SWAMY AYYAPPA HISTORY

Monday, 5 December 2011

SWAMY AYYAPPA HISTORY











Lord Ayyappa of sabarimala or   Dharma Sastha as is universally called has a number of historical stories about him which his devotees heard from their  ancestors or,Guru.The Stories about Lord Dharma Sastha is also mentioned in Vedas and Puranas.  However different stories are  prevalent in different areas , depending upon the locality and places.
Lord Vishnu's " Mohini Vesham" is a well known story. After the death of Mahishasura , His sister Mahishi took a decision to take revenge against all Devas.  Hence she started Dhyanam(meditation) to please  Lord Brahma . Impressed by her bhakti, Brahma  made an   appearance and granted her wish that, nobody  in the Universe could  kill her except the son of  Lord Shiva and Vishnu.
With this boon,  she felt so   powerful that ,she started harassing Devandran and the Devas. The Devas prayed to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The venerable gods sent their shakti & spirit together to the earth in the form of  a Mahisham. There upon  the Mahishi along with Mahisham left heaven for earth and started in a jungle.
One day Lord Shiva requested Lord Vishnu to show the Mohini Vesham once more. As the Mohini appeared  in front of  Lord Shiva , Kamadeva sent his arrow at Lord Shiva and thus the disaster began for Mahishi. A male child was born(Uthram Star,wendesday )from the thigh of  Lord Vishnu . The child was born with a bell in his neck and so he was  named as Manikandan(The one who was born with a bell in his neck).  Lord Shiva took him to Kailasam.  The boy learnt all mantra and tanthra  under the tutelage living of  Lord Shiva and became a good warrior. At the age of  12, Manikandan was told about his mission of life and sent to earth as  a child.
Raja Rajasekharan  was the king of  Panthalam, a small place in southern Kerala. He was  an ardent devotee of  Lord Shiva and his queen that  of Lord Vishnu. They were childless. They prayed to god ceaselessly for a child.
One day  after hunting,  while taking  rest at the bank of river pumba , the Raja heard a child's cry . When he went for a search  with his  companions he found a child   alone in the jungle . Immediately a saint appeared and told  the king to take the child to his palace and  call him   Manikandan.
The king and queen were very happy and they brought up the child as their own. After three years, the queen gave  birth to a son and named him Raja Raja.  Manikandan was sent  to Raja Guru for learning. Manikandan completed his studies  quickly and bcame expert in all fields. When the time for leaving the Gurukul came,  Manikandan wanted to give Dakshina to his Guru. The Guru then told Manikandan to cure his son from blindness. As soon as Manikandan rubbed his hands over the eye of the boy, his vision was restored. The Guru then told Manikandan  that one day he would become Lord of the Universe. Manikandan  requested guru to keep it as a  secret and left the Gurukul.
The Panthalam Kingdom was one of the smallest kingdom, but it was rich. There were frequent attacks from other kingdoms as well as Persian countries. The Diwan was not loyal to the king. After his return from the Gurukul, Manikandan took keen interest in the affairs of the kingdom . He put an end to the internal fight among the warring kingdoms and restored law and order in the Kingdom.
One day a Muslim invader by name VAVAR   reached the coastal area of panthalam to attack the kingdom. Seeing the helpless situation of the king, Manikandan insisted on going alone for the battle with Vavar. After much persuasion, the king acceded to  Manikandan's wish.
Manikandan with his divine power temporarily closed the eyes of  Vavar who could see only Manikandan. Realising the divine power Vavar became his ardent and closest believer .
This was the beginning of a  friendship between  two people from different  religions and regions. It was a proof  that   caste, religion or  region were not barriers  for a good friendship and that humanity is above all. The mutual respect and love they shared helped them to overcome all difficulties.
Raja  started thinking of making Manikandan as the next king. The minister  did not  like this and took several steps to kill Manikandan . The Minister failed in his attempts because of the divine power of Manikandan and timely intervention of Lord Shiva.
The Minister then persuaded the queen to make her own son the next king. Persuaded by the Minister , the queen created a drama of suffering from severe headache and the  King,  believing  this, called the Diwan to bring in the best physicians to treat her. The Physician, brought  by  the  Diwan  examined  the  Queen  and told the King that the Queen had been suffering from  a  dangerous  disease  and  it  could  be  cured  only  by applying Tigress' milk. The King sent several of  his men to the forest for bringing this milk. The King understood that it was an impossible task  and  wanted  his  dear  Queen  to  be  cured  at  any  cost  and  offered half of his Kingdom to anybody who brought the milk.
Manikandan wanted to go and fetch Tigress' milk but was refused permission by the king as he was very young to go to the forest and that he was to be crowned. Understanding the situation Manikandan requested the king for a promise to do something he wanted. The King  gave  the  promise  and  Manikandan asked for permission to go to the forest. Disappointed that he was tricked the king had no other alternative but to send Manikandan to  the forest.
King  Rajasekara  made  arrangements to send a group of his loyal men along with Manikandan, which however  was  refused by Manikandan on the ground that the tigress might run away seeing the crowd of soldiers.  King  Rajasekara  sent  along with  Manikandan necessary foodstuffs and coconuts  with three eyes, in remembrance of Lord Shiva.
In the mean time Mahishi was enjoying  life along with Mahisham. However within a few days , Mahishi could guessing the plan of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva abandoned the Mahisham and  went to Devalok  and again started attacking Devas. Devendra and others had to run away  to seek the help of Lord Shiva,  who promised the early end of Mahishi .
