Monday, November 16, 2009
SWAMI SARANAM!AYYAPPA SARANAM!
Today,the auspicious month,mandala season started.
the month of Vrischikam when the mornings are cool with mist.early morning I got up to get ready to go to Sree Ayyappa Temple.the roads were wet.it rained the previous night.the temple is only twenty minutes drive away from home.I didn't want to miss the wonderful feelings that I get after a morning temple darshan.
a season of Lord Ayyappa!a season of equality,brotherhood and oneness among all.my mind was saying the prayers,
Raksha raksha mahabaho,
Sasthrethubhyam namo namah!''
Ayyappa is born out of the union between Mohini[Vishnu] and Shiva.the most famous Ayyappa temple in India is the one at Sabarimala.over fifty million devotees visiting here every year make it the second largest pilgrimage in the world.the mantra 'Thatwamasi' welcomes the devotees in Sabarimala.Amma has written an article on Thatwasmi.it means,'Thou art that'.to explain further,there is only one eternity blissful and that One is manifesting itself in all varities.there is a popular narration,that is a man once happened to mistake his own heartbeat.hearing someone knocking at the door he opened it but seeing nobody he came back.he again heard the knocking but when he opened the door he saw nobody.this continued a number of times until at last the truth flashed his mind that his own heartbeat was misinterpreted and that the Reality was within himself.man becomes God.
A pilgrim attending the Mandala pooja should observe austerities for forty one days.during this period,the pilgrim should abstain himself from non vegetarian habits and carnal pleasures.unlike certain Hindu temples,Sabarimala temple has no restrictions of cast or creed.the temple is open to males of all age groups and to women who have either passed their fertility age and those before reaching the stage of puberty.
a pilgrim should not shave or use alcoholic drinks.he/she should not lose temper.it's a season of sacrifice.mental strength grows n the mind fills with devotion.
My Achan[Father] used to go to Sabarimala,the famous abode of Lord Ayyappa on the hill top.the memories of the chants of Swami Saranam still echo in my ears.Ayyappan Vilakku was held in my Achan's house.we had a devotional atmosphere,and sandhya nama japam [evening prayers] was a must.
The annual Mandala-Makaravilakku Mahotsavam held at Ayyappa Temple commences from today.the first day of the Mandala season witnessed a Shodasabhishekam for Lord Ayyappa followed by an Ashtadravya Ganapathy Homam.right from small children to old people were already present in the temple to witness the Abhishekam.the temple looked beautiful with marigold flower strands and lighted lamps.the chants of SWAMIYE SARANAMAYYAPPA echoed everywhere.I was in a different world.I could attend Abhishekam,Ashtadravya Ganapathy Homam and Usha pooja.I missed ashtapathi,the beautiful devotional song sung at the time of ushapooja and deeparadhana.
years back,it was on such a Mandala season that a handful of Ayyappa devotees in and around Mangor hills joined their hands and started to conduct Ayyappa pooja at a place available with a photo of Lord Ayyappa.keeping in mind to have a proper organised approach,this small group formed the Ayyappa Seva Samithi in the year 1978.we,the pravasis reach this auspicious and wonderful premises of Lord Ayyappa seeking peace and happiness.
hundreds of Ayyappa devotees who will be starting their fortyone day Mandala vritham prior to their pilgrimage to the famous Sabarimala Temple on the hill tops of the western Ghats in Kerala accepted the Mudramala' in front of the Sreekovil of the temple.the festivities include special pujas,Abhishekams,Annadanam,Swami Bhojan and various cultural programmes will go on till January 14,2010,which is Makaravilakku day.the Mandala Makaravilakku festivities will be inaugurated today evening at 7.30 p.m at a function that will be held at temple premises.Speaker will be the chief guest at the function.this will be followed by a cultural programme presented by the Ayyappa Seva Samithi.
here,everyone feels happy to have a temple nearby and they make it a point to visit temple on most of the days.at times of stress and confusions we run to the lotus feet of Lord Ayyappan.
I am happy that the day was good with the darshan of Lord Ayyappan.
May Lord Bless One and All.I'm sure you will enjoy the devotional song,''Pambayil neeradi.............''please don't miss the video.
it's anu signing off.........
those who wish to go on pilgrimage within the short time, can depend on Vivekananda Travels,every month they arrange holy trips to Sabarimala.
wishing you all a peaceful and devotional night,
Anu just can't be away from you,
so telling you again,I love you all,