Does the 795 km line of devotees holding Ayyappa Jyothi lights signify that Kerala is ready to embrace Hindutva?

Kerala after the Ayyappa Jyothi is not the same what it was before the Jyothi was lighted up

Is Kerala ready to embrace Hindutva?
Is Kerala ready to embrace Hindutva?

The Ayyappa Jyothi was organised as a low key affair to convince the Marxist government in Kerala the need to preserve the sanctity of the famous shrine of Sabarimala

The State of Kerala, hitherto accessible only to the Marxists, Methrans and Mullahs (3M), threw open its doors to a bit of Hindutva on Wednesday. For almost two hours, the only thing that was debated and discussed in the State was the Ayyappa Jyothi along the 795 km stretch from Mangalore in Karnataka to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu.

Lord Ayyappa is known for his avatar as a Brahmachari in the form of the presiding deity at Sabarimala. Even 200 years ago, women were not allowed inside the shrine situated in deep forests of the Western Ghats.

Starting at 6 pm and lasting up to 7 pm, this stretch of  geography saw the three States coming alive with millions of Ayyappa devotees lining up the main thoroughfare holding chiraths (lamps made of mud in which the wicks soaked in oil were burnt) and praying to Lord Ayyappa to light up the outdated Marxism  filled  minds of the Comrades with fresh air and knowledge.

They chanted “Swamee Saranam” and “Ayyappa Saranam”  as the chiraths lighted up the entire stretch of the 795 km long route. Women and children constituted a major chunk of the participants. If you thought there were only Hindus, you are off the mark. Even a small town like Perumbavoor saw the participation of hundreds of Christians in Ayyappa Jyothi. The event at Pulluvazhi in Ernakulam district along the Main Central Road was scheduled to be inaugurated by the vicar of St Thomas Church but a death in the parish kept him away as he had to attend to the funeral rites of the departed soul, an 88-year-old member of the laity.

“We want to preserve the serenity and sacredness of Sabarimala because we feel it is our duty to do so. There may be religious conversion happening all over the country. But, please remember, we true Christians do not welcome or accept the converts in the heart of our hearts,” said Mazhuvancherry Jaison, a devout Christian from Perumbavoor.

The Ayyappa Jyothi was organised as a low key affair to convince the Marxist government in Kerala the need to preserve the sanctity of the famous shrine of Sabarimala. For centuries, women in the childbearing age were not allowed at Sabarimala. History books site many reasons for the restrictions imposed on menstruating women from entering the temple.

Lord Ayyappa is known for his avatar as a Brahmachari in the form of the presiding deity at Sabarimala. Even 200 years ago, women were not allowed inside the shrine situated in deep forests of the Western Ghats. There were reasons for the ban on women at Sabarimala. Not long back, the pilgrimage to Sabarimala was not an easy affair. There was no guarantee that the pilgrim would come back after the arduous journey. One has to trek all the way through dense forests infested with all kinds of wild animals barring lions to reach the shrine. Even the priests used to come out of the forest after the 41-day pooja and stayed at a safe distance from the temple. Even young and energetic men had feared for their life and one need not explain much about the condition of women. The pilgrimage is preceded by 41 days of tough and spartan life sacrificing all amenities of the modern world. That’s why women in the childbearing age were prohibited from undertaking the pilgrimage to Sabarimala. The belief and traditions continue even in modern times.

What was unique about the Ayyappa Jyothi of Wednesday was the low key preparations by the Ayyappa Karma Sena, the umbrella organisation which brought together all the devotees

“To equate it with caste and religion is against the truth. Women belonging to all castes are barred from undertaking this journey,” said Swamy Chidanandapuri, the spiritual leader of Hindus in Kerala who is also the Head of the Advaita Mutt at Kulathoor near Kozhikode.[1]

What happened in Kerala on December 27, 2018, was a unique feature which brought together all segments of Hindu society to save the purity and pristine glory of  Sabarimala. There is an effort by the CPI-M led Kerala Government to convert the temple into a commercial centre. Chief Minister P Vijayan, an atheist, has no love lost for the Hindu devotees and wants to do away with the age-old custom in Sabarimala. “We can mint money and that too in billions if we can keep the temple doors opened for 365 days in the year,” Vijayan is reported to have told the Travancore Devaswam Board officials in his first ever meeting with them after swearing in as chief minister.

It is against this kind of hatred and aversion, and that too selective hatred and aversion, that devotees across the States of Karnataka, Kerala and Sabarimala came together. It may be noted that no true women devotees of Lord Ayyappa have come forward to visit the temple despite the Supreme Court order of September 28. “The general feeling is that the CPI-M led government is bent upon hurting the Hindu sentiments by encouraging activists to undertake pleasure trip to Sabarimala. Those who tried to enter the shrine were all characters with shady and dubious records. There is an unseen chain which links these Maoists, Periarites, Marxists and the self-styled human rights and women rights activists,” said Suresh Gopinath, a chartered accountant who was once a card-holding member of the CPI-M.

