November 30, 1 Comment. Ayyappa Ashtothram is a list of names of Sabarimala Ayyappa Swami. The number is significant in Hinduism , Buddhism, and Jainism. The names are chanted along with the sacred prayer beads called Japa mala. Usually, prayer beads have rudraksha beads, which are used for chanting ashtotharam. The number is in many ways related to the forces of nature.
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Although devotion to Ayyappan has been prevalent in Kerala for hundreds of years, in the rest of South India, it has become popular only in recent times in the late 20th century.
The iconography of Ayyappan depicts him as a handsome celibate God doing yoga and as an epitome of Dharma , who wears a bell around his neck.
In the Hindu pantheon, his legends are relatively recent but diverse. He is honored by Muslims in Kerala, with legends wherein Ayyappan defeats and gains worship of the Muslim brigand Vavar. He was raised by a childless royal couple Rajashekara pandiyan and Koperundevi, and grows up as a warrior yogi champion of ethical and dharmic living. Ayyappan popularity has grown in many parts of India, and the most prominent Ayyappan shrine is at Sabarimala , nestled in the hills of Pathanamthitta of Kerala.
The shrine receives millions of pilgrims every year in late December and early January, many of whom prepare for weeks before and then climb the hill barefoot,  making it one of the largest active pilgrimage sites in the world. The name Ayyappan sometimes spelled as Ayyappa or Aiyappan may be related to the similar sounding ancient term Arya.
The Sanskrit term Arya Pali: Ariya is found in ancient texts of Hinduism and Buddhism, where it means the "spiritually noble, extraordinary, precious ones". The alternate theory links it to the Malayali word acchan and Tamil word appa which means "father", with Ayyappan connoting "Lord-father". Ayyappan is also known as Hariharasudhan  — meaning the "son of Harihara " or a fusion deity of Hari and Hara , the names given to Vishnu and Shiva respectively.
In some regions, Ayyappa and Ayyanar are considered to be the same deity given their similar origin. Others consider him as different because their worship methods are not the same. Ayyappan is a warrior deity. He is revered for his ascetic devotion to Dharma — the ethical and right way of living, to deploy his military genius and daring yogic war abilities to destroy those who are powerful but unethical, abusive and arbitrary.
The life legends and mythology of Ayyappa varies across region like other Hindu gods and goddesses, reflecting a tradition that evolved and enriched over time, sometimes in conflicting ways. This interaction between Shiva and Mohini is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana , but Ayyappan is not mentioned. According to Eliza Kent, the legends in the Ayyappa tradition seem to be "artificially mixed and assembled into a kind of collage". There once was a kingdom of Pandalam where Ayyappan originated.
One day the king of Pandalam found a baby boy in a forest. At age 12, the king wanted to formally invest Manikantha as the heir prince yuvraja. However, the queen under the influence of an evil minister objected. The minister had advised the queen that only her younger biological child should be the next king. The younger child was disabled and lacked the ability to perform the duties of the king, something that the scheming evil minister thought would make him the de facto ruler.
Manikantha volunteers, goes into the forest and returns riding a tigress. For location, Manikantha shoots an arrow that lands thirty kilometers away. The young boy then transforms into Ayyappan. The place where arrow landed is now an Ayyappa shrine, a site of a major pilgrimage that is particularly popular for visits on Makara Sankranti about January The above core story is shared wherever Ayyappan is revered in India.
In the medieval age, the stories of Ayyappan expanded. One story has roots between the 1st and 3rd century CE, where Ayyappan evolves to be a deity who also protects traders and merchants from enemies such as robbers and plundering outlaws.
His temple and tradition inspired Hindu yogi mercenaries who protected the trade routes in South India from criminals and looters, restoring Dharmic trading practices.
In one of the stories, Ayyappan is portrayed as a child of a priest whose father was murdered by the fearsome outlaw Udayanan. The outlaw also kidnaps a princess. Ayyappan then makes a daring rescue, attacks and kills evil Udayanan. In another late medieval era variation of the story, Ayyappan forms an alliance with the Muslim warrior Vavar against Udayanan, the basis for some devotees worshiping both in a mosque and then in the Hindu temple before starting a pilgrimage to Ayyappan shrine.
