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November 17,2011
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Mahishi sister of demon mahishasuran gave lot of trouble to devalokanm and boolokam. Thinking that devas were solely responsible for the death of her brother mahishasuran,she decided to take revenge on them. To get the necessary power to accomplice that task she undertook a penance  praying Brahma. Brahma appeared before her and asked to seek whatever boon(varam).  She asked him to bestow a boon by the strength of which should not get death by anyone else except by a son born between shiva and Vishnu. She received the boon as per her wish. With the boon in her hand she started giving torture more ferociously to devas in devalokam and humanbeings  in boolokam.

Unable to bear the sufferings,devas approached shiva and appealed to him. Lord ayyappa was born in boolokam to Mohini as vaishnava jyothi a combination shiv and Vishnu characteristics. When Lord was crying as a baby on the banks of pampa river, Rajasekar a     pandya king and ruler of Pandalam felt that God has given this baby as a gift to him,he being childless. He took the baby to Pandalam and handed it over to his wife and felt happy. There was a small bell around the the neck of the baby,and the baby was named  Manikandan and Ayyappan. With the advent of Bhagawan queen also became pregnant.

In due course of time queen also delivered a baby. The baby was named Rajarajan.Because of the advent of Manikandan only,the king understood, that all things are happening to him. So King Rajasekar decided to do pattabishegam to Manikandan. Having heard this the minister felt if Manikandan becomes king he wii lose all his influence and power. So he decides to kill Manikandan. But all his efforts fail. He makes dubious plan through the palace Vaidyas askin them to tell the king that Queen’s disease will be cured only by bringing Tiger’s milk. Manikandan proceeds to forest to bring Tiger’s milk. Devas who were waiting for the arrival of lord,did pujas to lord at Ponnambalamedu and tell him their sufferings in the hands of Mahishi. Manikandan goes to devalokam and conquers Mahishi and throws to earth and Mahishi falls at Azhutha river bed.

Lord dances on her body and Mahishi dies. Mahishi prays for repentence and expresses her desire to be the wife of Lord. But lord tells her that it is not possible as He is observing Brahmacharya vratha ,and makes her to stay at the left side of his abode with the name Malikapurathamma.

Having freed from the tortures of Mahishi,Devas felt happy and offer various prayers and puja to Manikandan. Then all of them transform themselves as tigers, to accomplish the task of lord go to Pandalam. Seinfg the arrival of lot of tigers people of Pandalam get freightened. Having understood the fame and power of Ayyapa, the Queen and the minister ask him to pardon them.

Manikandan says that their in no need to pardon them.”the reason for which he was born in this world and the task for which he was born is well accomplished and so I am going back to devalokam”. The king said to him that in remembrance of Ayyappa’s stay with them he wished to build a temple and asked Ayyappa to suggest a suitable for that. Manikanda takes a arrow and shhotss the same by telling where that arrow fells on the earth the temple should be raised. That arrow fell in Sabari malai.. There facing east build a temple for him with 18 steps and next to him a temple for Malikapurthu amman should be built “ says Manikandan. Saying so Manikandan alias Ayyappa left for Devalokam.

On the orders of Manikandan and in consultation with Agasthya muni, the king under his direct supervision, without food and sleep constructed a beautiful with 18 steps.

Every year lakhs and lakhs of people,without any difference of caste and creed,wear mala, observe 48 days of viratha(austerity), come to sabarimala,climb the 18 steps, and pray Lord Ayyappa. Every year on the Makara  Sankaranthi day, Lord Ayyappa bestows His blessings by appearing in the form of JYOTHI.

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