Kanchi Periva Forum - Ebook # 8 - Ayyappan Special Edition


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Kanchi Periva Forum - Ebook # 8 - Ayyappan Special Edition

  1. 1. E-Book from Kanchi Periva Forum The Essence of Hindu Tradition and Culture Lord Ayyappan Special Edition Volume : 8 Published : December 2012 © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org
  2. 2. Table of Contents Introduction .......................................................................................................................................................... 3 Discourses by Sri Kanchi Maha Periva ................................................................................................................... 4 Deivathin Kural Volume 1 - Ayyappan.............................................................................................................. 4 Deivathin Kural Volume 5 – The Problem about Ayyappa’s Mother ................................................................ 5 Why Ayyappa had his index finger on his nose in a posture of contemplation? .............................................. 6 த஡ய்஬த்஡றன் கு஧ல் (ன௅஡ல் தரகம்) - ஐ஦ப்தன் ........................................................................................ 9 Divine Voice of Sri Kanchi Maha Periva............................................................................................................... 11 Lord Ayyappan - Birth & History.......................................................................................................................... 12 Four Asanas ......................................................................................................................................................... 16 Pilgrimage to Sabarimala .................................................................................................................................... 17 Things the devotee has to carry with him ....................................................................................................... 18 Ten disciplines to be rigidly followed during the commitment period ........................................................... 18 How the name Sastha came in ........................................................................................................................ 19 Why ghee?....................................................................................................................................................... 19 The Eighteen Holy Steps...................................................................................................................................... 20 Deities of 18 steps ........................................................................................................................................... 22 Slokams ............................................................................................................................................................... 22 Sri Sastha Dasakam [ten verses about Sastha] ............................................................................................... 22 Harivarasanam ................................................................................................................................................ 25 Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................................................. 29 © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 2 of 29
  3. 3. Shri Kanchi Maha Periva Thiruvadigal Saranam Introduction Hari Om! We are pleased to bring you the Eighth edition of the e-book series from the Kanchi Periva Forum. This month’s ebook is a special edition on Lord Ayyappan, also known as Dharma Saastha and Hari Hara Puthran. This ebook contains very interesting excerpts from Sri Maha Periva’s discourses on Ayyappan, birth and history of the Lord, some information on the pilgrimage undertaken to Sabarimala, significance of the 18 holy steps and some popular Slokams of Lord Ayyappan with English translation. We also have for you a beautiful compilation of Sri Maha Periva’s sweet audio discourse on Saastha and Saivam / Vaishnavam We are sure that this Ebook will be a feast to your eyes and we request you to forward this to all your friends and relatives. For those who are not familiar about our website and forum, we welcome you to visit www.periva.org for a collection of rare videos and complete online library of upanyasams of Sri Maha Periva. Please also register on the forum www.periva.proboards.com to stay updated on devotees’ experiences and to receive our regular newsletters. We humbly submit this Eighth e-book at the lotus feet of Shri Maha Periva. Though this book is for restricted circulation among like-minded members of the society, this is a Free publication like all our other publications, which can be downloaded from www.periva.proboards.com Any feedback or queries may be sent to us at kanchiperiva@gmail.com Administrator Kanchi Periva Forum Jaya Jaya Shankara, Hara Hara Shankara! © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 3 of 29
  4. 4. Discourses by Sri Kanchi Maha Periva Deivathin Kural Volume 1 - Ayyappan The one Paramatma, takes the form of Siva and Narayana. As Siva He is Gnanamoorthy. As Narayana, he nourishes and protects the world. By saying this, we are not differentiating and saying that they are different entities. Neither does it mean that, Narayana is any less in Gnana or that Siva has no organizational power. This division of work is purely for our understanding. Siva is sitting either under the banyan tree or on a snow covered mountain peak. His whole body is smeared with ashes from the cremation grounds. He is wearing the Tiger skin at the hip and His body is covered by the skin of the Elephant. In his head, his hair is matted and rolled in to a pyramid. His form, decoration and residence, are appropriate for a Gnani. His hand is holding the 'Gnana Mudra'. He and the surrounding areas are immersed in the silence of 'Atma Dhyana'. He is the Original Guru, who instructs in 'Atma Gnana'. He himself is the truth of 'Atma Swaroopa'. His is the job of a Gnani, to impart Atma Gnana. To protect the world is the job of a King. So we think of Narayana as the Emperor of Sri Vaikundam. He is wearing yellow silk, Kousthuba Jewels in the chest, garland made of exotic flowers, golden crown with inlaid gems, ear studs. His effulgence is further enhanced, by his wearing the very Mahalakshmi, his consort, on his chest, as a King of Kings. Like the Rishis who give special attention to cleanliness, Siva is fond of bathing. That is why, all over North India, wherever there is a Siva Ling, they hang a 'dhara pathram', over his head, from which, water keeps dripping. Maha Vishnu on the other hand is fond of decorations. So, we decorate Him with gold and silk. That is why it is said, "Alankarap priyo Vishnu : Abhishekap priyo Siva :" Easwara's beauty has the pacifying effect on the observer. Sriman Narayana's has the attractive intoxicating effect of, 'vaseekaram'. Both as Sri Rama and Sri Krishna, he had this magnetic pull of universal attraction. When He took the form of Mohini, it is but natural that in the female form, of Maha Vishnu, must have been very very beautiful and thrilling the onlooker's mind and heart! That name 'Mohinee', itself means 'inducing desire'. Lord Parmeswara's heart, which is normally very calm and cool, could become enamoured of the 'Mohinee Rupa' of Narayana, say the Puranas. (This is not to be considered to be a crude union of two males. Remember that, we are not to think of such infinities of power, as confined to the limitations of the human form.) © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 4 of 29
