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Makara Jyoti a man-made fire

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praveen

Life is a dream
Staff member
The 'celestial light' at the Sabarimala temple on Makara Sankranthi day is actually man-made, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) told the Kerala High Court Monday, three months after a stampede killed 102 pilgrims there.

The board, which oversees the functioning of all temples in Kerala's southern districts, said this in an affidavit to the court, putting an end to speculation on the so-called celestial light.

TDB said it had never called the phenomenon a divine light and for long the fire had been lit by tribals living on the hillock.

TDB's affidavit was filed in response to the demand made by the court that is currently looking into a series of petitions filed soon after the stampede at Sabarimala Jan 14 when the "celestial light" had appeared three times.

Kerala Yukthivadi Sangham (KYS), a rationalist organisation, has been at the forefront of a campaign against what it calls cheating by the state government and the TDB.

Sanal Edamarukku, an office bearer of the KYS who has been fighting the practice of making an artificial light appear on the horizon and letting it pass as celestial, said finally their stand had been vindicated.

"This affidavit by the TDB has finally come and we are really happy that they spoke the truth," said Edamarukku.

The Jan 14 stampede occurred when the pilgrims were returning after watching the "celestial Makara Jyothi light", the most important event of a two-month pilgrimage dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, in Kerala's Pathanamthitta district.

According to believers, the sighting of the celestial light is auspicious and, over the last few years, there has been a huge influx of pilgrims from the three southern states to witness it. The number of pilgrims visiting the shrine has been going up every year.

Credit: Express Buzz
 

sangom

Well-known member
Some sixty years or so ago the tabras of Travancore did not even consider Sabarimala worth a visit. Ayyappa was considered a deity of the lower castes. The makarajyoti was not that well-known also then. Slowly some jobless tabras started becoming "guruswamis" by the mere fact that they had the physical strength to climb the mountain every year. (That opium was used to ward off malaria was an added inducement to some.)

The temple caught fire in 1950 or so, the idol was lost and a new one was made. The reputation of the temple was slowly declining because people thought the fire accident and the destroyed old idol had left the deity powerless. In order to shore up the "market" for the temple the TDB made several efforts. One of these was the "makara jyoti" being made very popular.

By then all castes had become devotees, many tabra 'guruswamis' found it a good way for social recognition and all that. But many here in Travancore knew that this jyothi was nothing celestial; either it was the hill tribes lighting a bon-fire or the TDB manipulating something. At last the truth has come out. It is good. Satyam eva jayate na anrutam !!

Ayyappa is a tribal deity absorbed into hinduism by brahmanic interests. The original temple and idol were most probably Jain or Buddhist. These truths may take more time to come out.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Some sixty years or so ago the tabras of Travancore did not even consider Sabarimala worth a visit. Ayyappa was considered a deity of the lower castes. The makarajyoti was not that well-known also then. Slowly some jobless tabras started becoming "guruswamis" by the mere fact that they had the physical strength to climb the mountain every year. (That opium was used to ward off malaria was an added inducement to some.)

The temple caught fire in 1950 or so, the idol was lost and a new one was made. The reputation of the temple was slowly declining because people thought the fire accident and the destroyed old idol had left the deity powerless. In order to shore up the "market" for the temple the TDB made several efforts. One of these was the "makara jyoti" being made very popular.

By then all castes had become devotees, many tabra 'guruswamis' found it a good way for social recognition and all that. But many here in Travancore knew that this jyothi was nothing celestial; either it was the hill tribes lighting a bon-fire or the TDB manipulating something. At last the truth has come out. It is good. Satyam eva jayate na anrutam !!

Ayyappa is a tribal deity absorbed into hinduism by brahmanic interests. The original temple and idol were most probably Jain or Buddhist. These truths may take more time to come out.



Any Deity(Deification of the Divine) is indeed "Tribal" and that "Tribe" is the Human Tribe only. We need the "Makara Jyothi" to illuminate our intellect and that is indeed Made for Man hence Man Made..


http://youtu.be/rcQCkkVKC5w
 
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Raghy

Well-known member
Sri.Sangom Sir, Greetings.

