#SaveSabarimalaTradition-Potency of Protest

Reproduced from https://www.facebook.com/notes/wisdom/entry-of-all-women-into-sabarimala-temple/541142036358479/ Verbatim with permission from the author

ENTRY OF ALL WOMEN INTO SABARIMALA TEMPLE
An all out struggle which has the potency to develop into a no holds barred fight (JO MARJEE LADAAYEE) between the faithful community clinging to spiritual and traditional values and the rationalists bent upon breaking all existing norms has sprung now, from the month of October, 2018, in the entire state of Kerala, particularly in the approaches of Sabarimala hill area leading to the divine temple of LORD AYYAPPA. This struggle carries with it, the in-built potency to even obliterate the present constitution of India which was framed by a team, consisting of a majority of rationalists, presided over by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. We wish to enlighten the people of India in this matter, which is of transcendental nature. By going through this essay the readers would be able to develop an objective assessment without any sort of prejudice and finally arrive at a proper conclusion. Further, this would help Indian ethos to spiritually, socially and politically evolve towards the age old concept of RAMARAJYAM, the most ideal system of the rule of law. The people of India can ponder over this matter and feel highly rewarded.
Evolution of human intellect has two distinctive paths to progress. One is the Path of Faith and the other is the Path of Reason. The Path of Reason can take an individual to the border lines of reasoning capability in him or in her and not a millimetre beyond that. But life, in general, progresses very much beyond this border lines and finally, evolving further, extends into infinity. This becomes possible by following the Path of Faith alone.
There are innumerable riddles in front of the world of sensory perception, for most of which the Path of Reason has no satisfactory answers. At the same time, the Path of Faith has convincing answers for these riddles which are based on total faith in the Vedas of the Hindus. In fact, the Vedas (vast collections of knowledge) have come into being to enlighten humanity in all transcendental matters. The Smrutis (codes of conduct applicable to each and every individual belonging to various sections of society during different occasions) instituted by the near omniscient Seers (सर्वज्ञकल्पाः) like Manu, Yaagnyavalkya, and others which were put to practical application as Sutras by Bodhayana, Aapastamba and others are the codified essence of the Vedas and they become the extensions of the Vedas in guiding humanity. As time evolves steadily, application and modality ordained in each Smruti undergo a modification, a change in a small or great measure, to suit the requirement of the particular time and occasion, keeping the spirit behind the ordainment alone constant for all times. Cold water bath which is most welcome during summer would turn to be totally unwelcome during winter. This analogy is presented here to grasp the logic involved in this matter. This is the cause for the seeming difference in the ordainment in each Smruti. The ultimate aim of each Smruti is verily to keep India’s Sanatana Dharma, the eternal way of living, ever green and lively. As such, here lies the absolute necessity of FAITH in all spiritual matters. If one possesses a Saatvic (purified) intellect and maintains a positive approach everywhere, the injunctions would look to be wise and sane. The same injunctions would look to be insane, unjust and hostilely discriminative when interpreted with a Taamasic (mired) intellect coupled with a negative approach, towards everything, at the same time.
Faith alone takes humanity to the imperceptible and unknown realm of infinity. There is no room for Reason here. Total faith is nothing other than blind faith. By reasoning, no one can take his or her thinking process beyond the limits of the perceptible present which is the sensory realm. Mankind doesn’t know what or who one was before being born in this world and also what or who one would be after leaving this world of sensory perception. As such, if the rationalists stress that they would be convinced of anything through the faculty of perceptible reason alone, they won’t be able to evolve beyond a certain limit. The perceptible realm is always very limited and often misguiding and the imperceptible realm is static, infinite and eternal.
If we ponder over this matter repeatedly we can realise that one’s basic identity itself is existing in total faith and not in reason at all. No sensible person would go to a genetic test centre to get convinced of one’s real parentage, i.e. of which male’s blood he or she actually is. Faith in the mother’s statement alone provides here the necessary satisfaction for every individual. As such, it is evident that mankind is evolving through the Path of Faith alone and not through the Path of Reason, from day one of life.
Physics declares that there is no effect without its appropriate cause. Life on Earth is the effect of an appropriate cause that was generated in the past. Similarly the present life will have its appropriate effect in the future also. One can only infer how an individual would have lived during one’s previous existence from its present perceptible effect which is reflecting as incidents (both welcome and bitter) in one’s present life. Similarly, the present life would become the cause for future existences. As such, it becomes totally foolish for anyone to say that “I would believe and accept the perceptible present existence alone and nothing beyond than that”.
Religion is exactly similar to a torch light for humanity to evolve in total darkness i.e. intellectual gloom. Beings other than mankind don’t need religion as they don’t possess the faculty of discrimination to judge which would turn for the ultimate good or bad. Their fundamental requirements are to eat well, to pass the time in recreation and to engage in procreation. Beyond this they don’t seem to have a meaning for life. If humanity thinks that it doesn’t need Religion, which is based on total FAITH, and requires the path of Reason alone to progress and evolve in life, it degrades itself to the level of quadrupeds. Strict observance of religion alone makes a distinction between mankind and the rest. Now let us proceed to the Sabarimala issue.
There exists a legend in the Puranas, the mythological collections of the Hindus, concerning Lord Ayyappa. He happens to be the offspring of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu who assumed the form of a female to achieve a specific purpose. Vishnu assumed the form of a world bewitching damsel to delude and bewitch the Asura community, representing the dark forces of destruction, who are basically rationalists and materialists.