According to Paul Younger, supplementary legends appeared by the late medieval times that linked other Hindu deities and mythologies to Ayyappan heritage. The divine beings Datta and Lila came to earth as humans. Datta wanted to return to the divine realm, but Lila enjoyed her life on earth and Datta's company. She wanted to stay on earth. Lila in turn cursed him to become a Mahisha, or water buffalo demon. They plundered earth with their evil acts.
The water buffalo demon Mahishasura was killed by goddess Durga , while the water demoness Mahishasuri was killed by Ayyapan, ending the terror of evil and liberating divine Lila who was previously cursed. There are many temples in Kerala whose presiding deity is Ayyappan, the most famous among them being the Sabarimala temple. The temple attracts millions of visitors every year during mandala season from mid November to mid January.
Ayyappan temples typically show him as a celibate yogi. A few important temples such as the one at Achankovil Sree Dharmasastha Temple near Travancore, however, depict him as a married man with two wives Poorna and Pushkala, as well as a son Satyaka. Ayyappan has roots in Kerala, but his influence and popularity has grown among the Hindus in South Indian states. Of his many temples, the most significant is at Sabarimala also spelled Sabarimalai , set in the forests of the pathanamthitta district Western Ghats on the banks of river Pamba , southeast of Kottayam.
It is a major pilgrimage, attracting millions of Hindus every year, particularly of Malayali, Tamil and Telugu heritage. Many begin preparations months in advance by leading a simple life, doing yoga, abstaining from sex, eating a vegetarian diet or partially fasting, wearing black or blue or sadhu -style dress for forty one days, then trekking as a group to the shrine.
The group does not recognize any form of social or economic discrimination such as caste, and all devotees form a fraternity welcoming each other as equals. The shrine priests and devotees bring flowers from all over the Western Ghats and scatter them near the shrine, all the while chanting shlokas.
To keep the human traffic organized, Ayyappan devotees reserve and are assigned a pilgrimage day from one of the 51 days of pilgrimage, and each day sees over , walking pilgrims. Girls and older women are welcome and join the journey with men, but women between the ages of are strictly prohibited in sabarimala.
Because of the belief that Lord Ayyappan is a celibate warrior-yogi deity. Valentine Daniel, the pilgrimage is a part of their spiritual journey. He is also revered by Muslims in Kerala  due to his friendship with Vavar ,  who is identified as a Muslim brigand in local versions of the Ayyappan myth. They fight. Ayyappan defeats Vavar, and Vavar changes his way, becomes Ayyappan's trusted lieutenant helping fight other pirates and robbers.
A mosque dedicated to Ayyappan's lieutenant Vavar swami stands next to Kadutha swami shrine at the foot of the pilgrimage path, both as a form of guardian deities. Some pilgrims offer a prayer to both, before beginning their Sabarimala forest and mountain pilgrimage hike.
The Vavar legend and palli shrines may reflect the Hindu approach to accepting and co-opting legendary figures or saints of other religions within its fold. The deity Ayyappan has appeared in several regional TV and movies as a character, such as the Swami Ayyappan in multiple languages.
Media related to Ayyappan at Wikimedia Commons. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Ayyappa disambiguation. Scriptures and texts. Supreme deity. Important deities. Holy scriptures. Related traditions. Main traditions. Vaishnavism Shaivism Shaktism Smartism. Rites of passage.
Philosophical schools. Gurus, saints, philosophers. Other texts. Text classification. Other topics. Ayyappan, also called Hariharaputra, is believed to be born from the union of Shiva and Mohini. Encyclopaedia of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Sarup and Sons.
Encyclopaedia Britannica. Robinson; Michael York Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Long Historical Dictionary of Hinduism. Scarecrow Press. Collected Essays. Oxford University Press. Dubey The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 4 March Retrieved 13 July Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books.
Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. Harvard University, Dept.
108 Names of Lord Ayyappa - Ayyappa Ashtothram
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108 SHARANA GHOSHAM