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Lord Ayyappa myth and historical facts

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  • Nice "theory" which stays close to reality. In fact, I strongly believe that all gods who we worship now were once a powerful human being lived their lives by helping others. They should have helped people through their Bravery or Love or Knowledge. But definitely all their actions should have bounded to Laws of Physics. (I am believer of God but never accept he is a magician). Their life forces (Its existence might be discovered in future) are strong enough to exist in this planet till now to bless whoever seeking help. Lord Ayyappan power is real. All who worship him is being blessed for centuries. Despite what my religion and caste is, I felt the power of Ayyappan during my 41 days viratham. I felt the power on my journey to the temple. Anything we do (In decent way) towards showing our love to God is acceptable. (I don’t think he demands any specific poojas, mantras or customs). But I love the customs we follow before reaching Sabarimalai. 41 days viratham gave me a clean and hygienic life style. Walking on bare foot on the hill is a good exercise to body and make me tough to handle difficulties. At last, When I touch the 18 steps, I can’t control tears in my eyes. I whole heartedly worship this warrior. Religion and caste are man-made (based on their job and lifestyle), No wonder one religion/caste overpowers another in course of time. The great life forces (aka "God") are beyond man-made caste and religion. Swamiyee Saranam Ayyappa !!!
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  • hi dilish..it is really very informative...most of the points comes aligned to the practices and process we follow during mandala....It would be much appreciated if the process of makaravilakku can also be explained from the same..thanks
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  • @Madhavan Radhakrishnan Well said Sir... what u said is the reality... the myth is created by the brahimns propogated by the shoodras.... many those who were outcasted got converted into islam/christianity.... and many influencetial or rich got into the fold of the brahminical order or to the shoodra class.... such people still don't have a clar stand on anything
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  • Also read ' Kerala Mythologies- Decoding Kerala History...' to get more ideas.
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  • This seems to be a more realistic story than the one that Ayyappan was the son of Mohini(Vishnu) and Siva. More research is required to make a more realistic story to be accepted as history. There is a strong opinion that the original diety at Sabarimala was that of Buddha. 'Saranam' and 'Dharmam' are more connected with Buddhism and it may be noted that the chanting of 'saranam Ayyappa' and calling Ayyappan as 'Dharma Sastha' and the name 'Sastha' and 'Ayyan' are strong evidences pointing towards a Buddha connection. More than that all people were allowed to worship at Sabarimala before the Temple entry proclamation of Travancore is another valid point that it may be a Buddha temple. The central Travancore area was a Buddhist centre as described in the above article and many Buddha idols were recovered from this area(Mavelikkara, Karunagappally, Pallickal, Karumady etc) point out to the fact that Sabarimal shrine may also be a Buddhist shrine. More research is required how this was converted as a Hindu temple. Buddhism and Jainism were the main religions followed by the people of Kerala upto 8th centrury. From 8th to 12th century , Buddhism and Jainism were totally eradicated by the migrated Brahmins with the help of the local rulers (who were influenced by the above Brahmins). Nairs, who followed Jainism at that time surrendered before the Brahmins and even they were accepted as 'Soodras' only. Ezhavas and other lower castes who followed Buddhism refused to surrender were treated as 'Avarnas' and all their Buddhist shrines were destroyed or converted as Hindu temples by the powerful Brahmin lobby with the help of the rulers. By 12th century, there were no Buddhist shrines and the Avarnas were not allowed to enter hindu temples for worship. From 12th century to 20th century, this subjugation became more and more rigid and Avarnas were totally ignored and isolated from getting education and government jobs by the rulers. A social revolution was started against this discrimination with the installation of the Siva Linga at Aruvippuram in 1888 by Sree Narayana Gurudevan. Arattupuzha Velayudha Panicker fought against such discriminations before Gurudevan but he was assasinated in 1874.
