Mysticpixels

Living life…the cool way !

Archive for December 2007

Thathvamasi – Know yourself first and the rest shall follow…

with 3 comments

Trip of a lifetime – SABARIMALA

Sabarimala - The holi trip to eternity
Seldom does one gets a chance to reclaim his life in a lifetime…Seldom does one gets a chance to put behind all the worries and sorrows and rejuvenate for the rest of life.
Fortunate enough to be a part of such an incident in my life…Its difficult to believe that a pilgrimage could change your mindset so effectively…but believe me, this time i just have done that. Having visited the great sabareesan, i feel so fulfilled and feel the change within.
Im talking about the journey to sabarimala, a great place of worship where lord ‘Ayyapa’ rules. Sabarimala Sri Dharmasastha Temple is the most famous and prominent among all the Sastha Temples. It is believed that “Parasurama Maharshi” who retrieved Kerala from the sea by throwing his axe, installed the idol of Ayyappa at Sabarimala to worship Lord Ayyappa.
Certain customs are to be strictly observed if one has to undertake a pilgrimage to Sabarimala. A pilgrim attending the Mandalapooja should observe austerities for 41 days. During this period, the pilgrim should abstain himself from non- vegetarian habits and cardinal pleasures.
18 Mountains to cover – A trip to remember for a lifetime
December 1, 2007
This travelogue will be there to stay in my memories for a lifetime

‘Kettumurukkal’ – The ‘swamees‘ get ready for the trip

This is the ceremony when the devotees (normally referred to as swamees), get ready for the trip. All the things are packed up into respective bags (Irumudees), which the ‘swamees’ carry along on their head throughout their journey, till the holy darshan of lord ayyapa. The preperation spans days of hardly earned ‘Vruthashudhi’, when swamees are treated equivalent to the lord. In the times of vrutham, swamees follow a tight diet regime with vegetables.
No worry that such a treacherous journey requires such dedication and all the hardships are worth the feast for the mind that follows….
Swamiye saranamayyappa

The journey starts – the power of chants

Erumeli – The holy trip starts
We reached erumeli, by about 10.30 and started camping there for a sleep prior to the jumbo walk marathon :). Erumeli – the starting point of the journey. It is here that the great ‘Vavar’ stays. It is believed that before we start the journey, we should meet vavar, who is the best friend of Lord Ayyappa.
After a brief sleep we all started the climb, by around 3.30 AM afresh. Through the green evergreen forest, in the wake of morning, it was a sense of reclaiming our life! Such great was the fresh air around and the enchanting pilgrims around us in the huge and wild jungle. Slowly and steadily we entered into the forest, enchating ‘saranam vili’, and carrying the ‘irumudi’ in our head, witnessing the wild and inviting beauty of the jungle where once lord ayyappa roamed around eliminating the evils and establishing truth. The start of the expedition was very interesting and full of enthusiasm. The time passed by and it was around 9.30, when we reached our first camping point, the ‘Kaalaketti Aashramam’.It is believed that once lord shiva has been here and rested for while and tied his beloved companion ‘Nandi’ in a huge tree that stills stands tall gigantically here in this heavenly place.
We were all drenched and badly needed rest and this was the right place to recharge. We all spent sometime, relaxing and taking a small nap after a satisfying breakfast. But it was after the resting time, things went around badly for me. I coudlnt even touch my feet on the ground after i wake up after a small sleep. My feet were all badly swollen and pain was simply not tolerable. But the pain vanishes when the ultimate aim of the expedition comes into mind – ‘Meeting the lord in his place, to get life in this material world sanctified and to leave all sins behind to lead a new life’. I managed to touch my feet on the ground and still a long way ahead to fulfill our dreams. Tired and exhausted we walked past the ashramam, towards the great source of water which would give us the energy and totally recharge us to carry forward our journey. It was the ‘Azhutha River’, and a holi dip in that river could take away all the tireness from you and rejuvenate your body for another treacherous walk uphill towards the lord. We had a great bath there and picked up a pebble, which we had to put in a small hill ‘Kallidaam-kunnu’ in our journey forward which was customary, and i was believed that lord ayyappa, threw the devil ‘Mahishi’ from the same Azhutha to the hill of Kallidaamkunnu, and hence the customary drop of pebble in that hill. There already was a hill of pebbles that has been formed by the time-to-time customary act of pilgrims.
After a rejuvenating bath and lunch afterward from Azhutha, we started our journey to the toughest of our encounters with the god of hills. Waiting for us was the wild twists and turns of ‘Inchappaarakotta’. The hardest of trek ive ever had in my whole life was here. The physically demanding climb through the steep slopes and the downhill walks were all very exhausting. We had to reach the next camp before dusk or else we would be in danger of being exposed to the wild and we have just seen some fresh footprints of tigers near a stream that was flowing there, which made my heart skip a beat. I was fortunate enough to have some skilled trekkers with us in the form of my brother and his friends and i have been drawing inspiration and courage from them from time to time during the draining walk. At last, by around 7.00 Pm we made it to the nearest camp of ‘Puthussery’, and i was the last to reach there with my brother accompanying me. There were roofed camps for all ‘Ayyappas’ and were provided with food and water, of course we had to pay for that.