  5. 5. The loving beauty of Narayana and the peace and quietitude of Siva, combined to form another infinity of power and glory and light, That became 'Ayyappa'. This 'Ayyappa', is called, Saasta or Ayyanar and Harihara Putran. Ayyan is derived from, 'Arya'. Arya means respectable. A child born of a combination of the supreme powers of Vishnu and Siva, has to be respectable! Who else can be more so? The Siva part is Awareness of Gnana and Tapas; the Maha Vishnu part is Love, Beauty and Compassion. In Hari-Hara-Putra, all these qualities have fruitioned in to one. That is why possibly, Siva's two earlier sons are called lovingly as Pillayar and Kumaran; both indicative of children! But in the case of Saasta, He gets the respectable Ayyar. Arya became Ayyar, like Mudaliyar and Chettiyar. Ayyan gets the respectable Ayyanar. Point to note here. Normally, in Tamil Nadu, the Ayyanar Temples are located outside the villages, without a roof, exposed to Sun and rain. In these temples, there is no daily pooja rituals by priests, by the name of 'Ayyar'. The God himself is referred as 'Ayyar or Ayyanar'. This itself is an indicator that all casteism and class differences, being talked about now-a-days, was not much bothered with in earlier times. In Sabari Hills, a place is known as, 'Ariyankavu', Arya's forest! Though there are many Temples for many Gods, other than Saasta, no other Gods are referred as, 'Ayyar or Aryan'. Saasta is Saththan in Tamil. In almost all the 'Saththanur' named towns / villages, the presiding deity is Ayyappan. In Tamil Nadu, in every village, He is the Village Deity or what is called 'Grama Devatai'. In Kerala, worship of Ayyappa has spread in a different way and not as the Grama Devata. He is a protector. He protects us from evil forces. From Sriman Narayana, He has the power to protect and nourish. From Siva, He has the power to give us Gnana. In the modern times, in Independent India, when Agnostic views are being publicised with much fanfare; it is being countered by Ayyappa Bakthi, which is growing with ever increasing vigour, every year. Ayyappa who is having Sabari Malai as His Head Quarters, is making inroads into every South Indian State and expanding His domain. This is a very encouraging sign. Devotion to Ayyappa, is very effective against all Agnostic propoganda. If we also seek His blessing and live deservingly, I am sure that, this country and in turn the whole world will benefit. Deivathin Kural Volume 5 – The Problem about Ayyappa’s Mother The Problem about Ayyappa’s Mother! Talking about the mothers of PiLLaiyar and SubrahmaNya, one funny incident comes to my mind. There is a third son of Parvathy – Parameswara couple. He is the Ayyappa who is becoming much famous recently. (In the last few decades the number of devotees going to Ayyappa temple in forests of Kerala after a vow of abstinence for 42 days, has increased many folds reaching astronomical proportions!) He is said to have been born with Siva as the Father and Mahavishnu as the Mother in his Mohini Avatara. Though I am saying that it is a funny thing, this episode has given much grist to the so called ‘Paguthu Aridal Iyakkam’ of Tamil Nadu who are critical of all Hindu Religious beliefs! © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 5 of 29
  6. 6. The story is like this. In the 16th Century, there was one Appayya Deekshidar a great scholar, singer poet of Tamil Nadu. Though a hard core Adwaitin, he was an ardent devotee of Siva. Those days the devotees of Maha Vishnu were rather aggressive in spreading their own beliefs and sect. Appayya Deekshidar’s efforts were as a counter to that. So he was forced as though to establish and propagate the superiority of Siva and Siva Worship. His contemporary was one Tatachaariyaar who had the patronage of end rulers of the Vijayanagara dynasty. He was an ardent devotee of the Vaishnava tradition doing much to convert the general public to become pro-VishNu and antiSiva! This was the cause against which Appayya Deekshidar was highly motivated. Though true Hinduism is one which accommodates and embraces all variety of views and sects; at times there have been such spikes of odd and errant behaviour by some, off and on! Though Tatachaariyar’s line was antiSiva, Appayya Deekshidar was not against Maha Vishnu at all. As I said earlier, he used to refer to AmbaaL, Siva and Vishnu as ‘Ratna Thrayam’ the three gems of the Hindu religion as the very forms of the Parabrhmam! He has quoted many references from the Sruti and Smruti scriptures to prove his points. Once a King went to a temple with both Tatachaariyar and Appayya Deekshidar. That king might have been Ramaraya of Vijayanagara Dynasty or Velur Chinna Bomma Naickar or Tanjore Veera Nrusimha Bhupaala. The name of the King is not important. The fact was that the King went accompanied by these two very learned stalwarts of devotees of Siva and Vishnu. In the temple there was a statue of Ayyappa the Saastha. Unlike the normal posture of sitting on his haunches, this Ayyappa was having his index finger on his nose in deep thought as though! The King asked as to why the Devata seems to be in a novel posture? The temple authorities answered the King. “This statue had been made many years back, we do not know when. The Sthapathy who sculpted the statue, is said to have had a vision of Ayyappa in a posture of puzzle and perplexity. He made it as seen by him, without knowing the reason as to why Ayyappa was in such a state of quandary. At that time the Sthapathy had said that, sometime in the future an all knowing pundit (‘sarvagna’) will visit the temple and explain the reason for Ayyappa’s perplexity and then the statue will regain the normal posture, as seen in all other temples. Since then many great people have visited this temple and have given many reasons for Ayyappa’s quandary. But since the reasoning was not correct, till date the statue continues to be like this.” The King looked at the two erudite scholars accompanying him questioningly. Why Ayyappa had his index finger on his nose in a posture of contemplation? Tatachaariyar responded first, using it as an opportunity to have a dig at devotees of Siva! He said, “vishNo: sudhoham vidinaa samoham dhanyas tatoham sura sevitoham I tataapi bhooteshu sudoham eteir bhooteir vrutas chintayateeha saasta II”. That means, “If you ask me as to what is troubling the mind of Saasta, the answer is this. I am the son of Vishnu. So I am as important and great, equal to Brhma, respected by all the Devatas! But still, I also happen to be the son of the leader of all ghosts the Bhootesha”. Bhootesha is Siva.” © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 6 of 29