Once upon a time, on the advice of Lord Vishnu, the Devata community, the heavenly inhabitants, joined hands with the Asuras and toiled hard in churning the ocean of milk to obtain the symbolic Amrita, the rejuvenating tonic, an elixir, which would make the consumers immortal, in a sense. Finally when the pot of Amrita surfaced, the Asuras forcibly snatched the pot as they happen to be stronger in muscular power and fled away from the sight of the Devas in a trice. Hearing the laments and prayers of the Devata community, Vishnu, out of compassion for Devas, assumed the form of a world bewitching damsel, viz. Mohini, and won back the pot of Amrita from the Asuras through a clever scheme of intrigue, bewitching and stupefying them for a while, making them believe that she had verily fallen in love with them, through her enchanting form, sweet voice, captivating looks coupled with dancing steps and finally through her pretention of serving the ambrosia equally among the Devas and the Asuras. She finally served the elixir of immortality to the Devas alone in front of the very eyes of the stupefied Asura community. It took a little while for the Asura community to realise what was actually happening and when they finally realised the intrigue, it was too late for them to even trace the trail of the juggler. This story is mentioned in most of the Puranas similarly.
When Lord Shiva expressed to Lord Vishnu, his strong desire to perceive this enchanting form of Mohini, Vishnu verily acceded to appear in front of Shiva in the same form, once again. The form of Mohini was so enchanting for Shiva to make him lose his mental equipoise temporarily which resulted in Shiva embracing Mohini irresistibly. Finally this resulted in the ejaculation of semen, even in the case of Shiva who is known as one who has overcome his lust. Krishna says in Bhagavad-Geeta मम माया दुरत्यया which means that his deluding potency is invincible. Shiva was no exception to this statement in Geeta. Without getting wasted, this seminal energy got collected in a reed and subsequently Lord Ayyappa was born as a test tube baby.
This Spirit of Lord Ayyappa is presiding over the Sabarimala hill area. Lord Ayyappa’s first manifestation could be around the closing century of B C or the early century of A D. Bhagavatpaada Shankara has made a reference to Lord Ayyappa in his devotional hymn of शिवपादादि-केशान्त-वर्णन-स्तोत्रम्. There he mentions Lord Ayyappa as भूतभर्ता ruler or controller of all beings in the matter of upholding Dharma unflinchingly. In the same sense Lord Ayyappa is called Dharma Shaastaa (धर्मशास्ता) also. Lord Ayyappa thrusts upon all beings equally the Dhaarmic way of life, punishing the offenders in the process to maintain justice on Earth. The verse in the hymn is presented.
आरूढः प्रौढवेग – प्रजवित – पवनं तुङ्ग – तुङ्गं तुरङ्गं
चेलं नीलं दधानः करतल-विलसत्-काण्ड-कोदण्ड-दण्डः |
राग-द्वेषादि – नानाविध – मृगपटली – भीतिकृद् – भूतभर्ता
कुर्वन्नाखेटलीलां निवसतु मनः – कानने मामकीने ||
“Let the great God, the ruler of all beings, the unflinching dispenser of Dharma, mounted on a horse of a mammoth height and size capable of eclipsing even the wind-speed, adorning black cloth around his waist and upper body, holding bow and arrows in his hands, reside in the thick jungles of my mental realm, exhilarating in sport and pastime of hunting and in the process driving away the hostile wild animals residing there in the form of lust, greed, wrath, likes, dislikes, sensuality and all sorts of other vices.”
The name, Ayyappa, originated in the ancient Tamil language. Its usage became common in Malayalam language ever since its evolution into a separate language from Tamil, somewhere around A D 1200. Malayalam is the offspring of Tamil-mother and Sanskrit-father. The name of Ayyappa is derived from the Sanskrit word, Arya (आर्यः) meaning Acharya (आचार्यः) i.e. Guru or preceptor which would become Ayya (அய்யா) or Ayyan (அய்யன்) in the slanted version of Tamil. The same word, in an endearing sense of a pet child, became Ayyappa, as he manifested as an endearing and captivating infant of great lustre. He is also called Manikandan as he was found wearing a rare gem of invaluable worth over his neck at the time of his appearance on the bank of the Pampa river. The word Mani denotes a gem in Sanskrit and it is mistaken for a ringing bell made out of bell metal or bronze in Tamil Nadu.
The ruler of Pandalam kingdom accidentally came across this orphaned and abandoned child in Sabarimala hill area, on the bank of the Pampa river, during a course of his hunting expedition and brought the child to his palace with great compassion and care. Ayyappa became the adopted son of the king after undergoing a formal ritual for adoption. He was fostered with great affection by the king who was anguished by the terrible misfortune of childlessness till then. After this adoption, the king’s better half conceived and gave birth to a son in quick succession.
When the question of inheriting the throne arose after about 18 years, the queen was ill-advised by her coterie to eliminate, by any means, the adopted son who was elder and as such, the rightful inheritor to the throne, so that the son born out of her womb would inherit the throne. This was actually against the wishes of the king who wanted Ayyappa to become his heir apparent. To eliminate Ayyappa from this world of mortals a well planned intrigue was contrived by the coterie. According to that, the queen started pretending to be suffering from a serious ailment, almost unbearable in its nature, for which the remedy was prescribed by the prearranged royal physician as tigress-milk. The king was shocked to hear this prescription as tigress-milk was almost unthinkable for anyone to obtain.
At this juncture, the son, Ayyappa came forward, with youthful vigour, valour and exuberance coupled with unshakable determination, raring to go to the thick jungles to get the tigress-milk, against the prevention and wishes of his foster father, the king. In quick time he returned from the jungle with a vast herd of the big cats viz. the tigers, males, females and cubs, Himself mounted on the back of a ferocious looking tiger of a mammoth size. He stated without even alighting from his seat, on the back of the tiger, facing the big gathering assembled in the courtyard of the palace, that anyone among them could extract the milk from the udder of any suckling tigress, without the slightest fear, as they were fully friendly and domesticated like the cows.
On hearing these words, the queen fell unconscious instantly while the coterie remained trembling in fear, as they had no means to save themselves from the consequences of their treacherous design. Ayyappa, on the other hand, instead of showing any ill will towards the coterie and the queen, magnanimously pardoned them for their wrong doing and told the king that his Karma to remain as prince in the palace was over then and there and he was to concentrate thereafter on his eternal mission of redeeming the sinners, infusing optimism and confidence into various kinds of anguished and misery-stricken people, wiping out their tears, thereby uplifting the entire downtrodden masses (like Jesus Christ did in the past) irrespective of their religion, status, cast, creed and community, whose number would swell into gigantic proportions in the ensuing period. He told the king to meet Him in His eternal abode, in Sabarimala, where the shrine remains now.
