Today is Vrischikam 1.It is the beginning of Mandala Vrutha (voluntary act of continence) in connection with Sabarimala pilgrimage.However,this time most of the Ayyappa devotees are anxious about the recent developments in Sabarimala.
Read on the first part of series of articles on Sabarimala by M.Rajesh
Lord’s abode is not a place for your show-offs.Police,it is not a battle ground to use your power. Ayyappa doesn’t require any protection from you any one!
It is a paradox to watch some people who are trying to act as protectors of the lord.
Sabarimala Ayyappa temple is the unique place of worship. One of the rarest forest temples in the world with tantric worshipping system.
It’s all about true devotion,purity of mind and body.Ayyapa devotees take strenous vratha (pious observance) ahead of their Sabarimal pilgrimage.
So,it is a destination of millions of devotees who try to reach the level of Godly qualities in their outlook and deeds.( Lord sees only one or two devotees as per the astrological analysis,every year. )Feminists and activists can’t take this faith issue as light as they are performing a street play or campaign.
Do you find any sort of discrimination in the name of God? We can all support gender equality and women empowerment in its true spirit.
I believe that there is no discrimination at all,here in the temple.And,importantly the Hindu faith believe in gender equality since time immemorial.Lord Siva has ardhanariswara (half man and half woman) form as well.
No gender discrimination
But,actually these activists are diverting from the real issues of women and misguiding people in the name of women’s rights.
Prior to the controversial Supreme Court verdict,women used to enter Sabarimala temple,except in the age group between 10 to 50.
During every festival season we find Malikappurams (small girls and senior women devotees).These girls and senior women devotees get great respect from the public as well as temple authorities.So,gender bias is a fabricated testimonial in the case of Sabarimala.And,as per centuries old faith,Lord Ayyappa,the deity at the hill shrine is celibate.
It is not like other temples.This is the only reason, based on temple faith for barring women belong to a particular age group to the temple.
Men are also following minimum 41 days vrutha prior to their darshan.
During this period , it is believed that they are observing celibacy,as per the faith.
Deity at Sabarimala
As the deity at Sabarimala is Naishtika Brahmachari( eternal celibate),the age old system can be followed. There is no genuine case of protest from women for the entry into Sabarimal temple, except the isolated activism-motivated legal petitions.Article 26(b) provides right to every religious cult to “manage its own affairs in matter of religion.”The Sunnis in Muslim religion do not allow women in their mosques.
Constitutional Rights and failure of gov
Some activists are distorting constitutional rights that every citizen can enter to any places like hotels,parks,shops and other public places.Temples are not mentioned as public temples as per the Article 15(2) of the constitution.
Nobody visits a temple as he or she visits parks and shops.
It is all about misrepresentation of facts that led to the SC verdict.Nobody can blame the verdict because the court will take into consideration documents and constitutional principle.
Here,the legal documents, submitted by the state government are also supporting the entry of women of all ages to Sabarimala.It is the failure of convincing communication from the Devaswom authorities in front of the court to state the unusual nature of the temple and it’s deity. The Devaswom administration failed to establish that the restriction of women of particular age group is “essential and integral.”
Women in Kerala have been following the tradition without complaints.And,remember that women in Kerala are well-educated.They have good sense of responsibility for maintaining harmony, not only in their family but in their society,too.They are quite aware of their fundamental rights.Sabarimala is not a place where activists with agenda and models or actress to prove their adventurous activism.It is not climbing of Mount Everest and get a sense of feel,that “I have conquered”
It is a holy spot,where true devotees try to get a sense of spiritual enlightenment. Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa is the only mantra heard there,loudly.And, when they reach the abode after climbing the 18 holy steps,tears break down from the eyes of devotees ,their hearts filled with unique joy thanks to the darshan.It is such a tranquility,attained amid a huge mass of worshippers.This state is only achieved ,if there is fearless environment.
Not the sound of police boot or slogans help the true devotees.
It is not a place for political games.Once,the SC verdict of women entry came out, the Devaswom board president’s demand was to allot 100 acre of forest land to provide more facilities to accommodate young ladies too.
What was the intention behind such a demand?
.There are allegations that it was pre-planned demand to exploit the forest resources.However,the proposal was denied.Unscientific concrete buildings are not a solution to bring development in Sabarimala. We have experienced the cruel face of natural disasters .Recent floods taught us many lessons of preserving our natural resources.So,environmental scientists are also warning the use of more forest land for Sabarimala development.
The government has its own role in this activity
It is not a place for police action.True devotees are anxious.Their sentiments have been hurt
And,as social reformists and activists can do many things. Many working women are tortured at workplaces. Huge bias is the unwritten rule of many government as well as private firms. There are many competent women to lead many developmental projects.Academically and professionally ,excellent women are being sidelined as the result of political interference.Feminist warriors can research male dominance,there.
Women are afraid of travelling alone in late evenings. Discrimination in job position and payment is another issue, here in most progressive Kerala.When you travel through out Kerala, it is very difficult to find clean toilets and fresh rooms on highways.There is no women-friendly systems on the move.There are many such areas to be focused by women activists.
and politicians . Otherwise, your actions would spoil the confidence of true devotees.
(To be continued)