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Sunday, January 30, 2011

On Makarajyothi - Comments by a Devotee

Swamy Sharanam 

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...


Swamy Saranam.
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.    
-Sastha Gopal.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Doing Abhivaadanam during Namaskaaram


Namaskaram literally means a salute; traditionally it is practiced from the childhood days, to train the children to respect the elders and also to pay obeisance to the Lord God in temples. It is a gesture of action used to indicate respect & reverence. 

One most important point to be noted.. One should not do namaskarams to any person in Deva Sannidhanam - this is a very big sin. But if One's Guru is standing in the sannidhanam, and the person is doing namaskaram to God its double sin. 

Whenever one gets an opportunity one has to do namaskarams to his Guru... its indeed a very great punya. And whenever one's Guru is there(in a sabha- group of people), one must not do namaskarams to anyone else other than his Guru... Even if Guru and Parama Guru(Guru's Guru) is there, one has to do namaskaram only to his Guru.. Only if he permits or asks, he can do namaskarams to others.. or else it is a very great sin

In the case of doing Namaskarams to others - One cannot Just like that do namaskarams to everyone... One must have the capacity to accept the namaskaram.

By doing Namaskarams to a person, he actually transfers a part of his sin to the person who accepts the namaskaram. A part of the punyam gets transfered from the person accepting it to the person doing the namaskaram. 

If one is doing namaskaram to a person who is not fit to the position, one must be ready to partake his sins.... 

Generally one should not do namaskarams to the persons who is younger than him - But this rule does not apply if the person is doing namaskarams to his Guru or a Sanyasi. A Guru may be much much younger than the Sishya - But his position(as a Guru) is the important factor here..

Those with Guru padhuka Deeksha generally dont do namaskarams to anyone other than Guru and Devata.


Yesterday during our Satsang - we were discussing about chanting and not chanting "Abhivadhaye..." during the time of Namaskaram

ie after doing namaskAram, he must keep the palms over ears, and then announce his Rishi lineage, gotram , sUtram (family lineage), family Veda, and sharman (name), and then touching the feet of the elders they prostrated to. 

While doing AbhivAdanam an important point to be kept in mind is - that abhivadanam should be done only to a person who can say pratyabhivadanam (ie blessing words in return)

In general it is a compulsory practice that all those who are adorned with upanayanam (who wear the sacred thread), when he does namaskaram must tell abhivaadhanam.. 

This is the general rule. 
But there are few exceptions to be noted.... 

devAn nadIn sabhAM vRukShAn agnikAryaM tathA yatim |
daNDavat praNamet bhUmau na abhivAdana mAchret || 

When one is doing namaskAram for 

• before devatas
• to a sabhaa (group of people),
• to the trees such as peepul or palAsam,
• before the agni
• before the sannyaasis

During all these occasions one should not chant the Abhivaadanam...

While doing namaskaarams at temples or puja gruham (at home)... Abhivaadanam should not be chanted... Also there is no abhivaadhanam while doing namaskaarams to ladies (only for one's own mother he can do abhivaadhanam)

Abhivaadanam should be done only on a one to one basis and you cannot do that to a group or to a single person in a group

But AbhivAdanam during performance of Karmas like Sandhya vandanam is allowed.

Thiruvabaranam at Veliyanavattam

The Thiruvabarana Yatra and the Miraculous Krishna Parundu as wittnessed by us from Veliyanavattam Viri

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sastha Preethi and Sastha Thirukalyanam

Respected Devotees, 

Shri Maha Sasthru Seva Sangam feels privileged to write a few lines to everyone of you.  

By the divine blessing as the guiding force, we are stepping into this year's pooja celebration  - to be conducted as 2 days program at Shri Ayyappan Puja Sangam, Ramnagar, Coimbatore.

Pujas of yester years were a Mega success,by the grace of Lord Ayyappa. This became possible ONLY due to your  overwhelming response,  moral and financial support. 

This year, ive attached the invitation copy for the festival

The SASTHA KALYANA MAHOTSAVAM on 2nd April Saturday - by traditional Vaideeka style with homam and puja. This is followed by Kuthiraiottam & Nama Sankeerthanam in the evening. 

The glorious SASTHA PREETHI in the traditional way falls on 3rd April, Sunday, starting with Vanji Paattu, Sastha Puja and then Varavu... The puja  celebrations by our organization falls on holidays (Saturday & Sunday)  to enable devotees to participate in large numbers.  

Please make yourself convenient and be present for both the days with all support.  

