History of Sabrimala temple of Lord Ayyappa Swamy will certainly going to amaze you because his birth wasn’t normal as we have studied in our textbook . The textbook of school is offcourse not going to capture the essence of Dharma which talks about the infinite aspects of life happening . Let us dive deep into the ocean of larger aspects of life .
Restriction on women entry who are in their menstruating age in sabrimala temple of Lord Ayyappa swamy has become a controversial topic in India . People are confused whether it’s actually a ritual or just a descrimination against women .
The Spiritual union or the superconscious mutation of Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu in the form of Mohini gave birth to a divine deity Ayyappa Swamy who is worshipped with great obeisance across India . Crores of devotees come to have the darshan of Lord Ayyappa of Sbrimala temple and attain the Mukti .
When we go deeper into the history of Sabrimala temple and its deity Lord Ayyappa , our confusion start to vanish with clear understanding of the basic or scientific reason behind the restriction of menstruating aged women in the temple .
I have explained in details in below article the reason behind the restriction . But before capturing this topic , we need to first know the history of the diety Lord Ayyappa of Sabrimala temple .
How did Lord Sastha get the name Ayyappa ?
Lord Satha is the original name of Ayyappa . Lord Ayyappa swamy is the incarnation of Lord Sastha . He is also revered as Hrihara or Dharma Sastha or Manikanthan . He resides in Sabarimala Hills in Kerala . According to the Purana , he is the son of Lord Shiva and Vishnu (Here Vishnu in the form of Mohini ).
Lord Satha was about to incarnate as the son of Lord Shiva and Mohini , two of his attendants or ancillary also wanted to be with Lord Satha when he descended to the earth .
The names of these attendants were Ayyanar and Karuppasamy . They were the most beloved ones for Lord Ayyappa and to honour them , he took half of his name from Ayyanar as “ Ayya “ and another half from Karuppasamy as “ Appa “ . And this is how he came to be known as “ Ayyappa “ .
These attendants named Ayyanar and Karuppasamy are serving Ayyappa in sabarimala shrine as dwarapalakas . Everyone who visits this temple knows very well that these dwarapalakas are the one who are the key to open the Spiritual door for the Darshan of Lord Ayyappa . So no one forgets to give his/her gratitude to these dwarapalakas .
Lord Ayyappa birth story
There is a divine story behind the birth and upbringing of Lord Ayyappa swamy by a king named Rajasekhara who was a very kind and a generous person ruling Panthalam , in Kerala . His subject was living a cheerful life in his reign.
But one thing which was agonizing both of them , the king and his subject , was not having the successor of his throne who could lead the subject . Finally the king and the queen decided to pray to Lord Shiva for a son . They started to follow all the rituals to please Lord Shiva .
Meanwhile in deep forest one ashura named Mahishasur , from the Lineage of Kashyap , was doing penance to please Brahma . His long run penance became successful when Brahma got pleased with his penance and appeared before him to give him the boon . Mahishasur happily asked Brahma to give him the boon of not getting killed by any man on the planet Earth . He was then blessed with the boon by Brahma .
After getting the boon he started to misuse the power by killing his own Praja . He started to create havoc on the planet Earth .
Devtas were in deep sorrow by seeing the kind of havoc on the earth . Then finally ,they evoked Maa Durga from their power to kill Mahishasur because only a woman has the power to kill Mahishasur due to the boon he had got from Brahma .
Maa Durga killed Mahishasur with her trishul in the fierce battle . This made everyone to celebrate and feel joyful . When Mahishi , sister of Mahishasur , got to know about Mahishasur who was killed by Durga , then she too started doing intense penance to have the boon .
Lord Brahma was pleased with the penance and asked her about her aspiration . She asked for the boon of not getting killed by either Shiva or Vishnu . Lord Brahma disappeared after giving the boon to Mahishi .
This boon made her much more arrogant and Powerful . She became much more cruel than ever before . No devas were able to find the solution to her cruelty .
Finally the spiritual union of Lord Shiva and Mohini produced a son which was later found by Rajashekhara in the forest .
When Rajashekhara found this son in the deep forest , he brought him to his Kingdom and the name which was given to him was “ Ayyappa “ by a brahamin . He was also known as Manikanthan because of a gold bell hanging around his neck . As he grew up , he became the centre of attraction for everyone because of his witty knowledge and unmatched skill power .
After some days the queen gave birth to his own child which started to make her selfish . She wanted his own child as the successor of the throne but the king Rajasekhara wanted Ayyappa to be the successor . So to clear the path for her own child , she planned a fake drama of severe illness which can only be treated by tigress milk . Ayyappa took the responsibility of bringing the tigress milk from the deep forest .
Now the time came for him to complete his mission of his incarnation as Ayyappa . In the deep forest , he met Mahishi and then a fierce battle took place between them . Mahishi got killed with the hands of Ayappa . Finally , Lord Ayyappa reached the kingdom with tigress .
