Sawamiyee Sharanam Ayyappa!!
My experience being a KANYA Sawami (ayyappa mala) was truly a devotional One! It was a great experience being a Devote to God for 41 days. I have learned many things that changed me a lot and in this GuestPost I’m Gonna tell you all the things that i went through…
Firstly, its a 41 days period which consists of tough rules (niyamaas) to be followed. Besides devotional, this helps in personality development which will synchronize and control our body, soul, mind and diet! This course period is called as “DEEKSHA“. All this should be followed under GURU(teacher).
GURU is given the highest priority in this DEEKSHA followed by parents and the main rules for everyone in this course is as follows –
- Cold Showers before the sunrise is the first rule (the real meaning of this rule is we need to cleanse our body to remain healthy)
- Do the bath in evening with normal water. This is also a good healthy guideline to get rid of stress of day work. So we can have a proper sleep, which is more important to a body.
- Practices of Pooja’s in the morning (before sun rise) and evening (after sunset). Pooja’s or praying to god are meant for getting concentration. So, performing pooja in the morning means we are putting a coma to home life and to getting ready to do the day work. And doing pooja in the evening means, we are putting a coma to day work and to getting ready to do the home life.
The above are not just rules, they are the best methods to be happy in our regular life. So, we have to understand that GOD does not get anything from us by our bath and our cleanliness or pooja. It is 100% meant for our health.
BTW what is God expecting from US? The answer is Live Happily, and Let Live Others Happily. Whereas every one (except few human beings) trying to do the first half of rule and not at all bothering about second half of the rule. We have to think about this. If one is following the above rules, then he does not need any Deeksha. He is 100% perfect human!!
Rules are Continued –
- Having one time meals, this is a very good health point and also benefits us in keeping a proper diet but not GOD.
- Do “Anna Danam” to others. This is what God is expecting from human beings, that is doing favor to others.
- Sleeping on ground without a pillow or bed. Doing this is a healthy factor, as it helps our body for perfect blood circulation.
- Talk less. That means we should not waste your time by simply chatting. It is also good for our efficiency.
- Eat only vegetarian food.
- The cook must bath and then only he/she should prepare food for Swamies. Again it relates to cleanliness, which will stop the unhealthiness.
- Help others. This is the way to be a good citizen. We have to know the Happiness behind the Helping. This is what we have to learn by doing Deeksha.
- Do the Brahmacharya. This the rule framed by elders to get concentration on our training or Deeksha.
- Maintain simple life. Use minimum things to run the life.
- Don’t smoke.
- Don’t drink.
- Don’t eat non-vegetarian food.
- Do not use foot wear. This is good for health. The pressure on the foot bottom will keep the all organs of body freshly. when trekking on Sabarimala hills, it is always better to walk with bare foot, instead of foot wear, which will be slippery.
- Don’t make others unhappy.
- Don’t cheat others.
- Don’t say lies. At the same time we should not make others unhappy by telling truth. Try to avoid that topic, if you are supposed to say A LIE to keep the others happy.
- Don’t do half mandal Deeksha, quarter mandal Deeksha and instant Deeksha. Mandalam means 41 days. In olden days doctors used to give the medicines for a period of Mandalam for chronic diseases. Because it is their experience that the minimum time required by a body to get cured. Similarly to get cured by our mental diseases we need Mandalam days.
- Don’t do hi-tech(LUXURY) Deeksha.
- Don’t do violence.
- Don’t be proud of yourself. Because, the greatness you are feeling is not the greatness of you, it is given to you by the god. So, faithful to the god.
- Don’t argue with others on any matter.
- Finally most of the rules are meant for our health, and few are meant for becoming a good citizen.
After completing 41 days of DEEKSHA we have to take IRUMUDI to Sabarimala, KERALA.
IRUMUDI, IRUMUDI IS THE ONLY TRAVELING KIT WHICH A PILGRIM CARRIESON HIS HEAD DURING HIS PILGRIMAGE…..THIS BAG CONTAINS TWO COMPARTMENTS-THE MUNMUDI (FRONT PART) AND THE PINMUDI (BACK PART) & OPENING IN THE CENTRE. THE FRONT PORTION IS FOR KEEPING ALL POOJA ARTICLES AND OFFERING TO THE ALMIGHTY WHILE THE REAR PART IS FOR HOLDING PILIGRIM PERSONAL REQUIREMENT FOR THE JOURNEY
MY JOURNEY TO SABARIMALA, KERALA
I traveled to Sabarimala from Hyderabad in a four wheeled vehicle and the distance from here would be around 1150km. We were totally five in that four were sawamis and one was the civil person. Following DEEKSHA at home is a comfortable task but while traveling is a risky task. Being a sawami we should not eat outside food which is a major problem while traveling. So, we decided to cook ourself’s!! 😀 So,we packed all the cooking goods with us and headed to the holy place.