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Lord Ayyappa myth and historical facts

  1. 1. Lord Ayyappa Myth and Historical FactsMythThis is not to insult any ones religious feeling or hurt any ones sentiment towards LordAyyappa, as a man from the land of Lord Ayyppa’s myth and related to him. (not a joke!!Mygreat –great grandfather from maternal side comes from Pandalam Royal Family)I always wonder the story about Lord Ayyappa, the uniqueness in the rituals and the way itbeautifully incorporated different ideas like Buddhism, Shivisam ,Vaishnavisam Shaktheyaya,Jainism and even Islam , during the olden days of strict untouchabilty, the followers ofAyyapa’s kept away from the rigid Brahmin practices and people from different cast andcreed without any difference pilgrimage to the hill ,over come all the difficulties to offer theirprayer and sought the blessing of Lord Ayyappa..In various puranas it is said that Lord Hariharaputhra was born to Shiva and Mohini (Vishnu).He materialized himself the shape of a tiny child called “MANIKANTA” on the banks of HolyRiver Pambha, brought up by Pandala King, healed the deaf and dumb boy of his Guru, goneto the dense forests as per evil designs of His stepmother, slained Demoness Mahishi, broughtleopard milk for His step-mother and killed the wicked Udayanan and took to yoga at SabariHills.Kingdom of PandalamThe Pandalam kingdom had its beginning around 904 AD when a scion of the decliningPaandya kingdom of Madurai in Tamil Nadu took refuge in Kerala when attacked by theCholas, and brought some land from the Lord of Pandalam area known as Kaipuzha Thampan,when this Nair lords family died without any offspring all the lands goes to The Pandiyan Rajaand established the Kingdom of Pandalam. Pandya royals re-united in the year 1174 AD.Other Pandya Descendents who migrated to Kerala during the Chola attack ,attack of MaduriNaiks and the later attack by the General of Delhi Sultan Alavudeen Khilji, the eunuch MalikKafur during 1310AD.,were Punjar royalty and Minacchil Kartha .Udayanan, The dreaded Marava Chief had come with his hordes from Tamil regions beyondthe borders and dominated the regions of Kerala. Udayanan built up many fortresses on themountain of Talappara, Inchippara and Karimala in the border forests of Pandalam kingdom.The temple of Sabarimala where Dharma Sastha (Avalkothsrea sreebudha) was worshippedfrom the very ancient past was on the route – a highway between Tamilnadu and Kerala, alongwhich the merchants have traveled, ( the fore fathers of Muslim Labbas, Rawuthers, and
  2. 2. Velllas of Mundakayam,Idukki,Pathanamthitta comes through this way ) . Udayanan used toplunder wealth from the travelers and the villages nearby.Buddhism was one of the main religious idea that got a lot of followers along with ShaktheyaAmman tradition during the first millennium, places like karunagapalli ( all the places comeswith “Palli”),Sreemulanagaram, Bharnikkavu,Pallikkal,Bhudhanoor etc ware main Buddhistareas . Chathan, Puthanchhan, sastavu etc are name of Sreebudha.The Historical AyyappanAlangad Connection -Two groups are now fighting in Court (and this time even during the “Pettathullal” also ) to bethe Alangad Yogam, which position gives a lot of privileges at Sabarimala. One is atManjapra, near Angamaly; and the other is at Alangad village itself. Both places were inAlangad kingdom in olden days ruled by Alangadau Karthakal. Manjapra (Near Angamaly)group says that they are descendents of the Parvathyakar [Minister] of the Alangad Raja,entrusted with sending the Petta troupe to Sabarimala every year; and this right makes themthe genuine Alangad Yogam. The other group oppose it. They say that the story began withAyyappan’s coming to their Chembora Kalari for training.Alangad Yogam is the fathers yogam; and Ambalapuzha Yogam is the mothers yogam.Kesari Balakrishna Pillais followers tell the following story:In one of his missions, Udayanan first plundered the Avalokiteswara Vihara for the treasuresthere and then proceeded to the Pandalam palace.At the Pandalam palace, Kaampillil Panikkar was the Commander of the Nair forces. He wasthinking of handovering his power to his son due to old age, and was training his son at thePalace, to take over.At the time of Udayanans attack, the young son of Panikkar was away somewhere and the oldCommander could not fight