Uttering these words of benediction, Ayyappa retreated to His hilly abode in Sabarimala, where He remains in his astral form. There, he has appeared in his luminous astral form many a time to bless His devotees, as promised earlier. These days, He appears as pure luminosity on the 1st day of the month of Makara (Capricorn) coinciding usually with the 14th of January. He, Himself, instituted all the disciplines for daily, seasonal and annual worship to be followed in the temple. Sabarimala-Ayyappa’s riding car came to be known as a tiger after these thrilling incidents. Throughout Kerala, Ayyappa is worshipped as riding a tiger. In Tamil Nadu and elsewhere the riding car of Ayyappa remains a horse as it used to be before His manifestation in Sabarimala. In Tamil Nadu He is called as Dharma Shaastaa or Ayyanaar, the respectful version of Ayyan.
In Tamil Nadu, each and every village would have an Ayyanaar temple. Here, He is generally worshipped as a guardian deity of the village disciplining the inhabitants from transgressing Dharma, the ethical and moral standards. In Sabarimala, Lord Ayyappa assumes the fully Saatvic (purified) aspect of Sadguru, imparting the eternal wisdom, the knowledge of the Self, exactly like Lord Dakshinamurti, by holding His right palm and fingers in the sign of CHINMUDRA (चिन्मुद्रा) generally used to steady and introvert the wandering mind and guiding it to the transcendental state of Samadhi.
In the Sabarimala sanctum sanctorum, Lord Ayyappa remains as an eternal celibate. As He observes celibacy in thought, word and deed, the enormous power generated in the temple and in the vicinity of Sabarimala becomes highly detrimental to the interests of women wishing to conceive and beget children. Their menstrual cycles, the amount of bleeding during menses and finally their fecundity get terribly disturbed resulting in the total ruin of their reproductive system which would definitely reflect in their mental health also by visiting Sabarimala Temple. This is the actual reason for prohibiting women in the age group of 10 to 50 in Sabarimala Temple. There is no hostile discrimination against women in this matter. It is for the benefit of women alone, that this discipline is instituted in Sabarimala pilgrimage. Without grasping these subtle matters in detail, the Women Liberation Activists, who are professionals, fight vehemently for gender equality with the male population to visit Sabarimala Temple. Naturally, it makes one smell some hidden agenda (machinations behind the curtain, prompted by agencies committed to destroy Hindu Religious Faith completely) in their obstinate move to break all the conventions practised in the Sabarimala temple as in the case of the earlier fight against Jelli-Kattu, the martial sport and pastime of the exuberant youths, belonging to the warrior class of society, in Tamil Nadu, where the institution of PETA are said to have acted as the informal agents of the manufacturers of agricultural machinery in America and Europe. If there would be no Jelli-Kattu, there would be no purpose in rearing and maintaining the bulls in top condition. In that case, the same bulls which are supposed to beget the cattle for agriculture would be sent to butchery and they would become extinct steadily thereafter.
In the Sabarimala case, the Supreme Court gave their verdict in favour of the professional activists, hurting very severely the sentiments and confidence of the faithful Hindu community who are also the majority community in India. The judges say that they are more concerned to implement the gender equality than sticking to the conventional observances of the faithful community. This adherence to equality is exactly similar to maintaining precisely equal length in all the fingers in both the hands, no matter it might require cutting off some length in the longer fingers. Gender equality cannot be achieved by any reformer or any judge in the empirical realm, how much so ever great one would be. Equality is possible in the realm of Atman or Spirit alone. In the realm of matter there would be only inequality to whichever direction one would turn. As Spirits all are equal and as individuals identifying with the body, all are ever unequal. Males and females are born in this world for achieving different purposes. There is no superiority or inferiority in this matter. When both are put together, then only, it becomes a single wholesome unit like द्रव्य the matter and गुण its attribute. The attribute cannot be separated from the matter. Kalidasa says in the beginning of his immortal Rhetoric of Raghuvamsa that Siva and Parvati ever remain as a single wholesome unit like a word and its meaning when he says वागर्थाविव सम्पृक्तौ. The judges of the Supreme Court should have shown more objectivity and commonsense in this case. Strangely, the Muslim and Christian communities of Kerala are also supporting the believers of the Hindu community. 99.99 per cent of Kerala women, irrespective of religious affiliations, desist from undertaking the pilgrimage to Sabarimala.
When Supreme Court delivered the verdict, the spirit of equality was totally forsaken by the judges holding on fast to the skeleton aspect alone. Actually, holding on to the spirit aspect, should have been of paramount importance to the judges. To protect the spirit aspect, if the skeleton aspect had to be ignored, in some cases, it would not have been wrong at all. This verdict would make the believers to lose their confidence and faith in our very Constitution, in the matter of obtaining Justice.
To understand the logic behind the age old practice in Sabarimala, all the readers are requested to go through the Blog Site maintained by a highly educated woman, Maitri by name, engaged in the research of menstrual periods of women for the past nine years. She is very popular in Karnataka through her educating mission. Her write up remains highly welcome, informative and reformative among all classes of women, possessing the stamp of personal experience. The Women Liberation Activists (who are verily professionals) fighting for equality in the matter of Sabarimala Darshan should definitely go through her Blog Site to feel greatly rewarded. The link to her Blog Site is given hereunder for everyone’s enlightenment and the accruing benefit thereafter. https://mythrispeaks.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/sabarimala-verdict-fabricated-rights-over-real-experiences-of-women/amp/?__twitter_impression=true
Ayyappa’s story is very famous in the entire length and breadth of Kerala and need not be gone through in greater detail than it is done now at this juncture. There are many more legends with regard to Lord Ayyappa and the holy shrine of Sabarimala. Lord Ayyappa’s vanquishing and subsequently transforming Mahishi, a female of mass following (probably encouraging and promoting polyandry in those days) in those areas, and Vaavar, the colloquial version of Babar, a Muslim forest brigand like Veerappan of 20th century in Tamil Nadu, are some of the noteworthy legends sung in the form of folklore among Ayyappa devotees. Ever since their transformation by Ayyappa, they became immortalised and are given their places of pride in the scheme of things in Sabarimala. The Spirits of both of them are installed and formally consecrated within the ambit of Sabarimala hills, the first one’s Spirit remains somewhat close to Ayyappa’s sanctum sanctorum by the name of Maalikappurattamma and the second one’s Spirit remains in the little faraway place called Erumeli, the starting point of Sabarimala pilgrimage. The pilgrimage to Sabarimala shrine attains completion and fruition only after paying obeisance in front of their sanctum sanctorum also. How magnanimous and forgiving Ayyappa remains even towards His adversaries!
