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Chakram @Rajesh_Chakram
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I will be visiting #Sabarimala for the 18th time this September.I travel with 12 others & there isn’t one woman amongst all our extended families who wouldn’t endorse #ReadyToWait They deeply respect the tradition & don’t need libs to poke thier nose
Still remember my first trip in Y2K and my friend cum Guruswamy forced me to come saying I will force you once,you will force yourself from then on.Have been there every year except for one.Grateful to him to have initiated me into this. 19 years just buzzed past!
Every year several hundreds travel from Singapore & Malaysia for the Magara Jyothi & more than 40 Million pilgrims between Mid nov to Mid Jan with peak rush in Mid Jan. It’s a must hav experience for every Hindu!
Let’s see how many in my TL have visited #Sabarimala
How many times have you visited Sabarimala
More than the Yatra it self the whole preparatory phase of 41 days of Viratham is a huge annual cleanser for me.I adhere to all rules,visit every temple in Singapore during that period ( there are more than 50 temples) & we do a grand Ayyapa puja every with Anna danam!
Even though women in our family don’t accompany us to #sannidhanam , they are very much an integral part of our endeavor & happily #readytowait & Supporting us with he daily pooja, ayyapa pooja, temples etc..
We keep Viratham for 41 days & in the past there were a number of rules including walking all the way from your home to the sannidhanam but these are the minimum rules to be observed
1.Practice simple living & absolute cleanliness
2.Abstinence from all kinds of vices
3.Strictly follow Brahmacharyam
4. recite ayyapa sanara ghosham & do puja twice a day,
5. Think only about Ayyapa & avoid any entertainment( tv, party etc) other than ayyappa related pooja/Bhajans etc.
6. Be Kind to all living beings & help as many of them as possible
7. Shall avoid being in proximity of a dead body
Besides these we follow rules like don’t shave, cut hair( so that every one from millionaire to ultra poor looks the same to ayyapa in sannidhaam),avoid onion, garlic(as they are aphrodisiacs), sleep on floor etc. the belief ..
Is that the more strictly you adhere to the Viratham the easier will be the arduous trek to Sannidhanam. There are two options. The 41 KM trek thru the forest from Erumeli is open only for 45 days from Dec. and the second one is the last 5 km stretch from the foothills of pampa!
In my 17 times,I’ve faced varied degree of difficulty in the climb including once a panicky dizzyness while doing the last stretch & many times I’ve just run across as if am running a sprint.The only explanation is that I must have let my guard down while doing Viratham
Last year Ayyapa made us wait in queue over night amidst huge crowd & heavy rain 😇.But once you get past these the atmosphere in Sannidhanam is electric.Ayyapa loves song & dance.many Swamis will be singing Bhajans with dhol’s and dancing!Most enthu group is always from Andhra
Andhraa/ Telengana also sends probably the largest contingent amongst the pilgrims from TN, Kerala. Andhraites are also most strictest in viratham & Mallu’s are the laxest.. they don’t even keep 41 days Viratham 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️
Just before we commence the actual Yatra, we have a ceremony in local ( whatever is local ) ayyapa temple called Irumudi kattu Nirakal. The irumudi is prepared under the surveillance of Guruswami is carried by devotees who have observed 41 days vritham.
Irumudi kettu is essential to step the 18 steps that lead to the shrine of Lord Ayyappa. Devotees without Irumudi Kettu are not allowed to pass through the stairway to reach the shrine. Am carrying it in my head in this pic. It is a small bag with filled with Pooja items
Amongst other things, the Irumudi has cocunut filled with ghee called Neithenga which is the core spiritual concept of the whole Yatra. The coconut carried to the shrine is considered as the representation of Human body, which has to be kept clean internally and externally.
As part of external cleaning it has to be cleaned thoroughly and the fiber and all small particles around should be rubbed off and should be kept clean and smooth. It symbolizes the purity of devotees.Secondly,the coconut water is drained out through a small opening
made on the end of the coconut.The draining of sweetened water symbolizes the cleansing of inner senses of sensual pleasure. It shows that the inner self of devotee is emptied and getting ready to get filled with pure life source.Filling emptied coconut with ghee symbolizes this!
Nei Thenga or Mudra Thenga or Ghee coconut signifies purified devotee. Each Nei thenga signifies physically and spiritually cleansed devotee who is ready to surrender completely before Lord Ayyappa. The ghee is used for Abhishekam and the empty coconut is put to burn outside.
It shows that the body perishes but the cleansed inner-self reaches the almighty. As I said before in this thread it’s a very liberating experience. I reproduced the concept of irumudi from this article beautiful written by a fellow Swami!…
The experience & sublimity it the sabari Yatra Beautifully narrated by @Rnb129 one of the millions of Swami’s here 🙏🙏
Looks like Mr. Parasharan, the advocate arguing for the Travancore Dewaswom board might have swung the case in favour of us .. Fingers crossed 🤞
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