Rajasekhara knew it very well that Lord Ayappa is not an ordinary person but a divine being . He just bowed down to him and desired to build a temple for him . And this is how the Sabarimala Hills were chosen for Lord Ayyappa’s worship .
The temple was made by Lord Vishwakarma and the deity installed by Parshuram in Sabarimala .
Iconography Of Lord Ayyappa
Lord Ayyappa in Sabarimala is sitting on a “ Peethom “ made of lotus flower with right hand blessing the devotees while his left hand resting on his left knee . There is a band which is tying his both legs in a circular way . There is a small Manikanthan hanging around his neck and a long garland touching his both feets . A Mukut could be seen on his head and his eyes expressing intense sadhana . The vahana of Lord Ayyappa is a tigress .
Controversy rituals regarding Sabarimala temple
The whole controversy started with the point of ” Why there is restriction on the entry of women under the age of menstruation in sabrimala temple ? “
Let us anwer this question in details so that you don’t get confused :
There is no parallel word for Brahmachari in English . Roughly we use celibacy for Brahmacharya but celibacy is a very confined word which gives the meaning of restriction from having the sex .
Brahmachari basically means a person having control over all his senses effortlessly . The Sabrimala temple works on Ajna Chakra ( chakra between the eyebrows ) which means that it will directly impact the Ajna Chakra whoever comes into the contact of Lord Ayyappa .
While taking the path of spirituality one has to go through transformation .The human seeds , (shukranu ) contained in the sexual fluids of semen of men and menstrual blood of females , is the one which is transformed into the subtle Aura (ojas ) . And this subtle aura is seen in any enlightened person .
According to Sushrut Samhita , this aura is being present in the reproductive energy of each person that lies inactive until evoked .
So , women in the age of menstruation release their ojas which is present in the menstrual blood during their periods while this is not the case of a man . So , the ojas of a man is transformed from lower chakra to higher chakras .
This is the reason why a women under the age of menstruation are restricted from participating into the sabrimala temple .
This doesn’t mean that a woman of menstruating age can’t uplift her energy through chakras . There are many other ways through which a woman can lift her energy . The most simpler way is through meditation and visit one more Kamakahya temple.
This is the reason why a devotee has to go through 41 days of rituals before reaching the Sabarimala temple which enables them to uplift their other chakras like Muladhara chakra , Swadisthana chakra , Manipura chakra , Anahata chakra and so on .
So it’s not just women in the age of menstruation who are restricted but a person who doesn’t follow these 41 days rituals are also restricted from the darshan of Lord Ayyappa .
Sabrimala Yatra is about the Nivritti Marg or the path of renunciation to attain Mukti .
You may visit below article for menstruation : 👇
Rituals of visiting Lord Ayyappa swamy
- Each devotee of Lord Ayyappa has to go through a strict 41 days of rituals .
- They abstain themselves from worldly desires . They are restricted from physical relationships ,cutting hairs ,nails ,shaving, avoiding alcohol ,smoking , speaking any kind of absurd words for anyone and eating non vegetarian food . These restrictions are just to settle down the worldly desires and uplifting the energy through the Chakras .
- The 41 days ritual is known as vrutham . Before initiating the vrutham , a devotee has to wear a tulsimala or rudrakshamala .
- The Tulsi Mala has to be given by a Guru who has completed his 18 pilgrimages or more than that .
- The Mala must have to be sanctified from the temple or pooja room before wearing it .
- The cloth which should be worn by devotees should be in either black blue or saffron .
- The most important part of this pilgrimage is carrying the Irumudi on head . The Irumudi is divided into two parts .The front part is filled with the offering materials for the Lord like coconut filled with ghee , jaggery , camphor , sandal paste , turmeric powder and so on . The second part is for Storing personal articles .
- Each devotee has to bathe two times in a day . one in the morning and second in the evening And also have to perform rituals on a daily basis .
- Devotees used to chant “ Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa “ which gives them strength to their body .
- Then they finally climb the 18 sacred stairs to reach the Sabarimala temple .
Devotees of Ayyappa Swamy wear black cloth during their14 days of spiritual journey because black colour is the symbol of great power against enemies . Many Guru used to wear black cloth during their Sadhana or intense Puja because it gives power to become more powerful .
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why are women not allowed in sabrimala ?
Before entering into the temple , one has to go through the 41 days of strict rituals to purify the mind and body and during these rituals ,the flow of the energy of chakras start to move in upward direction and reaches to ajna chakra . A women in their menstruating age has to go through menstrual cycle in every 21 days . During this period the flow of blood in women start to go from up to down direction . So, when a woman enters into these rituals where energy is flowing continuosuly to upward direction , can be a disastrous for a woman health because when energy in women start to force the blood to move upward , a woman can feel several damages in their body .