off Udayanan.Udayanan overcame the Pandalam padanairs and took away the Princess, who was the onlysister of the Raja, Their mother had been a daughter of Ambalapuzha Raja (AmpalapuzhaNetranarayanan- one of the three Numputhiri rulers of Kerala ,the other was EdapallyNampiyathiri and Venganadu Nampidi) After some hours, the younger Kaampillil Panikkarturned up and was grief-stricken to hear about the Princess abduction. He immediately set offafter Udaynan with his available Nairs.They reached Udayanans camp at nightfall; and consensus was reached to attack at daybreak,for lack of light then.However, the young Panikkar could not wait, presumed to be due to hisemotions for the Princess. And he stole into the Camp alone, and managed to take off with thePrincess in the darkness. On their way back, the Princess who felt that her return would onlycause loss of honor to the Royalty, and the consenting Panikkar decided not to return to the
  3. 3. Palace, but to go into hiding and be together.Pandalam was padma-dala-puram, with ten dalams or villages; one of which wasPonnambalamedu in the forests. The romantic duo decided to settle at Ponnambalamedu, awayfrom public view. And they got help from some hill tribes and , “Perissery Pillai” the Vellarkulam talavan (who later became the foster Uncle of Ayyan Ayyappan.)Eventually, they had a son, The child was born on 14-01-1095 AD !!-they named the ChildAyyppan. who grew up with the animals around, including tigers and leopard. Once, the Raja of erstwhile Punjar state Manavikraman, was on a journey and wassurrounded by dacoits in the jungles of Vandiperiyar(Today’s Pulmedu). King Manavikramanfought to his extent but was over powered by the dacoits. He started praying to GoddessMeenakshi of Madurai and his prayers were answered when a young boy riding on an elephantcame to rescue of the King. It was Ayyappa who was wandering in the jungle, who had tameda wild elephant and riding on its back. Ayyappa saved the King Manavikraman of from theDacoits of Udayanan’s Group. He gave a “Perambu” – cane as his representative and asked theRaja to proceed to his Palace without any fear. Though only of Fourteen years of age,Ayyappa proved his mettle both as an accomplished warrior and a born Yogi. In one of his hunting expeditions some time later, the Pandalam Raja happened to passPonnambalamedu, and found his lost sister and former Commander-designate. The Kingrequested them to return, and the couple refused. The King then demanded that his nephew,the heir to the throne be given to him. This had to be acceded to,The King returned after thehunt with a son from the wilderness. During the stay in Pandalam he killed Mahishi nearErumeli (“Erume kolli”, -the place were the buffalo killed ), she may be a “Advasi “ (HillTribe ) and their totem may be buffalo.Kaampillil Panikkar is a Nayar family at Muppathadom near Eloor in Ernakulam district.Muppathadom and the surrounding area were parts of the Alangad Kingdom.To get help against Udayanan later on, it was only natural for Ayyappan to go to Alangad andhis father’s people. The subsequent story of the defeat of Udayanan in the combined attack byAlangad and Ambalappuzha yogam is known.When Ayyappan decided to proceed with the mission of his life – To destroy Udayanan andhis gang and rebuild the Sastha temple. So Ayyappan decided to build a powerful army.He approached to other Rajas and Chieftains to accomplish his mission, First he visitedKayamkulam Raja (Kayamkulam was a center of Merchants from different part of the worldincluding Arabs, Chinese and North Indian and .South Indian Business communities ) thattime they were suffering from the attack of a pirate called Vavar. Kayamkulam Raja appointed
