Ayyappa Deeksha is a 40 day long deeksha | Details of who can take deeksha, padi puja and irumudi rituals
At the onset of winter devotees of Ayyappa begin their 40 day long Ayyappa Deeksha.Â Number of people taking Ayyappa deeksha is increasing every year.Â Disciplined life style is one of the reasons of interest for taking this deeksha.
Who can take this deeksha?
Males of any age can take this deeksha.Â Girls below 10 years of age and women above 50 years are only eligible for Maladharana.
Names given to Swamis, who take the deeksha â€“
- Kanne swamy: Devotees who take deeksha for the first time.
- Katti swamy: Devotee who take deeksha for second consecutive year.
- Ganta swamy: Persons who take deeksha for the third consecutive year.
- Gada swamy: Devotees who take the deeksha for the fourth year in a row.
- Peru swamy: Devotees who take deeksha for fifth year.
- Guru Swamy: Devotees who completed five years of deeksha and are taking deeksha for sixth year.Â Â Other swamys have to take their deeksha in the presence of Guru swamy with the blessings of their parents.Â Devotees will have to wear any two of Tulasi, gandham, rudraksha or spatika maala.Â Saranughosha is believed to protect the life of devotees and gives success in life.
Padi puja: Padi puja worshipping the 18 steps that take the devotees to the proximity of Ayyappa.Â Every devotee who took deeksha will have to hold this puja once during the 40 day long deeksha. Flowers and fruits are used in large numbers in this puja.Â As the prices of fruits and flowers increased, 4 to 5 swamys are now joining to hold this padipuja.Â Â Minimum expense for this puja is Rs10,000.Â Religious devotion is what that matters than the money spent on the puja.
Irumudi: After the completion of 40 days deeksha, devotees tie the irumudi in a temple. Irumudi is a specially designed bag with two compartments.Â One of the compartments will contain the things that are to be presented to the God and the other contains the things that are needed in the journey. Irumudi contains 41 things like coconut, honey, kumkum, turmeric, rice, pulses and weight about 5 Â½ kg.Â Mudrakaaya is the most important thing in the irumudi.Â A hold is made in a coconut and it is filled with ghee.Â Then it is closed with lakka or sealing wax. This is believed to be Lord Shiva.Â Relatives and friends give bhiksha to the ayyappa devotees.Â Devotees keep the irumudi on their head and catch it with one hand.Â They begin their journey from home saying â€˜Saranam Ayyappaâ€™.Â Once they come out of their homes, they should not turn back.Â They should believe that Lord Ayyappa will take care of everything.
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