Sunday, May 29, 2011

MS Subbulakshmi - Saranam Ayyappa

Certain wonderful thing come together - only very rarely

A song on Ayyappan - in Revathi Raagam by the one and only MS. 
The composer is Atma. (Sri Atmanathan, a close associate of Kalki Sadasivam and MS Subbulakshmi)

One of MS Subbulakshmi` masterpieces.

Lyrics :

Saranam Ayyappa Swami Saranam Ayyappa
Kaliyuga Varadhan nee Karimugan anujan nee

varumiku vidhiyayum valimurai cheyvom nee
Saranam Ayyappa Swami Saranam Ayyappa

Suddhiyudan vrutham kaathidam bhaktharkku
sathyamay arul purindidum vallal nee
nambinor keduvathillayi.. unnai
nambinor keduvathillayi

unnai kumbiduven koovi azhaithidiven.Swami
Saranam Ayyappa Swami Saranam Ayyappa

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Upasakas of ShAstA (Hariharaputra)

Dear Devotees,

For the purpose of developing a database, we are collecting the list of Sastha Upasakas throughout India. 

We request you to kindly give the contact information of Sastha Upasakas (people who have got Sastha moola mantra upadesham) belonging to any parampara. Upadesham of any variety of Sastha Mantram (like Dharma Sastha, Kiratha Sastha, Maha Sastha etc) is also included

Even if you know any third person - please refer to us, we shall contact them and update the details

Please provide the following details if possible.


Marital Status

Name of the Guru who gave Sastha Mantra Upadesham

You may prefer to send it to my email id

or Contact me:
V.Aravind Subramanyam

94 B, Third Street, Tatabad, Coimbatore 12
Phone : 99946 41801

Swami Sharanam
V.Aravind Subramanyam

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hariharaputra Jananim

Suddenly today early morning as soon as I got up, a Dikshitar Krithi flashed in my mind for no reason. Especially the words ... "Hariharaputra Jananim" (Mother of harihara putra)... 

A strange combination of words indeed... mother of son of Hari & Hara

I always have a fascination towards Muthuswamy Dikshitar and at one point of time, I had almost all krithis of Dikshitar and was enjoying exploring its meaning.

Dikshitar’s kritis are a treasure house of Agama, tantra, vedAnta, shilpa, itihAsa, purANa, kShetra and tattva-bodha. He was a much-travelled man and that is reflected in his compositions. Most of them contain descriptions about famous temples and their chief deities. It is a great privilege to sing and listen to those glorious kritis 

I was attracted mainly because of the the unique, informative and brilliantly crafted lyrics of the Krithis. His Sanskrit lyrics are in praise of the temple deity, and the songs also contain much information about the history of the temple, and its background, thus preserving many customs followed in these old shrines.

Now I started pondering over the small Kamboji Krithi 
marakatavallIm manasA smarAmi 
madanajanakAdi dEvapAlinIm

harahRdayA vEshinIm mOhinIm 
harihara putra jananIm naLinIm 

krUra daityAdi bRnda marddinIm 
guruguhAdi nuta vahnivAsinIm

This ‘marakatavallIm manasA smaraami’ was composed by Dikshitar at a place called ‘virinchi puram’, a small town near kanchipuram. The Lord here is ‘maargasahaayeshvara swami’ and his consort is ‘marakatavalli’.

It was to Virinchipuram that Dikshitar's ancestors belonged and it was from this village that his grandfather and father had migrated to Tanjavur 

Now coming to our interesting fact of "Hariharaputra Jananim"... 

Puranas exclaim about the Mohini Avataara of Vishnu... and I always hold a view that this Mohini Avatara of Vishnu is none other than Devi Parashakthi Herself. Devi and viShNu are one and the same - two sides of the same coin.

Now, Devi in the form of vishNu is "harahRdayA vEshinIm mOhinIm" who, took the form of Mohini and enchanted Hara's heart and She is ‘hari hara putra janani’- the mother of Hariharaputra
(Some people erroneously sing this as ‘hari hRdayA veshni’ which does not make any sense. It literally means 
‘viShNu took the form of a lady and enchanted viShNu himself.)

