Thursday, July 8, 2010

Velichappads of Shabarimala Temple - Part 2

Ambalapuzha AnanthaKrishna Iyer :

After Appu Ayyar, many tried for the respectable position of Sabarimala Velichappad, but the position was not that easy to acquire. 

The process was On an auspicious day (like Makara Sankarma) after the evening deeparadhana the then melsanthi gets the supereme power invoked within him for a moment and comes out of the Srikovil with a haram on his hand which was originally placed on the diety's neck.  Instanteously he puts it on a person who is Lord's choice without his self-knowledge.  Then the person who was selected was taken by the Melshanthi and the tantri to Basmakulam. After a holy dip he is brough back to the sannidhanam. The newly opted Valia Velichappadu is made to sit in the southeastern corner of this Mandapam )which was present at that time in front of the srikovil) 

Valiavilichapadu is offered a Palagai made of Jack wood framed with Silver and made of Jack wood. The melsanthi then brings in a full banana leaf, the prasadams which is then handed over to the Velicjappad. The Melsanthi and the Tantri offers Sastanga Namaskaram to the Vailavelichapaddu and gets this prasadam fro him as blessings. Valliavilichapadu is always seated  on the vellipalagai in is Mandapam during season. He was considered as the "visual representatie of the Lord"

It is said that Velichapadus were there for almost all dieties of Sabarimala like Vavar,Kaduthai,Karuppasawamy etc who all assemble at Erumeli during Makaravilakku season. Everyone take thr Valliavilichapadu's blessing and basmam before terking in periapadai for makaravilakku dharshan.

Thus after Kalarkad Appu Iyer, the new Velichappad post was given to a retired school teacher, a Tamil Brahmin Ambalapuzha Ananthakrishna Iyer.

Ananthakrishna Iyer was a pleasing personality and was very sincere and highly devoted to the Lord. He served the devotees and the Lord to the maximum extend possible and had a very cordial relationship will all the devotees without even a pinch of Ego. Inspite of his position as Velia Velichapad, like an ordinary priest he will readily agree to perform Poojas in any devotee’s house, whenever requested.

The velichappads of those days never misused their respectable position of Sabarimala Velichappad. Though the Velichappad had many unwritten powers and influence over the devotees. AnanthaKrishna Iyer was a humble person and it is said he lived a very very simple life and suffered a lot to carry out his day to day activities.

People still remember the marvels of Ananthakrishna Iyer and his powers. He used to get into trance at Erumeli and give prasadams to the devotees assembled there.. He would easily judge the sincerity of the Vrutham undertaken by the person. Based on the caliber of the Vrutham he would allow or stop the person from proceeding the yatra. Even the devotees had sincere belief and would proceed to sabarimala only after the permission(Utharavu) of the Velichapad. There are many incidents where the devotees ignored the Velichappad's words and underwent a lot of sufferings.

He served the Lord for about thirteen years as Velichappad, severed his worldly connections in 1920.



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