  7. 7. The phrase ‘tataapi’ (that is underlined in the text) means ‘but still’. The second line of the sloka starts with that, ‘tataapi’! Despite being the son of Maha Vishnu and respected by all Devatas, I also happen to be the son of this leader of ogres, ghosts and other horrendous ephemerals! When there are very pleasing and loveable names of Siva as, Sankara, Easwara, Sambo, Pasupathi, Nataraja and so on, the very selection of the name ‘Bhootesha’ is derogatory. If there can be a leader who could control those horrendous ephemerals it is an honour indeed showing the power of command of Easwara and the son of such a person can really be proud of it! Parameswara ensures that, the power of these unsavoury elements are not given a free reign of play but, kept under a tight leash and made use of for the welfare of the society. So he is Bhootesha. It is worthwhile noting that Parameswara is also Mahadeva as the head of all Devatas! Out of his three sons, one son is made responsible for the Army of all Devatas. That is SubrahmaNya the Deva Senapathy. All others other than the Devatas have been divided into two parts and Siva made his other two sons responsible for them. So PiLLaiyar is ‘Bhoota GaNaadi sevitam’ GaNapathi. Saasta Ayyappa has a name as Bhootanaatha as the Gayatri Mantra in his name is, “bhoota naathaaya vidmahe bhava nandanaaya deemahi tanno saastaa prachodayaat”. To control and command the Bhoota forces is a matter of pride for Saasta. The fact that these mischievous trouble creators are kept disciplined under a commander like Saasta, outside the villages as the security guards for the living area of human beings, is a great social service done by Saasta. Since Tatachariyaar was not aware of the good works of the forces under Siva and his administration, thinking this to be a matter to be ashamed of, he conveniently made it look as though it is a disgrace for Saasta and thus completed his sloka: “Though I am proud to be the son of Maha Vishnu, equivalent in name and fame to that of Brhma the creator, respected by all the Devatas; as the son of the leader of the Bhoota GaNaas – ‘eteir bhooteir vruta:’ – as surrounded by these Bhootas, –‘chintyateeha saasta’ – Saasta is feeling bad with shame and worry!” – finished Tatachariyaar! But Tatachariyaar’s poem did not cause the Saasta’s statue to take off its index finger from the nose! As we have analysed, Saasta as the commander of the Bhoota forces cannot possibly be ashamed of his position and status. The sloka by Tatachariyaar, though was having literary merit, was not evidently factually very correct. So there was no reaction on the statue of Saasta. The King now looked at Appayya Deekshidar and he gave out his version as to why the statue of Saasta was seemingly thoughtful. He also answered as though it was the thought process by Saasta. Appayya Deekshidar said these words as though spoken by Saasta, “ambeti gowreem aham aahvayaami patnya pitru – maatara eva sarva: I katam nu lakshmeem iti chintayantam saastaaram eede sakalaarta siddhyai II” © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 7 of 29
  8. 8. As per Deekshidar’s poem, Saasta is thinking, “I call (aahvayaami) Gowri as (amba + iti = ambeti) Mother, as she is Siva’s wife. All my Father’s wives are my mother-s as Maha Vishnu in Mohini Avatara is also my mother only.” That is how Vigneswara considered Ganga as a mother. “Having Easwara as the father and Maha Vishnu as mother, I do not have to be confused about my relation to Gowri as all my father’s wives are my mother only - ‘pitru – maatara eva sarva:’. So Parasakti Gowri is also my mother – ‘ambeti gowreem aham aahvayaami’. But the question that remains to be answered is, “What is my relation to Vishnu’s wife Lakshmi?” ‘katam nu Lakshmeem?” We also cannot give a suitable answer to this question! Who is Lakshmi? She is the wife of Maha Vishnu. It is Maha Vishnu in the Avatara as Mohini, the mother of Saasta. Now, what is your relationship with your Mother’s wife? One of the names of Saasta is Harihara Putra. So now, what is the relationship between Saasta and Lakshmi? This is the puzzle. We have heard of many relationships such as, uncle, auntie, brother, sister, step-father, step-mother and so on. Especially in Tamil, we have special names for more intricate relationships such as, chitti, chittappa, periappa, periyamma, athai, athimber, shaddagar, chakkalathi and so on, without parallels in other languages! Only Saasta has this peculiar relation of having a mother’s wife! “katam nu Lakshmeem?” This ‘nu’ is the question mark. I pray to this Saastaa who is deep in thought as to what is this relationship of his with his mother’s wife is to be taken as, “iti chintayantam saastaaram sakalaartha siddhyai eede”! “Let him clarify this situation, as he is capable of granting all blessings”, saying so, Deekshidar finished his sloka. We were discussing PiLLaiyar and suddenly how have we deviated to this Ayyappa episode? There in the sloka about PiLLaiyar, it finished with the statement that he is capable of ‘sarvaarth pratipaadana chathura:’ and here too Ayyappa is described as capable of granting all ‘sakalaartha siddhim’! So they are both well connected. So also, the authors of both the slokas are related as great-grandfather and great-grand son! Deekshidar in his sloka has not ridiculed or looked down on any one. He has exhibited his superior intelligence, word power and also deep devotion to all the Gods! When we do not know as to why Saastaa is in a state of quandary, with due humility he says with clarity that Saastaa will solve the puzzle also! By so saying Deekshidar is also indicating his humbleness that without God’s blessings, by brain power alone we cannot solve this puzzle or any puzzle! More than all this, you will agree with me that what Deekshidar has pointed out as the puzzle about which Saastaa is thoughtful, seems to be the correct interpretation. So in truth it is this question that could have seized the attention of Saastaa as seen by the Sthapathi when he sculptured the statue. So when Deekshidar correctly identified the problem, the hand of the statue removed the index finger from the nose and resumed the same form as seen anywhere in any temple! When one stone statue moved and removed the index finger from its nose, I am sure all the bystanders at the scene must have put their index fingers on their respective noses! When we talked about PiLLaiyar that he has a special name as having two mothers, ‘dwai mathura’, it came to my mind that Shanmuga has six mothers and that led to a discussion about Ayyappa’s quandary. © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 8 of 29
