DEAR SHRI ARAVIND SUBRAMANIAM!
THANKS FOR YOUR EFFORTS TO SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE WITH US. FOR THE
COMMON FOLK LIKE US LIKE TO HEAR FROM PERSONS LIKE YOU.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION IS IMPROVING THE FACILITIES AT SABARIMALA? IN OLDEN DAYS IT WAS COMPLETELY FOREST AREA. IS IT NECESSARY THAT PEOPLE STILL SUFFER IN THE FOREST AREAS?
WHY NOT WE MODERNIZE THE ROUTE AND MADE AS THAT OF OTHER TEMPLES?
Who am I to comment on this ? Please understand that Only Ayyappan's Chitham will prevail in His poonkavanam...
Modernization at Sabarimala? The entire Poonkavanam is Swami's forest and He wants to be there in solitude...
Please understand that he has just given us a chance to offer our devotion to him...
In the name of facilities you cannot disturb his abode.. This is a greatest sin which most of the devotees are doing.
If you are looking for facilities, you may get it.. But you wont get Swami then...
A true Ayyappa devotee sees pleasure in all the hardships of the yatra and Sabarimala is his home... Thats the reason most of the age-old devotees (Pazhamalakkaar) still prefer the "Long-Route" and strongly oppose laying roads and any other change in the forest.
I can recollect an incident which happened around Mid 1980s
Kanchi Kamakoti Peetadipathi Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal made his first visit to Sabarimalai. He, along with his group camped at Nambiyar Guest house. Many journalists of all important dailies were also present there to interview Swamigal.
In the midst of the conversation, Swamigal expressed that, "There should be better facilities at Sabarimala. Forests should be cleared off. Even the Neelimala path should be cleared and expanded."
When the talks were going on, a person from Sri Matam came running. He was perplexed and went near Swamigal and informed him that a member of their group was lying dead in the Marakkoottam area.
The Shankaracharyar was shocked and ended his talks abruptly... He remained in meditation for some time... He opened his eyes and came out saying "I have withdrawn all my statements"
He closed his room for a long time and came out only during the deeparadhana. He went in front of Lord Ayyappa; had his darshan and called "Swamiye Sharanam Ayyappa" for a long time.
After this a special reception was arranged at the temple premises and the then Devaswom Board president enquired the Swamigal what reforms were to be brought about for the development of the temple.
Swamigal gave an immediate reply "Ayyappa is very powerful ! His forest should be taken care of and maintained as it was".