Shri Sastha Gopal, one among our clan (of Ayyappa Devotees) mailed me his views on Makara Jothi, which i wanted to share to our readers...
I saw your write-up regarding Mkara Jothi in our site. I have the following to write:-
There is nothing in the whole universe which is not created by God, that is every thing is God made. Only the Almighty has the power and knowhow to create.(Create = To produce something without rawmaterial and equipment. Nimiththa Karana and Upadana Karana).
The universal law is that nothing can be produced or destroyed by men. But, one thing can be converted in to an another thing. That is what we humans do. The God, everybody worship in a temple is man made. The very temple where the God is established is man made. The garlands, sandal paste, ghee and all that are offered are man made. The Karpura Niranjanam (deeparadanai) is man made. Annamalai Deepam is man made.But, the basic ingradiants from which these are converted to be as such are all God made.
So, when one's conviction is so strong as to see God in a man made stone vigraha, the same conviction holds good to see Iyappan in a Jothi even if it is man made, because the ingradiants to produce the Jothi including the persons litting it are God made. As for as I am and most of the devotees are concerned, it is only the will (sankalpa) of Lord Iyappa that had created this cotraversy for the sake of increasing the devotion and the number of devotees.
I conclude by adding that - As of a few weeks before nobody asked the other about the origin of the Jothi and hence nobody had replied. Now questions are asked and replies are forth coming. It has nothing to do with Iyappa Bhakthas, which will be proved by the number of devoteed visiting Sabari Mali for the next Makara Jothi in 2012 January.