Personally I did not see Ayappa Worship and Guruswamy concepts were for Brahmanic interests. I saw an equality amoung all devotess irrespective of castes; at the same token, I did not know the caste of all the devotees either. While your view point is valid, I suppose, there may be credibility in the equality point of view too. There wa a time, I used to wonder, if all the poojas are promoting equality like 'Ayappa Pooja' wouldn't it be nice? I think, most devotees would have known the Makara Jyothi was man-made. (I have never been to Sabarimalai anyway... I wanted to go many a times, but never happened).

Cheers!
 

Ramacchandran

Active member
View attachment sabarimalai 1942.doc In 1850 the TDB offered to repair the temples in South India. The British who ruled us at that time insisted that the money should be routed through the state government. At that time The Jeer of Tirukurungudi of Nangunery in Trinelvelli approached him for some money to repair the temple in 1850. The Raja sent money through the government and also constructed a sastha shrine in the same temple which in 1890 was converted in to Shiva shrine with the linga. Some historians are of the opinion that the shrine is a burrial place of Zorathushtra of Iran who might have visited South India some 10,000 years back and few beleives that this is place where Parasurama might have attained siddhi.
I herewith attache a photo taken in 1942 View attachment sabarimalai 1942.doc
 

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sangom

Well-known member
Sri.Sangom Sir, Greetings.

Personally I did not see Ayappa Worship and Guruswamy concepts were for Brahmanic interests. I saw an equality amoung all devotess irrespective of castes; at the same token, I did not know the caste of all the devotees either. While your view point is valid, I suppose, there may be credibility in the equality point of view too. There wa a time, I used to wonder, if all the poojas are promoting equality like 'Ayappa Pooja' wouldn't it be nice? I think, most devotees would have known the Makara Jyothi was man-made. (I have never been to Sabarimalai anyway... I wanted to go many a times, but never happened).

Cheers!

Raghy,

Ayyappa worship was, as far as I have read, originally the exclusive asset of the hill tribes of Sabarimala. Scholars consider that when the Jains/Buddhists were persecuted at some stage by the Chera or Pandya kings (the area came under both at one time or another), the temple deserted by their munis or monks was used by the hill tribes. Brahmanic hinduism had its expanding and absorbing phase - according to many authorities - and when they found this "ayyappa" being a centre for tribal congregation (may be it was just once a year only then, we have no idea) they "created" ayyappa as synonymous with Saasta, which was a divinity already in the brahmanic storehouse, born to Siva & Vishnu, etc. This story was given a slight twist - details will make this post long - and Ayyappa was given his place in the accepted brahmanic pantheon. Of course, making slokas, sahasranamam etc., was always easy for the brahman scholarship, so also the "poojaa vidhi". The place of worship of the hill tribes was "taken over" by brahman interests most probably with the help of the ruler. But the right enjoyed by the tribes (and so all lower castes equal to or above those hill tribes also) were subsequent to the brahman take-over, allowed to continue, even before temple entry proclamation and all that. I am not sure whether the lower castes were allowed in those days to climb the holy "patinettaam padi" (eighteen steps) or were allowed only a peep from a distance and such other details, though. Lest some people imagine that I am accusing tabras for this take over, and write rejoinders, I may state that it was the Namboodiris.

I did not mean that the guruswami system was "created" for the benefit of tabras or for brahmanic interests. If my post gives you such an idea it is my mistake. I said "By then all castes had become devotees, many tabra 'guruswamis' found it a good way for social recognition and all that." In fact if I say that guruswamis among tabras were rare at one time because tabras did not go to that temple, that such guruswamis among the tabras of Travancore were in the main, poor, not good for the vaideekam or government jobs, and so were not given much recognition in tabra circles in those early days of the spread of the Ayyappa worship, people may find it difficult to believe now, since things have changed very radically during the intervening period. (Among the lower castes who used to visit Sabarimala in those olden days I don't know whether a "guruswami" system prevailed. IMO, the very use of the word would not have been permitted to the untouchable castes then.) When I write these, may be you get an idea that I am supporting those old practices; no, I am only trying to write how a very simple and perhaps very illuminating experience fortuitously enjoyed only by members of the lower castes, has been first usurped by the FCs and then made into a rank commercial proposition. In that respect I would wish that the Sabarimala continue as a temple for the lower castes only; let them trek the hills and mountains in their pristine glory, get to the temple at the top (it was a very simple, unassuming structure then) and get whatever spiritual satisfaction they used to get. We FCs have ever so many other places of worship which we can use or misuse!