  9. 9. It is good that thinking of the eldest son of Parvathy – Parameswara as a couple, we could think of all the three sons of theirs. தெய்வத்ெின் குரல் (முெல் பாகம்) - ஐயப்பன் த஧஥ரத்஥ர ஒன்றந சற஬ணரகவும் ஢ர஧ர஦஠ணரகவும் ரூத஥ம் ஡ரிக்கறநது. சற஬ணரக இருக்கும்றதரது ஞரண னெர்த்஡ற஦ரக இருக்கறநது. ஢ர஧ர஦஠ணரக இருக்கும்றதரது றனரக மம்஧க்ஷ஠ம் தசய்கறநது. இப்தடிச் தசய்஬஡ரல் சற஬னும் ஬ிஷ்ணுவும் ன௅ற்நறலும் ற஬று ற஬று என்றநர, அல்னது த஡ர஫றலன ஒட்டிச் தகரஞ்சம் ற஬ற்தட்டரற் றதரனறருக்கறந ஢றலன஦ில் சற஬னுக்குப் தரிதரனன் சக்஡ற இல்லன என்றநர, ஬ிஷ்ணுவுக்கு ஞரண சக்஡ற இல்லனத஦ன்றநர அர்த்஡஥றல்லன. அ஬ர்கள் ஒவ்த஬ரரு஬ரும் ன௅க்கற஦஥ரகச் தசய்கறந அநுக்கற஧கத்ல஡ற஦ குநறப்திட்றடன். ஆன ஬ிரு஭த்஡றன்கல ற஫ர, உடதனல்னரம் ஬ின௄஡றப் தணி஥லன ன௄ச்சு. உச்சற ஥ீ ற஡ர ன௃னறத்ற஡ரலன சற஬ததரு஥ரன் இடுப்தில் கட்டி, ஬ற்நறருக்கறநரர். ீ ஦ரலணத்ற஡ரலனப் றதரர்த்஡ற஦ிருக்கறநரர். ஡லன஦ிறன ஜடரன௅டி, அ஬஧து ஸ்஬ரூதம், அனங்கர஧ம், ஬ரசஸ்஡ரணம் எல஡ப் தரர்த்஡ரலும் ஞரணிகளுக்கு உரி஦஡ரக இருக்கறநது. அ஬ர் க஧த்஡றறனற஦ ஞரண ன௅த்஡றல஧ ஡ரங்கற஦ிருக்கறநரர். ஆத்஥ ஡ற஦ரணத்஡றல் ஆழ்ந்஡றருக்கறந அ஬஧து சந்஢ற஡ற ஒற஧ சரந்஡஥ரக இருக்கறநது. த஧஥ சத்஡ற஦த்ல஡ப் றதர஡றக்கறந த஧஥குரு அ஬ற஧. அந்஡ப் தி஧஥ சத்஡ற஦ன௅ம் அ஬ற஧஦ன்நற ற஬நறல்லன. இந்஡ உதற஡சம் ஞரணி஦ின் த஡ர஫றல். றனரக ஧க்ஷ஠ம் ல஬குண்டத்஡றல் ஬ண஥ரலன, என்தது ஧ரஜர஬ின் சக்க஧஬ர்த்஡றறதரல் கறரீட குண்டனங்கள் கடல஥. அ஡ணரல்஡ரன் ஡ற஦ரணிக்கறறநரம். ஡ரித்து, சரக்ஷ£த் ஢ர஧ர஦஠லண தீ஡ரம்த஧ம், ஸ்ரீ தகௌஸ்துதம், ஥கரனக்ஷ்஥றல஦ ஥ரர்திறன ல஬த்துக்தகரண்டு, ஧ரஜர஡ற஧ரஜணரக இருக்கறநரர் ஸ்ரீ ஥கர ஬ிஷ்ணு. ஆசர஧ சல ன஧ரக ரி஭றகலபப் தசய்஬஡றல் திரி஦ம். றதரல் அ஡ணரல்஡ரன் ஈஸ்஬஧னுக்கு ஬டற஡சத்஡றல் எப்றதரது ஈஸ்஬஧ன் தரர்த்஡ரலும் ஸ்஢ரணம் றகர஦ில்கபில் எல்னரம் சற஬னறங்கத்஡றன் ற஥ல் எப்றதரது தரர்த்஡ரலும் ஜனம் தகரட்டிக் தகரண்டிருக்கும்தடி ஡ர஧ர தரத்஡ற஧த்ல஡க் கட்டி ல஬த்஡றருக்கறநரர்கள். சக்க஧஬ர்த்஡ற றதரன்ந ஥கர஬ிஷ்ணுவுக்றகர அனங்கர஧த்஡றல் திரி஦ம் அ஡றகம். அ஬ருக்குப் தட்டும் ததரன்னும் ன௃லணந்து ஥கறழ்கறறநரம். அனங்கர஧ப் ப்ரிற஦ர ஬ிஷ்ணு : அதிற஭கப்ரிற஦ர சற஬ : என்றந தசரல்஬ரர்கள். © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 9 of 29
  10. 10. ஈஸ்஬஧ணின் அ஫கு ஥ணத்ல஡ அடங்கச் தசய்கறந சரந்஡ ஸ்஬தர஬ம் ஬ரய்ந்஡து. ஸ்ரீ ஥ந் ஢ர஧ர஦஠ின் தசௌந்஡ரி஦ற஥ர ஥ணத்ல஡ ற஥ரகறக்கச் தசய்து ஆணந்஡க் கூத்஡ரடச் தசய்஬து. ஬ிஷ்ணு஬ின் ஡றவ்஬ி஦ ரூதத்஡றனறருந்து ல஬த்஡ கண்ல஠ ஬ரங்க ன௅டி஦ர஥ல் எ஬ரும் தசரக்கறக் கறடக்க ற஬ண்டி஦஡ர஦ிற்று. ஸ்ரீ ஧ர஥ணரகவும், கறருஷ்஠ த஧஥ரத்஥ரகவும் அ஬஡ரித்஡ றதரதும், இந்஡ ஜகன்ற஥ரகண தசௌந்஡ரி஦ம் அ஬ல஧ ஬ிட்டு ஢ீங்கர஥றன இருந்஡றருக்கறநது. இப்தடிப்தட்ட஬ர் ற஥ரயறணி என்றந ஒர் உரு஬ம் தகரள்ளும்றதரது எத்஡லண அ஫கரக இருந்து, எல்றனரர் உள்பங்கலபனேம் ற஥ரயறக்க ல஬த்துக் தகரள்லபக் தகரண்டிருப்தரர். த஧஥ ஞரணி஦ரக, ஡றதர஥஦஥ரக ஜ்஬னறத்துக் தகரண்டிருந்஡ த஧ற஥சு஬஧ணின் ஥ணத்ல஡க்கூட ஥கர஬ிஷ்ணு஬ின் ற஥ரகறணி ரூதம் ஥஦க்கற ஬ிட்டது என்று ன௃஧ர஠ங்கள் தசரல்கறன்நண. ற஥ரகறணி஦ரக ஬ந்஡ ஢ர஧ர஦஠ின் கருண்஦ னர஬ண்஦ன௅ம் த஧ற஥சு஬஧ணின் சரந்஡ ஞரணன௅ம் ஒன்று றசர்ந்஡வுடன் ஒரு ஥கர ற஡ஜஸ் - ஒரு ததரும் றஜர஡ற திநந்஡து. இந்஡த் ற஡ஜறம ஐ஦ப்தணரக உருக் தகரண்டது. யரிய஧ ன௃த்஡ற஧ன் என்றும், ஐ஦ணரர் என்றும் தசரல்஬து இந்஡ ஐ஦ப்தலணத்஡ரன். ஐ஦ன் என்தது ஆர்஦ என்த஡றன் ஡றரின௃. ஆர்஦ என்நரல் ஥஡றப்ன௃க்குநற஦ என்று ததரருள். சரக்ஷ£த் த஧ற஥சு஬஧னுக்கும் குலநந்஡஬ர் இ஧ண்டுற஥ எ஬ருண்டு. ஢ரம் ஢ர஧ர஦஠னெர்த்஡றக்கும் ஞரணன௅ம் உய்வு ததந ஡தசும் ஜணித்஡ கு஫ந்ல஡ல஦஬ிட கனந்஡ அ஬சற஦஥ரகும். ஬ிஷ்ணு஬ின் யரிய஧ க்ஷத்஧ ன௃த்஧ணரகற஦ ஥஡றப்ன௃க் அம்சம் ஐ஦ப்தணிடம் இல஬த஦ல்னரற஥ ஒன்று றசர்ந்஡றருப்த஡ரகக் தகரள்ற஬ரம். இ஡ணரல்஡ரன் றதரனறக்கறநது. சற஬ததரு஥ரணின் ஥ற்ந இருதரனர்கலபப் திள்லப஦ரர் என்றும் கு஥஧ன் என்றும் கு஫ந்ல஡கலபக் குநறக்கறந தசரல்னரல் குநறப்திட்டரலும், அ஬஧து னென்நர஬து ன௃த்஡ற஧ரண சரஸ்஡ரல஬ ஥ட்டும் ஥஡றப்ன௃க்குநற஦஬஧ரக - ஆர்஦஧ரக - ஐ஦ணர஧ரகக் குநறப்திடுகறன்றநரம். ஆர்஦ எந்தது஡ரன் அய்஦ர் என்஧ர஦ிற்று. ன௅஡னற - ன௅஡னற஦ரர், தசட்டி - தசட்டி஦ரர் ஥ர஡றரி அய்஦னுக்கு ஥ரி஦ரல஡ப் த஡ம் அய்஦ணரர். இ஡றறன ஒரு ற஬டிக்லக. ததரது஬ரகத் ஡஥றழ் ஢ரட்டில் அய்஦஧ரக அய்஦ர் (குருக்கள்) ன௄ஜறக்கர஡ - அய்஦ணர஧ரக இருக்கறநரர். கற஧ர஥க் றகர஦ில்கபில் தகரஞ்சம்கூட உள்ப இப்றதரது ஸ்஬ர஥ற஢ர஡ன் றதசப்தடுகறந இண ஬ித்஡ற஦ரசங்கள் ன௅ன்றண இல்லன என்த஡ற்கு இதுற஬ ஒர் அலட஦ரபம். சதரி஥லன஦ில் ஒரிடத்ல஡ ஆரி஦ங்கரவு என்று ஆரி஦னுலட஦ கரடரகற஬ தசரல்கறநரர்கள். ற஡சத்஡றல் எத்஡லணற஦ர ஸ்஬ர஥றகளுக்குக் றகர஦ில் இருந்஡ரலும் சரஸ்஡ரல஬த் ஡஬ி஧ எ஬ருக்குற஥ அய்஦ர், ஆரி஦ன் என்ந தத஦ர்கள் இல்லன. சரஸ்஡ர என்தற஡ ஡஥ற஫றல் சரத்஡ன். ஡஥றழ் ஢ரட்டில் இருக்கப்தட்ட அற஢க சரத்஡னூர்கபில் ன௅க்கற஦஥ரண த஡ய்஬ம் ஐ஦ப்தன்஡ரன். © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 10 of 29
  11. 11. ஡஥றழ்஢ரட்டில் கற஧ர஥த்துக்குக் ற஡஬ல஡஦ரக இல்னர஥ல் கற஧ர஥ம் ற஬று ஐ஦ணரர் ஬ி஡த்஡றல் றகர஦ில் ஐ஦ப்தன் உண்டு. ஬஫றதரடு றக஧பத்஡றல் கற஧ர஥ த஬கு஬ரகப் த஧஬ி ஬பர்ந்஡றருக்கறநது. அ஬ர் ஢ம்ல஥க் கர஬ல் ஡ீ஦சக்஡றகபினறருந்து ஢ம்ல஥க் ஢ர஧ர஦஠ணிட஥றருந்து ஈஸ்஬஧ணிட஥றருந்து ன௃ரிகறந ஢ம் த஡ய்஬ம். கரற்று கரப்தரற்றுத஬ர். கருப்ன௃ இத஡ல்னர஬ற்றுக்கும் ஬ரழ்க்லகல஦ற஦ தரிதரனறக்கும் ஢஥க்கு ஬ிற஥ரசணம் ஡ருகறந ன௅஡னரண சக்஡றல஦ப் ஞரணத்ல஡ தன஬ி஡ ற஥னரக ததற்நறருக்கறநரர். அபிக்கும் சக்஡றனேம் ததற்நறருக்கறநரர். சு஡ந்஡ற஧ இந்஡ற஦ர஬ில் ஐ஦ப்தன் த஧ரம்த த஧ரம்தக் கற஦ர஡ற ததற்று ஬ருகறநரர். சு஡ந்஡ற஧ சரமணம் (Constitution) அபித்஡றருக்கறந றதச்சுத் சு஡ந்஡ற஧த்ல஡ப் த஦ன்தடுத்஡றக் தகரண்டு ஒரு தக்கத்஡றல் ஢ரஸ்஡றகப் தி஧ச்சர஧ம் ஡டன௃டனரக ஢டக்கறநறதரற஡, ஥றுதக்கத்஡றல் அது எடுதடர஡ அப஬ிற்கு ஐ஦ப்த தக்஡ற ஢ரளுக்கு ஢ரள் அற஥ரக஥ரக ஬ிருத்஡ற஦ரக்கறக் தகரண்டிருக்கறநது. றகர஧பத்஡றல் எட்டரக் லக஦ில் தகரஞ்ச஥ரகத் ஡஥றழ்஢ரடு, ஥ற்ந சதரி஥லன஦ில் ஧ரஜ்஦ங்கள் இருக்கறந ஥ீ த஡ல்னரம் கூடத் ஐ஦ப்தன் ஡ம் தகரஞ்சம் ஧ரஜ஡ரணில஦ ஬ிஸ்஡ரித்துக் தகரண்றட ஬ருகறநரர். இது ஥றகவும் உற்சரக஥பிக்கறந ஬ி஭஦ம். ஢ரஸ்஡றகப் தி஧ச்சர஧ ஬ி஭஦த்ல஡த் ஡டுக்கறந அரு஥ருந்஡ரக ஬ந்஡றருக்கறநது ஐ஦ப்த தக்஡ற. அ஬஧து கறருலதல஦ ஢ரடி, அ஡ற்குப் தரத்஡ற஧ர்கபரக ஬ரழ்ற஡ர஥ரணரல் ஢ரன௅ம், உனகன௅ம் சறநப்ன௃ற்று ஬ிபங்கு஬து ஢றச்ச஦ம். Divine Voice of Sri Kanchi Maha Periva http://www.mixcloud.com/kanchiperiva/periva-on-saastha/ http://www.mixcloud.com/kanchiperiva/periva-on-saivam-and-vainavam/ © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 11 of 29
  12. 12. Lord Ayyappan - Birth & History The members of Pandya dynasty ousted by Thirumala Naicker the ruler of the erstwhile Pandya Empire spanning Madurai, Thirunelveli and Ramanathapuram lived in places like Valliyur, Tenkasi, Shengottah, Achankovil and Sivagiri. They had also established their supremacy in parts of Travancore, and some of them belonging to Chempazhanattu Kovil in Sivagiri were given the right to rule the country of Pandalam by the King of Travancore, some eight hundred years ago. King Rajashekara, the foster-father of Lord Ayyappan belonged to this dynasty. A just and precocious sovereign King Rajashekara was held by his subjects in high esteem. Under him, the region was witnessing a goldenage. But the king had one sorrow – he was childless and thus had no heir to inherit his throne. Both the hapless king and his queen prayed ceaselessly to Lord Shiva for a child. Around the same time, a demon by the name of Mahishasura undertook severe penance (tapas) and consequently Lord Brahma was forced to grant his wish that nobody on earth could annihilate him. Emboldened by Brahma’s boon, Mahishasura commenced systematic destruction of people and pulverized tribes and communities. Terrorised and fearing his wrath, people fled to distant lands. Realizing that only a superhuman power could exterminate the wayward Mahishasura, the devas appealed to Goddess Durga, who killed him in a bloody battle. Determined to avenge