VISION & MISSION
Sabarimala is not a place.
Sabarimala is an experience.
DDeep inside the verdant forests of Western Ghats is SABARIMALA, the abode of Lord Ayyappa. More than 15 million pilgrims from India and abroad throng this hilly shrine annually. The annual pilgrimage begins in the month of November and ends in January. The temple is open on the first five days of every month in the Malayalam Era Calendar.
Pilgrims trek and brave steep and rocky climbs to reach Sabarimala which is situated amidst eighteen hillocks. As they reach the precincts of the shrine they realize that they are not different from the Lord Himself.
THE SABARIMALA YATRA AND THE EIGHTEEN STEPS
The pilgrimage begins with the devotee putting on a beaded chain and observing rigorous penance of 41 days, with total vegetarian food and abstinence from worldly pleasures. Purged of all impurities, physically and spiritually, the pilgrim prepares himself for the yatra. Right from the day the pilgrim puts on the beaded chained, symbolizing the penance, he is addressed as Ayyappa. The faithful becomes one with the faith. Man and God are no longer two entities. The Chandogya Upanishad concept of Tat Tvam Asi or Thou Art That is the essence of the Sabarimala pilgrimage and the Ayyappa cult.
Tat Tvam Asi welcomes every Ayyappa who completes the arduous yatra, climbs the 18 golden steps to the parikrama of the temple and in front of the abode of the Lord. The pilgrimage is complete when the devotee stands with folded hands chanting “Swamiye Saranam; Saranam Ayyappa” in front of the Ayyappa murthy and realizes the God within himself.
Ayyappa and You are one. Sabarimala the abode of Ayyappa is your home!
Three questions to all Ayyappas
- Will any devotee allow his own premises to be littered by anybody? Then, Is it a right act to litter the abode of Lord Ayyappa, whom he worships the most.
- In Sabaraimala all devotees are Ayyappas. If so, is it right to ask another Ayyappa to clear the waste generated or left by you at the very abode of Lord Ayyappa.
- All our karmas are being watched by the omnipresent and omniscient Lord. Then will it be possible to attain Moksha by performing irresponsible pilgrimage
- The devotees shall only take a holy dip in the river Pampa and they shall not use oil or soaps. They shall also not leave their attire or apparel in the holy river Pampa on their way back.
- All devotees shall preach and motivate other devotees of the importance of following the above mantras and make them an active associate in this holy movement.
Keep the Abode of Ayyappa clean. Keep your Home clean.
Littering the abode of Ayyappa is Sacrilege.
Ayyappa is omnipresent. He is watching you; every word and every deed and every step!
Keeping Sabarimala and its precincts and the paths leading to it clean, is part of the penance of the pilgrims (Cleanliness is Godliness).
Saptha Karmas For Purity
- Pilgrimage is a penance. Be frugal. Bring with you what is most essential. Prepare your Irumudi without plastics and non-degradable materials.
- No waste to be left in the abode of the Lord and the sacred paths leading to it. Carry back with you what you have not used. Take back the waste you generate.
- Devote at least one hour for cleaning the holy river Pampa, its surroundings and Sannidhanam. Srmadhanis service to Ayyappa Swamy!.
- Polluting sacred river Pampa is a sin. Avoid oil and soap when you dip in the holy waters. Do not throw clothes or other materials into it.
- Always keep toilets clean after use. Don’t defecate or urinate along the pilgrim paths & its surroundings.
- Pilgrims who arrive at Sabarimala after undergoing penance are expected to show a great deal of patience while waiting in queues and should avoid other alternatives to avoid queues.
- Practice and preach the precepts: Cleanliness is Godliness. Tat Tvam Asi : Thou Art That