  4. 4. The Karanavar ( head ) of Mullasseril family , who was the minister as well as the bravestsoldier of Kayamkulam Raja, was to assist Ayyappa in the attempt. Conquering both body andmind of Vavar and converting him as a disciple. (Vavar, a Muslim youth from Kanjirappally,However, there is another interesting story relating to Vavar. According to this reference,Vavar originally belonged to Pandya Desam near Madurai in Tamil Nadu. The myth says thatthe Vavar family , along with other Rawuther families migrated to Travancore during anattack from Thirumalainaicken who was a Cheftain under Pandyas and later became the rulerof Madurai.But there is one thing that is definite, that he was a Muslim. Then there is the fact that therestill exists his clan, 15th descendants in line (some of the Vettiplackal Kudumbayogamfamilies living in Alapuzha district claim to be the 14th or 15th line of descendants ofVavarswami), now at Erumeli. They are the ones who do the rites at the mosque and the Vavartemple the offering to Vavar is always Green pepper and rose water. There is nodistinguishable idol, but just a carved stone slab symbolizing the deity of Vavar. A green silkcloth is hung across walls, and an old sword is kept near the wall, perhaps to symbolize Vavarwas a great warrior. The main offering at this shrine is green pepper; a befitting tribute to aheritage of pepper trade. Other offering include rose water, sandalwood paste, coconut andghee. Pilgrims donate money in the donation box and some of the pilgrims bring goats assacrifice.The descendants of Vavar are believed to be Vaidyas practicing the Unani (Greek)system of medicine)Kadutha, a Nair youth from Muzhukeer (Chenganoor, Alapuzha dist) ( Olden days the offeringof Kaduthaswami was “kanjavu (Ganja) and Pukayila” now a days that practice isdiscountinued) who was a great warrior and an expert in mountain-warfare, was a General(Padanair) of Pandala Raja. He played an indispensable role in defeating the armies ofUdayanan and rescuing several Pandya lords. Therefore Ayyappan called Kadhutha to assist inthe mission along with Kuchu Kadutha Nair (the master of Sword fighting ) and Villan andMallan (perfect Archers who are much experienced in mountain war fare) two other dreadful“Padanairs” belongs to Pandalam Raja.While his stay at Cherthala , Ayyappan was in the Kalari of Cheerappanchira Mooppan.(Oneancient Ezhava family , Communist leaders “Vayalar Stalin“C.K.Kumarapannikar, CKChandrappan and Susheela Gopalan comes from this family ) Mooppan’ s daughter fell inlove with Ayyappa. When this girl proposed her love, Ayypan declined and informed her thathe is a “Brahmachari” and the sole aim of him is to destroy the Udayan and other Piratesoperating the mountain area, and the girl now worship as “Malikapurathuamma”.Ayyapan organized his army and they took necessary arrangement for a long mountainwarfare. Ayyappan asked all the members to observe strict Vrutham before entering Sastha’s
  5. 5. Poonakavanam. After the Vrutham for 56 days, they worshipped Kiratha Sastha at Erumeli forthe victory in the war. All the army battalions started assembling at erumeli and in order toavoid suspicion, he ordered the troop to dress as tribal people.(present day Pettai thullal)Before the final attack on Udayan, Ayyappa distributed the Army into three groups :1) Alankat Yogam under the leadership of Vavar2) Amalpuzha Yogam under the leadership of Kadutha3) Pandalam Yogam under the leadership of Villan and MallanAyyappa kept the central command of the three groups with himself and Kouchu Kadutha andstarted the pursuit of Udayanan from three sides North, South and East. This Strategy to theattack from three sides Udayanan was caught in a mouse trap there.When the royal entourage, proceeded near Sabarimala temple , Ayyappa instructed everyoneto leave all the weaponry beneath a big banyan tree there, as carrying of weapons to a templepremises was a sacrilege. Accordingly, the sword, spears, clubs etc. were left at the foot of thebanyan tree – today’s Saramkutti.Very soon Ayyappan’s army, marched through the forests and annihilated Udayanan’s army.Udayanan’s Army was no match for the Formidable Army of Lord Ayyappa and after afierceful fight between the two Armies, Uadayanan was slayed by the hands of KochuKadutha Nair at Karimala Kotta. Ayyappan’s mission ended successfully.Right from the moment he stepped into the holy mountain, Ayyappa was in silence andmeditation. Until the completion of the Srikovil and installation of the idol, Ayyappan sat onmeditation at the place where today’s Manimantapam stands.On the first day of the month of Makaram when the sun moved from the zodiac of Dhanus tothat of Makaram, the re-installation of the idol was ceremoniously conducted. Ayyappa did thereconsecration in Sabarimala templeReference :- various historic books such as "Elavarsevampattu, Kesari Balakrishna Pillaisfollowers, Nalankal Krishnapillai’s and Dr.S.K.Nair’s books,

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