What was unique about the Ayyappa Jyothi of Wednesday was the low key preparations by the Ayyappa Karma Sena, the umbrella organisation which brought together all the devotees. Even at 3 PM on Wednesday, there was no sign of any crowd assembling along the 795 km long route. They came silently, like the initial waves of a tsunami. All the participants were told well in advance where they have to assemble to form part of the Jyothi. It was a disciplined and military-like operation. By 6 PM, the line of devotees was in place and it was a visual treat to see them standing along the route, holding the chiraths and chanting the Ayyappa mantras.

Finally, what we saw along the entire stretch in Kerala is the unprecedented participation of housewives in the Jyothi

The turnout of apolitical personalities like Dr T P Senkumar, former Chief of Kerala Police, AMA Raman, former director general of police K S Radhakrishnan, former vice chancellor of Sree Sankara Sanskrit University, Ali Akbar, noted filmmaker, Menaka Suresh, award-winning actress from the world of Malayalam movies, Dr Sarasu, former principal of Government Victoria College at Palakkadu, herself a victim of Marxist highhandedness, and Madambu Kunjukuttan, the rebel writer and actor was noteworthy.

While the entire programme was a huge success, the only place where the Ayyappa Jyothi did not find a mention was in Deshabhimani, which is published as the mouthpiece of the CPI-M. “Barring some junctions, there was no Ayyappa Jyothi anywhere in Kerala,” read the headlines of the Marxist paper.

The fact that Ayyappa Jyothi ended up as a major success could be understood from the number of attacks unleashed by the Marxists on people including women and children who were on their way to attend the event. Eight persons including children and women suffered injuries when Marxists pelted stones at a group of devotees in Kerala’s Kannur district. The injured have been admitted to the medical college hospital at Kozhikode,

Govind Bharathan, senior advocate of Kerala High Court who travelled all the way from Ernakulam to Kaladi to join the Jyothi said it was a tremendous success. “I have never experienced an event like this in my whole lifetime. Now I feel I have achieved something in my life. To be a part of the human chain stretching from Mangalore to Kanyakumari is something which one should experience,” said Bharathan.

Senkumar told reporters after lighting the Jyothi at Attingal near Trivandrum that the lights would enlighten the forces which were trying to desecrate Sabarimala. “That’s the message which we want to give through the Jyothi. The prayer of the Hindus itself is Lead us from Darkness to Lightand to take us from ignorance to a world of knowledge,” said Senkumar.

Finally, what we saw along the entire stretch in Kerala is the unprecedented participation of housewives in the Jyothi. “We do not want to tell anything. But this move by the Kerala Government and the scenes which were aired by TV channels hurt us. Someone is trying their best to destroy the purity of the centuries-old temple and it is painful,” said Anita Prakash, a homemaker who had travelled all the way to MC Road from her home at Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district.

Kerala after the Ayyappa Jyothi is not the same what it was before the Jyothi was lighted up. Over to Amit Shah and Narendra Modi now. Kerala is waiting for you.

Reference:

[1]  Ayyappa jyothi to lead kerala to world of light – 26th December 2018 – Daily Pioneer

 

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6 COMMENTS

  1. hello sir,
    I am disappointed that you have focussed only on a small peripheral reasons for the restrictions..

    this idea,reason which you have written is a very small part of the picture.
    ” Even young and energetic men had feared for their life and one need not explain much about the condition of women. The pilgrimage is preceded by 41 days of tough and spartan life sacrificing all amenities of the modern world. That’s why women in the childbearing age were prohibited from undertaking the pilgrimage to Sabarimala.”

    Earlier i had read different views regarding the restrictions and customs in sabarimalai from a post made by a person called mr gauri shankar panickar …and some more places…

    which is as follows:

    The deity is a Naishtik Brahmachari. Deity (NOT GOD ) refers to a young boy with godly qualities/ also, as “god” as an young boy ) is present as a celibate , doing the penance of brahmacharyam

    Deities are mostly humans ( krishna, rama,) who lived amidst us.They are not exactly “god” . but they have divine godly qualities and are believed to be god in human form.

    a naishtika brahmachari is one who undertakes a vow to remain a celibate till his death. He also has to undertake to live forever with his guru!

    Yajnavalkya smriti says :

    नैष्ठिको ब्रह्मचारी तु वसेदाचार्यसन्निधौ |

    One who is a naishtika brahmachari shall always reside with his guru..

    In addition to this, there are two primary requirements of such a naishtika brahmacharya which is given in yajnavalkya smriti

    अनेन विधिना देहं सादयन्विजितेन्द्रियः |

    ब्रह्मलोकमवाप्नोति न चेहाजायते पुनः || Y.S — 1–50 ||

    In this way (a naishtika brahmachari should) body should be subject to stress and extreme sense control should be practised. Such a person shall attain brahmaloka and will not be born again!

