Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Swamy

Sabarimala Temple is completely different in many aspects to other temples of Kerala.When Kerala was derived from the Sea Parasurama divided Kerala in to 64 Gramas (Villages) and it is also famous that he established several temples for the welfare of this state.The Sastha temples of Sabarimala,Achankovil,AryanKavu etc were established to protect Kerala from all evils.
Lord Ayyappa is also considered as Lord of 'Saneeswaran' who is in control of 'Saturn' which is 'Sani' that causes so many disturbances   in life.Even Gods can not escape from the grip of 'Sani' and to describe the power of Sani there is a story that once when the influence of Sani was nearby (Apaharam) in the Horoscope,  Lord  Shiva absconded himself and stayed alone without notice from anyone for the whole period of Sani Apaharam.Afterwards he came out and boasted to Sani that he could not do him any trouble.Sani replied that it was due to his effect that  Lord Shiva had to stay alone in disguise for  that whole  period  and the  pleasant  Svia
gave him the authority as an 'Eeswar'  or made him equal to  God. We call him as 'Saneeswaran' and he is in control of human life for one third of the whole life.It means if a man lives for Ninety Years he was  mainly in influence of 'Sani' for 30 years.There are so many ways 'Sani' influencing our lives.'Ezhara sani' , 'Kandaka Sani" Sani Apaharam' etc  decides one third of our  whole life.
It is in this instance that the importance of Sabarimala Temple arises.Lord Ayyappa is the authority of Sani also and by praying Lord Ayyappa our problems due to Sani can be get rid off.
But for visiting Sabarimal Temple there are certain rituals and rules  to be performed and followed.Lord Ayyappa is actually married and  he has two wives 'Pushkala' and  'Poorna'  but at Sabarimala Temple he is in the form as a 'Yogeeswara' and hence ladies in between 10 and 50 are not allowed.
All the devotees has to carry on their head an ' Irumudi' which contains the pooja materials for the deity.Mainly all the devotees carry a 'Ney Thenga' which is a coconut filled with pure Ghee for pouring on the deity.There will be heavy rush and  long line waiting to give the ghee for unction and so people in a hurry pour their ghee in a large stone structure known as 'Ney Thoni' and come back. This is not fair.You have to take out the ghee from your  coconut and give it for unction and get back the part of the ghee after unction as 'Prasadam', and then only your pilgrimage is fulfilled.More over every pilgrim has to make 18 rounds around  the sanctum with his Irumudi on head.Most of the devotees are unaware of this and they do the 'Pradakshinam' only once.From now on since you understood  the ritual in the traditional way perform it in that manner.
The observances to be followed after putting the garland, which is known as 'mala'  or  'mudra' is very important.Using a 'Thulasi beads' or 'Rudraksha' mala is better.Pendent of  Lord Ayyappa is must on the mudra.Give it for pooja in an Ayyappa Temple if possible and the Priest wears it on the Deity by which it gains an energy from the deity and you experience it  when you wear it.You transforms to an ideal form as a purified person equivalent to God.That is why at Sabartimala all Devotees are considered equal and called as 'Ayyappa' or
'Swamy'.For attaining that position as Swamy we have to perform the observances  strictly.
Earlier it was compulsory to perform this Vrat for a 'Mandala Period' which is of 41 Days.Today also majority of people perform Vrat for 41 days prior to Darshan of Lord Ayyappa.But now a days eminent Gurus also says that in this hectic way of life practicing  12 Days or 21 Days Observances is also allowed.
But to put a garland today and proceed to Sabarimala tomorrow is useless and should be avoided.
Those who visit Sabarimala Temple for the first time may go through the traditional path from Erumeli ,Karimala,Pampa,Neelimala to Sabarimala.This will consume more time and energy but  for a beginner it is auspicious.But if it is not possible go to Pampa by bus and proceed without being guilty.Lord Ayyappa still bless you.
During the observance period 'Bramhmacharya' is compulsory.Do not consume non Vegetarian Foods.Eat only foods which  you believe made in clean and neat areas.Speak and perform truthful deeds always remember God, Take bath twice a Day,Visit at least once the nearby temple etc has to be practiced.Then also you  may be worried whether you have done some thing wrong during the days of observances unknowingly.Don't worry.Take with you  a set of 20-30  of  beetal leaves (Vettila)  and throw them up in the premises of 'Malikapurathamma' by which your sins during vrat period will be excused.
The people living in other states and abroad are very much worried how to please Lord Ayyappa during their observance period.Everybody including Keralites can do pooja as follows in their homes.
If there is a Pooja room well and good otherwise in a clean room place on a stand or a neat silk a picture of Lord Ayyappa .Light oil lamp in front of it.The devotee has to  sit against eastern direction in the morning.Meditate for a while to make the mind calm.Then think your Gurus and recite 'Ohm Gurubhyo Namah'.
Then Chant" Ohm Sarva Vigna Haram Devam
                     Sarva Vigna Vivarjitham
                     Sarva Sidhi Prada tharam
                      Vandeham Gana Nayakam"
This Mantra has to be chanted for three times.Then close your eyes and see in your mind  Lord Ayyapa and Chant Moola Mantra of lord Ayyappa 36 times. " Ohm Namaparaaya Gopthre"
You can now recite Ayyappa Gayathri for 36 times  as follows
"Ohm Boothanadhaya Vidmahe
Bhavaputhrayadhee Mahe
Thanna Sastha prachodayat"
Then get up and recite " Ohm Namo Bhagavathe Revanthaya Bhootha Nadhaya Maha Veeraya Sarva Samridhikaraya Namah"  Reciting this bow down to God 3,5 or 7 times.
This can be repeated in the evening sitting against west.Or both time in the morning and evening this can be performed turning in the direction of north.This ritual can be performed for 12 or 21  days or every Saturday.
For everybody irrespective of man or woman  can recite "Ohm Revanthaya Namah" as much as you like without any Vrat or Observances any time any day but with a loving feeling towards Lord Ayyappa..Lord Ayyappa will bless you and bestow with all kinds of prosperity  and relieves from Sani Dosham etc also.It is very auspicious  and helps to materialize  several of our common needs.

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