaswom Board member Subhash Vasu said food would be served to devotees at the Annadanam hall at the Sannidhanam from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the Vishu festival.
Sabarimala Temple will be closed on April 19 at 10 pm. Athazha Puja marks the end of eight-day Vishu festival. During Athazha Puja, Lord Ayyappa idol will be covered with Bhasmam and Rudrakshamala.
MEDA VISHU FESTIVAL AND MONTHLY POOJA
The temple opened for the annual Vishu festival and monthly pooja. The Melshanti reopened the sacred sanctorum with puja and homams and the rituals started with Ashtadravia Ganapathi homom tomorrow.
On April 14th the Melsanthi will prepare the Vishukani, in the sanctum sanctorum with traditional Ashtamangalyam, jewels, fresh fruits, vegetables, kanikkonna flowers and paddy spikes.
On April 15th the sanctum sanctorum will be opened by the Melsanthi at around 3:45 A.M. for Vishukkani darshan. From 4 A.M. to 7 A.M. the Vishukani darshan will begin for the devotees followed by Neyyabhishekam. Coins will be offered by Tantri and Melsanthi as customary Vishukaineettom to the devotees. Devotees from different parts of Kerala state as well as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh will visit Sabarimala Sannidhanam to have the Vishukkani darshan.
Vavar, meaning vavu = “moon” vindavar= “who splits”, also known as Vavaraswami. There is a shrine dedicated to Vavaraswami at Sabarimala, as well as Varaswamis mosque at Erumely next to an Ayyappa temple. The devotion of Vavaraswami to Ayyappan and the key role that the Islamic Masjid has in the Ayyappa Pilgrimage, highlights the communal harmony in Kerala. The devotion of Vavaraswami also highlights the relevance of Ayyappa devotion for members of all faiths, and the equality shown to all, whether they are Muslims, Hindus or Christians
Why Devotees Wear Black Dress to Sabarimala?
The black clothes symbolically indicate a mind withdrawn from all materialist objects. The black cloth suggests the Ayyappa devotee is dead to the world of perceptions, emotions and thoughts and he is immersed in thought of Ayyappa.