We earnestly request all devotees to attend this auspicious pooja and also donate liberally to the Anna Dhanam & Puja Expenses for making the Pooja a grand one and get the blessings of Lord Sastha. (Companies may display their ADVT banners inside the hall)

Or You may pay directly to our Bank Account : 

Name: "Shri Maha Sasthru Seva Sangam"

Karur Vysya Bank A/c No. 1121 135 822
Nanjappa Road Branch


Canara Bank A/c No. 2988 101 015671
PSG Arts College Branch

Devotees who donate can mail us your Name and Nakshatram and the Address so that it will be included in the Puja and we can send you the prasadam.

Looking forward to your active support to clebrate this function of "OUR" Lord.

Contributions in way of Cash or Kind / Materials 

l Flowers Rs. 5,001 (Per Day)

l Materials such as Rice Bags, Vegetables, Coconuts etc

l Sastha Kalyanam Rs. 30,000 (Complete)  

l Seer Items , Veshti & Sarees Rs. 6,000

l Kuthirai Ottam  Rs. 10,000 (Complete)
l Annadhanam (Full  Contribution) Rs.75,000 (Per Day)   or
Annadhanam (Part Contribution) Rs.10,000
l Acharya Dhakshinai & Others   Rs. 20,000 

(All these are indicative only) Any small contribution to the above event would make it very successful and obtain the blessing of Lord Dharma Sastha.

For Details You may Contact
Ph: 099946 41801

May Lord Hariharaputra be with you always, giving you the best of everything.

Swamy Sharanam
V.Aravind Subramanyam

Few Old Photographs updated

Got few photographs to our Collection.. Those who are closely following our may remember the Velichappad a of Sabarimala series I was writing... I was searching for the picture of Harihara Iyer, which I finally got at Pampa.. 

Others Can read about 

Velichappads of Shabarimala Temple - Part 3

Pulikkal Matam Kottarakara Bramma Sree Harihara Iyer  

Kottarakara Harihara Iyer

Among the List of Veteren Guruswamys got the picture of Kambankudi Shri Sundaram Iyer

This is again my Grandfather Shri CV Shrinivasa Iyer ( I also have a lot of collection of his photographs and the Pankuni Uthram Festival he consucted at Sabarimala.. Let me try to post it one by one very soon)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Staying Inside a temple

I heard in Tiruchendur temple that comman people should not be inside sannidhanam of any temple, while being closed at the end of the day, otherwise he has to stay the entire night inside the temple.
Is it so? Can you explain? Any mythological reason ? 


It is not a question of common man or super man - no man should stay inside any temple when it is closed... 

And once the temple is locked one should not open it again till the next day morning

A temple is filled with divine forces and the Ganas actually take charge of the temple and they actually move about in the temple once it is closed... So any person if he is inside the temple may have to earn the wrath of these Ganas.

This is the reason no person is allowed to stay inside the temple once it is closed... 

There are certain rules to be followed while worshipping in the temple.. iam not elaborating much - but while entering the temple during the time of opening.. one cannot just like that dash in - one has to wait till the Archaka opens the door, he has to go inside and light the lamp and only after that one can have the glimpse of the Lord (because till this the temple is guarded by the guardian deities)

But there is a rule that one has to stay overnight in a kshetra - ie not inside the temple but in the city or village- to be precise - somewhere near the temple and have the Vishwaroopa Darshanam, the next day morning....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Padhinettam Padi

The sacred 18 steps leading to the sanctum of Ayyappa... 

Satya Swaroopa Padinettampadi - the one which can be climbed only with proper vrutham was originally made of Granite Stone of 5 to 6 feet wide... People were breaking coconuts on the steps 

Now it is covered with Panchaloka in the year 1985. 

I think it is the only existing oldest divine structure is Sabarimala.. Yes.... 

The Old Basmakulam has been shifted...
The Nagaraja, Navagraha Sannidhis are brand new...
The Manimandapam in not at all used...
The Everything including the holy sanctum sanctorum of Sabarimala was burnt to ashes in the 1950s and
The Stone idol of Ayyappan has been changed to Panchalokam

The Holy Padhinettam Padi Today :

And see the Padinettam Padi of Yester Years

Shri CV Srinivasa Iyer (Chami Anna) Walking down
the holy 18 steps - old stone steps before
covering it with Panchaloka
I personally feel that the natural beauty of Padhinettam Padi is lost with the new pomp and splendor...
The serene beauty and solitude of Sabarimala is lost forever - in the name of "so called" modernization and infrastructure development.