In this temple maragatavalli is the mohini rUpam of viShNu. To enforce their identity, the devi sannidhi here in this temple is ‘marakatavalli’ the mohini form of vishNu - who is the consort of Shiva.

vandeham Shakthi Nandanam

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Moolamantra Varnathmika Sasthru Stuti

This Moolamantra Varnathmika Sasthru Stuti is from Bhoothanathopakhyanam.. This was chanted by the Devas in praise to the Master of the Universe who is seated in Ponnambalamedu...

The speciality of this stuti is - it is constructed in the form of Sasthru Moolamantram

The Sasthru moolamantram evokes the Lord, asking protection and freedom from all sorrow and suffering. All auspiciousness and serenity is attained by this magnificent Moolamantra.

But chanting of moolamantram needs mantra upadesham. So instead, this Moolamantra Varnathmika Sasthru Stuti can be chanted - which carries the same potential of the moolamantram.

It is a prayer that adores the great creator and liberator, who out of love and compassion manifests, to protect us.

Regular chanting of Moolamantra Varnathmika Sasthru Stuti brings amazing benefits. The experience of people who have done this is testimony to the power of the Stuti

swAmin SharaNam Aryapa
Aravind Subramanyam


mUlamantra varnAtmika sAsthru stuti 

Om namO bhagavathE namO nArAyaNAyathE
Om namsthE bhagavathE sarvagnaaya namO nama:

ghOra samsArArNavasya thArakAya namO nama:
thAraka bramha ruupAya bhuutha nathAyathE nama:

bhOdha ruupAya bhuuthAya puNya puurNAyathE nama:
varNathraya yugadhEgAya OmkArAya namO nama:

pakArAya namasthubhyam rEbAnthAya namO nama:
yakArAya namasthubhyam gOkArAya namO nama:

pakArAya thakArAya rEbAnthAya namO nama:
nakArAya namasthubhyam makArAya namO nama:

shrii sankara puthrAya sarvadhAthE namO nama:
harabhO sankatam dhEva sakalam sakalEshwara !

dhEvEsha vishwa karthAsthvam pari pAhi jagath pathE !
vishwa barthA jaya sadhA vishwa harthA jaya prabhO !

sarvEshAm jiiva jhAlAnAm Eka jiiva swaruupaka:
dhEva dhEva jayahvam bhO sarvadhA sarva nAyaka
dharma sAsthA jaya bhagavan janma dhukhkha vinAshana II"

Monday, May 23, 2011

108 Sasthalayangal

From ancient times, Lord Sastha has been worshipped in Kerala. When Kerala was created by Parasurama, he wanted the supreme divine force to protect his land. He did penance on Lord Sastha; the Lord appeared 

"rakshitwam kEraLam rAjyam bArgavEna mahAtmana: 
prArtitOham vasishyAmi tatArtham kEraLE drudham" 

- Lord Sastha promised him to stay in the land of God's own country and instructed Parasurama to build as many temples, so that He can stay there.  

Thus Parasurama brought Sastha for the protection of the land and the people.and hence the presence of numerous temples dedicated to Sastha.

Certain places with dense growth of trees are considered sacred, and are the domiciles of the Lord. Those places where Sastha in various forms like Dharma Sastha, Bala Sastha,Vettakkorumakan etc. are called as Kaavu. Legends like Ayyappan Theeyattu and Keralotpatti says that Parasurama has constructed 108 Sasthakaavus.

After a search for many many years... I got the list of these temples few day back... Need to check with the text backup and the details regarding each temple... 

But Iam presenting the list here

May the ever compassionate Lord shower His blessings on us to serve Him more and more

