The Lord Ayyappan is simply known as Ayyappa is a famous Hindu god or deity who is mainly popular and famous in South India. In South India, people worshiped the almighty Ayyappa with great glory.
As per the mythology, legend story and devotees believed, the Lord Ayyaappa was born out of the union between Lord Shiva and the mythical enchantress Mohini, who is also regarded as an avatar of the Lord Vishnu.
So, Ayyappa is also known as ‘Hariharan Puthiran’ or ‘Hariharputhra,’ which exactly and accurately stand for the son of both ‘Hari’ or Vishnu and ‘Haran’ or Shiva.
The Legend Story of Ayyappa’s early days
After Ayyappa was adopted by the King Rajashekhara, Raja Rajan, the King Rajashekhara’s biological son was born. Both the boys now became brothers and brought up in the highly lavish and the princely manner. Ayyappa or Manikantan was intelligent and he was also excelled in martial arts alongside he was aware of the several Hindu shastras or scriptures.
Once, Ayyappa made everybody stunned and surprised with his superhuman powers. After Ayyappa completed his princely training and studies, he asked his master regarding the gurudakshina, means the fee to his guru, and his gurur was aware of his divine power, so the guru asked Ayyappa to blessed his blind and dumb son of the sight and speech, so he can see the boy and indeed Manikantan did so by placed his hand on the boy, and then the miracle happened and the boy blessed with sight and speech.
Ayyappa is also known as Manikandan
We commonly address Ayyappa as the ‘Manikandan’ because, as per the legend of his birth, his heavenly and divine parents tied a golden bell (mani) around his neck (kandan) just after he was born. The legend further says that, when Shiva and Mohini somehow reportedly, abandoned the baby on the banks of the Pampa river, a childless monarch of Pandalam, King Rajashekhara, found the newborn baby Ayyappa and accepted him as a divine gift as well adopted him as his own son.
How and Why the Gods Created Ayyappa
According to the legendary story of the genesis, the Lord Ayyappa is regarded as the fascinating which is also mentioned in the Puranas or ancient scriptures are.
Post the Goddess Durga killed the demon king Mahishasur, his sister, Mahishi, decided to seek revenge for her brother Mahishasur’s death. She carried Lord Brahma’s boon that only the child born of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva can be able to slay her, or, we can also say that she was indestructible and imperishable.
In order To save the Earth from the annihilation, the Lord Vishnu, incarnated as Mohini, wed Lord Shiva and because of this wedding and union, the Lord Ayyappa was born.
When Royal Conspiracy occurred and planned against Ayyappa
Now the time has come when the divine child was all set to have his name as the heir to the throne, as the King Rajashekhara wanted Ayyappa or Manikantan, to be king of the princely state.
But the queen or wife of the, King Rajashekhara wanted her own son to be the king and out of this greed, she planned with the diwan or minister and her physician to kill or exterminate Manikantan.
She acted as sick and ill, and the queen made her physician ask for an impractical or impossible remedy — lactating tigress’s milk. When no one was able to acquire it, Manikantan volunteered to go, which was completely against his father’s will.
On his way to jungle, he meets with a demon Mahishi and slew her on the banks of the river Azhutha. Manikandan then arrived in the jungle finally, in search for the tigress’ milk where he met with Lord Shiva and at his request sat on the tiger, and came back to his princely place and state.
The adoration and veneration of the Lord Ayyappa
The King was somehow understood or was aware of the intention of his queen against his adopted son and he then begged forgiveness from Manikantan.
Manikantan then left for his heavenly abode but he said to his followers that they will be helping the king to build a temple at Sabari so that the memories of the Lord Ayyappa will be there forever.
After the construction was complete, Lord Parasuram sculpted the figure of Lord Ayyappa and installed it on the day of Makar Sankranti, that’s why in South India people also reportedly, worship the Lord Ayyappa on the day of Makar Sankranti.
So, the Lord Ayyappa was touted as the most sacred deity.
The Worship style and system of the Lord Ayyappa
As per the mythology, legend and believed, the Lord Ayyappa have laid down strict religious obedience and devotion in order to receive his blessings. Firstly, he said that the devotee must observe a 41-day penance before visiting his temple, in South India.
AS per rules in order to visit Lord Ayyappa and his temple, people must maintain abstinence from physical pleasures and family ties, as well as those people, have to live a celibate or Brahmachari life.
They should also do good work and deeds for their entire life in order to make the divine god happy. Furthermore, the devotees have to take bathe in the holy river Pampa, afterward, people must adorn themselves with three-eyed coconut and aantha garland and then bravely people have to climb the 18 stairs to the Sabarimala temple.
The prominent Pilgrimage to Sabarimala
In Kerala, Sabarimala is the most well-known and famous and holy shrine of the almighty Ayyappa, around more than 50 million devotees visited the shrine in each and every year almost, considered it one of the most prominent and popular pilgrimages in the world.
Pilgrims from all around the country, as per reports, visit the Sabarimala, by crossing the dense forests, steep hills and inclement weather, in Kerala, only to seek blessings of the Lord Ayyappa on the 14h day of January, mostly, on the occasion of Makar Sankranti or Pongal.
Makar Sankranti is as per legend day,when he Lord himself is said to descend in the form of light. The devotees then accept prasada and seek blessings from the god then they go back by, descend the 18 steps walking backward with their faces turned towards the almighty Ayyappa.
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