As you may perhaps have known by now, I am an agnostic and so I do not have any personal likes or dislikes about religious practices. If at all, I regard all these as eminently avoidable. As regards equality for poojas etc., therefore, I have nothing against equality. If a question is put to me I will say there should be equality. But I am dead against what has happened in Sabarimala over the decades. If that is not sacrilege, then nothing else is, IMHO.

Hope I have made myself clear.
 

nachi naga

Well-known member
brahmins were priest,chanting mantras doing yagams and homams.one must careful think how brahmins can usurp powerful kshatria and vaisya and sudra kings,when might with weapons were solely in the hands of kshatriyas?

i have fasted 40 days vratham and gone to sabari malai three times .its an experiance which humbles a man.makes him accept a higher authority other than him.enabled me to self-realise the divinity within me.swamiyeah sharanam ayya.villadi veeraay sharnam ayyapa.veeramani kandanay sharanm ayyapa.

makara jyothi,is an ancient vedic festival.even the romans changed the year start because of the solstice festival in winter,when sun enter makara rashi in its uttar-ayana sojurn.it always was human made,at least i knew it.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Just some info from Sathya Sai Speaks:

It is foolish to deny the existence of the Divine
All the animate and inanimate objects in the world are Vishnuswarupa (manifestations of the
Divine). It is foolish to look at the cosmos and deny the principle that pervades the cosmos.
Equally is it not foolish to look at the universe, which is the embodiment of the Divine, and deny the existence of the Divine? That is the reason why the scripture declared: “Pashyannapi na pashyathi Mudho" (The foolish one, even though he beholds the Lord of the cosmos, does not recognise Him).

What is the reason for this failure? Man is looking at the cosmos as a physical phenomenon----
Vishvabhaavamu. He does not look at it from the point of view of divinity. It is only when the
attitude changes that the Eternal will also be seen differently.

The external world is a reflection, a resound and reaction of the inner feelings. The outer world has been described as a reflection of the inner being. What is felt within appears as a phenomenon outside.

Therefore, it is only when every man renounces the worldly point of view and adopts a divine point of view that he can comprehend divinity in the cosmos.

For man to acquire peace, he has to cultivate Thyaaga (sacrifice) and get rid of the sense of dualism.
The highest wisdom consists in seeing the One alone---"Adwaitha Darsanam Jnaanam".The shedding of all attachment is Thyaaga. The Gita declares that supreme peace is obtained only through Thyaaga.
 
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Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
The origin and evolution of the Deity Ayyappa

Ayyappan could be the first of the God-Men that India has produced. The prince of Pandalam was a living being.

The history of Ayyappan is a case study of how a Deity of recent origin could assimilate other deities to become popular.

The Diety Ayyappan is from the Kaval Deivams of Pandya Nadu. Ayyanar and Pathinettam Padi Karuppanna Swami. Neither Ayyappan nor the temple is mentioned in books written about South Indian Gods and Goddesses written in the 19th century.

Then the Deity got associated with Sastha. Sastha is again a non-puranic Diety of a late origin. But Sastha himself was only considered a Kaval Deivam and his temples were at the boundaries of villages. Though Mohini Avatra is mentioned in the Puranas the birth of Sastha is not mentioned in the Puranas.

Now the God Vettaikkoru Magan from the north Kerala has now been merged with Ayyappan though it is a separate and distinct deity.

Today Ayyappan is a composite deity of

1. Ayyanar

2. Pathinettampadi Raja Karuppanna Swami.

3. Dahrma Sastha

4. Vettaikkorumagan.

All these deities are super imposed on the story of The Pandalam prince.

It is worth noting that most of these are of Tamil especially Pandyan origin. The Pandalam royal family also claims to be of Pandyan origin.

Of course there are inherent contradictions here like Purna, Pushkala samedha Dharmasastha becoming the Bachelor Ayyppan.

Before you jump on me let me make it very clear that I believe in Lord Ayyappan. But my belief does not alter facts.
 

Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
The origin and evolution of the Deity Ayyappa

The problem has arisen now because of the continuous propaganda for the temple carried on by the Government of Kerala.

It is the only state government which considers the administration of a temple a part of its main duties.

The TV channels are flooded with stories about the temple and the Deity. Looking at the TV channels and newspapers you would believe that it is the only temple in Kerala.

Then whole lot of stories are concocted. These stories do not have to be proved. As long as there are gullible Bhakthas you can say or write anything and get away with it.

