Swami Ayyappan Saranam
Pandyas were ruling in many parts of Travancore and the descendants of Pandyas dynasty belonging to Chempazhanattu Kovil, living in Sivagiri were given the right to rule the country of Pandalam, by the King of Travancore eight hundreds years ago. King Rajasekara was the direct descendant of this dynasty.
King Rajasekara was very talented, courageous and just in his deed. However, the king was very unhappy that he had no children and his subjects were also worried that he had no heir to inherit his kingdom. At the request of the queen, both of them used to pray to Lord Shiva for blessing them with a child.
Mahishasuran, Son of Ramban, undertook a severe penance towards God. Lord Brahma tried every tactics to stop his penance, but having failed in his attempts, appeared before the Asura and asked what boon he wanted, from him. Mahishasuran asked Lord Brahma to give him a boon by which nobody in the earth would be able to kill him, and Lord Brahma conferred the Boon on him. Mahishasuran, armed with his boon, began to commit atrocities and murders on the earth and terrorised people.
The Devas seeing the atrocities committed by Mahishasuran came to the conclusion that only a divine power could kill him and approached Chandikadevi pleading to put an end to Mahishasura who was misusing the boon given by Lord Brahma. Chandikadevi set out on her mission and killed Mahishasura in a duel, on earth.
Mahishi daughter of Karamba, brother of Ramban, took a severe penance towards god in order to take revenge on the Devas, who were responsible for the death of her brother. Lord Brahma appeared and offered to confer on Mahishi any boon expects that of immortality. Mahishi asked Lord Brahma to bless her with a boon by which nobody, except the son created out of the union of Shiva (Hari) and Vishnu (Haran), would be able to kill her. Lord Brahma gave the boon and Mahishi went to Devaloka and started harassing the Devas.
The Devas once incurred the wrath of Durvasa Muni, who cursed them to go grey. On the advice of Lord Mahavishnu that this curse could be removed only by administering Amruth taken from Palazhi, the Devas took it from the Palazhi, but the Asuras snatched it from them. Lord Mahavishnu in the disguise of Mohani went to the Asuras and got back the Amruth and gave it t to the Devas. Lord Shiva then went to see Lord Mahavishnu who was in the guise of a Mohini succumbed to her beauty and out of their union, was born a child. Lord Shiva adorned the Child’s neck with a golden chain and ordered that the child be entrusted to the care of his childless disciple, king Rajasekara of Pandalam.
One day King Rajasekara went for hunting in the forest adjoining the banks of River Pampa. While taking rest after the hunting was over, he heard a child crying from somewhere in the forest. He went round and reached the banks of River Pampa and found an abandoned child .He was in a dilemma whether to take the child to the Palace or leave it there itself, a Sonya’s appeared and told the King to take the child to the Palace and that the child belonged to Kshatriya dynasty capable of mitigating all sufferings. The Sanyasi further stated that since the Child had a gold chain around his neck, his name be called “MANIKANDAN” and when the child completed twelve years, the King would know his divine history.
The King and the Queen, having prayed to Lord Shiva, for a child, were very happy that they had been blessed with a child. The people also felt happy that an heir to inherit the Kingdom. However, the Diwan of the Kingdom who was thinking that he would be the next crown after Rajasekara was worried.
When the child, named Manikandan, began to grow in the Palace, everything began to prosper in kingdom. He was taught all martial arts and sastras and the Guru was surprised at his brilliance and agility and the extraordinary talents. The Guru came to the conclusion that he was not an ordinary child, but a divine power.
In the meanwhile, the Queen gave birth to a male child and the child was named Raja Rajan. King Rajasekara, impressed with the talents of Manikandan, decided to crown him, treating him as his eldest son. The Diwan started devising plans to prevent Manikandan from being crowned. He tried various methods failed in all these.
Having failed in all his attempts to kill Manikandan, the Diwan approached the Queen and told her that she had her own son, it was not correct to crown a person who came from the forest. He further told the Queen since Arthasastra itself has justified any misdeed if it was done to extract a good thing, he would suggest that the Queen should pretend as if suffering from severe headache and he would make the physician tell that only a tigress’ milk should be brought to cure the Queen. The Queen, became a prey to the Diwan’s plot and agreed to do what he told, so that her son could succeed the King to the throne.
The King understood that it was an impossible task to get a tigress’ milk finally agreed to Manikandan to go to the forest .On his way he clashes with Mahishi. Mahishi knowing that the divine power dancing on her body was none other than the son of Hari and Haran, prostrated before Manikandan and died.
In the forest Lord Shiva appeared before him. As stated by Lord Shiva, all female devas in the disguise of a tigresses and male Devas, as tigers with Lord Devendran as the tiger on whom Manikandan rode, they started their journey to the Palace. The Sanyasi who appeared at the forest at the time of King Rajasekara visit there when he heard a child’s cries, again appeared at the palace and told King Rajasekara the Identity of Manikandan and proceeds to Sabbatical where the King Rajasekara laid the foundation stone for the building Sabarimala Temple. In addition to the myths and legends about the temple and the deity, the serial will also focus on the devotion of the thousands of pilgrims who visit the temple every year.
Asianet Telecast’s “Swami Ayyappan Saranam” on Every Monday through Friday at 9.15 PM