her slain brother, Mahishi, the sister of Mahishasura secured a boon from Lord Brahma that no being except the offspring of Vishnu (Hari) & Shiva (Haran) could slay her. In due course of time, Mahishi went to Devaloka and began harassing the Devas who in turn implored Lord Vishnu to intervene. As the boon was that nobody except the son of Lord Shiva & Vishnu could kill Mahishi, Lord Vishnu assumed the female persona of Mohini who helped devas prize Amrit away from asuras; it was decided that the male child born out of the union of Mohini and Lord Shiva would be placed under the care of Lord Shiva’s childless devotee, King Rajashekhara of Pandalam. On one of his hunting trips to the forests near River Pampa, as King Rajashekara reclined on the banks of river mulling over the natural beauty of the surroundings and waterfalls, he heard an infant’s wails from the forest. Astounded, he followed the sounds and came upon a beautiful child furiously kicking its feet and arms. The king stood there, perplexed – he longed to take the child home to his palace. © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 12 of 29
  13. 13. Whilst King Rajashekhara beheld the divine child, a sadhu appeared from nowhere and instructed him to take the infant to his palace. Also the mendicant assured him that the child would mitigate his dynasty’s sufferings and that when the boy turned twelve, Rajashekhara would be aware of his divinity. As the child was wearing a gold chain, the sadhu directed the King to name him ‘Manikandan’ – one with a golden neck. Ecstatic, Rajashekhara took Manikandan home and narrated the happenings to his queen. They both felt that they had been blessed by LordShiva himself. All except the Diwan who had entertained hopes of becoming king after Rajashekhara, rejoiced in the royal couple’s happiness. As a child, Manikandan was very intelligent and precocious. He excelled in martial arts and shastras and surprised his guru with his brilliance and superhuman talents. Peace and prosperity reigned in Pandalam. Eventually, Ayyappan’s guru concluded that the boy was no ordinary mortal but a divine being. Upon completing his studies, Manikandan went up to his teacher to offer guru dakshina and seek his blessings in turn. As he approached his spiritual master for ashirwaadams, the guru explained to Manikandan what he had already surmised about him, that he was a divine power destined for superhuman glory. The guru then beseeched him to bestow vision and speech upon his son who was blind and dumb. Manikandan placed his hands on the guru’s son and the boy immediately gained eyesight and speech. Requesting that this miracle be revealed to none, Manikandan returned to the royal quarters. Meanwhile the Queen had given birth to a male child who was named Raja Rajan. Sensing these miraculous turn of events were somehow inextricably linked to Manikandan, Rajasekara, decided to crown him King; he obviously considered Lord Ayyappan his eldest son. Everbody with the exception of the King’s Diwan, rejoiced. This wily minister, who secretly nursed kingly ambitions, hated Manikandan and devised manifold plots, including poisoning of food to exterminate the divine avatar. Manikandan had a few narrow escapes, yet his body bore an injury that none could cure. Finally, Lord Shiva himself in the garb of a healer cured the young boy. His plans foiled, the Diwan told the Queen that it was highly improper for Manikandan to succeed Rajasekara, as her own son was alive. Since Arthasastra justifies any misdeed with a noble end, he instigated her to feign illness; he assured the Queen that he would make his physician proclaim that she could be cured only by the application of tigress’ milk. Manikandan would be impelled to go to the forest where he would fall a prey to wild animals, or even if he returned home without accomplishing the task, Rajasekara’s love for him would be the same as before. © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 13 of 29
  14. 14. Blinded by her devotion to her own son, the Queen vowed to help the Diwan and pretended as though she were suffering from a terrible headache. The King grew alarmed and summoned his physicians who were unable to revive the seemingly ailing Queen. Eventually the Diwan’s accomplice declared that she would be cured of the malady only if the milk of a lactating tigress were made available. Rajasekara proclaimed that he would hand over half his kingdom to anybody who could cure the hapless Queen. The team of soldiers sent by Rajasekara with the sole purpose of getting the milk returned empty-handed. Manikandan offered to help, but the King would not heed his pleas to go to the forest, citing the boy’s tender age and impending coronation as reasons. Unperturbed, Manikandan requested his father to do him a favour. Rajasekara, ever the indulgent parent relented immediately; the boy seizing the opportunity pressed him to let him collect the milk. Manikandan stalled Rajasekara’s efforts to organize a band of brave men to accompany him into the forest; he argued that the tigress would leave silently upon seeing the crowd of soldiers. Reluctantly Rajasekara bid farewell to his favourite son and made him take food stocks and three-eyed coconuts, in honour of Lord Shiva. The Panchabuthas of Lord Shiva closely followed Manikandan as he entered the forest. But on the way, he chanced to witness the atrocities of the demoness Mahishi in Devaloka. His sense of justice outraged, Manikandan hurled Mahishi onto the earth below; she fell on the banks of the Azhutha River. A bloody battle soon ensued and at the end, Manikandan mounted Mahishi’s chest and commenced a violent dance that reverberated within the earth and the Devaloka. Even the Devas were frightened. Mahishi realized that the divine being on her was the son of Hari and Haran, chastened, she prostrated before the young boy and died. This dance was witnessed by Lord Shiva and Mahavishnu from a place called Kalakatti (It is said that Leela, daughter of Kavalan, a Karamban, with a face of Mahishi and freed herself from the curse and obtained Moksha by the grace of Shri Dharma Sastha, which is described in Sabarimala Temple as Malikapurathu Amma, by which name she has a temple there) Following his confrontation with Mahishi, Manikandan entered the forest for tigress’ milk. He had a darshan of Lord Shiva who informed him that even though he had fulfilled the divine plan, he still had one major task to accomplish. Manikandan was reminded about his grief-stricken father and ailing mother; also he was assured of Lord Indran’s assistance in obtaining the much prized tigress’ milk. © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 14 of 29