Swamy Sharanam ! 
  1. Thrikkunnapuzha Dharmasasthavu
  2. Thiruvullakkavu sasthavu
  3. Aryankavu dharmasasthavu
  4. Chambrakulangara ayyappan
  5. Chamravattam sasthavu
  6. Achan kovil darmasasthavu
  7. Kulathupuzha sasthav
  8. Kolakkottiri ayyappankavu
  9. Sabarimala sreedharma sasthavu
  10. Kizhakedesam sasthavu
  11. Meenachil sasthavu
  12. Arakkulam dharmasasthavu
  13. Mattil sasthavu
  14. Cheruthazhathukavu sasthavu
  15. Kalleli sasthav
  16. Nandikeswarankavu sastha
  17. Thakazhi dhramasasthavu
  18. Chakkamkulangara dharmasasthavu
  19. Aarattupuzha sasthavu
  20. Manaloor ayyappan kavu
  21. Manakodi sasthavu
  22. Edathra sasthavu
  23. Edathuruthi ayyappan kavu
  24. Kanyakulangara dharmasasthavu
  25. Nettissery sasthavu
  26. Mulankunnathu kavu darma sasthavu
  27. Udalakkavu sasthavu
  28. Kodumpu ayyappa
  29. Manakkadu dharmasasthavu
  30. Thykkadu sasthavu
  31. Akamala sreedharma sasthavu
  32. Thottakkare molukurussy ayyappankavu
  33. Ayyankuzhikkavu sasthavu
  34. Kollankodu Pulikkodu ayyappan
  35. Cherpulasery ayyappan kavu
  36. Poonjal darmasasthavu
  37. Punchapadam pulinkkavu ayyappa
  38. Theeyadikkavu
  39. Nagalassery ayyappankavu
  40. Mundamuka ayyappan
  41. Thichur sasthavu
  42. Malamakkavu ayyappan
  43. Nangulam sasthavu
  44. Neriyamangalam sasthavu
  45. Aanaparambu daramasasthavu
  46. Thayankavu sasthavu
  47. Perungottukavu sasthavu
  48. Kothakulangara sasthavu
  49. Mangalam ayyappan kavu
  50. Chemeli dharmasasthavu
  51. Pottankkavu
  52. Thiruvarchanamkunnu
  53. Malamakkavu ayyappan
  54. Thrikkalathur sreeraman
  55. Vayaskkara dharmasasthavu
  56. Narayanamangalam ayyappankavu
  57. Sakthikulankara sasthavu
  58. Ayyappanpara sasthavu
  59. Manalithara mullapallikavu
  60. Kuttoor sasthav
  61. Pattikkadu dharmasastha
  62. Markkadakkavu sastha
  63. Koodapuzha marathopalli sasthav
  64. Neervilagam dharmasastha
  65. Kaattuvalli dharmasastha
  66. Karukuttikkavu
  67. Kozhikkal kandan sasthavu
  68. Ezhinjillam sasthavu
  69. Kannanallur sasthavu
  70. Kutiyothu temple
  71. Kannadiparambu dharmasasthavu
  72. Chethamangalam ayyappan
  73. Chovvara sasthavu
  74. Edaneer vishnu
  75. Kolasserykavu sastha
  76. Paduvilakkavu sastha
  77. Kaarakkattu sreedharma sasthavu
  78. Paandangari dharmasastha
  79. Rampuram sasthavu
  80. Kanimangalam sasthavu
  81. Elampalli madathil dharmasasthavu
  82. Cheerappanchira mukkalvattam ayyappa
  83. Vyasachalam sasthavu
  84. Karthyakulangara sreedharmasastha
  85. Thechikkottukavu sastha
  86. Mupuramkavu sreekandansasthavu
  87. Varamsasthamkotta temple
  88. Pullukulangara darmasasthavu
  89. Thrikkadambu temple
  90. Chathankottakavu
  91. Kodannoor sasthavu
  92. Mangattu kavu ayyappan
  93. Velupilli dharmasastha
  94. Rarothu ayyappa
  95. Thrivuvaniyoor temple
  96. Malamel temple
  97. Areswaram sasthavu
  98. Karimpuzha sreeraman temple
  99. Chathannoor bhoothanathan (siva temple)
  100. Ponnabalamedu
  101. Koovapalli narkkalakavu
  102. Mundarakodu ayyappa
  103. Eramam muthukkattukavu ayyappan
  104. Kochambalam
  105. Erumeli dharmasasthavu
  106. Kezhoor dharmasasthavu
  107. Niram kaithakkotta sasthavu
  108. Arangavu sasthavu

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shabarimala Vrutham

Dear Guruji,

Is it compulsory that one must undertake austerity for going to Sabarimalai ? I have gone twice to sabarimala but i wore the maala only 3 days before..