The taming of king of hills starts …

Karimala – The dangerous twists
Spending the night in that camp, we had to start afresh tomorrow morning to face the most toughest of our journey – ‘The Karimala’, which could also be called the king of all hills with its 90 degree steep slopes and unbelievably twisting and whirling narrow paths. After a nights pretty good sleep and mind full of desire to meet the lord of forest, it was the very few moments in my life when my mind was fully concentrated in a single objective, and nothing else came into my mind as long as i was moving through the dense forest in search of a holi vision. The next morning after having a bath in the nearby stream, we started off to climb the king of all hills, the ‘karimala’. We had to refrain ourselves from looking back as it would send us twisting down…once we see the dangerous paths we have already climbed upon. In the middle of karimala, my father and brother had to put on the slippers as they couldnt manage to walk further barefoot. Determined not to use slippers, i was still barefoot and i was struggling to put each step to the thorns and sharp stones that were piercing into my feet.
The trip seemed to be unending for me and my younger brother, as we were completely drenched and exhausted. At times, our seniors used to boost our confidence and we moved forward with the help of some rigorous enchanting of those holi words. But there was a time, when there was no energy within us to even chant those magical words. But we moved slowly and steadily barefoot and showed a lot of character, though we were the slowest of climbers, we were steady enough, taking timely breaks.
By around  midday, we reached the top of karimala, and after a small rest, we headed our way towards the holi river ‘Pamba’, by covering the plains of ‘Valiyaanavattom’ and ‘Cheriyaanavattom’, where it is said to be the home of elephants in non seasonal pilgrimage times.

Pamba – A sigh of relief  …

Closer to the lord
We reached Pamba by around 3.00 Pm and had lunch from a restaurant nearby, before starting our ascend toward ‘Sannidhaanam’, which is where, the lord resides. Right after our lunch, we started our ascend, by around 4.30 and seeing the overwhelming crowd, i was amazed by the holiness and charisma that the lord possesses to draw such enormous number of devotees. It just helped to overflow my mind with devotion.

In SANNIDHANAM

A life becomes sanctified !
Overcoming all the hurdles and hardships, we reached the sannidhaanam, and the holi vision of the lord’s golden idol, made my eyes fill with tears and i was drawn into a world of eternal peace. That sight will be in my mind for a lifetime and everytime i visit the lord, ill refine my devotion and respect to the power of god and the belief of existence of a supreme power always reigns my innerself. I prayed twice and prayed to my minds satisfaction. Never has i got such a golden chance to witness the ultimate power of universe this close. I will never forget this for my life and it just gave me a new life and gave me that platform to start afresh and leave behind all the woes and struggles in my life. Now i was looking very ambitiously into my life forward, and i give all the credit to the ultimate power to keep me going amidst all the miseries and times of despair.

The descend after HARIVARASANAM

The lord sleeps and we leaves…
We started our descend from the mountain lord’s home by latenight 11.30 with a lighter mind ever, leaving behind all miseries and filled with hope.
This trip will never be forgotten as this gave me a message for life. Persevering through the hardships and standing tall on the moment of despair will bring something to cheer about and the mental strength constitutes largely to the way of life that is awaiting you. You decide how you live and you are the one who alone can save you from all miseries of he world…

SWAMIYE SARANAMAYYAPPA !

Advertisements

Written by Ranjith

December 25, 2007 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Life, Travelogues

The lord of forest – A trip to the great SABAREESAN

leave a comment »

I post this with great satisaction and pain…..:)
Satisfaction for my inner self and pain for my body 🙂

Written by Ranjith

December 4, 2007 at 12:47 pm

Posted in Life