In the jungle Manikandan was welcomed by the VAVAR and  Panchbutha of  Lord Shiva .On his way seeing the atrocities of Mahishi in the Devaloka,  he  went  there and  in the battle between them, Mahishi was pushed by Manikandan into the earth, where she fell on the banks of Azhutha River. Manikandan clashed with her there. At the end of    the  battle  between  Mahishi  and  Manikandan  at  Azhutha  River  banks, Manikandan   climbed   up her chest and danced violently. The impact of his dance was felt in the Earth and Devloka and the Devas were afraid. Mahishi knowing that the divine power dancing on her  body  was  none  other than the son of Hari and Haran, prostrated before Manikandan and died.  This  dance was witnessed by Lord Shiva and Mahavishnu from a place called Kalakatti   . A divine lady( Leela daughter of Karaban) came out of the body of  Mahishi and requested Manikandan to consider her as his Shakti. Manikandan expressed his inability to accept her as   his wife as he has taken Brahmcharya for welfare of  the Universe. He offered a suitable place near his temple and named her as Malikapurathamma.
Manikandan visited one of  his old devotee "Sabari" and gave salvation to her soul. He also  agreed the Sabari's request to remain   in Sabarimala for the welfare of the Universe.
  Then Lord Shiva appeared before Manikandan and told him that though he had done good for the Devas, still there was one main  task  and that was to give comfort to the King Rajasekara who was very concerned about him  and  also  to  cure  the  Queen's  ailment.  Lord  Shiva further told him that he could go to the Palace  with  the  tigresses  and Lord Indran would help him. As stated by Lord Shiva, all female devas  in  the  disguise of tigresses and male devas  as tigers with Lord Devendran as the tiger on whom Manikandan rode, started their journey to the Palace.
When   Manikandan approached the palace   with   the   tigers  and tigresses, the people who ridiculed  him  when  he started his journey to teh forest whether he wanted  toy tigresses, really got panicky seeing the violent bunch of animals and started running helter skelter.
The  Sanyasi  who  appeared  at  the  forest at the time of King Rajasekara's visit there when he heard a  child's  cries,  again  appeared  at  the  palace  and told King Rajasekara the identity of Manikandan.  Hearing this, the King stood in great surprise and silence. He stood non plused as he  saw  Manikandan  riding  a  tiger  and  people running away. Seeing the King, Manikandan descended  from the tiger's back and told him that since the tigresses were there, he could get the Queen  cured  with  their  milk.  King  Rajasekara,  fell  at  his  feet  and begged to forgivence for whatever   happened without his knowledge, and asked him to send back the tigers as the Queens ailment   had   been   cured   the moment Manikandan went to the forest.
King   Rajasekara   told   Manikandan   that the Diwan was responsible for all these things and hence   he  should  be punished. However, Manikandan told the king that he need not punish the Diwan  and  all  had happened only through the will of God.  He also gave necessary advice to Raja for the salvation of soul (Which is known as Boothanatha Geetha) . After giving necessary guidance and information for the construction of temple at Sabarimala Lord  Ayyappa(Dharma Sastha) informed   Raja ,that he is going for meditation at Ponnambalamedu for the welfare of the universe and to protect Dharma.
King Rajasekharan was heart broken hearing this and implored Ayyappa, "I have made all arrangements for your coronation and what shall I do with all the ornaments which were made for your coronation ceremony?". To this Lord Ayyappa replied, "I am entering eternal meditation for the betterment of the world. However, every year at the time of Makara Sankranthi, I will wake up from my meditation and open my eyes to see the world. At that time you may adorn my idol with all the ornaments that you have made for my coronation ceremony and Makara Jyoti will appear in   the Ponnambala Medu.  The Lord then   merged in to the idol of Lord Dharma Sastha in the Ponnamlamedu for   meditation for the welfare of the universe and  to protect Dharma .
At   the   advice   of  Saint Agasthya, King Rajasekara laid the foundation stone for the building Shabarimala   Temple.  Bhagwan Manikandan, had made it clear that he would grace only those  devotees  who offer Dharshan after performing Viradha for forty one days keeping themselves  isolated from family desires and tastes and leading a life like Brahmacharyas, thinking   of   good  things always, and that while coming for his darshan, they shall adorn themselves  with  three eyed coconut and foodstuff/Aantha Garland in their heads, as the Bhagwan did when he went to the forest to fetch tigress milk, and bathe in River Pampa raising slogans of Saranam and climb the eighteen stairs.
As graced  by  the  Bhagwan, King  Rajasekara  completed  building  of  the temple with eighteen stairs to reach  it.  When  the  King  was thinking how to put Dharmasastha's figure in the temple for  darshan to devotees, he recalled the words of the Bhagwan, the River Pampa was a holy river as  River  Ganga,  Sabarimala  was  a  holy  place as Kasi. Dharmasastha sent Parasuraman to Sabarimala   who   carved   the   figure   of    Lord   Ayyappa   and   installed   it   on the day of Makarasankranthi.  Every year lakhs and lakhs of people throng to Sabarimala irrespective of caste  or  creed  and   adorn   themselves   with   garlands  and   irumudis, chant slogans on Lord Ayyappa,   bathe   in   holy   river   Pampa, climb up the eighteen stairs and get the grace of Lord Ayyappa, the Dharmasastha.
The Jewel Casket is carried on head from the ancestral residence of the royal family of Panthalam to the Shrine on the day. A Garuda, the Brahman kite, follows this ornaments carrying procession, hovering about in the sky. After these ornaments are adorned on the Lord the bird circles the temple in the sky three times and disappears. Excited by this sight the devotees begin to chant "Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa".   A Star(Uthram Nakshathra) never seen before in the sky appears on the day of Makarajyothi day before the sighting of the Jyothi. A Jyothi is seen for a little time on the hilltop showing the presence of Swamy Ayyappan gracing his devotees. 
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