Sabarimala: A tale of continued attack on Hindu Dharma
I have already opined in one of my earlier columns that Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala is nothing but legalised trespass you can read it here: https://indsamachar.com/weekend-with-dr-jagadish/ .
Friends neither this is first time nor it will be the last time “Dharma-Sasta Ayyappa” (keeper of Dharma: Ayyappa’s other name) will be attacked.
Ayyappa is Sabari-Girisha, meaning lord of Sabari range of hills. Before independence, these lush green forests were under control of british and they converted much of the accessible foothill areas into plantations. These plantations were conveniently handed over to church run organisations and christians, who converted most of the worker class people there to christianity, when british left.
The first attack on Ayyappa was in 1950s. Sabarimala temple was ransacked, gutted in arson, the original Pooja moorthi (made of stone) was deliberately broken by design, with head and left hand separated from the moorthi. The investigations into this desecration led to the doors of church run orgs and christians but was hushed up and never made public. According to my friend Shankar Nair a retired electrical engineer who served in surrounding areas of Sabarimala during those days as a young man, Communists won the election in 1957 on a promise that they will make the findings of the investigations public but did not keep their promise after winning (betrayal, so typical of Commies)! The present Ayyappa Moorthi is of panchaloha and was consecrated in 1950 itself by the bhaktas led by few great people of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The more recent attack was in 1983, a more sinister one. A christian run newspaper claimed that a 2000 year old cross was found in front of Nilakkal Mahadeva Temple in Ayyappa Garden (Poonkavanam) and a cross was planted there. It was attributed to St Thomas a disciple of Christ. Soon many christians started going on pilgrimage wearing a mala like Ayyappas do and carrying their own small crosses on their shoulders there, the road to Mahadeva temple was called St Thomas road and Sabari-Giri as St Thomas Mount. Dear friends imagine & understand the depth of conceit here as Vatican later clarified that ST Thomas never entered India in his lifetime? On top of this Kerala, government granted a hectare of land in Nilakkal for construction of church but was fiercely opposed by Hindus under the leadership of Kummanam Rajasekharan. After 6 months of struggle, Kerala govt and church representatives agreed to shift the venue from Nilakkal to 4 kms away inside forest. Today they have 58 acres of nearby forest land under that church and enjoy govt patronage and free occupancy while Ayyapa temple continues to be looted by Congress(read Christian) and Communist (read atheist) governments of the state. The deception, deceit and conceit continue with church pilgrims going to that church wearing malas and carrying a cross aping Ayyappas going to Sabarimala.
Note: It is common knowledge now that the cross was planted there a week earlier by missionaries in Ayyappa’s Poonkavanam of Nilakkal Mahadeva temple.
In the meantime some educated communists came up with the theory that Ayyappa was an Avolokiteshvara of Buddhist pantheon of gods and the vrat of Ayyapppas is a modified version of similar Buddhist practices.!!
In the last five years, I have seen a Malayalam pamphlets distributed by missionary organisations; claiming that Ayyappa murdered Christian St Sebastian when he came to India. Truth: St Sebastian was killed by roman emperor Diocletian. I have seen pamphlets distributed by christians along the hilly stretch enroute Sabarimala, that Ayyappas vrat and pilgrimage is incomplete without visiting Arthungal Church in Alappuzha district and the malas (rosary beads worn by the Ayyappas) must be returned there. I find it surprising when such a thing never existed even five years ago and unfortunately; we have very accommodative pusillanimous Hindus like Rahul Eashwar almost agreeing to these machiavellian approach of the missionary churches around Sabarimala. Today I notice Ayyappas coming from Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka visit the church and return their rosary there!!!
The question we have to ask is this: Why such opportunistic, duplicitous, cunning attacks are made against Sabarimala and Dharma-Sasta Ayyappa? on one hand they attack directly like in 1950 and on the other hand through courts usurp our practices and try to make them their own!
The answer is simple yet complex. In recent decades nothing comes close to the Ayyapas vrat and pilgrimage in bringing equality among Hindus, breaking the caste and class barrier. Every devotee is an Ayyappa himself, every man rich or poor, celebrity or commoner has to carry the Ira-mudi and trek through the jungle path upto Sabarimala to complete the vrat he set for himself. Dharma-Sasta Ayyappa has restored dharma according to the lowest of the lowest class who follow him. I personally know a man who was a chronic smoker and alcoholic who gave up both when he first started wearing mala, today is his sixth mala and he wants to be a guruswami one day. I know moslems who have kept the vrat and have changed after pilgrimage, they say it was a spiritually cathartic experience and they feel closer to the god. This has not gone unnoticed by our women folk. They understand and appreciate when their man says he is going to be an Ayyappa and will keep the vrat. They help the man of the house when he takes that decision. They themselves sing the lullaby for Dharma-Sasta to sleep at night like a mother would for her child. They will never want to break and will never attempt to break the Naistika Bhramacharya of Dharma-Sasta Ayyappa.
Today we know judicial activism and ignorance regarding Sabarimala along with gutter like ultra-feminist activism of media has gone nowhere. The number of actual women devotees who tried entering Sabarimala is “ZERO”. Month after month of activism could bring only four non devotees (two atheists a christian and a moslem) to the door steps of Dharma-Sasta Ayyappa. Hindu women who are real keepers of Dharma have given a resounding slap to the judiciary which declared that non entry of women in fertile age inside Dharma-Sasta’s temple as discrimination and misogyny and overruled it by their decision. Women Devotees of Dharma-Sasta Ayyapa have upheld Dharma over Constitution and its arbitrary usage against Dharma. I thank them from the bottom of my heart and every practicing Hindu should.
Sabarimala today is a beacon of Dharma; an evidence to how Dharma guarded by Dharma-Sasta himself, will sustain despite continued everyday attack by adharma & adharmics.
May every man, become a Ayyappa and uphold Dharma
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa
Swamiye Saranam Ayyappa.
Dr Jagadish J Hiremut is a superspecialist medical doctor based out of Bangalore, a medical author, blogger, medical technology expert and is a proponent of Value Based Ethical Medical practice.
You can follow him on twitter @Kaalateetham or mail to [email protected]