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Monday 4th of July 2022

Sabarimala Fasting Rules – Ayyappa Vratham Rules


Read Ayyappa Vratham Rules in Tamil

Rules to be followed by Devotees Travelling to Sabarimala

Sabarimala Ayyappan Temple is located at the Sabarimala Hill inside Periyar Tiger Reserve of Kerala. The Temple is situated at a hill top in the midst of eighteen hills at an altitude of 1260 metres above the sea level and is surrounded by mountains and dense forest. The dense forest around the temple is called as Poongavanam. The deity Ayyappan is called as Dharma Shasta. It is one of the largest annual Pilgrimage Site and the temple is opened for worship only during the days of Mandala Pooja i.e., approximately from November 15 to December 26, Makara Shankranti i.e., January 14 and Maha Thirumal Shankranti i.e., April 14. The temple is also opened during the first five of days of all Malayalam month.

How to begin with the Ayyappan Viratham/Fasting?

  • The Devotees begin their fast on the first day of the Tamil Month Karthigai that is November 15.
  • There is no need to look for auspicious day or week to begin with the fast. The Devotees can start their Sabarimala Pilgrimage after fasting for at least 41 days.
  • The believers must wear Tulasimani or Rudhratsha sequence that has 108 or 54 beads in them along with an Ayyappan Portrait and it must be worn in front of the Guru who had gone to Sabarimala several times.
  • As soon as this tradition of wearing Tulasimani or Rudhratsha sequence is over, the devotees must give Guru Dhatchana as much as they can and get the blessings of the Guru.

Dos and Don’ts during Sabarimala Fasting

  • The Devotees must wear clothes in one of the colours blue, black or saffron.
  • Even if they are unable wear coloured clothes while performing their daily duties, it is imperative to wear those coloured clothing throughout the pilgrimage and during the pilgrimage.
  • In the morning and in the evening that is before sunrise and after sunset one should regularly bathe in cold water and worship the Lord Ayyappan.
  • Devotees should visit temples daily and attend collective Bhajans singing the praises of the Lord Ayyappan.
  • Believers must not indulge themselves in stealing, gambling, lying, movies, sports, fun, excursions, drugs, smoking, etc., during the Ayyappan Viratham.
  • They must avoid bed and pillows and can only sleep on the bare floor.
  • They must also avoid shoes and slippers and walk bare footed.
  • Eating non-vegetarian foods during fasting is considered as a huge mistake and must be avoided. Therefore, whenever possible devotees should have a home-cooked vegetarian diet and avoid eating outside as much as possible.
  • When talking the devotees must begin with Sami Saranam and must end the conversation by saying Swami Saranam.
  • Lust must be avoided in all three factors: Mind, Chat and Action.
  • Do not shave, do not attend mourning ceremonies and do not attend women’s funerals, childbirth ceremonies or weddings.
  • Girls under the age of twelve who have not reached Puberty and older women who have reached Menopause period can also undertake the Sabarimala pilgrimage and it is important that all Crusaders take note of this.
  • Devotees who lost someone close to the family should not go on for the Sabarimala pilgrimage for a year because of the grief.
  • Devotees must entrust all the responsibilities to the Lord Ayyappan and keep only him in his or her mind and begin the pilgrimage.
  • A few days before the departure of the pilgrimage, a “virgin Pooja” (KanniPooja) should be performed. Bhajan and collective worship should be conducted in an elaborate manner and offerings should be made to Ayyappan devotees and others.
  • Devotees who make their first Sabarimala pilgrimage are called “Kanni Ayyappan” and those who made several pilgrimage are called “Palamakkars”.
  • Irumudi Kattu Pooja should be performed at the devotee’s house or the Guru’s house or in the temple. Before leaving the house for pilgrimage, one should smash a coconut in front of the house and chant “Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa” and begin their pilgrimage.
  • Devotees must not shave or trim their hair during the Ayyappan fasting and during the Sabarimala Pilgrimage.
  • Due to the presence of wild elephants, tigers and bears in the dense forests along the way of the pilgrimage, the devotees have to go in groups.
  • Do not go too far alone for defecation in the forest at night. Strings, trumpets, and explosions are the best ways to protect yourself. Devotees have to make offerings to their ancestors who passed away while bathing in the Pompeii River and pave the way for the soul peace of the ancestors.
  • Sabarimala Basma is the process of collecting a small amount of ash from the oven used by the Devotees during the Shakti Pooja and mixing the ashes taken from the depths of the shrine with it. It is very powerful.

lord ayyappan

Scientific Significance of Ayyappan Fasting

  • Devotees must observe a compulsory fasting of 41 days before the pilgrimage which helps to purify the mind and body.
  • Devotees must have their entire concentration on the Lord Ayyappan, which restricts them from having unnecessary thoughts and help them develop good habits.
  • Unlike visiting other temples, devotees cannot easily visit the Sabarimala Temple. They should bathe twice, must observe cleanliness in their mind as well as body, they should not commit any kind of sins during the fast. Smoking and Drinking is completely prohibited during the fast.
  • They must avoid speaking bad words, avoid anger and lust and must maintain calmness and patience.
  • By adopting all the rules of the Ayyappan Fasting, the devotees are benefited by developing good habits and scientifically improves both physical and mental health.

Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa

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