In front of Lord Ayyappa all are equals in letter and spirit. During the pilgrimage all dine side by side, all rest alike spreading a cloth or sheet on the ground in the wilderness of the thick jungles, observing the greatest virtue of sacrificing one’s own comfort for others’ sake with spontaneity and joy. There is no discrimination of religion, cast, creed, community, language and race here. No untouchability is involved among devotees here. All stand in the same queue, formed at times for miles, waiting for their turn of Darshan of the Lord. There is no preferential Darshan here for the highly influential. There is no Darshan on payment also. All differences are forgotten, at least for the time being, till the formal completion of the pilgrimage when all the devotees would return to their native places and remove the rosary from around their necks, which they started wearing at the commencement of their vow. This pilgrimage teaches humanity to live in peace, harmony and brotherhood in this world, renouncing all hostility. Even the hostile wild animals, tigers and elephants, residing in those thick jungles do not harm the pilgrims, the symbolic different forms of Lord Ayyappa Himself, provided they have not violated the disciplines to be observed during the course of the vow, lasting about 45 days. This is the evidence of the great power remaining behind the virtues of truth, sacrifice, morality, non-violence and universal love. The power of virtues are capable of moving even mountains.
Muslim clerics are looking after the sanctum sanctorum of Vaavar at Erumeli from good old times and they are distributing the MAHAA-PRASAADAM, the sacred ash, by their own hands and all the Hindus are receiving it with great humility and reverence. Can anyone show even a remote parallel to this pilgrimage anywhere in the rest of the world? There is no need of any conversion into another religious faith if the spirit behind this pilgrimage is perceived properly. If all can live in harmony for at least 45 days forgetting all the differences why can’t it be extended for the whole year which would get extended thereafter to all times? Oh, the respectful class of judiciary, please try to understand the great pilgrimage to Sabarimala shrine in its true perspective. Please desist from giving such verdicts which would promote disharmony alone in our society. India is predominantly a land of gods and believers in gods. Please don’t disturb the harmony of this sacred land. Please try to practically understand the enormous benefits accruing from this pilgrimage, by observing the spiritual disciplines under the formal guidance of a Guru Swami and finally by going to Sabarimala during a pilgrim season, at least once in your life time. Please don’t give a judgement favouring the professional activists, the nonbelievers, who are not at all required to go to Sabarimala. Please don’t enthuse the professional activists to register more and more success in achieving their hidden agenda of destroying Hinduism.
Lord Ayyappa’s manifestation as an infant child in Sabarimala hill area should have been after Shankara’s time who belongs to the 7th century A D. We need not delve deeper into the symbolic story connected with Lord Ayyappa to grasp the core issue involved in this matter. This much is mentioned here to enlighten everybody that Lord Ayyappa is an extraordinarily powerful Spirit, totally benign in nature, residing in Sabarimala hills and this is evident from the number of devotees thronging to that shrine every year from all over the world. It was calculated as around 5 crores during the year 2017.
There is a lot of symbolism involved in the mythological collections of the Hindu Religion. First of all, symbolic statements are to be understood as neither facts nor fictions. It is like concealing a medicine in a capsule. The patient need not know what is concealed in the capsule to get cured of the disease. Faith in the doctor’s diagnosis and prescription alone would be sufficient in this matter. Similarly symbolic statements are powerful enough to touch the heart directly and to make an indelible impression, thereby transforming the individual. By so doing they become quite capable of achieving the ultimate objective of the statements. The explicit language used in any statement agreeable to intellectual logic is generally understood and accepted as factual statements by the rationalists. These statements cannot achieve the objective which the statements loaded with symbolism are capable of achieving. Symbolic view is like perceiving anything differently like perceiving our Globe Earth from the earth-satellite moon when it looks like a whirling colossal sapphire stone embedded with gold in many places. The portion of ocean would look like sapphire stone and the portion of land would look like embedded gold. Even though the Earth is the same it can be perceived differently. This is the spirit behind the liberal usage of symbolic language in the entire mythological literature in Hinduism.
In the proceedings of arguments raised by the legal fraternity in the Supreme Court, representing the believers, minor issues were only raised repeatedly leaving the core spirit of the matter untouched. Lord Ayyappa in Sabarimala doesn’t get disturbed if women aged between 10 to 50 go there and stand in front of His sanctum sanctorum. “What is the sin involved here or cause for disqualification on the part of women, if they happened to menstruate in front of Lord Ayyappa during the pilgrimage, which is actually not in their control?” This matter was repeatedly raised during the course of arguments by the lawyers representing the nonbelievers. It has been convincingly explained in the previous paragraphs that this practice of barring young women is followed in Sabarimala, exclusively for the benefit of women devotees. There is no discriminative agenda against women in this matter.
The Vratam or vow for the pilgrimage is undertaken at least 41 days before commencing the pilgrimage. The pilgrims should do this under the guidance of a Guru Swami, the preceptor and guide in this case. They should even avoid the food prepared and served by women, maintaining strict celibacy. In olden days (till 1947), to avoid the nearness of women (which would turn for the benefit of both) they used to reside in temporary out-houses during the period of their vow, eating food prepared by their hands after undergoing ablutions and prayers during both twilights. Mortification of the sensory organs remains to be so strict that for all practical purposes they would consider themselves as mendicant monks during those days of penance. By undergoing all these acts of penance they generate so much of spiritual power in them and in the vicinity of their presence and dwelling. It would be only natural if they happened to succumb to temptations when young women also walk side by side with them in heckling and squeezing conditions, during the course of the pilgrimage. It takes two days’ trekking from Erumeli through thick jungles to reach Pampa, the basement spot of the hill. In those jungles the pilgrims would be required to spend one or two nights in rainy condition, fearing hostile wild animals, without proper food, without a proper place to rest or even to stretch the limbs of the body and finally without toilet and ablution facilities. How can one expect the women to withstand all these extremely bitter adversities? The activists should realise that Sabarimala is not a picnic spot or a recreation centre, specially known for its five star hotels with inbuilt merry-making nightclubs, gambling dens, etc. like Miami Beach, Florida, in U.S.A. or the city of Paris in France.