In your previous postings you have repeated that Vratham is mandatory..

Can you explain the procedure for these ?


Thanks for raising this question .... This is a right occasion so that not only the regular readers, but also everyone who is accompanying us during the July Sabarimalai yatra will also be benefited.

Vetren Guruswamys have explained the rules very clearly and it was and it is followed very strictly even today...without even a small doubt like  "whether is it applicable in todays context?" etc etc..

I dont know how and when it started corrupting. May be because when junior Guruswamys started leading - they started with something called  "COMPROMISE" 

Maalaa Dhaaranam 

Pilgrims those who wish to climb the holy sabari hills and have the Lord's Dharshan must undertake the strict Vrutham for a minimum period of 41 days and then carry the Irumudi and climb the hills as well as the sacred “Pathinettam padi”.

This vrutham preceding the yatra with a discipline routine like prayer, control over food, not wearing footweras, meditation and celibacy  - helps the pilgrim to withdraw his mind from worldly objects and turn it towards God. The sole purpose of Ayyappa avatharam is to establish the doctrine of oneness of all beings ie  the identification of self.

This maala reminds the pilgrim of this supreme truth - so one cannot ignore this just like that. When the vrutham is  properly observed - the pilgrim himself can experience a change in his mental attitude and mental maturity.

Why Maala ?

Sabarimala yatra is not like visiting any other temple; its a place where one can enter only when the Lord "invites" him. When a person decides to start his vrutham - he obtains blessing from his parents, elders and Guru and then wear the maala.

The first step to mark the beginning of his divine journey - is to wear a maala of tulasi or rudraksha beads.

So one must wear Maala on an auspicious day anywhere before 41 days from the date of journey. 

When maaladhaaranam is done with Mudra Maala - Shiva ganams and Shakthi Ganams manifest in the maala and it takes care of the pilgrim. (When proper rituals doing Avahanam to the maalai - the maala becomes Mudra Maala.)
[This procedure and puja I may explain sometime later]

When a person is wearing maala during Karthikai 1st (Vruschika Masam 1st ie Nov 16-17th) then he need not check with any auspicious time or muhurtham nakshatram etc to wear the maala.

One has to wear the maala only through the Guruswamy ie the Guruswamy who is going to take you to the Yatra. An alternate practice is wearing the maala from one's mother's hand in the presence or with the permission of Guruswamy.

It is not a must that one must wear maala only at a temple.. He can wear it even at the Puja room of his house or Gurus's house.

Number of Maalas, Dollar etc

Nowadays it has become a practice that one must wear more number of maalas during Sabari yatra - may be to show his supremacy.

But Mudra Maala during maaladharanam is only one. Some people have the practice of wearing a second maala named "Thunai Maalai".

When the Mudra Maala is safely guarded there no necessity for a second maala.

Ofcourse, there is nothing wrong in wearing one more - but there is nothing special in doing so.

Similarly wearing a dollar along with with the image of Lord is just to remind us the Lord's form and that doesn't gives any special status.

An ordinary maala (with or without dollar) when worshiped, sanctified and adorned from the hands of Gurunatha - only after this it becomes Mudra Maala. For this one need mantropadesham. So dollar is only for beautification.
( Ive not heard any of these concepts like Thunai Maalai, Dollar etc etc from any senior Guruswamys who are undertaking the Yatra for more than 50-60 years. Nothing wrong in all these - but please understand there is nothing special too)

Wearing Maala on a later date 

Only during Aapath Kaalam one can adopt certain exemptions. But exemptions cannot become rule. So only for those who have unavoidable circumstances - can start the Vrutham - but wear maala on a later date.

For example Doctors cannot expect shuddi - because they need to handle all type of patients and even corpse- because of the nature of the Job.

Here relaxation is given only for wearing the maala - but not for Vrutham.

Many may have a doubt  - whether one can perform Pithru Karma while wearing maala.

Maaladharanam is done to mark our conviction to begin the yatra and worship the Lord. Pithru Karma is our duty. One has to give primary importance to perform his duty. Some people may wear mala as usual and perform the Pitru Karma. An alternate practice (suggested by elders) is starting the Vrutham before 41 days - and wearing the maala after completing the Pithru karma.

