Archive for the 'Spirituality' Category

Sabarimala – The Pinnacle of Spirituality

Today we witnessed again as usual the great celestial light called the “Makara Jyothi ” [thanks to the TV Channels] when the Lord Ayyappa ‘ s temple opened for the evening puja culminating in an  eight week ‘ s season of  great religious fervor and piety when more than 500,000 pilgrims converge on the sabari hills bare foot negotiating steep hills chanting Ayyappa mantras and shlokas to express their spiritual thoughts for the God of the Kaliyuga . The appearance of the  “Jyothi ” exactly at the appointed time every year on the hill top over looking the Sabari valley defies all logic and scientific evidence .  Many attempts were made in the past to verify this great spectacle but of no avail .

It is with great nostalgia that I remember the seven trips I made to the Sabari Hills during 1949 to 1956  along with my father when I was a school boy. Those days ,we had to walk for 25 miles over difficult terrain and it used to take 3 days . The halts in between in thick jungle where wild elephants roamed freely and the invigorating baths in the  ” Pamba river” before the final climb to the temple and all other rituals associated with the trip are still fresh in my mind. I could make this pilgrimage three times more during the eighties and nineties and during my last trip,I could take my son also along with us . Needless to say, he thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Of course , many new facilities had come up by now  and it is only a seven miles walk from the road head now to the temple.

What is the relevance of  Sabari Mala pilgrimage  in the present age of technology and scientific  temper and outlook? .We see people of all walks of life- celebrities , politicians , business men , scholars and the common man all make the trip every year without fail from many parts of South India . They observe abstinence from material comforts for 41 days [many of them] before undertaking the pilgrimage . Besides giving vent to the latent spirituality in the pilgrims ,the trip also makes for an excellent relaxation and help everyone to rewind and rejuvenate – a very healthy habit for both the soul and the body .  One is also brought down to the mother nature and this helps practise humility  and brotherhood . For those who are still not initiated, it is defenitely worth a Try!!.