An inert metal piece, an idol cast of an alloy of five metals, cannot attract such a large number of devotees and make them feel rewarded and keep them constantly satisfied. There exist crores of devotees who have taken the vow of celibacy and other required disciplines connected with Sabarimala pilgrimage and who have visited the hilly shrine 18 times and even more during their life time. Their numbers are only increasing as time evolves.
One of the five judges who gave the verdict, remaining a member of the constitution bench, wrote that a deity has no fundamental rights. Only the human beings in the form of pilgrims or visitors can have fundamental rights. As such, the deity, i.e. Lord Ayyappa in this case, has no right in setting up the standards for the pilgrimage. If this is to be accepted as correct, in the light of religious beliefs, Lord Ayyappa has to be considered as an inert entity without any Chaitanyam i.e. life force in Him, thereby remaining there as just an object of a metal piece. When it is strongly believed and accepted by the class of faithful devotees that even hillocks like Arunaachala and Palani in Tamil Nadu have a force field around them radiating Chaitanyam, life force, this verdict becomes a stab on the back of the class of faithful devotees. The great seer, Ramana Maharshi, has stated that he could visualise the hill of Arunaachala as a vibrant Spirit which forcibly robbed the individual free will in him and thereafter made him an eternal brain deranged mendicant. This is clear in his famous composition named அக்ஷரமணமாலை, the sweet smelling garland of letters composed in the alphabetical order as an offering to Lord Arunaachala.
Any verdict delivered by a court of law and justice should be welcome and also convincing to the unprejudiced class of nobles. Further, the judgment should not create disharmony in the society leading to pitched battles between the believers and the non-believers. This verdict is welcome to the class of rationalists alone who are not required to visit the hilly shrine at all. To wound the sentiments of the believers and to belittle the deity in Sabarimala, the rationalists confess one fine morning, suddenly, that they have become believers and they should be allowed into the shrine as per their whims and fancies, i.e. without observing any vow of celibacy and other disciplines for 41 days. The logic that remains here is that the moment they confess they have become believers requiring to visit Sabarimala shrine, they become automatically bound by the injunctions of the hilly shrine which says that women between the age of ten and fifty should not visit the shrine. In this matter it is to be informed to all concerned alike that all the rules of worship at Sabarimala are instituted by Lord Ayyappa, Himself. No one else has any right whatsoever to introduce any change or modification in the conventions observed there. All these standards are maintained through the medium of a TANTRI, the permanent overseer and spiritual guide appointed by the custodian of the temple, Pandalam Raja, to look after all spiritual matters concerning Sabarimala Temple.
As per legend, Lord Parashuraama, before retiring (renouncing all activities) into the eastern ghat ranges of Mahendragiri, near the present Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh, as an act of प्रायश्चित्त i.e. atonement for eliminating a vast population of unrighteous (क्षत्रियाः), warrior class of men, reclaimed and founded the narrow strip of landscape which is called as Kerala today from the Arabian Sea. He threw away His deadly weapon, the axe, into the Arabian Sea, never to engage in any sort of warfare thereafter. Subsequently the sea retreated to that extent where the axe fell and a narrow landscape sprung there from Gokarana (in Karnataka) in the north to Kanyakumari (in Tamil Nadu) in the south. It was obligatory and customary on His part to bring all classes of people from elsewhere to reside in this newly created piece of land. By doing that only the ritual of atonement would attain fruition. For this purpose He brought all classes of people from other areas like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and even from the far away state, Gujarat.
The Brahman-family of Thazhaman Potti, who are the TANTRIS in Sabarimala, were among those migrants settled in Kerala who originally belonged to Andhra Pradesh. This could be grasped from their names which are similar to Telugu names viz. Kandararu, Mohanaru, Rajivaru, etc. They were duly appointed as TANTRIS by the Ruler of Pandalam Kingdom, the rightful custodian of Sabarimala Temple, considering their life of penance and intuitive knowledge. Lord Ayyappa gladly consented to this appointment and everything went on smoothly for centuries.
During earlier days when the human intellect, in general, had not corrupted to the present level, the appointed TANTRIS in Sabarimala Temple could act as medium of Lord Ayyappa. During the present days, when all people are groping in darkness alike, with regard to transcendental matters, due to the overwhelming influence of TAMO GUNA (resulting in mired intellects and total ignorance of one’s own Self) Lord Ayyappa’s will and wish in all matters concerning Sabarimala Temple and the age old pilgrimage are obtained through a formal ritual called DEVAPRASNAM.
The ritual of DEVAPRASNAM is based on the horary branch of astrology, by erecting an astrological chart for that particular moment, combined with the vast wisdom obtained through Nimitta Shaastra, the science concerning omens and all other happenings taking place at the spot of the ritual, at that particular time. A team of TANTRIS from all over Kerala or even outside, engaged in long drawn out penance, conduct this ritual with their intuitive knowledge. The science of occultism includes in itself all the subtle details of this matter. Idol worship in India is part of this science of occultism. A bare naked eye would not be able to comprehend any bacteria or germ in any object but with the help of a microscope it would be able to do it. Similarly the mired average intellect would not be able to comprehend the subtle principles and secrets behind these occult matters. A Saatvic (purified) intellect, through austerity and through leading a life of long drawn out penance, would be able to grasp the nuances involved in this matter directly. To provide such occult information, the different religious faiths, all over the world, have come into being. In India, the Sanatana Dharma (the eternal way of living) which is known as Hindu Religious Faith, has come into being from an untraceable beginning point in time. It is our duty to follow the religious injunctions with utmost sincerity to feel greatly rewarded and thereafter to remain in a state of eternal joy and contentment.
OM SHAANTIH.
SWAAMIYE SARANAM AYYAPPA.
OM SHAANTIH, SHAANTIH, SHAANTIH.