Claims are being made that Lord Ayyappan is not a Hindu God but a God of all religions. Time and again the TV channels blare out that there is no distinction of caste, creed or religion in the temple. Of course this totally contradicts the fact that there are more restrictions in this temple than any other temple in India. The only temple in which there is sex discrimination. All in the name of so called Sampradhaya.

Mahara Vilakku is part of the publicity stunt. It is good that that it has been proved false.

Like God men who needed miracles and stunts to prove themselves, some people believe that Gods also need miracles and stunts. As long as there are such believers false miracles and stunts will continue to rule.
 

sangom

Well-known member
The Kerala HC has since allowed the TDB to continue lighting the "makara vilakku" in the ponnambalamedu peak! So, the "makara jyothi" believed to be the aarati made to the divine, invisible ayyappa by devas on the sandhyaa of makaram 1st., has by a court's fiat got reduced to a bonfire of camphor (?) arranged by TDB.
 

Iyyarooraan

Well-known member
Nobody loves truth; truth is not thrilling and it is very dull. If some nationalised bank offers reasonable interest, only the dull regulars accept it. The others more enterprising with the motto that "either I live or the other makes money out of me", go to those who offer unbelievable and impractical returns.
 

nachi naga

Well-known member
makaram is an extra-ordinary species,which lord krishna wore as kundalam's in his ear's.lord karna was born with this kundalam as well as kavacham at birth itself,when goddess kunthi invoked the sacred mantrs of lord surya to impregnate her as immaculate conception of lord karna.Lord Ayyappan miracles are many,i personally am a recepient of lord ayyappan's grace.the jyothi during the uttara-ayana of suryan,brings fruition for sadhanas to be performed by sadhakas,to attain moksham.primarily an apt time for worship.legends,tales, etc are part of the lore.the essence of harmonius life.even a lie is ok,for the greater good of humanity.the fact that we acknowledge we lied and say openly is a side-winded "TRUTH" itself,imho. :)
 

Ramacchandran

Active member
People prefers stories and dreams. They wish to kill their enemies in dream and imaginary weapons like black magic and satisfy themselves. They need a witness and believe in god.
 

Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
The iconography of the Ayyappa Idol is peculiar. Ayyappa is sitting in Kukkuda asana which is used by Yogis for long meditation. Ayyappa is definitely not of tribal origin. It is quite possible that the temple was the samadhi of a great Siddhar who performed miracles during his life time and later. Kukkuda Asana is known to be adapted by Siddhars. The idol could be the representation of the Siddhar.

By the way the present idol was gifted by the people of Tamil Nadu. It was taken around Tamil Nadu and kept is public places in Chennai and Karaikudi among other places before being taken to Sabari Malai.

What shocked me was the attitude of the people of Kerala towards the Ayyappa devotees from other states. They are held in contempt and considered fair game for exploitation. I was told by the merchants of Guruvayoor that one Ayaapa season is sufficient to get one year's profit. The prices of things which are sold to the devotees are jacked up exorbitantly. Then in Kottayam in the hotel that I was eating they had a special place for people who were not Ayyappa devotees. They were served better. Most of the temples in Kerala depend on Ayyappa devotees for getting a good income. But the general attitude of the people makes you sick. Sheer exploitation.
 

kunjuppu

Well-known member
nacchi,

it is the same everywhere in the world.

out of town, state, country pilgrims are fair game for local merchants.

we tambrams suffer the same in kasi and gaya, whether we accept it or not. only the japanese buddhists get fleeced more in gaya.

reality.
 

Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
No. Kunjuppu. It is not the same. I have been to Kasi , Gaya and other places where the pilgrims are exploited. But the ridicule and contempt of the average Keralite for the Ayyappanmars is unbelievable. I have not found such an attitude anywhere in India. Again unlike in Kasi and Gaya the entire budget of Kerala is balanced by the earnings from the temple at Sabari Malai. Most of the temples in Kerala depend on them for survival.
 

Nacchinarkiniyan

Well-known member
I often find people confusing Ayyappan with Hariharan. Hariharan is a composite Deity of Siva and Vishnu. Hari and Hara. The conception of this Deity goes back to the middle ages when people were trying to stop the sectarian wars. The Deity Sankara Narayanan in Sankaran Kovil is the most famous of Harihara Deities.

Ayyappan is called the son of Harihara. Harihara Suthane Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa.
 
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