  15. 15. Manikandan made his way to the Royal palace on Lord Devendran, disguised as a tiger; they were accompanied by female devas in the guise of tigresses and male devas as tigers. The people of Pandalam panicked upon seeing the boy and the tigers and hurriedly sought shelter. Soon after, the Sanyasi, who had first materialized before Rajasekara in the forest, when he heard a child’s wails appeared again and revealed Manikandan’s true identity to the wonder-struck Sovereign. The King grew silent and pensive, as Manikandan approached the palace gates with the tigers. The boy descended from the tiger’s back and informed the solemn King that he could get the milk from the tigresses and cure the Queen of the mysterious ailment. Unable to contain himself any longer, Rajasekara fell at the lad’s feet and begged for forgiveness, he had finally seen through his Queen’s pretence; her malady had ceased the moment Manikandan had left for the forest. On the day he returned from the forest, Manikandan turned twelve years old. King Rajasekara decided to punish his Diwan as the latter was responsible for his son’s exile into the forest. Manikandan, however advised restraint; he held that all had unfolded in accordance with the divine order, through the will of God. Also he reminded his father that as he had accomplished the task for which he had created himself, he would return to Devaloka without fail. Before his departure, the lad told the King that he as he was pleased by the latter’s unflinching faith and devotion, he would grant him whatever boon Rajasekara requested for. Immediately, the King Rajasekara told him that they wanted to construct a temple in his memory and beseeched him to 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 Manikandan told the King to build the temple in that place and then he disappeared. Later, acting upon the advice of Saint Agasthya King Rajasekara laid the foundation stone of the temple at Sabarimala. Lord Manikandan, had stated emphatically that he would grace only those devotees who offer Darshan after observing fortyone days’ penance or vrtha that involves strict abstinence from family desires and tastes; the devotees are expected to adhere to a way of life akin to that of a brahmachari, constantly reflecting on the goodness of life. © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 15 of 29
  16. 16. Whilst they make their way up the steep slopes of Sabarimala, they adorn themselves with three-eyed coconut and foodstuff/Aantha Garland in 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. King Rajasekara, in due course of time completed the construction of the shrine and the sacred eighteen stairs leading to the temple complex. As the King mulled over the seemingly perplexing task of placing Dharmasastha's idol in the temple for darshan, he was reminded of the words of the Lord himself - the River Pampa is a holy river as River Ganga, Sabarimala is as holy as Kasi - Dharmasastha sent Parasuraman, who resurrected the land of Kerala from the bottom of the ocean, to Sabarimala; it was he who carved the figure of Lord Ayyappa and installed it on the day of Makarasankranthi. Every year, millions converge upon Sabarimala irrespective of caste or creed, with garlands and irumudis, chant paeans to Lord Ayyappa, bathe in holy river Pampa, climb up the eighteen stairs, hoping to catch a glimpse of Lord Ayyappa, the Dharmasastha. The Jewel Casket is carried on head from the ancestral residence of the royal family of Pandalam to the Shrine on the day. A Garuda, the Brahaman kite, follows this ornaments-carrying procession, hovering about in the sky, After these ornaments are worn on the Lord the bird circles the temple in the sky three times and disappears. Excited by this sight the devotees begin to chant "Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa". A Star never seen before in the sky appears on the day of Makarajyothi day before the sighting of the Jyoti. A Jyoti is seen for a little time on the hilltop showing the presence of Swami Ayyappan gracing his devotees. Four Asanas Lord Ayyappa grants darshan with four Asanas – 1) Dhyanabindu with Abhaya Chinmudra, 2) Gruha Nareeya Peetasana with Yogaprana Mudra, 3) Kudhabada Sreshtasana with Apaana Banda Mudra and 4) Ashtakona Sasthasana Yoga Badrasana Mudra. It is noteworthy that Lord Ayyappa is the only deity granting darshan in such four forms. As shown in the illustration the triangle upward denotes the male form, the triangle downward the female form. The combination of the two shows His bearing the entire universe as its protector. © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 16 of 29
  17. 17. Lord Muruga came from the six sparks from the forehead eye of Lord Shiva. His symbol is six triangles – Shatkona. When split into two there will be two triangles, one up and the other down representing Ayyappa’s symbol in His penance form-Yoga form. Lord Shiva imparts wisdom. Lord Vishnu imparts Moksha-salvation. Lord Ayyappa-Harihara Putra imparts both. It may be noted that Lord Ayyappa is in Dhyana form as the Udukkai of Lord Shiva and with open eyes as Lord Vishnu protecting the beings. It may not be correct to say that the binding of the two knees are meant to show His determination not to get up even if Lord Shiva and Mother Pavarvathi appear before Him. A close observation of His sitting form would show that Lord Ayyappa is sitting by binding His backbone with His legs and his lower waist part and feet touching the ground. This ensures peace of mind, clear thoughts, mental power to win and achieve Asthamasiddhi - eight powers. One has to press the belly, control the breath, trigger the Kundalini power from the Asana part up to Sahasrara the head, see things and people with open eyes. This is the Yoga form of Ayyappa gracing the devotees in huge numbers with open eyes in this Kaliyuga too. Lord Ayyappa’s Chinmudra in the right hand indicates the union of Jeevatmama with Paramatma. The Mudra in the left hand signifies the philosophy of surrendering at the feet of Paramatma. No ordinary human can practice this yoga. It requires severe fasting, clean eyes and a totally controlled mind with a high degree of discipline. He is called Sarva Roga Nivarana Dhawantharamurthi or the one who cures all diseases. Ayyappa is also known as Anna Dana Prabhu and Akhilanda Koti Brahmandanayakam. He is believed to be the one who protects us from all the evil propensities of Kaliyuga. Ayyappa is also known as Ayya, Ayyan, Appan or Kaliyuga Varadan. Pilgrimage to Sabarimala A pilgrim attending the Mandala puja observes austerities for 41 days. During this period pilgrims abstain from non-vegetarian food and cardinal pleasures. They set out in groups with a leader and each pilgrim carries a cloth bundle called Erumudikettu, containing traditional offerings. Every year during Makara Vilakku, the golden idol of Ayyappa is decorated with ornaments specially brought in from the Pandalam Palace where Lord Ayyappa is said to have spent his childhood. By observing stringent vruthams (austerities), the Ayyappa devotees called Ayyappas and Malikappurams, purify their body, mind and intellect and achieve the ultimate sanctity to make pilgrimage © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 17 of 29