It could have been Worse is My Answer!

This post comes in the wake of recent medical incidents of some sincere seekers, who have been doing/done everything that materially every Jigyasu is expected to do – Sadhana, Seva, Satsangs etc. Yet when some tragedy or misfortune strikes, the obvious doubt is on the efficacy of God/Guru. The faith is terribly shaken and trust flies out of the window. Everything associated becomes a suspect and sadly some may even conclude on the futility of the spiritual journey itself.

Firstly, as Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji of The Art of Living says – Everyone dies, Good person dies, Bad person dies; Doctors die, Patients die; Rich die, Poor die; King dies so also subjects; So one thing that is truth at the time of birth, known to everyone is that one day a person born has to die some day. Yet there is a sense of non-acceptance of this irrefutable and unchangeable truth.  Immediate response of the near ones (I experienced it twice, when I lost my Father and recently my Elder brother, both departed quite young by today’s standards) Our trust and faith was shaken terribly (thankfully for not very long). Why us? is the obvious question (as if it is ok, if this were to happen to someone else). The first response was What is the point in worshiping God or having a Guru when they “ditch” us like this? (when they are actually carrying us to bear this pain) . Why couldn’t they stop this? (the inevitable truth is forgotten). Now, cut to the next set of examples 

We had examples of some ardent followers in the path, who never missed a day’s Sadhana, did their Seva at every opportunity presented, regular organised and conducted Satsangs, who fell seriously sick (I have been witnessing this in very close quarters in the recent months, one as late as 3 days ago in a Satsang). Again the faith of near ones and many observers was challenged. What is the point of all the 3Ss (Sadhana, Seva and Satsang) if they fall seriously sick (at the time of occurrence, some were even written off and even indicated by doctors that if they survived they would be vegetables all their lives. Much to the surprise of the thorough Medical professional and naysayers, they recovered miraculously. Certainly, I believe it is due to power of collective blessings just as those very rational Engineers and Medical Professionals who were around concede to it. To some who asked me, why did it happen in the first place, my answer as an ordinary mortal – it could have been worse!

Today Vadi is back to near normal and leading a life he lead before (yes after a Mid Brain Hemorrhage episode)
Atharv back home, as active as ever!!!
Miraculous and inexplicable arrest of Blood leakage in brain (Status as of today in this screenshot)

As Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar expounds during a Q&A session during a Satsang – Keep the faith intact

We often mistake our intense craving for our intense faith and try to manipulate the divine to fulfill our desires and get our work done. If you have faith in God only for the sake of having your desires fulfilled, then that will simply not work.

Which is greater: God, or your desire? Just think about it. You want to use God like currency for transactions, and you want to do the same with your Guru. Faith and devotion are needed to help you rise higher in life and go deeper within yourself.

