Lord Ayyappan – Birth & History The members of Pandya dynasty ousted by Thirumala Naicker the ruler of the erstwhile Pandya Empire spanning Madurai.
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They had also established their supremacy in parts of Travancore, and some of them belonging to Chempazhanattu Kovil in Sivagiri were given the right to rule the country of Pandalam by the King of Travancore, some eight hundred years ago. King Rajashekara, the foster-father of Lord Ayyappan belonged to this dynasty.
A just and precocious sovereign King Rajashekara was held by his subjects in high esteem. Under him, the region was witnessing a malaylaam. But the king had one sorrow — he was childless and thus had no heir to inherit his throne. Both the hapless king and his queen prayed ceaselessly to Lord Shiva for a child. Around the same time, a demon by the name of Maalayalam undertook chaaritham penance tapas and consequently Lord Brahma was forced to grant his wish that nobody on earth could annihilate him.
Terrorised and fearing his wrath, people fled to distant lands. Realizing that only a superhuman power could exterminate the wayward Mahishasura, the devas appealed to Goddess Durga, who killed him in a bloodybattle. In due course of time, Mahishi went to Devaloka and began harassing the Devas who in turn implored Lord Vishnu to intervene.
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Astounded, he followed the sounds and came upon a beautiful child furiously kicking its feet and arms. The king stood there, perplexed malahalam he longed to take the child home to his palace. Whilst King Rajashekhara beheld the charigham child, a sadhu appeared from nowhere and instructed him to take the infant to his palace.
Ecstatic, Rajashekhara took Manikandan home and narrated the happenings to his queen. They both felt that they had been blessed by LordShiva himself.
Ayyappan – Wikipedia
As a child, Manikandan was very intelligent and precocious. He excelled in martial arts and shastras and surprised his guru with his brilliance and superhuman talents. Peace and prosperity reigned in Pandalam. Upon completing his studies, Manikandan went up to his teacher to offer guru dakshina and seek his blessings in turn.
As he approached his spiritual master for ashirwaadams, the guru explained to Manikandan what he had already surmised about him, that he was a divine power destined for superhuman glory. The guru then beseeched him to bestow vision and speech upon his son who was blind and dumb. Requesting that this miracle be revealed to none, Manikandan returned to the royal quarters.
Meanwhile the Queen had given birth to a male child who was named Raja Rajan. Sensing these miraculous turn of events were somehow inextricably linked to Manikandan, Rajasekara, decided to crown him King; he obviously considered Lord Ayyappan his eldest son. This wily minister, who secretly nursed kingly ambitions, hated Manikandan and devised manifold plots, including poisoning of food to exterminate the divine avatar.
Manikandan had a few narrow escapes, yet his body bore an injury that none could cure. Finally, Lord Shiva himself in the garb of a healer cured the young boy. His plans foiled, chxritham Diwan told the Queen that it was highly malwyalam for Manikandan to succeed Rajasekara, as her own son was alive. Blinded by her devotion to her own son, the Queen vowed to help the Diwan malayaalm pretended as though she were suffering from a terrible headache. The King grew alarmed and summoned his physicians who were unable to revive the seemingly ailing Queen.
Rajasekara proclaimed that he would hand over half his kingdom to anybody who could cure the hapless Queen. The team of soldiers sent by Rajasekara with the sole purpose of getting the milk returned empty-handed.
Unperturbed, Manikandan requested his father to do him a favour. Rajasekara, ever the indulgent parent relented immediately; the boy seizing the opportunity pressed him to let him collect the milk. Reluctantly Rajasekara bid farewell to his favourite son and made him take food stocks and three-eyed coconuts, in honour of Lord Shiva. The Panchabuthas of Lord Shiva closely followed Manikandan as he entered the forest.
But on the way, he chanced to witness the atrocities of the demoness Mahishi in Devaloka. His sense of justice outraged, Manikandan hurled Mahishi onto the earth below; she fell on the banks of the Azhutha River. Even the Devas were frightened. Mahishi realized that the divine being on her was the son of Hari and Haran, chastened, she prostrated before the young boy and died.
He had a darshan of Lord Shiva who informed him that even though he had fulfilled the divine plan, he still had one major task to accomplish. Manikandan made his way to the Royal palace on Lord Devendran, disguised as a tiger; they were accompanied by female devas in the guise of tigresses and male devas as tigers.
The people of Pandalam panicked upon seeing the boy and the tigers and hurriedly sought shelter. The King grew silent and pensive, as Manikandan approached the palace gates with the tigers. On the day he returned from the forest, Manikandan turned twelve years old.
Manikandan, however advised restraint; he held that all had unfolded in accordance with the divine order, through the will of God. Also he reminded his father that as he had accomplished the task for which he had created himself, mslayalam would return to Devaloka without fail.
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Immediately, the King Rajasekara told him that they wanted to construct a temple in his memory and beseeched him to suggest a suitable place for the temple. Manikandan aimed an arrow which fell at a place called sabari, where in Sri Rama’s era a Sanyasini called sabari observed Dhavam.
Lord Manikandan told the King to build the temple in that place and then he disappeared. Later, acting upon the advice of Saint Agasthya King Rajasekara laid the foundation stone of the temple at Sabarimala. King Rajasekara, in due course of time completed the construction of the shrine and the sacred eighteen stairs leading to the temple complex.
As the King mulled over the seemingly perplexing task of placing Dharmasastha’s idol in the temple for darshan, he was reminded of the words of the Lord himself – the Ayysppa Pampa is a holy river as River Ganga, Sabarimala is as holy as Kasi – Dharmasastha sent Parasuraman, who resurrected the land of Kerala from the bottom of the ocean, to Sabarimala; it was he who carved the figure of Lord Ayyappa and installed it on the day of Makarasankranthi.
Every year, millions converge upon Sabarimala irrespective of caste or creed, with garlands and irumudis, charifham paeans to Lord Ayyappa, bathe in charitbam river Pampa, climb up the eighteen stairs, hoping to catch a glimpse of Lord Ayyappa, the Dharmasastha. The Jewel Casket is carried on head from the ancestral residence of the royal family of Pandalam to the Shrine on the day.
A Garuda, the Brahaman kite, follows this ornaments-carrying procession, hovering about in the sky, After these ornaments are worn on the Lord the bird circles the temple in the sky three times and disappears. Excited by this sight the devotees begin to chant “Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa”.
A Star never seen before in the sky appears on the day of Makarajyothi day before the sighting of the Jyoti. A Jyoti is seen for a little time on the hilltop showing the presence of Swami Ayyappan gracing his devotees.