This is a bad idea Mr Rahul Easwar- Give it up for the sanctity of the Temple
“Protesters were ready to shed blood to close the Sabarimala” > Rahul Easwar the activist.
Mr Rahul Easwar, You can not do this. You can not do this without the consent and approval of the rest of 110 crores Hindus of this country. You can not take such a rabid decision on your own in a fit of anger. This is because you are right away walking into the trap that has been set by the Christian Missionaries and other anti-India forces.
This is exactly what the Christian Missionaries wanted and that is exactly what you are mapping to do by stepping into their well set up ‘trap’.
Mr Rahul Easwar!
While we appreciate your sincere efforts to save the tradition of the shrine, we can not, however, appreciate this hasty resentment on your part with a threat call “to spill blood inside the Temple” in order to befoul it, which would then obviously force the Temple priests to close its doors. If the temple doors are closed, it would be a perpetual downfall for Hindus, an eternal defeat. Your intimidation call to spill blood from the wounds in the Sabarimala Temple would be a profane act and certainly not expected of from a devotee. By doing so, you may turn yourself into an anti-Hindu rather than a sincere pro-Hindu activist. You and many Hindu intellectuals did not catch the very spirit behind the 41 day’s “Deeksha” that is undertaken by every Ayyappa Devotee in the season every year.
Behind this devotion, there is an effort to unite all the caste and creed of Hindu society and to eliminate the single caste hierarchy and untouchability. This has been an epoch dream of Hindu society for a long time and finally, that desire started materialising in south India after the advent of Sabarimala Deeksha of Lord Ayyappa.
Many articles have been published on the issue addressing the nicer aspects of the age-old tradition of Sabarimala and ventured to show how the Constitution Bench had erred in allowing woman Hindu devotees of all ages, disregarding the bonafide tradition that has been driving a force from behind yet I did not come across even one single write up revealing the hidden social program behind the 41 days of “Ayyappa Deeksha”.
The long serpentine queue of devotees that we often witness in front of the shrine, is obviously Godlike. Uniform black dress, uniformly barefooted devotees, invariably carrying an Irumudi on their heads. This site, year after year was causing severe envious feeling among the Christian Missionaries. So it is obvious that Christian Missionaries found the Ayyappa devout Hindus, a very hard nut to crack or to convert into their fold. So the notorious foot soldiers of the Missionaries have been steadily making their own efforts to destroy the Sabarimala shrine to stop this Hindu surge.
In 1950 there was a huge fire accident that partially destroyed the Temple. The Missionaries complicity was suspected and yet no sincere investigation went into the case.
In 2011, the infamous ‘stampede’ accident that took place in the Sabarimala Temple outskirts, which killed 110 devotees, cannot be forgotten. There was an inquiry into this accident from the ‘conspiracy’ of Missionaries angle, but for some reason, the investigation has been hushed up.
Now 2018, the same envious missionaries succeeded in attacking the Sabarimala Shrine in an obscure manner. Now the attack on the shrine is ‘legal’ and ‘in-order’.
Amitabh Bachchan, Chiranjeevi, Ram Charan, Vivek Oberoi are all Ayyappa devotees who regularly visit Sabarimala after taking Deeksha. These popular celebrities would stand in the Q, get mixed up with ordinary people. The very equalitarian idea is achieved. The social objective of attaining the equality of all Hindus beyond the caste and creed can be seen in Ayyappa devotion.
How the Deeksha works? Let us have a glimpse.
You cannot visit this temple like any other Ayyappa temple. Devotees are expected to observe a mandatory fast of 41 days, beginning on the first day of Malayalam month Vrishchikam, from mid-November. The fasting highlights the significance of abstinence and austerity.
“Every devotee visiting Sabarimala temple shall wear a garland made of Tulsi or Rudraksha. Rituals start with the wearing of garland. A devotee who has visited Sabarimala more than 18 times, called as Guruswamy, will give the mala after performing a pooja. The devotee is then called as Swami or Ayyappa”
- A swami should take bath twice a day. As the Lord is considered as a Brahmachari, it is a must that devotees visiting him should observe celibacy. The devotee should subside hunger and control food intake during the period. Morning one-time food and then till late evening nothing to be taken except water. Late evening only tiffin. An Ayyappa is expected to speak the truth and commit no sin during the 41 day period. He must be fully devoted to Lord. Swamis usually wear black, saffron or dark blue dress and will walk barefoot. The devotees usually won’t shave the beard or cut his hair during the period. He is also supposed to avoid all luxuries and sleep on the floor. He can’t attend funerals during the period. Non-Vegetarian food, sex and other luxuries are to be kept at a distance.
- The devotees assemble in their respective colonies twice and amidst Bhajans, they spend a couple of hours before the Ayyappa performing pooja. While Ayyappa devotees assemble in a community hall, one can not make out who is rich and who is poor. The MD of a company and the security guard of the same company may sit together and perform Pooja. The very objective of equality has been achieved on Day one.
- Activists like Rahul Easwar’s may recollect the very utopian social objective behind this Ayyappa Deeksha and not to sabotage the same willfully or unmindfully by their hasty actions. There are many other peaceful ways to maintain the ‘tradition’ of the temple without it being infringed in any way, despite the Supreme Courts ruling.
- Krishna Baalu Iyer/ 26/10/2018
Columnist, poet, Activist-Heritage lover, Ancient Indian History, Architecture