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Home page> Ayyappa Darshan > A HISTORY OF DIVINITY

Demon woman Mahishi wanted to revenge Devas in the celestial world for causing the death of her brother Mahishasura. To acquire the power to realize her target, she performed penance on Lord Brahmma who appeared before her and enquired of her wish. Mahishi said that she could be killed only by a son born to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. She got what she wanted. With the power of boon, she began her atrocities on Devas and harassed them as cruelly as she could.

Devas appealed to Lord Shiva for relief. Lord Ayyappas was born on Earth to harmonize the relations between the Saivites and the Vaishnavites in the name of Lord Ayyappa. As a child He was crying on the banks of the holy River Pampa. Pandya the Pandala king found a male child and thought that it was a boon to Him as he was longing for one. He brought the child to the palace and presented to his queen. As there was a bell-Mani around the neck (Ganda) of the child, they named him Manikandan. Marking the auspicious arrival of Manikandan, queen also became pregnant.

She delivered a male child having all the masculine attributes – Lakshanas. He was named Rajasekharan. Foreseeing the future benefits, the king arranged the coronation of Manikandan. Rajasekharan thought that Manikandan’s ascendency to the throne would deprive him of his royal status, luxuries and power, did his best to eliminate Manikandan but failed in all his attempts. Finally, he made his mother to demand Manikandan through the palace physicians to bring the milk of the tiger to cure her headache.

Manikandan understood the plot behind this requirement and set out to the forests. The Devas waiting for Manikandan, greeted him at Ponnambala Medu and performed pujas. They submitted to Manikandan their woes and sought his help to free them from the demon woman Mahishi. The Lord reached the celestial world, pushed Mahishi to Earth, jumped, danced on her and killed her. She got relief from her curses and sought the hands of Manikandan. Lord told her that was not possible as he was following celibacy (brahammacharya) but allowed her to stay in the name of Maligaipurathu Amman at a place left of his palace.

Celebrating the destruction of Mahishi and their independence, Devas performed pujas and became tigers and followed the Lord to Pandalam. Seeing a herd of tigers entering the kingdom, people were terribly frightened. Realizing the glory and power of Manikandan, the minister and the queen begged His pardon. Lord said that His mission on earth was over and that he would be back to His world. The king fell at His feet and said that he would like to build a temple to remember their days with him and asked a location of the same. Lord Manikandan threw an arrow that fell at Sabari hills. He asked the king to build the temple there with 18 steps, facing east and one for Maligaipurathu Amman nearby. Lord left for his abode in heaven.

The king, in consultation with Sage Agasthya, built a beautiful temple at Sabari Hills with 18 steps under his direct supervision. Observing a strict fasting, lakhs of devotees visit the temple each year, climb on the 18 steps seeking the blessings of the Lord. Lord Ayyappa grants darshan to the devotees on Makara Sankranti day in the form of a Jyothi.

Achankoil granting freedom from Fear-Acham:

Achankoil, the region where Lord Ayyappa is ruling is 28 km far from Shencottah on the Tamilnadu-Kerala border amid scenic beauty and pleasant environment. After spending his childhood days in Kulathupuzha, Ayyappa came to Achankoil. This is the next famous Ayyappa temple after Sabarimala. This place was established by Sage Parasurama. The idols of Lord Ayyappa in other places had been lost due to some natural calamities and fire. But Achankoil idol is still fortunately safe with its original sanctity. Ornaments from Punalur treasury are brought to the King of Achankoil (Lord Ayyappa) on the 30th of Karthikai month – November-December. Festival begins on the 1st day of Margazhi, approximately on December 15 each year, with flag hoisting. A 10 day Ayyappa festival is celebrated only at Achankoil with car festival on the 9th day. Car festival is not celebrated in other Ayyappa temples. The very noteworthy feature of the temple is that in cases of poisonous bites even at midnight, the temple will be opened for getting the sandal paste on the Lord to be applied on the bite spot of the patient. The poison goes off immediately according to the experience of the people of the place. Nobody goes to a doctor for treatment for poisonous bites.

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