Again I repeat - relaxation is given only for wearing the maala - but not for Vrutham.

Removing Maala in between
During the time of Theettu like death of Karmic relations - when one is affected by Theettu, he cannot wear the maala during this time.

After the theettu is over one has to consult his Guruswamy... He must take bath twice and chant Sahasra Gayatri or Swamiye Sharanam Ayyappa - 1008 times and then wear the maala again from Guru's hands.

When a person wear the maala, devata shakti manifest in the maala and they are along with the pilgrim. So the person must be very careful that no ashuddi affects him - because this will affect the sanctity of the maala. It is a practice that whenever a person comes out, he must always carry few Tulasi leaves along with him so that the negative forces donot affect.

Even then whenver he has a doubt of Ashuddi - he must immediately come home - drink Panchakavyam and keep some Gomaya (Cow Dung) in his head and have bath and pray to the Lord seeking Samasthaaparaadham.

Another important question raised was - can one fulfill his prarthanas with other temples while wearing the maala. This he can definitely do.. or rather he must do because it is your promise and you are keeping up your words.

But no prarthana can be executed after taking the irumudi - because after taking the irumudi one's target should be only Sannidhanam and nothing else. Till climbing the 18 steps and having Darshanam everything else have only second priority.


 'Maaladharanam' is aimed at inner refinement of the devotee. It is for concentrating the mind on Sastha, the symbol of virtue and purity. Thats why each devotee is called 'Swami' as he is considered pure and dedicated.

Before wearing the maala, one has to pray to his Kula devata, thereby taking Her/His permission to commence the vrutham.

Before starting the vrutham, the devotee shall cleanly shave, clip his nails, trim his hair and make himself physically clean. The maala should be cleaned and smeared with Vbhuti and sandal paste and placed before the Lord.

In case of  a person with yagnopaveedham - one may change his upaveedham and then wear maala.

The devotee shall withdraw from all social activities and spend his time by taking part in prayers, poojas, bajans, visiting temples, helping the needy and attending religious discourses.

He must always contemplate the form of his Guru - by whose grace he has seen the Lord and is going to see the Lord.

He shall take only vegetarian food and refrain 100% from taking meat, intoxicating drinks / drugs, chewing betel leaves and from smoking. He shall not attend any social functions and shall not take food from anyone's home unless he is sure about their shuddi.

Under any circumstances one must not refuse to accept the prasadam of the Lord

He shall bathe twice, and perform pooja to the Lord. [I shall post the simple puja vidhi soon. So that every devotee can do the basic puja to the Lord daily.] He shall continuously chant Saranam Ayyappa in mind, both at work and at home.

Those with Gayatri - must defenitley do their Sandhya vandhanam and Gayatri Japam - without this the vrutham is futile.

He shall not hurt anybody verbally or physically - understanding that all beings are Lord Ayyappan himself.

He shall not feel proud of the respect and privileges he gets when he is wearing the maala. When others prostrate themselves on his feet he shall not feel proud but dedicate the same to Lord Ayyappan.

He shall not cause inconvenience to his family members on account on observing the vrutham.

He shall strictly follow brahmacharya (celibacy) in word, deed and thought. And treat all women with motherly feeling.

During the whole period of Vrutham, the Devotee has to practice Satyam, Ahimsa and simple life.

He shall not sleep on bed but on floor, he shall not use footwear but walk with bare feet.

One must remember - the 41 days Vrutham is prescribed by the Lord himself and we dont have any rights to reduce it to x number of days. When one follow what is instructed by the Lord strictly and totally surrender himself to the Lord - iam sure that Lord Ayyappan will 200% shower his blessings.

Another important thing :
The procedures and practices may vary from group to group so when you go with a group, you must listen to their rules and must follow the Guruswamy who is leading you. "Guru Vaakyam Pramanam" is the golden rule.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Guru - Mantra Upadesham

After the reply to Mr.X regarding mantra upadesham.. Iam receiving many mails and messages personally from people expressing their doubt regarding this "Mantra Upadesham" and Upasana...

