Friday, January 13, 2012

Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha

 Mandala-Makara Vilakku season which starts from mid month of November is very auspicious in Kerala.As a custom in all temples of Kerala during this season
special Poojas,Bhajans etc are done. In Ayyappa temples this period is celebrated as a festival itself by decorating the temple premises and temple building with color bulbs, flower decorations,lighting all
the oil lamps every day etc.In other temples also even if there is no deity of Ayyappa in that temple, then also
decorations and other arrangements more than usual are done.In all temples Makara Vilakku festival 
will be celebrated in a grand manner.
At Sabarimala temple it is the most sacred and most celebrated day  in an year.
Devotees of Ayyappa Swamy in the groups of  Ambalapuzha Group and Alangattu Group in which thousands of Pilgrims are usually  participating  proceed to Sabarimala  after Petta Thullal at 'Erumaeli'  which is  also a significance of the religious harmony prevailing in Kerala..Ambalapuzha group starts their journey on witnessing a Falcon Bird hoovering above their camp.Alangattu group in the afternoon starts on witnessing
a bright silver star in the sky.Thousands of other pilgrims also joins them and they will be trekking the 'Karimala' route and reach 'Pampa'. There will be 'Pampa Sadya' on the banks of river Pampa which will be arranged  by smaller and larger groups alike.(Pampa sadya is feast made at pampa).It is believed that Lord Ayyappa joins in the feast and so every group tries to prepare as much dishes as possible and makes several sweet items also.In the evening they prepare a lot of rafts from Bamboo, lights oil lamps and candles on them and floats in river Pampa which will be a lovely sight and known as 'Pampa Vilakku'.
The procession with princely and sacred ornament boxes which are to adorn the deity of Lord Ayyappa and Malikapurathamma starts from Pandalam.The ornaments of Ayyappa and Malikapurathamma are known as 'Thiruvabharanam'.These belong to Pandalam Principality where Lord Ayyappa lived  up to his youthful days.The procession with the ornament boxes will reach Sabarimala in the evening. .The main priest will receive the boxes and adorn the deities with the ornaments.These
ornaments are very ancient and made of pure gold.They are all very  precious which are  studded  with gem stones and very beautiful.The box of ornaments for Ayyappa contains 'Thiru Mukham'(Sacred face),different types of gold chains such as 'Sarapoli mala,Vilwadala mala,Erikkinpoo mala,Navaratna ring,Long sword known as churika,Ornament for forehead,waist chain,Prabha mandalam to denote the "Aura" ,Idols of Poorna and Pushkala,Golden elephant and leopard' and so on.When Lord Ayyappa is decorated with these princely ornaments and the sanctum is adorned with the other decorative items in the box, the idol of Lord Ayyappa will transform to extreme divine beauty which is a fascinating and marvelous sight.To witness Lord Ayyappa  fully adorned on that day is possible for a few people only because of the heavy rush.
Many people gather at Pandalam to witness the ornament boxes  when the procession starts from there.They take it to account the fact
that to witness the boxes is also very much sacred.The 'deeparadhana' which will be held at Sabarimala
temple  can be viewed by a small group of people only .We need not feel jealous to them but try to believe that they got that chance because of their good deeds done during
their previous birth.
Millions of people that  gather at Sabarimala ,Pampa, and nearby areas can witness the 'Deeparadhana' at the same time
which will be held at 'Ponnambalamedu' which was the original place of Sabarimala Temple.At that time
a bright star which is known as 'Makara Nakshatram'   which will not be   there on the previous days will be appearing on  the eastern horizon which is thought as the 'Deeparadhana' of the celestial  beings to Lord Ayyappa.

After Makaravilakku festival the temple closes after four days onlyThere are several rituals done at the temple like 'Padi Pooja' (Pooja of the 18 sacred steps),Kalabhabhishekam(Unction with sandal wood paste for the deity) etc.At night grand procession of beautifully decorated Malikapurathamma's deity is brought to Ayyappa temple premises and one man will ask whether there was new comers to Sabarimala that season.
'Somebody from Ayyappa temple will answer 'Go and Check at Saramkuthy'.This will repeat for three days and next day procession will go to Saramkuthy.By seeing thousands of arrows there which denotes newcomers to Sabarimala that season also  Malakapurathamma understands that her marriage will not be possible  with Lord Ayyappa  that year also and returns sadly to her shrine.These traditional rituals can be seen on those days after 'Makaravilakku day' every year. Lord Ayyappa's Deity will remain adorned with the sacred ornaments on all
those days till the temple closes.Those who go to Sabaramala during these days will be able to
witness the Deity of Lord Ayyappa adorned with 'Thiruvabharanam'.
While bringing back the 'Thiruvabharanam' Lord Ayyappa's Ornaments are used to adorn the deity of
Sastha temple at Perinadu for one day  where thousands of women and other people visits to witness the decorated deity and to see the 'Thiruvabharanam.'
So those who are ambitious to witness  Lord Ayyappa  adorned with the 'Thiruvabharanam' may visit Sabarimala
temple  (or at Perinad temple) after the heavy rush of Makaravilakku festival during the next four days and fulfill their dream wish which will be one of the most auspicious 'darshan' they can have in this life.

The shifting of Sun from southern solace to Northern solace which happens in mid January is auspicious in several states of India and the festivals are known in different names.
In Tamil Nadu these days are 'Pongal Days' which is their  Prime Festival season known as Bogi Pongal,Thaipongal,Mattupongal and Kanumpongal.There are so many Tamil
Brahmins in Thiruvananthapuram,Kottayam,Ernakulam and palghat  and other Tamil speaking people also
in Kerala which celebrates 'Pongal' with splendid harmony.The markets will be filled with commodities required for Pongal celebrations in this period.The Kerala people also feels joyous and  makes feast and sweets to celebrate Makara Sankanti,Makaravilakku,Thaipongal, etc.

1 comment:

  1. awesome and very informative post thanks for sharing