Mahishasuran, Son of Ramban, undertook a severe penance (Dhavam).
Lord Brahma tried to distract his concentration, but having
failed in his attempts, he appeared before the Asura and
blessed him with a boon. Mahishasuran asked
to give him a boon by which no man in the earth would be able
to kill him, and Lord Brahma conferred the boon on him.
Mahishasuran, armed with his boon, began to commit atrocities
and murders on the earth and terrorised people. Fearing
his wrath, people ran away to far away places.
The Devas seeing the atrocities committed by Mahishasuran came
to the conclusion that only a divine power could kill him
and approached Chandikadevi (Mahishasuramardhini) pleading
to put an end to Mahishasura who was misusing the boon given
by Lord Brahma. Chandikadevi set out on her mission and
killed Mahishasura in a duel, on earth.
|Mahishi daughter of Karamba, brother of Ramban
undertook a severe penance in order to take revenge on the
Devas, who were responsible for the death of her brother.
Lord Brahma appeared and offered to confer on Mahishi any
boon except that of immortality. Mahishi asked Lord Brahma
to bless her with a boon
by which nobody , except the son created out of the union of Vishnu
(Hari) and Shiva (Haran), would be able to kill her. Lord
Brahma gave the boon and Mahishi went to Devaloka and started
harassing the Devas.
King Rajasekara went for hunting in the forest adjoining the banks
of River Pampa, along with his men. He started hunting courageously
in the dense forest which was a sanctuary for many wild animals.
After that hunting was over, King Rajasekara advised his men to
take rest and sat there entertaining himself with the sight of the
natural greenish beauty and the waterfalls, of the forest.
At that time, he heard a child crying from somewhere in the forest.
Surprised, he went round and reached the banks of River Pampa. There
he saw a beautiful and divine child (i.e. Ayyappa) kicking its legs
and crying out, and was in a dilemma whether to take the child to
the Palace or leave it there itself.
The Devas incurred the wrath of Durvasa Muni who cursed them. On
the advice of Lord Mahavishnu that this curse could be removed
only by administering Amrutham taken from Palazhi, the devas
took it from the Palazhi, but the Asuras snatched it from
them.Lord Mahavishnu inthe disguise of Mohini,
went to theAsuras
and got back the Amrutham and restored it to the Devas. When Lord
Shiva, went to see Lord Mahavishnu who was in the guise
of a Mohini succumbed to her beauty and out of their union,
was born a child, who was name Dharmasastha. Dharmasastha
grew at Kailasham. Lord Shiva, answered Rajasekara's prayer
and ordered Dharmasastha to take the avathar of Ayyappan
. On the day King Rajasekara went for hunting in the forest,
Ayyappan took the form of a baby with a golden chain and
bell around his neck and placed himself near the Pamba river.
While the King was engrossed in his thoughts, a Sanyasi appeared
before him and told the King that he need not be afraid
of the child and take him to the Palace and that the child
belonged to Kshatriya dynasty capable
of mitigating all sufferings.
Sanyasi further stated that since the Child had a gold
his neck, his name be called "MANIKANDAN" and when the child completed
twelve years, the King would know his divine history. After
uttering these words, the Sanyasi disappeared.
The King of Pandalam was very joyous, he took the child to his
Palace and briefed the Queen about the incident. The King
and the Queen, having prayed to Lord Shiva, for a child,
were very happy that they had been blessed with a child.
The people also felt happy that a heir to inherit the Kingdom
after the King, has been found.
However, the Diwan of the Kingdom who was thinking that he would
be the next crown after Rajasekara was worried.
When the child, named Manikandan, began to grow in the Palace,
everything began to prosper in kingdom. He was taught all martial
arts and sastras and the Guru was surprised at his brilliance and
agility and the extraordinary talents. The Guru came to the conclusion
that he was not an ordinary child, but a divine power. After completing
his education under the Guru, Manikandan approached the Guru to
offer his Guru Dakshina.
When Manikandan went to his Guru for his blessings, the Guru
told him that he already knew that he was a divine power
and he was blessed for having been given an opportunity
to have Manikandan as a student. The Guru further told Manikandan
that he had one request to make and that was that
his only son who
was dumb should be given speech. Manikandan called the Guru's
son and put his hands on his head and immediately Guru's
son had his speech. Manikandan requested the Guru not to
reveal this to anyone and went to the Palace.
In the meanwhile, the Queen gave birth to a male child and the
child was named RajaRajan. King Rajasekara, impressed with
the talents of Manikandan, decided to crown him, treating
him as his eldest son. He ordered the Diwan to make
arrangements for the same. The Diwan hated this and started
devising plans to prevent
Manikandan from being crowned to the throne and to annihilate
him. He tried various methods including poisoning of food,
but failed in all these. However, Manikandan's body bore
an injury due to these and ordinary physicians could not
cure it. Lastly, Lord Shiva disguising himself as a physician,
treated Manikandan's injury and cured him.
Having failed in all his attempts to kill Manikandan, the Diwan
approached the Queen and told her that she had her own son, it was
not correct to crown a person who came from the forest. He further
told the Queen since Arthasastra itself has justified any misdeed
if it was done to extract a good thing, he would suggest that the
Queen should pretend as if suffering from severe headache and stomach
pain and he would make the physician tell that only a tigress' milk
should be brought to cure the Queen and since Manikandan would only
go to the forest to bring the milk, he would be in danger from the
wild animals and even if Manikandan returned without bringing the
tigress' milk, the King's love for him would not be as before. The
Queen, became a prey to the Diwan's plot and agreed to do what he
told, so that her son could succeed the King to the throne.