  18. 18. to Sabarimala carrying on their head the Irumudi containing the Pooja items, to climb the 18 holy steps and have the Darsan of Lord Ayyappa. Devotees committed to Sabarimala pilgrimage should wear the Mudra Mala of Rudraksha or Tulsi beads before a Mandalam covering 48 days beginning on Karthikai month-day one- (November-December) in the presence and blessings of a Guru either at his residence after a puja or in a temple. Supposing the devotee has no Guru, he has to wear it in a temple, after placing the mala at the feet of the Lord, perform archana through the priest offering him Dakshina, consider the Lord Himself as Guru and then wear the mala. Things the devotee has to carry with him The devotee should carry some important worship materials with him in a bag, black or blue in colour which will have two compartments. It is spacially made so that it will give a good balance on both sides of the head. This bag is called Irumudi.He has to carry the following materials in one part. 1 .Turmeric powder – minimum 100 gms to be offered to Bhagawathi, Manjamatha. 2 .Sandal powder packet 3. Kum kum packet 4 .Coconut filled with ghee 5. Pure cow ghee 6. FIve coconuts to be broken at Erimeli, Sabari Peetam, Saranguthi, and two while ascending and descending the 18 steps at the shrine 7. Small rose water bottle 8. Camphor packet 9. Raw rice Besides things in the Irumudi bag, he may carry some other things for general use on the way. Ten disciplines to be rigidly followed during the commitment period 1. The most important is Brahmmacharya – celibacy - during the period. 2. He has to bathe in cool water only (Sabarimala pilgrimage occurs in winter) twice a day – morning and evening and worship Lord Aiyappa with a determined mind. 3. They should scrupulously avoid non-vegetarian food, liquor and tobacco and drugs. 4. They have to use dresses in black, blue, green or saffron colours only. 5. The Mala worn with the blessing of Guru should not be removed even during bathing. © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 18 of 29
  19. 19. 6. In case of any sad incidents in the family as death of blood-bond relatives as father, mother, sisters and brothers, the mala should be removed with the consent of the Guru before joining the funeral rituals. 7. He cannot go to the hill that year. 8. They should not participate in functions for women or visit a house where a child is born. 9. They can accept food from women only after completion of 7 days of their menstrual period. 10. They should not dine in any house except in the house of a co-pilgrim so committed for Sabari pilgrimage. They can accept fruits and milk from others. How the name Sastha came in People of southern districts in Tamilnadu pronounce Sastha as Saththa meaning a congregation. No one can go to Sabarimala alone, they have to go in groups. Being worshipped by a crowd, the deity came to known as Sastha. In those days the maximum number of devotees in a group was about 60 or 70. It was not in lakhs as today, not even in hundreds. They took with them some weapons as axe and sickles too to face wild forest animals. Of the group only about 10 or 15 will return safely while other die on the way or killed by animals. The surviors became Gurus. Why ghee? The tradition of taking ghee to Lord Aiyappa started with his adopted father the king of Pandala. When Aiyappa expressed His wish to part with him to the jungle, the father, with tears in eyes asked Him how he could come to see him through the dark jungle and rocky hills. Lord told him that Garuda the eagle would guide him safely through the journey. During the difficult journey, sitting at some spots completely exhausted the king cried Ayo, Appa an expression of weariness. This sound became the name Aiyappa, according to some traditional story. Garuda guidance has a great significance. A father cannot go to see a beloved son with an empty hand. He has to take something to offer him. He chose ghee that does not go junk shortly. He took with him preparations made of ghee to preserve the freshness and taste till he reached his son after a long journey consuming many days. This is the philosophy behind the ghee coconut being taken in the Irumudi bag by the devotees. © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 19 of 29
  20. 20. The Eighteen Holy Steps Sri Ayyappa Temple has 18 Holy Steps from the ground level to the sanctum sanctorum where the deity resides. These steps are considered holy because they are regarded as the extension of sanctum sanctorum. The number 18 itself has great significance in Hindu philosophy. There are 18 chapters in Bhagavad Gita; there are 18 Puranas; there are 18 battle techniques; Kurukshethra battle lasted for 18 days; Four Vedas, 6 Sutras, 5 Senses and 3 deities add up to 18. There are different interpretations to the significance of the 18 Holy Steps. In one interpretation, the first seventeen steps symbolize the seventeen Vasanas (human traits) and the eighteenth step, symbolizes the last stage of evolution to the status of a Gnani. (An individual who has achieved the ultimate state of enlightenment. The bad Vasanas have accumulated for generations and have to be eradicated by a slow and steady process. The good Vasanas have to be carefully cultivated. The combination of the elimination of the bad Vasanas and the development of the good Vasanas enables one to attain the level of a Gnani. To achieve the level of Gnani, one should have Internal Purification and External Purification. Agnana (Ignorance) or Avidya(Illiteracy) - In this stage a person is equivalent to an animal. The only way to evolve from this stage is by association with people better than oneself. False Prestige - Every human being is different from the next, and maybe inferior or superior to every other person in one way or another. However no one should have the opinion that one is superior to anybody else. This is a bad vasana, which has to be eliminated in the early stages of a person's evolution, which is why it represents the second step. Dambh (pride) - Elimination of this bad vasana is the next stage, symbolizing the third step. Spite - Human beings have a tendency to blame others for any and all misfortunes and harbor ill will towards others as a result of this misconception. The sooner a person can get rid of this vasana the better of he will be. Crookedness is the next vasana which has to be overcome. This trait is said to be developed as a result of one's previous karma (deeds/misdeeds) and the only way to attain freedom from this vasana is by worshipping God. © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 20 of 29
