It’s that time of year where Lord Ayyappan worshippers perform strict prayers in preparation for their journey for Sabarimalai Ayyappan Viratham. Devotees who perform the difficult task and seek Lord Ayyappan’s blessings in the temple are said to get their prayers granted.
Every viratham has a role in preparing you for destiny or a path. During the Sabarimalai viratham time, the devotee must abstain from all worldly pleasures. The devotee must separate themselves from all that is good and terrible, as well as what they enjoy and dislike to keep them concentrated on Lord Ayyappan. The Viratha Kalam also prepares both of their minds and bodies for the long journey to Sabarimalai.
Taking viratham during this time is unlike any other. In this regiment, it involves great responsibilities and commitments. There are a few things that the devotee should keep in mind while performing the Sabarimalai Viratham.
Listed below are some of the major requirements you have to fulfil before you begin your journey:
- A devotee must have a Guruswamy to take them through this Viradha Kalam. It is not advisable to take the viratham by yourself as you may seek knowledge of a Guruswamy to guide you through the fasting period and on your travel to Sabarimalai.
- The viratham rituals begin as the devotees wear a Tulasi malai, Rudraksha malai or Spatika malai which is inscribed with Lord Ayyappan’s dollar.
- The devotees are required to wear black to symbolise that they have given up on colours in their lives. You also can wear blue or saffron colour outfits but black is more advisable. Shoes and slippers are not advisable on the journey.
- A devotee must always done a Santhanam, Vibuthi, and Kunkumam on their forehead.
- A devotee who wears a malai is required to perform a pooja twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.
- Throughout the viratham period, people should call the devotee ‘Samy.’ For example, Appa Samy and Thambhi Samy as a form of showing one’s respect towards the devotee.
- The devotee needs to visit the temple at least once a day.
- The food must be fully vegetarian and is advised to avoid onion and garlic. A devotee should eat to satisfy their appetite rather than to fill their tummy.
- The person who’s taking part in this viratham, strictly needs to follow bramacharyam.
- During this period, the devotee is advised to speak less and avoid arguments.
- The devotee should sleep on the floor on a mat and is not allowed to use a pillow for comfort. If necessary, a blanket can be used.
- When fasting, that devotee is not allowed to shave or get their hair trimmed and they may shave if their job requires them to be neat.
- Events such as marriages, newborn ceremonies and deaths should be avoided. You must be living the life of a sanyasi and must abstain from these events. If you need to attend the funeral of your loved one, you must remove the malai and leave it in your pooja room with Lord Ayyappan. When you return, you must immediately shower and have your mother or Guruswamy place the malai on your back.