You are hereSabari Peetarohanam
W e are going to study how the Lord has taken His Abode at the Sabari Hills over the 18 steps and as to how we are also going to ascend the Holy 18 steps to merge in Him. That is, Peetarohanam by both the Lord and His devotees. A rare phenomenon indeed!
The Devas were immensely pleased at the astounding victory of Manikanta over the demoness and offered their services in fulfilling the Lord’s errand. Devendra - the King of Devas - assumed the form of a tigress and some of the Devas, her cubs. Manikanta returned to Pandalam, seated on the back of the tigress, carrying a bow and arrow in His hands, followed by a herd of her cubs. The King realised the divinity in Manikanta. The queen and the Dewan tendered apology for their mischief. The Lord forgave them and asked them not to grieve over the past, as every action was pre-determined for the fulfillment of the divine mission undertaken by Him. At the request of the King, the Lord advised the tigress and her cubs to disappear, and they did so.
Manikanta was accorded a reverential welcome into the palace. Seated on a high pedestal, Manikanta advocated BHOOTHANATHA GEETHA containing Karma Yoga, Bhakthi Yoga and Jnana Yoga, to the King and Assembly for elevation of the Mankind. Completing His mission in human form, Manikanta took leave of the king. The King pleaded with the Lord to reside within the jurisdiction of Pandalam forever. Conceding his request, the Lord shot an arrow in the thick forest, which struck a big banian tree. Spotting that area, Manikanta advised the King to build a suitable temple for Him there. The tree is called ’Saram kuthi Aal" (the tree struck by Arrow).
King of Pandalam made many ornaments and garments for the coronation of Manikanta on His return from the forest, with leopard milk. The Lord refused to wear them and took to Sanyas. On persistent plea from His foster-father, Manikanta suggested that the Tiruvabharanam (Jewellery) may be placed on His idol on the lst of Makara Vishu every year and he would descend on the earth on that day in the form of a Jyoti above Horizon, as a mark of adorning them. The Lord then disappeared. After the exit of Manikanta, the King was very much upset over the parting with the godchild. He immersed himself in fond memories of the Lord, evergreen in his mind, and how His physical presence glorified the Palace. Sage Agasthiya entered the scene and consoled the King and explained in detail about the mission of Sastha to slain Mahishi.
As ordained by the Lord, the King started construction of a temple for Sastha. In the meantime, the Lord wanted to reveal another divine-secret on His descending to the earth as the foster-son of the King. So, when the construction work was in progress, one evening, when the King was in deep meditation over the Lord, as per orders of the Lord, His lieutenants took the King in his meta-physical form to Kantha Mala and dropped him there, When the King woke up, to his pleasant surprise, he felt that he was at Kantha Mala and passed through gold-gravelled streets, awe-sticken by the golden monuments and palaces everywhere, all golden structures around him and entered the sanctum sanctorum, where he saw Manikanta, once his foster-son, seated as the Lord of the universe, on a golden throne studded with precious stones, all ornaments and valuable garments adorning His body, along with His two consorts Poorna and Pushkala.
Construction of the shrine was nearing completion and the King was in perplexed as to how to design the idol for the Lord. Then Sage and divine incarnation, Parasurama appeared before the King in the disguise of an artist, carrying with him many drawings of Lord Sastha in different forms, and asked the King to select one among them, which might suit man's evolution in this Kaliyuga. When the King questioned how there could be various forms of Sastha, while he was first born in the earth only as his foster-son, Agasthiya, who was nearby, advised that the Lord Sastha is Anadhi - with no beginning or end. He has been taking incarnations to save the mankind for protection of the good and destruction of evil, as and when necessity arises, not only in this Kali Yuga but also in earlier yugas Andmanvantharas as well.
The King had earlier obtained instructions from the Lord as to how the shrine should be built. As per the dictates of the Lord, eighteen holy steps were installed signifying the five Indriyas (Senses), eight raghas, three gunas, Vidya (Knowledge) and Avidya (ignorance). Beyond the realm of these 18 steps, the Supreme Lord reveals Himself in Yogic form, with Chinmudra preaching to the devotees that by conquering the eighteen tatwas, the ultimate can be reached and the jeevatmas could merge in Him. The idol of the Lord was placed on a pedestal with Sree Chakram. The Construction commenced on Vrichigam (Karthigai) lst and completed on Dhanus (Margazhi) 30th and on the first of Makaram (Thai), the temple consecration ceremony was solemnitsed. To commemorate these events, Ayyappa devotees observe their austerities during these two months period. Parasurama installed the idol. Agasthiya formulated and conducted the rituals invoking the presence of the omnipotent, omnipresent and omnicient Sastha in the idol. After consecration, King Rajasekara retired to Vanaprastha and attained immortality in course of time