Hi, this post is bit special. It’s my 100th post.. Thanks for your support all the time.. Feel free to comment..
It was the most enticing and thrilling jaunt in my life. So many problems prevailing in between TN and Kerala Government and reflection is made only on clean-handed iyappa devotees. It was the two days journey to Sabari and i kipped only 2 hours in the whole trip. Although Kumili,theni route is shortest for us, we are obligated to take some other route to stay away for the persisting problems.
Sabarimala is located in Western Ghat ranges in kerala. Lord Ayyappan is belived to be present in 18 Hills. this temple will be opened only in particular dates. From mid November to December end, Jan 14th, April 14th and First 6 days in Malayalam month. For men, there is no restriction for visiting temple. Women below 10 years and above 60 years are only allowed inside temple since Ayyappan is a Celibate(Brahmachari).
There are certain rules and regulations to be followed for visiting this temple. We need to follow vratha for 41 days before visiting this temple. One should not eat meat, shouldnt drink , avoid sexual intercourse and should not use slippers and allowed only to wear traditional clothing of blue, black and safron colour. One should take bath in morning and afternoon and should visit any temple. After 41 days, in a temple irumudi function will take place. Each Ayyappa bhaktha has to take a bag called irumudi (containing 2 compartments). In that bag we take essential items for the devotee in one part and another part is for Lory Ayyappa. ie. One denoting Jeevathma and other denoting Paramathma. Ayyappa darshan is based on “AHAM BRAHMASMI”. ie. You are the god.. Ayyappa devotees call each others as swami and after devotees take irumudi disregarding the age difference everyone gets blessings from the devotee..
Crossing the 18 sacred steps(which denote 18 hills in which Lord Ayyappa is residing) and pouring Ghee which we brought in Irumudi bag is considered to be more important than seeing Sabari Malai’s Lord Ayyappa. Only those who carry irumudi with them are allowed to cross that 18 steps otherwise there is a sepreate gate. For around first 5-8 years Ayyappa devotee’s take the shortest Path. ie. they start from holy river Pamba. Have to climb 8 kms upslope to reach Lord Ayyappa. Those who can walk for a long distance start from Erumeli and will take a forest path of 52 kms to reach Pamba. It would take 1 and half days to reach pamba. I have no experience in this route. But, i heard that, this route will cure any of the disease you have because we cross through the medicated trees.
40-50 Million people visit Sabari Mala every year. This year, due to TN-kerala issues devotees were less in number. Everyday Nei Abishekam(Pouring Ghee on Ayyappa brought by devotee) took place till 11 o clock. So, its better if we start very early(around 2 a.m) so that we can do NeiAbishekam before 11. Or else start previous night and stay up in the hill. Because of the TN-Kerala dam issue, we took Sengottai route.. Through Madurai, Kuttralam, Sengottai we reached there. At once we entered Kerala border things are different. A van from our street started 4 hours before us. Near punaloor some strangers made a hit and run. Glasses were broken. Once we got this information we stalled for 2 hours in Sengottai to make an early morning drive to avoid problems. Around 50 kms, those who were in the front seats where not even able to blink eyes. It was around 2 o clock. Everyone was keen to looking if any strangers available in road. Even at 2 some tea shops were open. By god’s grace , we didnt face any problems there.
We started climbing from Pamba at 8 and finished Dharshan and all formalities before 11. But, this time the majority were A.P and Karnataka people.. Crowd was absent. Its better to climb in early morning so that we can finish Nei Abishekam on the same day. Or it would be wise if we start in evening and spent a full night in Sabarimala.
I wondered! so many superstitions followed in this Sastha workship. While coming out of our home, we have to face opposite side(face looking your house ) and we should walk in reverse till we go out of the house. Once we go out of the house, we should not say that we are going. Next one is in the irumudi function. We will pour ghee in the coconut. It is to be believed that based on your involvement in this the coconut will intake ghee in it. If you are much involved in this workship, when you were pouring small amount of ghee, it will spill out of the coconut. And, next one is when they open the irumudi bag. They will break the coconut in which we have filled ghee. If it is in solid state you have followed this workship with full involvement. If it is in too liquid state, your involvement is low. I was not able to find the reasons for the above superstitions.
Visiting sabarimala will reduce the impact of Sani(Saturn) in your life. Lord Ayyappa is believed to be one of the powerfull god. 41 days fasting will make your body and soul fresh. So, if you get chance visit the temple and get blessings from Lord Ayyappa.