Save Sabarimala, protect the rich culture and heritage of India.

Save Sabarimala, protect the rich culture and heritage of India.

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Sabarimala Sree Dharmasastha Temple is a temple complex located at Sabarimala inside Periyar Tiger Reserve in Pathanamthitta District, Kerala, India.In the past, women devotees between the age group of 10 - 50 were not permitted pilgrimage here, this ban being said to be out of respect to the celibate or fulfill a 41 day penance(rules for penance given at end of this article) which every man should take before going to temple nature of the deity in this temple. A Kerala high-court judgement had legalized this interpretation, and forbade women from entering the temple since 1991.[2] In September 2018, a judgement of the Supreme Court of India ruled that all pilgrims regardless of gender, including women in the menstruating age group, should be allowed entrance to Sabarimala.

Main stakeholders of Sabarimala Temple are Travancore Devasom Board, Tantri (head priest) family, Pandalam Royal Family, Ayyappa Seva Sangam etc.

Lord Ayyappan is worshipped as a ‘Naishtika Bramhachari’ or a celibate for life. Therefore, as per a notification by the Devaswom Board that manages the temple, women between the age group of 10 to 50 are not permitted to enter the temple. 

About 2 crore devotees visit the pilgrimage centre every year.

However people with no belief or so called activist / Feminists are entering the temple and destroying its very purpose and purity. Most of the women are willing to wait until 50 before going to the temple. If anyone believing in Lord Ayyappa and this concept wouod not be able to go there as per Hindus. The so called Feminist/ activist are trying to make Sabarimala a tourist destination rather than a pilgrimage spot.

This pilgrimage is done by a man to bring in self control, peace, good character, tolerance etc into him. The very purpose of this noble cause is getting destroyed by all these unwanted activities.

Update (13-11-18) – The Supreme Court on 13-11-2018 admitted all 49 review petitions seeking revisit of its September 28 order to allow women of all age groups inside the Sabarimala temple. The court has however not ordered any stay on its earlier verdict allowing women entry into the hill shrine. The apex court will hear the 49 petitions on January 22, 2019.Ironically, in the 4-1 verdict on Indian Young Lawyers Association & Others vs The State of Kerala & Others, the only dissenting vote was of the sole woman judge on the bench: Justice Indu Malhotra.

41 DAY VRITHAM

In Bhagawat Gita, Lord Krishna declared: "The one who loves everyone, treats both pleasure and pain with equanimity, is friendly to all beings, compassionate, ego-less, patient, always contended, self-controlled, determined, and who dedicates his mind and intellect to me is dear to me and is my true devotee.”

Ayyappa Vratham is a set of spiritual exercises to enable one to begin the journey towards becoming a true devotee. The ultimate purpose of Ayyappa Vratham is self-transformation. The process helps the Sadhaks -seekers of the Divine - to realize that we are part of the divinity. For the benefit of new devotees and the next generation of young devotees, in what follows, we describe the importance, significance, and the benefits of Ayyappa Vratham.

Ayyappa Vratham is a good entry point to the spiritual world, particularly to those who are used to rituals as the basis for devotion. According to the Sanadhana Dharma, followed in India based on the Vedic traditions, man (jeevaatma) seeking the union with God (paramaatma) is the ultimate spiritual purpose of human life. However, there are several margas - pathways-to reach God-Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, and Gnana Yoga among others. Ayyappa Vratham probably falls under the Bhakti Yoga but uses elements from other yogic pathways as well. Using devotion to bring out the divinity in human is the aim of Ayyappa Vratham. In under-taking the Vratham, we follow several rituals to signify the transformation of human nature to the divine nature.

Before looking at how Ayyappa Vratham helps us to transform ourselves and go towards Godhood, it will be useful to consider basic definition of Godliness. In practical terms, to have the union with God is to say, that we have godly qualities. What are the main characteristics of Godly qualities? God is love and love is God -some will say. God is peaceful - some will say as they seek God to have their own peace. Others will say God is truth and they seek God by seeking truth and or being truthful. And yet others will say that God is righteousness. In observing Ayyappa Vratham we are expected to show love to everyone as God is in everyone, be peaceful with ourselves and with others, be truthful, follow righteousness and of course non-violence. While opinions vary on how one sees God, everyone will agree that God is more powerful than man is. This is partly because God can control the nature both internal and external, better than man can. External nature is the elements like earth, wind, rain, sun etc. Internal nature of man is the qualities that man is not in full control yet strives, as a spiritual seeker, or a Sadhak to have control over the senses. In observing Ayyappa Vratham we try to have this internal control so we can go towards attaining godly qualities. In essence, Ayyappa Vratham is a "dress rehearsal" for preparing ourselves to be in union with God himself by surrendering his thoughts, words, and deeds and leading an austere life. In other words, cleansing oneself of all impurities.

41 Days of Mandala Vratham: Ayyappa Vratham observed for 41 days amounts to one mandalam period. This is the most essential first step to make the pilgrimage to Sabarimala. The idea is to follow the discipline continuously for a certain period so that it becomes habit. As they say, discipline on a daily basis forms the good habit; good habit forms good character and good character determines our destiny. During this Vratham period, we attain basic purity of body, mind and spirit which is necessary for any devotional effort. Before starting the Vratham, we take permission from parents, seek the guidance of a Guruswami, and ask his permission and take permission from our Kuladeivam, family deity for blessings and protection

 

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