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People from all nook and corners of the Universe are thronging over Sabari mala Shrine to have a glimpse of Lord Ayyappa, who is the centrifugal deity; uniting the humanity under one—roof irrespective of caste, creed, language, region or religion.
The glories of Lord Sri Dharma Sastha, born of Lord Maha Vishnu, the protector of the universe and Lord Shiva, the destroyer of all evil forces, are widely spoken with all devotion and piety — not only throughout the length and breadth of this country but also the entire universe in the recent past. Many of you know the legendary tales of Lord Sri Dharma Sastha at Sabari Hills with varied versions, leaving valley of questions, unanswered to the layman.
Despite the swelling number of devotees, some questions on the story of Ayyappa and His worship still haunt the minds of laymen, who could not get a convincing explanation subject to reasoning. Questions range on various aspects.
- How could Lord Sastha, born in Krutha Yuga for Mohini Vishnu and Shiva, be friend Vahvar, said to be of Muslim Religion, which has a specify date of origin in Kali Yuga? While the Lord is worshipped as Brahmachari at Sabari Hills, how can He be addressed as "Poorna Pushkala Kanthanae Saranam Ayyappa” in our Sarana Gosham?
- Why Lord Sastha is born of two positives — Vishnu and Shiva?
- Whether is He married or unmarried and married when, and what is the significance behind this Sastha Thiru Kalyanam?
- Whether Sastha worship is of recent origin or time Immemorial?
- Whether He has a date of Avtar or He is Anadhi?
- How could the collecting versions of legendary tales be correlated or regulated in chronological order?
- What is the significance behind Sabari Pilgrimage which enjoins so much of rigorous austerities — not generally prescribed for pilgrimage to any other temples?
- What do the Sthala Puranas say of various temples having Sastha as the presiding deity?
- Whether one can attain Salvation through worship of the Lord at Sabari Hills and if so, how?
- What is the linking thread between Sastha - Ayyanar and Ayyappan?
The question-bank expands without an end, leaving a wide field for genuine and acceptable exposures from those Gumswamis who preach Sastha worship or who lead devotees to Sabari Hills every year.
The manifestation of the Lord is beyond comprehension and cannot be measured by our scales of wisdom and knowledge.
We know He is beyond time-frame or place-bound. He can do and undo things. He can create a New Moon if he wishes and can change New Moon into a Full Moon. So a research on His origin, period of existence, place of Avtar may be nothing but a futile exercise. Yet, for people coming from the reasoning school of thought, there must be some clarifications given to the best of our knowledge and belief based on expositions of knowledgeable and eminent Gumswamys. It is all the more necessary and important that our idea of God should approximate to the truth. No doubt, it is not possible for us to know him in His entirety. As we progress in our journey towards Godhead, more and more of Him would come to be revealed and realised. A reverent study of the great scriptures would throw sufficient light to our Research and understanding of God and His Sovereignty. This is true whatever may be the basic philosophy and ideas we cherish.
The Research has some relevance to Sastha worship. While there are texts on Ramayana, Mahabharata and various puranas for all Ganeshadhi Hari-Hara devathas, on which we can bank upon for clarification in case of doubts, there is however no such text on Sri Sastha to rely upon and people air out their own imaginations to suit their own
Mano-bhava and at times blink without an answer to the questions of a non-believer. While there are pearls of wisdom and information to a great extent on Sastha spread over in various scriptures, every piece appears to be in disarray and requires to be set in order. No one seems to have bothered to set right things so far. Pranaams to the devout word, with blessings of the Lord Sri Ayyappa, Paramacharyal of Kanchee Kamakoti Peetam and elites of your order, with a view to propagating Sastha worship and throw light on the unanswered questions to arrive at logical conclusions, as a service to the knowledge-quest of devotees.