Lord Ayyappa Gayatri:
Om Bhotanathaya Vidhmahe
Bhava Putraya Dheemahi
Tanno Saastha Prachothayat
Lord Ayyappa installation at the parashakthi temple took place on april 2 – april 4,2004. The program took place with devotees participating in homas ,108 kalasa puja AND jaladhivaasam. yanthra stapanam was done by Dr kumar who had been chanting the lord ayyapa mantra for 60 days prior to the installation and had given life to the mantra.Lord ayyapa devotees chanted the bhajans with great enthusiasm “ Swamiye sharanam ayyappa".
An abhishekam for Lord Ayyappa is conducted every Sunday at 10.00 AM
The pratishta for Lord Ayyappa took place in April 2004.
Loka Veeryam Mahaa Poojyam Sarva Rakshaakaram Vibhum Parvathee Hirdya-anandham Saasthaaram pranamaamyaham
Meaning: I bow to Lord Shasta (Ayyappa, the upholder of Dharma and Sastra) who gladdens the heart of Parvathi. He is a peerless warrior who protects all. His glory is great and he deserves great reverence and devoted worship.
Panguni Uthram Nakshtram (Uthram star in the month of Meenam as per Malayalam era), which falls on March 25, 2005, is celebrated as the Birthday of Lord Ayyappa. Some religious scholars state that his birthday is in Makara Sankranthi day (Vernal equinox day in January) when his human avatar merged with the divine vigraham in Sabari Malai. However, most religious authorities agree that the correct date of his birth is in Panguni under the star Uttara Phalghuni, based on his appearance on Earth in Human form. This day also coincides with the installation of the Ayyappa Deity in the Parashakthi Temple.
What Puranaas say about Lord Ayyappa
Lord Ayyappa is also known as Hari Hara Putra, Dharma Shasta, and Manikantan, The episode of Ayyappa is described in "Brahmananda Purana,", and "Skandapurana. Ayyappa or Hari-hara-Puthra is the divine avatar as a consequence of the union of Lord Mahavishnu's Mohini avatar and Lord Siva. This avatar of Hariharaputhra was necessary to destroy the evil demoness Mahishi ( Buffalo Faced Asura).
Baby Ayyappa was found on the shores of the holy Pamba river by the heirless king of Pandhalam, Rajasekara, when he was out on a hunting trip. As the divine child was wearing a golden bell around his neck, the king named him Manikanta, and adopted him as his son. Soon the queen had her own child. As the children grew up, young Manikanta was loved and admired by all, and the queen started feeling jealous and wanted her own child to ascend to the throne. The queen feigned a strange ailment, which required tiger's milk, and Manikanta took up the task of getting it for his mother. He ventured boldly into the forests, caught up with Mahishi and fulfilled the purpose of the avatar by killing the demon. The divine child returned home triumphantly riding a tigress and the queen realized the divine nature of her foster son. Prince Manikanta explained to his foster parents his divine mission, helped install his younger brother on the throne and went to the crest of Sabari Hills to be there eternally as a divine yogi. The king wished to have an abode made in his memory. Accordingly, a sanctum was built to install an idol made of panchaloha (an alloy of five metals), climbing 18 steps to reach the sanctum. These 18 steps represent 5 indriyas, 8 rajas, 3 gunas, Vidya and avidya. Ayyappa also advised the king of the nature of the austerities to be observed before the pilgrimage to this temple. On the day of consecration and installation of the idol, amidst the sound of Saranam chanting and conches, pipes and drums, Ayyappa was transformed into a stroke of lightning and got absorbed in the idol of Dharma Shasta.