Difficulties and unpleasant times come in everyone’s life. Is there anyone who does not have problems in their life? Lord Krishna faced so many obstacles during his lifetime. Lord Rama also faced many problems in his life. Mahatma Gandhi also faced many hurdles in his life. So difficulties come and go in life. When your faith and devotion remain intact and unshaken during those turbulent times, then you do not feel the unpleasantness of those situations. Faith becomes your anchor during these difficult times and keeps you steady.

On a completely dark night, even a flickering lamp can help you find your way and keep walking forward. But if you try to extinguish that very source of light, then it is no good. People who do this then try other ways to handle difficult situations, such as drinking alcohol, etc. Faith is a great wealth and gives you strength. Just because a few small things did not go in your favor, it does not mean that you should make your faith so fragile and delicate that it breaks every now and then.

That is why I said that it is good that you feel your faith is becoming weak and failing because something you wanted did not happen. It is alright. Eventually you will put your faith into someone or something.

Faith that is built in such a way surely will shake at some point of time. Every time your faith shakes, your devotion will be renewed from within once again. Truth never fails or gets shaken. True faith remains unshaken regardless of everything that happens. That which shakes is just some small belief at a very superficial level. It is your own expectations and desires which shake you

 

Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji in a knowledge sheet had put forth this profound thoughts for us to chew on. This is universal and eternally applicable.

Reason is reeling in the known. Faith is moving in the unknown. Reason is repetition. Faith is exploration. Reason is routine. Faith is adventure.

They are completely opposite, yet an integral part of life. Not having faith itself is misery; faith gives instant comfort. While reasoning keeps you sane and grounded, no miracle can happen without faith. Faith takes you beyond limitations. In faith you can transcend the laws of nature but it needs to be pure. Faith is beyond reason, yet you need to have faith in your own reasoning! Faith and reason cannot exist without each other. Every reason is based on some faith. Whenever reason or faith breaks, confusion and chaos prevails which is often a step for growth.

There are two types of faith. Faith out of fear, greed and insecurity; and faith born out of love like the faith between the mother and the child, the Master and disciple. Whereas the faith out of love cannot be broken, faith out of fear and greed is shaky.

An atheist bases himself on reason, and a believer on faith. A believer uses God as an insurance policy! He thinks he is special. In the eyes of God there is no “mine” and “others”; all are the same. An atheist rationalizes to keep his eyes shut to reality. Death shakes them both! When someone close dies, an atheist’s eyes are opened, and a believer’s faith cracks. Only a Yogi – a wise one – remains unshaken. For that person has transcended both reason and faith.

You need a balance between faith and reason.

Cut to the present, in both cases these distrust was soon overcome and life moved on. Back to going on pilgrimage to Sabarimala, for Darshan and blessings of Guru. The unpleasantness was taken in the stride using exactly whatever we lost trust on. We tend to lose faith or tend to distrust the only Truth, God or the Guru that is our real & eternal support, all other kind of supports are fleeting. Even the best of medicine will not work if we don’t trust the doctor and the medicine itself. Remember, Medicine Cures! Faith Heals!

One more learning! Faith and trust doesn’t mean rely on Blessings or healing process solely. Our part of the action is a prerequisite and understanding that just those actions may not guarantee results. We allow the Grace to work through our action by being in a state of Gratitude.

Come what may! Keep your faith up! It will hold you up!

#KeralaFloods: Devaprashnam – Conversation with the Divine in Sabarimala & Warnings Ignored

Now the the worst phase of the man made (to be specific, Communists made, click here #CommieMadeDisaster for what Twitter felt about it)  disaster in Kerala, the worst flood of the century, is over and has entered Rehabilitation phase, time to look back at possible lessons (that we will still not learn). Starting this series with a Mystical Event (based on experiences shared by many who have partaken it in the past) that took place in Sabarimala – The Ashtamangala Devaprashnam. While the focus of this piece is not to explain or defend the practice (I am a non-entity to write a commentary on much revered Prasna Marga, leave alone Deva Prashna which is altogether a different realm. It is to highlight the findings which got published in various media way back in June 2018 (that is 2 months before the disaster struck Kerala). Point is not even that, why selectively some recommendations (that got material or pecuniary benefit to some) got accepted and implemented in a jiffy but that which (with benefit of hindisight) affected much larger population were not even deemed worthy of a look-in

The Devaprashnam was primarily called for, because of the incident where an Elephant carrying the Idol from Sannidhanama to Arattu Kadavu ran amok injuing a few pilgrims and setting panic. (Manorama News Report below)

The Devaprashnam was delayed and held only in June 2018, because of passing away of Tantri Kandararu Maheshwararu.

Here is the article published in June 2018 Edition of “Sree Ayyappan” official monthly of Akhila Bharatha Ayyapa Seva Sangham on the findings of the Devaprashnam.

The one below is another clipping I recieved on Whatsapp from a friend

There was a Television report telecast (according to information given to me) on June 18th 2018, where the findings and warning about disasters in Pamba was mentioned.

Credit: TV Janam

Summary of the findings and remedies (from the Sree Ayyappan Magazine)

The changes that has been brought in the rituals is not to the liking of the Lord Ayyappa. The 5 day Ezhunallathu ritual (Procession) done after Makara Vilakku for Malikapurattamma has deviated a lot. There is a  displeasure seen in Lord for discontinuing the practice of using Elephant for this ezhunallathu during the Makara (Jan-Feb) month. If there has been trouble with Elephant, the remedy is not to discontinue using Elephants for the rituals, but to determine the causes for the trouble. However use of Elephant in the Meena (March-April) month is not mandatory. The defects on the Thidambu (The idol carried on the Elephant during ceremonial processions) has to be rectified immediately. Lord is unhappy for discontinuing the use of accompanying Vaal (Sword) from the ceremonial proceedings. This is an essential accessory for the Ezhunallathu.