1. How to Get Mantra Upadesham
2. How to approach Guru for Upadesham
Let me throw some light in this Area...
But before that read my following articles (Read in Once again... EVEN IF YOU HAVE ALREADY READ IT)

Guru - Sishya Relationship

Guru - Sishya Relationship Part 2

Mantra Upadesham goes two way - The first one is for exceptional cases where a Mahan or Guru takes Karuunya towards a Sishya and gives him mantra upadesham even without asking. - please note this happens only for exceptional cases due to the accumulated merits of upasana of Purva Janma and this cannot be examples.

The next way  -
a Sishya has devotion towards a particular God and he identifies himself with a particular person as his Guru. First he must openly declare his surrender to his Guru.

He has to literally plead to the Guru for getting a mantra upadesham. It is said that even the Guru has to wait until the sishya asks or rather beg for the upadesham at least three times. Once the Guru is satisfied that the Sishya is a "Sat Patram" he can consider him. (please note : Only Consider).

Because the guru gives mantra to a disciple and because she or he embodies the spirit and life of that mantra. According to the Kularnava Tantra, there is no difference between devata, mantra and guru. "Devata in truth is the same as mantra; mantra in truth is the same as the guru. The fruit of the worship of the devata, mantra and guru is the same."

Moola Mantram is actually going to take you to the divinity. When one is not ready to shed his Ego even for the sake of Mantra upadesham to his Guru, then how can one attain salvation?

I have personally seen both extreme cases of  "so called Sishya" either demanding mantra upadesham from the Guru or his ego preventing in surrendering to the Guru for asking Mantra upadesham.

(Here again the Age, Qualification or Status of a Guru is not a criteria. I wish to quote a real life experiece known to me personally. A 58 year old sishya was a very great devotee and wanted mantra upadesham. He developed a Guru Bhava towards 18 year old person. The young Guru in turn took the person to many other Upasakas including his own Guru.

But the Sishya was very clear... "All these Upasakas are great undoubtedly... But you are my Guru... and I shall wait till u give me upadesham". He literally waited for about a decade to get his first mantram from his Guru.

This is true Guru Bhakthi !!! )

So I come back to square one - Ultimate surrender to Guru is the best way to get mantra upadesham.

Tatviddhi Pranipatena Pariprashnena Sevaya 
Upadekshyanti Te Jnanam Jnanina Stattwadarshinah
Understand the true nature of knowledge by approaching a Guru. If you prostrate at their feet, serve them and question them with an open & guileless heart, those wise person will give you the upadesham of the divine. - says Krishna in Geetha.

However great a person may be, his close associates cannot understand his greatness, often they take him to be as ordinary human being like them. This is the effect of Maya.

A sishya must not get into this trap.

One has to really feel blessed for getting each oppurtunity to serve Guru,salute Guru, Pray to guru, doing namaskarams to Guru. "Whenever/wherever you see your  Guru do namaskaram - says Kularnava Tantram.

Even if you think over the feet of Guru (Guru Paduka) it gives  the result greter than puja or Khetra Darshanam. So if you can see him in person - never miss the oppurtunity to do Namaskaram to him.

Once you see you guru, even if it is a crowded hall or road - fall like a danda(stick) and do sashtanga namaskara.

I have seen many such sishyas doing namaskarams without even a trace of ego.

From my personal experience I can say - this act instantaneously kindles the Karunya of Guru towards the Sishya.

(Beleive me - the same person mentioned above is around 70 years now. He will still, at once , fall down at the feet of his much Younger Guru - wherever he sees him)

My association with many illustrious Gurus have taught me this basic lesson called Guru Bhakthi. So Iam really surprised or rather shocked to see the deteriorating form of Guru Bhakthi...

Many people approach me me for instruction, clarification and initiation. Most of them are sincere who are highly devoted. They need mantras to get their problems solved, achieve something or gain some material or rarely some spiritual benefit. Many other are interested in gaining powers and benefits in the society we live in today.

Only a handful of few are really having the mix of bhakti, inner drive and wisdom. I still find myself searching for a person "who crave to reach the Lord" and seek mantra upadesham for that purpose.

I pray to the divine lotus feet of Lord Bhaktaparipala who is the Lord, the mantra, the Guru, the Sishya, the question, the answer and everything.