The Queen, as told by the Diwan, cried out loudly that she was
suffering from severe headache and stomach pain and the
King, believing this, called the Diwan to bring in the best
physicians to treat her. The Physician, brought by the Diwan
examined the Queen and told the King that the Queen had
been suffering from a
dangerous disease and it could be cured only by applying Tigress'
milk .The King sent several of his men to the forest for
bringing this milk. The King understood that it was an impossible
task and wanted his dear Queen to be cured at any cost and
offered half of his Kingdom to anybody who brought the Milk.
When the King was thinking about this, Manikandan asked him to
let him go to the forest promising to bring the milk. However,
the King told him that he was awaiting to be crowned to
the throne that he was also not of age and hence refused
to let him go. Manikandan told the King, in spite of his
refusal, he had to go lest
he would be cursed for not curing the Queen. Since the King persisted
in his refusal Manikandan wanted the King to promise to
do something he wanted. The King gave the promise and asked
him what he wanted and immediately Manikandan asked the
King to permit to go to the Forest. The King felt disappointed
that he had been tricked and with no other alternative permitted
Manikandan to go to the forest
At the end, of the battle between Mahishi and Manikandan at Azhutha
River banks, Manikandan climbed up on her chest and danced violently.
The impact of his dance was felt on the Earth and Devloka and the
Devas were afraid. Mahishi knowing that the divine power dancing
on her body was none other than the son of Hari and Haran, prostrated
before Manikandan and died. This dance was witnessed by Lord Shiva
and Mahavishnu from a place called Kalakatti. (It is
said that Leela, daughter of Kavalan, a Maharishi, due to her husband's
curse,was born as daughter of Karamban, with a face of Mahishi and
freed herself from the curse and obtained Moksha by the grace of
Shri Dharma Sastha, which is described in Sabarimala Temple as Malikapurathu
Amma, by which name she has a temple there)
King Rajasekara made arrangements to send a group of his loyal
men along with Manikandan, which however was refused by
Manikandan on the ground that the tigress might run away
seeing the crowd of soldiers. King Rajasekara sent
along with Manikandan necessary foodstuffs and coconuts
with three-eyes, in
|remembrance of Lord Shiva. The Panchabuthas, sent by Lord Shiva,
accompanied Manikandan to Forest. However, on his way Manikandan,
came to know the atrocities of Mahishi in the Devaloka,
he went there and fought a battle with Mahishi. During the
conflict, Manikandan threw Mahishi down to earth from devaloka
and she fell on the banks of Azhutha River. Manikandan
clashed with her at Azhutha river again.
After killing Mahishi, Manikandan went to the forest for the tigress
milk, when Lord Shiva appeared before him and told him that
though he had done good for the Devas, still there was one
main task and that was to give comfort to the King Rajasekara
who was very concerned about him. Lord Shiva further told
him that he could
go to the Palace with Lord Devendran in the form of a tiger. With
Manikandan on the tiger, all female devas in the disguise
of a tigress and male Devas, as tigers started their journey
to the Palace.
When Manikandan, with
the tigers, approached the Palace, the people who ridiculed him
when the started his journey to forest whether he wanted a toy tigresses,
really got panicky seeing the violent bunch of animals and started
running helter shelter.
Just then, the same Sanyasi who appeared before King Rajasekara
when he picked up Manikandan at the forest as a baby, appeared
again at the palace and told King Rajasekara the real identity
of Manikandan. Hearing this, the King stood in great surprise
and silence. He saw Manikandan riding a tiger and people
running away. Seeing the King, Manikandan descended from the Tige and told him that since the tigresses were
there, he could get the Queen cured with their milk. King
Rajasekara, fell at his feet and asked to forgive him for
whatever happened without his knowledge, and asked him to
send back the tigers as the Queens ailment had been cured
the moment Manikandan went to the forest. On that day Manikandan
reached the age of twelve.
As per Saint Agasthya's advise, King Rajasekara laid the foundation
stone for the building the Sabarimala Shrine. Bhagwan Manikandan,
had made it clear that he would grace only those devotees who offer
Dharshan after performing Vritha for fortyone days
keeping themselves isolated from family desires and tastes and leading
a life like Brahmacharya, thinking of good things always, and that
while coming for his darshan, they shall carry the holy irumudi on their heads, as the
Bhagwan did when he went to the forest to fetch tigress milk, and
bathed in River
Pampa raising slogans of Saranam and climb the eighteen
King Rajasekara told Manikandan that the Diwan was responsible
for all these things and hence he should be punished. However,
Manikandan told the king that he need not punish the Diwan
and all had happened only through the will of God, and he
told further that time had come for him to go to Devaloka
since the task for
which he took avatar himself on the Earth is completed and asked
the King what boon he wanted from him and he was ready to
give it as he was much pleased by his devotion. Immediately,
King Rajasekara told him that they wanted to raise a temple
in his memory and 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.
|As graced by the Bhagwan King Rajasekara completed building of
the temple with eighteen steps to reach it. When
the King was thinking how to put Dharmasastha's figure in
the temple for darshan to devotees, he recalled the words
of the Bhagwan, the River Pampa was a holy river as River
Ganga, Sabarimala was a |
|holy place as Kasi. Dharmasastha sent Parasuraman to Sabarimala
who carved the figure of Lord Ayyappa and installed
it on the day of Makarasankranthi, the day on which the
Makara Jothi appears. Every year
lakhs and lakhs of people throng to Sabarimala irrespective
of caste or creed and adorn themselves with garlands and
irumudis, chants slogans on Lord Ayyappa, bathe in holy
river Pampa, climb up the eighteen steps and get the grace
of Lord Ayyappa, the Dharmasastha.
The Jewel Casket is carried on head from the ancestral residence
of the royal family of Panthalam 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 Makara Jothi day before the
sighting of the Jyoti. A Jyoti is seen for a little time on the
hilltop showing the presence of Swamy Ayyappan gracing his devotees
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