Blocking the vision of Lord Ayyappa is the Shelter built on top of 18 Holy steps. This has to be rectified immediately. Ponnambalamedu has to be protected. Lot of shortcomings in the Naivedya also is seen. Along with Aravana, even Milk payasam has to be offered on all days. The night puja before Lord retires for resting, has to essentially have Paalpayasam as naivedya along with Tambula puja. The Tila Payasam (Sesame seed Payasam) which is currently only offered on Saturdays has to be done everyday. Ensure purity of all offerings including Sandal paste. Newly built Bhasma Kulam has no natural flow. It has to be rebuilt. ತ

Sharamkutti has been moved from its original place and is rendered impure. Vandiperiyar Subramanya Swamy temple which is closely associated with Sabarimala is totally neglected, which needs to be remedied. It is also seen that some Vaishnava temple has been destroyed which needs to be recovered and restored. Change of Kochukadutta Swamy temple also is not to Lord’s liking. Nagaraja or Snake that has a lot of significance in Sabarimala has seen some killings of snakes. Similarly, there has been killing of cow, to be remedied by building a Goshala and protect them.

Sri Rama Padam in Pamba Triveni has to be protected. There is Bhadrakali in Pamba. The change that has happened in the location where Guruthi (Symbolic blood offering to represent Vitality) has been reason for lot of repercussions.

Malikappuratamma also has to be given equal importance as in Sabarimala. THERE IS A POSSIBILITY OF A CALAMITY IN PAMBA 

TV Janam reports over and above that Kandararu Maheswararu, who expired in May, died out of pain due to removal of Mohanaru  as Sabarimala thantri over a scandal. It was found the cause for the demise of the thantri was due to son Kandararu Mohanaru’s misfortunes. Rectification of the senior thantri’s cause of worry was needed.

Translation of the picture that has point to point findings.

  1. Location of the Temple doesn’t indicate any fault
  2. Likelihood of land related disputes against Sabarimala for which some Prayaschitta (Atonement measures) have to be undertaken
  3. Increase Naivedyam (offerings) to Lord Ganapathi
  4. Need to give attention to satiating Lord Ganapathi which is ignored at this time
  5. The second installation of Lord Ganapathi in front of Homa Kunda (Sacrificial Fire place) has to be moved to appropriate location, installed and regular Puja and Abhishekham to be performed
  6. Tantri (Vedic and Spiritual Head  who decides on the Primary and core rituals and practices in a Temple) and Melshanti (Chief Priest) who currently reside within the compound of the Main Temple complex have to be moved out and located outside the compound walls.
  7. All the priests including Chief Priest should be given Orientation classes every year by Tantri on the rituals, traditions and practices.
  8. Kalabam (Sandal Paste) Abhishekam is not part of the Temple tradition. Since it is being done, ensure it is done the right way.
  9. As per the signs emerging, Lord Ayyappa is not getting comfortable and adequate rest. Tantri has to find a remedy for this.
  10. The doors of the Sanctum Sanctorum doesn’t close properly, this needs to be addressed on priority and changed at the earliest
  11. Many such defects on the structures outside the temples needs to be fixed too
  12. Most problems would be solved, just by proper worship of Lord Ayyappa
  13. Priests, Security and Police have not been noble and have been faulty through their deeds and words. This has to be remedied
  14. Priests, Police & Devaswom Security should behave properly with the Pilgrims.
  15. One of the primary reasons for these problems is misbehaviour with the devotees and pilgrims. Staff who are related to pilgrim management or interaction should be given proper training
  16. We can see signs that there is concerted efforts by various organization to defame Ayyappa Temple. Remedial (Parihaara) and Atonement (Prayaschitta) actions would help us to hear Good news in this regard.
  17. Lord is being used as a means of conducting business. This has to be stopped.
  18. Do not indicate in any forms sponsors inside the temple premises.
  19. THE DAIVAJNAS (ASTROLOGERS ASKING QUESTIONS) SEE IMPENDING CALAMITY IN PAMBA
  20. Proper puja and Naivedya (Divine Offering) to be performed in Ganapathi temple in Pamba
  21. Mahamrutjunajaya Homam to be performed every month in Sabarimala. This has to be done for one year.
  22. The rivalry between Alangad and Ambalapuzha petta thullal teams is not being liked by Lord Ayyappa. This is easy to be remedied. (For more reading about the ritualistic significance of these two teams, click HERE)
  23. Bhasmakulam (The temple pond in Sannidhanam) has to be rebuilt.
  24. Lord Ayyappa wants a part of the revenue to be earmarked for the needy.
  25. The current Devaswom board has the will to issue orders to the Management committee.

Out of so many findings and recommendations during the Devaprashnam, Media in Headlines speaks only about one finding that was in favor of Kandararu Mohanaru (Click on the link to know details of the scandal). Attaching screenshot of the Wiki page as of 31st August 2018, 1245pm. Posting image as one after the other all reference to this news (under the external link section of the “Wiki Page) has been removed

Since it is favorable to him, I am sure Kandararu Mohanaru will not have any objection to the findings of this Devaprashnam. Remember, he went all out to personally attack the astrologer Parappanangadi Unnikrishna Panikker who discovered the dirty stuff that defiled the Holy Temple.

References: (Don’t be surprised not to find any of the above details in these reports. They have an agenda which is  reported

  1. http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2018/jun/17/devaprasnam-for-reinstatement-of-kandararu-mohanaru-as-thantri-1829247.html
  2. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/decks-cleared-for-the-return-of-kandararu-mohanaru/articleshow/64628998.cms