Zdjęcia

Photographer's Note

The best known pilgrimage destination in Kerala (India) is Sabarimala, high up in the Sahyadri Mountains (western ghats). Sabarimala Sri Dharmasastha Temple is the most famous and prominent among all the Shasta Temples. It is believed that "Parasurama Maharshi" who
retrieved Kerala from the sea by throwing his axe, installed the idol of Ayyappa at Sabarimala
to worship Lord Ayyappa.

The pilgrimage begins in the month of November and ends in January. The temple attracts pilgrims not only from the southern states of India, but also from other parts of the country and abroad.

Certain customs are to be strictly observed if one has to undertake a pilgrimage to Sabarimala. A pilgrim should observe austerities for 41 days. During this period, the pilgrim should abstain himself from non- vegetarian habits and cardinal pleasures.

Pilgrims set out in groups under a leader, and each carry a cloth bundle called Irumudi kettu containing traditional offerings. Unlike certain Hindu temples, Sabarimala temple have no restrictions of caste or creed. The temple is open to males of all age groups
and to women who have either passed their fertility age and those before reaching the stage of puberty.

The customs of the pilgrims to Sabarimala are based on five worshipping methods; those of Shaivites, Shaktists, Vaishnavites, Buddhists and Jainists. At first, there were three sections of devotees – the devotees of Shakti who used meat, liquor and other
drugs to worship their deity, the devotees of Vishnu who followed strict penance and continence, and the devotees of Shiva who partly followed these two methods. It was then that the Buddhists and Jainists entered, spreading the concepts of Ahimsa. Another name of Lord Ayyappa is Sastha this means Buddha. This is a prime example of the reach of the Buddhist beliefs to this part of the world. All these can be seen merged into the beliefs of pilgrims to Sabarimala.
The chain the pilgrims wear comes from the Rudraksha chain of the Shaivites. The strict fasting, penance and continence is taken out of the beliefs of the Vaishnavites. Ahimsa is taken from the Jainists. The constant and repeated utterance of prayers
reminds one of the Buddhists. The offering of tobacco to Kaduthaswamy can be considered to be taken from the Shaktists.

Those who decide to go to Sabarimala need to observe strict celibacy. The procession of Malikappurathamma to Saramkuthy and her return without any exuberance shows one the patience, endurance and mental strength a man can achieve. The ghee filled coconuts in the blazing fire hearth symbolizes the burn off of one’s selfishness. A bath in river Pampa stands for driving
away the sins one committed in his life.

japiey oznaczył to zdjęcie jeko użyteczne

Photo Information
Viewed: 2473
Points: 2
Discussions
  • None
Additional Photos by Anil Vasudev (avasudev) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 20 W: 1 N: 15] (113)
View More Pictures
explore TREKEARTH