Om Bootha Nathya Vidhmate
Bava Nandhanaya Dheemahe
Tanno Sastha Prachodayaath
The Ayapaa Gayatri Mantra is a holy chant that is supposed to garner auspicious benefits for the devotees. Sabrimala Temple which stands at an altitude of 914 meters is famous for the forty-one ‘Mandala Kaalam’, an auspicious period that begins on the first day of the Malayam month ‘Vrischikam’. The Sabrimala temple is not easily accessible as it is a long uphill journey through the forest on the foot. It requires a combination of systematic practice and prolonged penance under strict rules.
Sabrimala temple has been under a lot of light in the recent past because of rules that prohibit females in their fertility age to visit the temple. According to customs, males of any age group can visit the temple but women who have either passed their fertility age or before attaining the stage of puberty only can visit the shrine. This had led to an uproar by the female activists who demanded equal footing. The Supreme Court had to intervene and finally, the women were granted access to the temple.
As devotees trek the five tedious, inhospitable mountains to reach Sabrimala, they have to follow certain rituals related to this spiritual journey. Every pilgrim has to seek the permission of his Guruswamy, who leads the group and guides about the rituals. The mantra “Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa” is chanted frequently during the trek. During penance, the devotee must wear saffron or black clothes with a rudraksha made around his neck. They carry a cloth bundle called Irumudi kettu which contains traditional offerings.
The first step to pilgrimage begins with the forty-one day fast of penance known as Virutham which includes physical, mental and spiritual preparation of the journey. It is considered that prolonged penance and trekking are the two disciplines that are aimed at giving rejuvenation to one’s body and soul. The lack of facilities strengthens the devotees and it is a way to make them learn to cope up with difficulties in life as well.
Like the millions of devotees, we at Luxurion World bow in reverence to the Mandala Puja which has already begun the 16th of November this year and will remain open till the 27th of December followed by another ‘Mandala Puja’ after a two daybreak. A true Ayyappa devotee, we at Luxurion world wishes all a holy Mandala Puja and a successful journey to the Sabrimala Temple to seek his blessings.