Aravind Subramanyam-anna please tell us about this pic...
Sankar Narayanan Sanki
After a long gap of silence, Iam back to the blog to answer a query.
Though I have a lot to say about this, at this point of time Iam not going into much details, but explain the outline.
Kerala - is known as God's Own country becasue it was created by Parasurama, the warrior sage and sixth incarnation of Maha Vishnu. After creating a land for himself, Parasurama wanted to installed the Supreme Lord there. He performed severe penence and prayed to Lord Sastha that his divine presence should always protect the land.
Bagawan accepted his request and instructed him to construct 18 temples and promised that he will stay there and protect the Land.
He further indicated that "Very soon Iam going to incarnate in this Land and during that time, install my idol at the Maha yogapeetam at Garudadhri. That place is going to be my headquarters in future. "
As per the divine will the Lord incarnated as Manikanta - in human form. The Advent of Lord Manikanta is well known to everybody. He was an incarnation of Lord Sastha who was adopted by the Rajashekara Pandiyan. The Ministers at the palace, developed hatred towards Manikanta and planned a plot to kill him. According to this plot, Manikanta undertook the forest expedition single-handed to find Tigress milk.
This was actually the divine intervention as per the Lord's plan, The purpose of Manikantan's advent had dual purpose 1) To annihilate Mahishi and 2) Establish Dharma in Kaliyuga.
So, as per the promise made earlier, Manikanta came to the forest called Matanga Vanam. Devas and Rishis descended to the earth and waited for Lord Manikanta in the forest with a prayer to fulfill the object of his mission.
Killing of Mahishi happened in no time. The sages installed the Lord as Poorna Pushkala Samedha Maha Sastha at the Srimoolam Kavu - a golden temple on a hill nearby. This hill, is now known as Ponnambalamedu (the hill of Golden Temple). But the Devas and rishis wanted Lord Manikanta to stay there for ever. Bagawan promised them to stay there permanently and bless all the people of Kaliyuga. But Ponnambalam is reachable only by Yogis. So for the sake of ordinary mortals, the Lord instructed them to find a place nearby, so that a temple is built there. Finally the Lord decided the spot as the Mahayogapeetam of the Garudadri hill; This was later this was named as Sabarimalai after Sabari, a huntress.
Manikantan went back to the palace and everybody understood that he was not an ordinary being.
Manikantan indicated that the king can know about his divine mission only through a Guru and he further added that Lord Agasthya shall come there and guide him further.
Manikantan then blessed the King and all others assembled there, and vanished. Everybody felt helpless and the king was deeply distressed at the departure of the Lord. At that time, the sage Agasthya appeared before him and consoled him. He reminded the king of his duty ahead, the construction of a temple for Dharmasastha. The Rishi told the King that he could construct a temple at Garudadhri, a hill-top of Matanga Mountain range - north of the holy river Pampa.
As per Lord Agasthya's instructions, everybody undertook the Vrutham and the auspicious Makara Sankaranthi day was fixed for the pratishta. Soon Parasurama came there with the idol of Lord Dharma Sastha - which was earlier prescribed by the Lord himself.
Agasthya, being the foremost among the Rishis and Yogis, presided the function and formulated the mode of worship and poojas to be done at the temple. Parasurama took charge of the installation. The idol was enshrined with appropriate rituals and ceremonies by both Parasurama and Agasthya on the auspicious day of Makara Sankranthi. Lord Manikanta's divinity merged with the Dharma Sastha idol installed.
The King duly constructed the temple at Sabarimala, dedicated to Him.
This picture depicts the scene of Lord Dharma Sastha’s installation by Agasthya and Parasurama.