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How to observe Sabarimala Mandala Vratham?
November 17,2011
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All Ayyappa bhakthas all over India get themselves in Ayyappa bhakhi as soon as tamil Month Karthigai(nov-dec) begins. For the sake of Ayyappa/ayyappa vratha they put around their neck mala,recite ayyappa namas with intense bhakthi,and observe vratha. A feeling is there in their mind uppermost that to ward of kali dosha of this kaliyuga it is enough if one worships Ayyappa.The number of pilgrims going to sabarimala pilgrimage is on the increase year after year. An ayyappa bhakta who observes very strictly follows and observe the ayyappa vratha  is considered as having full blessings of ayyappa, is seen as ayyappa avathar (incarnation) himself and respected by others is a wellknown fact.

The vrathas (AUSTERITIES) tobe followed  by those who visit sabarimala by wearing mala:

1.Those who wish to visit sabarimala  should the mala either on 1st of tamil month karthigai or before 19th of that month. One need not see the auspiciousness of the day if one is to wear mala on 1st of karthigai. To wear mala on other days other than 1st one should see the auspiciousness of that day. In any case one should observe viratha for 41 days.
2.THE Mala may be made of either tulasi beads or rudraksha beads and should have 54 beads with a dollar of ayyappa attached to it.
3. With the blessings of one’s parents, by performing a pooja in a temple by a guruswami and and to be worn through his hands. If guruswami is not available, put he the mala at the feet of god, perform pooja through an archaka(priest}, and considering ayyappa as guru, one can wear by himself. If any of these are not possible one should consider his mother as a representative of god, and after getting her blessing, one should wear the mala through her hands.
4. After wearing one should not get anger, jealousyand enemity. One should move with neighbours without enemity and with love, friendship, and humility. One should see all creations as god himself.
5. One should take bath both before sunrise and in the evening in cold water. One should visit nearby temple or in one,s own house recite ayyappa saranams and pray.
6.One shold wear dhoti made of blue or black or green or saffron (kavi) colour.
7. Brahmacharya vratha (celibacy) should be strictly and fully adhered to.
8.Mala should not be removed from the neck for any reason or so whatever.
9. If there is death to any of blood reated relations, first go to guruswami and through him only mala should be removed and then only join in the condolences.
10.Due to any reason mala is removed one should not visit sabarimala that year.
11.Should not participate in girl attaining puberty functions or child birth functions.
12. Completely give up drinking alcohol,eating non vegetarian food and smoking,
13.  One can eat in another ayyappa vratha observing devotees house and in all other houses only milk and fruits can be taken.
14.   During the vratha period if ladies of that house get menses, then only after seven days only eood cooked by them can be taken.
15.   Do not wear shoes/chappals durinf vratha period.
16.  Kanni swamy(those who go to sabarimala for the first time) can perform poojas in their in their houses and perform annadhanam for ayyappa devotees and poor people.
17.   All ayyappa devotees either male or female one comes across should be considered as ayyappa/malikapurathamman respectively.
18.  Before stating a conversation with others first say swami saranam and then talk. Before taking leave of at the end of conversation once again say swami saranam.   
19.  Pooja to the Irumudi kattu(the bundle with two parts to be carried on the hear) should performed at the residence of guruswamy or in a temple.
20.  Before commencing sabarimala yatra one should not say I take leave of you with any one.
21.  While bathing at Pampa river one should think of one’s deceased forefathers and pray for their sathgathi and then take bath.
22.  After the yathra is over before entering the home with Irumudi in one’s head  break a cocanut at the entrance of the house and then only entr the house.
23. Perform puja for the Irumudi kattu, open the kattu and distribute the prasadams.
24.  Having completed the yatra in a nice and sweetway, by reciting the manthra,mala should be removed by one’s mother or guruswamy. It should be immersed in the sandal paste,kept before Ayyappa picture and deeparathana perfrmed. With this the vratham comes to an end.

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