Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kettunera at Pampa

Swami Sharanam.

Why is that it's said that Kettunarai shouldn't be done at Pamba ? Can you pls. thro light on the traditional
reason for the same. 

Additionally, at Pamba Ganapathi we can see a lot of Kettunarai happening by Pamba Ganapathi priest...

It would be great to listen from you....

Swamy Sharanam

The rules for the Sabarimala Yathra is prescribed by Sage Agasthya as instructed by Lord Himself. But if one observes carefully, it actually forms the daily routine of a devout person.

The rules are same for any Vrutham - be it Pradosham or Sashti or Navarathri. 

Waking up in Brahma Muhurtham, Taking Bath in cold water, Nama Japam, Food restriction, Avoiding physical Comforts, Sleeping on floor, Not Shaving, Brahmacharyam etc etc 
- this is common to any Vrutham. The only difference is, all these Vruthams like Pradosham, Ekasadi or Sashti ends within 24 hours; Skandha Sashti may extend upto 6 days and Navarathri Vrutham extends to 10 days. Whereas Ayyappa Vrutham extends beyond 41 days(or 56 Days in some other cases).

So the rules are to be followed with utmost sincerity for Ayyappa Vrutham. And what is the main purpose of the Vrutham ? To carry the irumudi and climb the 18 steps. To understand this we need to look back to the history.

There is a traditional way to have the darshana of Bhagawan Hariharaputra Swami at Sabarimala. This was told by my grand father. What I have been taught -by Gurus and elders... Iam just repeating it here in my words.

In earlier days, Sabarimala was opened only for Makara Vilakku and people start their Vrutham well before that. The only route to Sabari was Via Erumeli. In other words - the official route is via Erumeli.

It took almost one week to complete the Yathra and reach Sannidhanam. 

One has to understand that Maha Sastha is the supreme Lord and he has two Shaktis namely Poorna and Pushkala. That divine Sastha's embodiment is Lord Ayyappa who is instilled at the holly Sabari Hills - on the top of Neeli Malai. 

The pilgrims travelling through the long route have to cross seven streams and climb eighteen leaps during the yatra. If one looks upon all the eighteen leaps, actually a person is stepping higher and higher on each hill - ie each hill represents a step. So the eighteen steps in front of the Lord at Sabarimalai temple actually represents the eighteen hills and their guarding Devata. In short, the padi puja is a pooja to the Long route itself.

So the actual yathra or Shrine starts from Erumeli. Erumeli is the first Kottai or the Lord. One should always visit the Erumeli shrine of Lord Kiratha Moorthy and get the permission from Him  to enter the poonkavanam and get the grace of the Supreme Lord. Only when a person comes through the long route, the yathra is fulfilled.

So entering Erumeli is similar to climbing the first step of 18m padi. 

The Chalakkayam route, Pampa route etc are of very latest origin. FYI, the pampa ganapathy, Ramar  temple itself is a very recent one. In other words only after these convenient routes, Maasa Puja became popular. For convenience, people started using these routes, but that doesnt allow us to skip the Long route. 

But when we go for Maasa Puja, its almost impossible to travel through the long route. So as an alternate practice, we worship at Erumeli and seek his permission and forgiveness and then proceed to Pampa. 

So coming back to the point - the Kshetram (or Poonkavanam) starts from Erumeli. So to cross Erumeli, one needs irumudi and beyond that point no one is allowed to do the kettu nerai or fill the irumudi. 

You have already entered the exam hall; Now how can one fill the entrance form here?

As you said now we can witness a lot of Kettunarai happening at Pamba Ganapathi Sannidhanam... (I also heard a news, dont know whether its true - that the ghee which is offered at Nei thoni is being recycled at Pampa ganapathi and used for Kettunerai again). A devotee gave me a best comment on this : "When a person is doing his Kettunerai at Pampa, he doesnt have any right to lament amount sasthram. He actually deserves this"

Sampradhayams of olden days are easily broken today and does not seem to be a full fledged practice any more. 

The very thathwam of Sabarimala revolves round the concept called Guru. Today we see, Maaladharanam is done at some Ayyappan temple, the nature of Vrutham by ones own rules (GOK), and Kettunerai is done by some X or Y at someother place and people go to sabarimala - all one without a Guruswamy.

Its no wonder if these rituals are considered as traditional sampradhayam.

This is the state of Kaliyuga and no body can understand the leela of Lord Ayyappa.

True bakthi always means - following the Sasthras strictly and have a faith with Gurus words.
I fall at the Feet of my Guru to grant satbuddhi and unwavering devotion towards the Lord.

Swamy Sharanam
V.Aravind Subramanyam


  1. Swami Sharanam. Thanks,. Excellent information.

  2. Swami sharanam

    Thanks for the very important information.

    Swami sharanam