During the visit of the holy place(sabarimala) we planned to visit few more temples while travelling, we started from Hyderabad and it was around 11am and we reached BICHPALLY by around 5pm, we had a darshan in BICHPALLY and our next halt was ALAMPUR which was 60km from BICHPALLY to ALAMPUR , there we had a evening bath and did the pooja after the darshan in ALAMPUR.
We had the snacks which were homemade. By morning we were in borders of BANGLORE.
Sawamis get great response from the villagers, i want to share a small scenario that happened to us. We were searching for water to have bath and all, we asked the people in the village, people there showed us a good respect and they took us to the field for bathing it was around 6 AM in the morning.
After bath and Pooja we started our journey to Sabarimala, we were traveling through SALEM highway road it was around 1 PM in noon, we stopped for preparing lunch beside of highway we found the place to cook in between farms… it was a relishing experience having the things done like this!
After having meal we started our journey on salem road, our next halt was CUMBUM,TAMIL NADU we reached CUMBUM by night 9 PM. There we had a farm house which was offered by my GURU sawami’s friend and it was in between the farms “the most fertile land in ASIA” there was a warm welcome by Subbaiya and we had a great experience with him and completed and the pooja’s and stuff.
Our next halt was ERUMELY SREE DHARAMA SASTHA TEMPLE, from cumbum to erumely it was a GHAT ROAD with sharp curves covered with beautiful nature on both sides of the road.
There is a shrine dedicated to Vavaraswami at Sabarimala, as well as Varaswami’s mosque at Erumely next to an Ayyappa temple. The devotion of Vavaraswami to Ayyappan and the key role that the Islamic Masjid has in the Ayyappa Pilgrimage, highlights the communal harmony in Kerala. The devotion of Vavaraswami also highlights the relevance of Ayyappa devotion for members of all faiths and the equality shown to all, whether they are Muslims, Hindus or Christians.
BEING IN AYYAPA MALLA FIRST WE HAVE TO TAKE DARSHAN OF VARVARSAWAMI AND THEN START OUR JOURNEY TO SABARIMALLA IN ERUMELY EVERY ONE HAS TO DANCE CALLED AS “PETTATHULA” chanting the slogan “Ayyappa-thin-thakathom, Swami-thin-thakathom” BY HOLDING A BOW AND ARROW AND GARNISHING THEIR BODIES WITH DIFFERENT COLOURS
After erumely pettathula we started to PAMBA which is 70km from Erumely, River PAMBA is sacred river of Sabarimala. Water in river PUMBA will come from medicated trees of forest in Sabarimala.
In river PAMBA we had a bath n started climbing to sabarmaala by holding IRRUMUDI on our heads, there are two paths
- pedda padam-60km
- chinna padam
PEDDA PADAM starts from erumely n CHINNA PADAM starts from river PAMBA..we climbed CHINNA PADAM while climbing the mountain all people and sawamis were chanting “sawamiyee sharanam ayyappa”….
After reaching Sabarimala, there are golden 18 steps which are called as “PATHINETTAPADI” these golden steps are sacred it should be climbed only by sawamis, after climbing pathinettapadi we will get to see “SANNIDHAANAM” it is the main temple where AYYAPPA SAWAMI IDOL is placed. After the darshanm of ayyappa irrumudis will be given to ayyappa and these irrumudi will be removed by gurusawami and the ghee and raw rice which we took from here will be given in sannidhaanam…
Ghee will be used for the abhishekam purpose i,e “NEYYABISHEKAM” ,SYMBOLICALLY MEANS THE MERGING OF JEEVATMA WITH PARAMATMA…. Rice will be used for cooking prasdam “ARAVANA PAYASAM AND APPAM”…
Deeksha isn’t that, it should be followed for 41 days and live rest of the life like before maaladharana. CHANGE is important in every human being, when there’s change in your mental and physical appearance, automatically you will lead a successful life!!
In my experience, it has thought me that! If you enlighten yourself with positive thinking then it will be in actions and you will have a fruitful life…
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