Padhinettam Padikkudaya Nadhane Sharanam Ayyappa !!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

On Makarajyothi

After the Tragic incident in Pulmedu on January 14, the controversy over makarajyothi has been kindled.  Some describe only the star is of primary importance, some others consider both the star and the light and there is yet another group which says everything is mere coincidence. The atheists and the so-called rationalists are utilizing the opportunity to hurt the faith of the believers.

The Kerala High Court wanted to know on Thursday whether or not the ‘Makarajyothi' is a man-made one ? Adding a new dimension, right from the Cheif Minister everyone is passing their own comments on the iise

Now, along with all this - Tantri of Sabarimala temple Maheshwararu has said "Makarajyothi is the celestial star Siries and Makara villakku a symbolic deeparadhana (aarthi) lit at Ponnamabelamedu, "There is a deliberate attempt to create a controversy by stating that 'makara vilakku' is being lit by some people in the forest," he said.

Generations after Generations we are associated to the Sabarimala Temple... And what I have learnt from my Great Grand Father's (Chaami Anna) life is simple - Faith Begins Where Reasoning Ends

The belief in "Our" Lord  is beyond jyoti or star or Garuda or anything.

Many people have asked me same question and asking me the same question and everybody wants to know whether its man made or natural....

The Contoversy about Makara Jothi - let me make one point clear... we are not going there to watch any magic show there

Dear devotees... let us be clear... The term makaravilakku is ancient. But it has nothing to do with lighting a Vilakku (Lamp) .. Vilakku in Kerala means festival of that particular temple and since Sabarimala's festival happens on Makara masam its called Makara Vilakku. Makara Vilakku is Five days festival starting from the festival on the day of makarasamkramam with flag-hoisting, including Tiruvabaranam, the procession from Malikappuram,  etc and end on the sixth with guruthi.

The Garuda which flies over the procession from Pandalam is a tangible proof for the divinity.... and You cant make a specific star appear on the sky on a specific time...

Makarajyothi, whether it is man-made or not, has found a divine religious niche in the minds of every Ayyappa devotee. The Ponnambalamedu, is the most divine spot where the ancient Sastha shrine stood.

The belief in Ayyappa is beyond jyoti or celestial star appearing over Horizon

Whether or not the Jothi is man-made, devotees are sure to throng the holy shrine merely due to the divine experience that the penance and the hardships in reaching the temple give to the devotees after hours of trekking through dense forests. 

My simple answer is you believe what you want to believe... thats all

Please answer my query... where is God ? Just imagine this - You walk over a on a particular stone which lies in front of your house... One Fine morning a sculptor notices it ans carves out a beautiful Ganapati idol in it. Now the Ganapati is installed in the nearby temple and everyone - including you will start worshiping it. The same stone in which you placed your foot daily is now bathed with milk and honey....

Now where is God ? In the stone or In your belief ? When you saw a mere stone you walked over it.. when you see God inside even you are standing it queue to offer your worship...

When millions and millions crave for the Jothi and amonst the million Sharana Goshams even if a single Sharanam is true, the Lord WILL MANIFEST IN JOTHI SWAROOPAM

All these learned men are now making a futile attempt of shaking the unwavering faith of millions of devotees.

As a mere slave of Sastha who has visited Sabari Hills for years now, I have seen and experienced my Master.... Even this is his divine leela...

There can be people for whom the faith comes only if there is some miracle. Upon them these "news items" may have an impact..  The husks may fly away this time....

Sathya Swaroopane Sharanam Ayyappa !!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sabarimala - Are Sabarimala Rules Made to be Broken? :

The accident at sabarimala is indeed a very great shock to the devotees and to all those who believe in God.. The rush is becoming very very unruly in sabarimala and its heartbreaking to see the behavior of the people.

Iam not going to comment regarding the reason, Kaarana or Kaarya of the tragic incident... but its high time that devotees must make some serious decisions.

  • Sabarimala is NOT yet another temple to visit.
  • All people who can understand the real thatwa of Sabarimala alone please venture into wearing a maala
  • Please understand that every other person at Sabarimala is "Ayyappan" you just cant push him down and no way you can earn the grace of the Lord.....
  • There are may intricate procedures to be followed while starting to Sabarimala Yatra, (like praying to Guardian deities after the Kettunera etc) by doing which this tragic incident would have been avoided

It is the duty of the Guruswamys to guide his disciples...

The Guruswamys who has made Sabarimala as a money making project are to be blamed.... The Guruswamys who bring these unruly people and putting them and also other sincere devotees into trouble are to get the entire amount of the sin which they do during the Sabari Yatra.