  21. 21. Kama(sensuousness) is the next vasana which has to be curbed by exercising extreme physical and mental discipline. Kroth(anger) is a bad vasana and to surmount this tendency one should worship God and seek His Grace and Guidance. Bhayam(fear or cowardice) is bad vasana which very difficult to control. Absolute faith in the God Almighty can help to surmount fear. Shokam(sorrow) is caused by the tendency of human beings to be attached to worldly possessions and the weak minded are more susceptible to this vasana. Spiritual development can destroy this vasana. Kshama(patience) is a good trait which can be attained only by the Grace of the Lord Almighty and can be sustained by continual worship of the Lord Almighty. Daya(kindness), another good vasana. By simply practicing the philosophy that someone else's need is greater than one's own, a person can attain this good vasana, which is represented by the ninth step. Shanthi (calmness) is the sister vasana of kshama, which can be achieved by satsanga(company of the good). Janapriathwam(to love all people alike) is achievable through Agnana yoga(enlightenment). Akrodham(no anger) is very difficult to achieve and God's Grace can help one to attain this stage Vairagyam. This vasana has two interpretations. It is the absence of worldly desires or passions , indifference to the world , asceticism, or it could mean sincerity of purposes, in which case a person would be successful in whatever activity he undertakes. In either case it is good vasana to have. Nirlobha, which is the ability to be able to do the right thing at the right time, to the right degree, without overestimating or underestimating. Datha(charity) is a trait which should be cultivated to such an extent that one should be willing to sacrifice one's owns needs to fulfill the needs of another. Charity should not be exercised as a means to gain name and fame. Gnanam(Enlightenment) This final stage, symbolized by the eighteenth step, is attained when one is in tune with Brahma. The 18 Holy steps are the holy pathways for the Jeevaatma to reach the Paramaatma. Jeevaatma has to cross the 18 virtues to merge with paramaatma. The Holy steps 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 represent the 5 Panjendriams: (Smell, Hearing, Sight, Taste and Touch). The Holy steps 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 represent the 8 Ashtaragas: Kamam, Krodham, Lobham, Moham, Madam, Matsaryam, Thanbha and Asuya. The Holy steps 14, 15 and 16 represent 3 Gunas: Thamas, Rajas and Satva. The Holy step 17 represents Vidya and the Holy step 18 represents Avidya. © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 21 of 29
  22. 22. Deities of 18 steps 01. Vinayaka 02. Shiva 03. Parvathi 04. Muruga 05. Brahmma 06. Vishnu 07. Ranganathan 08. Kali 09. Yama 10. Sun – Surya 11. Chandra – Moon 12. Sevvai – Mars 13. Budha – Mercury 14. Guru – Jupiter 15. Shukra – Venus 16. Sani – Saturn 17. Rahu – dragon’s head 18. Ketu – dragon’s tail Slokams Sri Sastha Dasakam [ten verses about Sastha] Loka Veeram Maha poojyam, Sarava raksha karam Vibhum, Parvathi hrudayanandam, Sastharam pranamamyaham 1 I salute that God Sastha, Who is the hero of the world, Who is greatly noble, Who is the lord protecting everyone, And who gives happiness to the heart of Parvathi. Vipra poojyam, Viswa Vandhyam, Vishnu Shambho priyam sutham, Kshipra prasada niratham, Sastharam pranamamyaham 2 I salute that God Sastha, Who is being worshipped by Brahmins, Who is saluted by the universe, Who is the darling son of Vishnu and Shiva, And who is becomes pleased very quickly. Matha mathanga gamanam, Karunyamrutha pooritham, Sarva vigna haram devam, © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 22 of 29
  23. 23. Sastharam pranamamyaham 3 I salute that God Sastha, Who walks like a vigorous elephant, Who is filled with nectar of mercy, And who is the God who removes all obstacles. Asmad kuleshwaram devam, Asmad Shathru vinasanam, Asmad ishta pradha daram, Sastharam pranamamyaham 4 I salute that God Sastha, Who is the god of my family, Who destroys my enemies, And who fulfills all my wishes. Pandyesha vamsa thilakam, Kerale Keli vigraham, Artha thrana param devam, Sastharam pranamamyaham 5 I salute that God Sastha, Who is the greatest of the clan of Pandyas, Who is the playful god of Kerala, And who is the God who looks after the oppressed. Traymbaka puradheesam, Ganadhipa Samanvitham, Gajaroodam aham Vande, Sastharam pranamamyaham 6 I salute that God Sastha, Who rides on an elephant, Who is the king of Tryambaka, And who is near to Lord Ganesa. Siva veerya samud bhootham, Sreenivasa thanudbhavam, Siki vahanujam Vande, Sastharam pranamamyaham 7 © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 23 of 29
  24. 24. I salute that God Sastha, Who is the personification of power of Shiva, Who was born out of the body of Sreenivasa, And who is the brother of him who rides the peacock. Yasya Danwantharir matha, Pitha devo Maheswara, Tham Sastharamaham vande, Maha Roga nivaranam. 8 I salute that Sastha, Whose mother is Dhanwanthari, Whose father is Lord Shiva, And who cures all diseases. Bhoothanatha, sadananda, Sarva bhootha daya para, Raksha raksha maha baho, Sasthre thubham namo nama. 9 Salutations and salutations to that Sastha, Who is the lord of all beings, Who is perennially ever happy, Who shows mercy towards all beings, And I pray, Protect me great hero. Ashyama komala vishala thanum Vichithram, Vasoavasana arunothphala dama hastham, Uthunga rathna magudam, kutilagra kesam, Sastharamishta varadam saranam prapadhye. 10 I seek the protection of Sastha who loves his devotees, Who has the peculiar pretty black body colour, Who lives till the end of the world, Who has dawn like hands which resemble lightning Who has tall crown made of costly gems, And Who has curly and pretty hair. Watch this sloka on Youtube: http://youtu.be/nAwW-BbTnu4 © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 24 of 29
  25. 25. Harivarasanam This is an Ashtakam (poem having eight stanzas) sung in front of the Lord at Sabarimala by the priest just before the closing of the Srikovil after Athazhapooja (the final pooja of a day) and Sribhootabali. Devotees believe that Lord Ayyappa is lulled to sleep by the Harivarasanam song. 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, © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 25 of 29
  26. 26. 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 © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 26 of 29
  27. 27. 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. © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 27 of 29
  28. 28. My refuge is in you Ayyappa, My refuge is in you Ayyappa. 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. Listen to this beautiful rendition of Dr K J Yesudoss: http://youtu.be/nyBZL1TxnPs Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa! © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 28 of 29
  29. 29. Acknowledgements We gratefully acknowledge the following blogs and websites which contained a treasure of information for compiling this Ebook on Lord Ayyappan. 1. www.kamakoti.org 2. http://advaitham.blogspot.in 3. http://temple.dinamalar.com 4. http://www.sabarimalaayyappan.com 5. http://www.sabarimala.nt Jaya Jaya Shankara, Hara Hara Shankara! © Copyrights reserved Kanchi Periva Forum – www.periva.proboards.com & www.periva.org Page 29 of 29