How the Devotees should worship Lord Ayyappa
A devotee who wishes to perform the pilgrimage should undergo penance consisting of strict celibacy, morning and evening ablutions, growing of beard and daily prayers for forty-one days. Saranamvili or the call of dedication and refuge in Lord Ayyappa is an essential part of the daily worship. The 3 austerities prescribed for devotees are Austerity of body (Purity, uprightness, continence and non violence), Austerity of mind (Tranquility, gentleness, silence, self control and purity of thought), and Austerity of speech (speech that causes no annoyance to others, truthful, pleasant and beneficial and recitation of scriptures). Vegetarianism has been prescribed during the 41 days vritham to help achieve the above austerities. Brahmacharya (continence) will help convert the physical energy to spiritual energy. Self surrender leads to self realization. The self that surrenders is the ego and the self that realizes is God. The carrying of irrurnudi on the head and chanting of Saranam is a total surrender to God. The devotee undertakes the pilgrimage to liberate the human soul from the worldly possessions with great determination, devotion and dedication. During the journey to Sabari Hills the devotees recite "Swamye Saranam; Ayyappa Saranam" (Thou protect me and I surrender). The minds of the devotees are filled with the thought of Ayyappa and devotees call and recognize each other by the name of Ayyappa! Everyone seems to dress alike, look alike, talk alike and think alike! Every devotee becomes a Karma Yogi, Jnana Yogi and also a Bhakti Yogi! The only Karma (action) left for the devotee is to reach the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Sabari Hill Ayyappa. The Devotee has the wisdom to dissolve the identity of Jeeva (Ego) by filling up the mind with the name and form of Ayyappa. The Devotee purifies the mind through total dedication and surrender to Swami Ayyappa
What is the Spiritual Significance behind the worship of Lord Ayyappa
Lord Ayyappa teaches us the scared principle of brotherhood to remain happy and peaceful. We go in herds to his sacred shrine and he is pleased. Truth, fidelity, devotion and hard work are His ways to kill evil. With these virtues his teachings transcend time and help to solve the riddles of human misery.
When the human perception reaches the higher levels beyond the physical limitation, inner peace emerges with the protection by the recitation sound of Ayyappa. The Eighteen Steps to the Path of Liberation: The eighteen steps of the temple Sanctorum represent the necessary Spiritual Sadhana to go Beyond human perception. The eighteen chapters of Gita appear to be the most pertinent explanation of the eighteen steps of Sabari Hill Temple. While crossing each of the eighteen steps to the Ayyappa Swami Sannidhanam, the Seeker expresses great determination to relinquish the sensual perceptions one by one. The necessary Sadhana to prepare the mind, body and intellect to remove the sensory perceptions are beautifully described in the eighteen chapters of Bhagavad Gita. The crossing of the eighteen steps symbolic completion of Sadhanas stated in the eighteen chapters of Gita. It is possible to explain the connection between the eighteen chapters of Gita and the eighteen steps of the Ayyappa temple. Many devotees of Sri Ayyappa believe that the Gita verse 66 in Chapter 18 is a direct reference to Dharma Shasta. Dharma Shasta establishes the Dharma and the entire Gita describes the importance of human Dharma and the only way to abandon the Dharma is surrendering to the Lord.
Sarvadharman Parityajya Mamekam Saranam Vraja; Aham Twaam Sarve Papebhyo Mokshayishayami Ma Sucha
(Abandon Worldly Dharmas and Surrender to Me; I Shall Rescue You From Sins and Sorrows).
This verse is commonly present in all Ayyappa temples and the devotees treat this verse as a direct commandment from Dharma Shasta. First line of the verse asks the devotee to abandon worldly Dharmas. Dharmas refer to rules, standards and laws imposed by society to guide material life. The root cause of material life is desires. Sorrows, Sins and Attachments are illusions of lower ignorant consciousness of mind. Dharmas in essence are the barriers of our liberation from Sorrows and Sins. In the second line, the Lord orders the devotee: "Surrender unto Me, I Will Rescue You From Sins and Sorrows and Help you to reach the Highest Spiritual Consciousness. Divine life is Real, Eternal and free from illusions of Sins and Sorrows! Liberation is impossible without Total Surrender to His feet. He only can release us from the worldly ties. The Lord promises to shower his Grace to liberate and ultimately to realize Brahman. Dharma Shasta has established this Eternal Dharma of realizing the highest Spiritual Consciousness, Symbolic unification of Atman and Brahman. The devotee is reminded eighteen times that worldly possessions hinder the progress of liberation and finally reaches the sanctum sanctorum of Ayyappa Swami. The forty-one days of Vritham is to force the mind to withdraw from attachments to worldly possessions and to direct it toward the absolute truth. The walk by foot through the jungle symbolizes that the path to spirituality requires greater efforts. The coconut represents the human body, the outer shell of the coconut symbolizes ego, and the ghee is the Atman (human soul). Coconuts have three eyes: two eyes represent the intellect and the third eye is the spiritual eye.
The Meditating Yogic posture of Sri Ayyappa represents the Brahman. The rear compartment of the Irumudi symbolizes 'Praarabdha Karma' (accumulated worldly possessions). The devotee exhausts all the worldly possessions during the journey. The devotee opens the spiritual eye of the coconut, breaks the coconut and pours the ghee (Atman) onto the idol (Brahman). At this time, the devotee has detached the ego and worldly possessions. He or she has developed an attitude of total surrender to the Lord (infinite love for the Lord). The devotee begs Him to grant the total Unity with the Lord. This liberation of Atman from Ego and Wordily Possessions is the Message of Vedanta in Symbolic Language.