    So, two main requirements of a naishtika brahmachari are
    1) Physical hardship for one’s body.
    2) Extreme indriya nigraha or sense control.

    in order to become a vijitendriya, a (naishtika) brahmachari should undertake extreme efforts to maintain sense control.

    The sensory organs that need to be controlled are eyes, ears, mouth (and tongue), nose, skin, hands, legs, reproductive organ and excretory organ and mind.

    Now it is well known that sense control involves control of actual performance of activities by the sense organs as also avoiding any thoughts that could corrupt the mind.

    Since a naishtika brahmachari has been explicitly ordered to undertake extreme measures, IN ORDER TO AVOID THE DEVIATION OF MIND towards procreation as also to keep the reproductive organs under control — he is required to completely stay away from women who are in the age conducive to procreation.

    THAT along with few other views, ARE THE REASONS for the customs practiced at sabarimalai..

    Brahmacharya does not simply mean abstinence from the act sexual intercourse.

    In fact there are 8 rules or types of Brahamcharya that the practitioner should adhere to without any compromise. (1) Smaranam – One should not think of the opposite sex. (2) Kirtanam – One should not talk of sex life. (3) Kelih – Don’t (play) or dally with the opposite sex (4) Preksanam – Don’t look or make any visual contact at all at the opposite sex of the fertile age. (5) Guhyabhasanam – Don’t talk intimately with the opposite sex in a secluded place. (6) Sankalpo – Don’t decide to engage in sexual intercourse. (7) Adhyavasayas – Don’t endeavor for sex life. (8) Kriyanirvrttir – Don’t engage in the actual act of sexual intercourse.

    Diety (NOT GOD) is subjected to SAME CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS as Humans

    Repeating again, The deity in a temple is subjected to the same conditions, with all the limitations ,temptations, that an ideal human would experience during his penance of undertaking the practice of celibacy

    Hence whenever a male deity is worshipped as a naishtika brahmachari, the specific agamas of the temple — based on the injunction in Yajnavalkya Smriti — impose the condition that he not be subjected to the company of fertile women aged — IN ANY WAY. Hence their entry to the abode of worship is forbidden. Those devotees who believe in this idea of ayyapa being a brahmachari…taking vratha of celibacy like their god , go to sabarimalai and worship their leader.

    That temple symbolises all those ideas.

    The devotees cant be eternal celibate like swamy Iyyappa but ,they do what they can..

    Women are not to go to a place where one of the most important idea is to abstain from their presence.. Read all the rules , particularly rule (4)

    to say, “tuff life..and therefore child bearing age has restrictions “is not so. That view makes women look weak. Women are NOT weak.

    It is the celebration of celibacy that is one of the central essential practices of this temple.

    Apart from this , there are other views like tantric energy, prathista, etc.. etc.. ( it lies beyond the present scientific principles )

  2. Does the 795 km line of devotees holding Ayyappa Jyothi lights signify that Kerala is ready to embrace Hindutva?

    Very Happy. People in Gods Own Country rediscovered their glorious ancient roots.

    Malar’s observations are appreciated.

  3. Better late than never. At least Hindus are, though late, realising the greatness of their religion. Had we congress in the centre now, we can imagine the worst effects as, it always encouraged others at the cost of Hindus

  4. Feeling so good and happy that at last god’s own land is realising it’s true worth.
    Kaladi – birth place of Adi Sankara who established the famous 4 மடங்கள் all over India ….
    Kerala – the land which gave so many Hindu saints was in darkness until now…
    Good to know that people are realising their forgotten values….
    Believe in the path showed by ancient Hindu rishis and saints and not what abrahamic religions preach…
    They are desert lands… Whereas ours was rich in wealth and physical, mental health of those living in Bharat those days….

    Just because those Abrahamic religions stayed near by – desert area- they could have got a lot of similarities in their gods and worship…just like the religions of India – Hinduism , Buddhism, Jainism etc…
    But certainly they are not superior to Hindus….or hinduism…
    We never wanted to capture other lands, didn’t want to spread our religion far and wide.. we just wanted people to live in peace and happily…
    So we remained confined to India but that does mean we are inferior to others …
    We should take pride in our own religion which has originated in our own country….
    And is capable of answering all questions about god…
    Anyone who reads 63 Nayanmars will under the love of Shiva (அன்பே சிவம்) … He has took pains to show himself to his devotees in India of course after a big test of their faith…
    (No other religion could boast of seeing god or god showing him up for the sake of his devotees … Only voices of god could be heard of – this defines the worth of the people living there )

    Andal herself lived in our country, Rama and Krishna have lived in our country…just like us…and have left excellent guidance for us all to follow through their lives…
    Can anyone spot any one single wrong doing in their characters…

    Movies and missionaries who wanted to demean Rama used to praise Ravana or praised karna to demean Krishna…
    It’s their job to see only bad things…let’s not let human beings take over the greatness of God ….
    Let’s all see Rama and Krishna as ideal persons to follow in our life so that we become Vishwa guru and guide the world for a peaceful life here and afterwards….

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