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8-Rajasekar and Ayyappaa

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Rajasekar and Ayappaa

There lived a King named Rajasekar. Once he went for hunting in the forest adjoining the banks of River Pampaa, along with his men. He started hunting courageously in the dense forest which was a sanctuary for many wild animals. After the hunting was over, Rajasekar advised his men to take rest and sat there entertaining himself with the sight of the natural greenish beauty and the waterfalls, of the forest. At that time, he heard a child crying from somewhere in the forest. Surprised, he went round and came to the banks of River Pampaa. There he saw a beautiful and Divine child (Ayyappaa) kicking its legs and crying out. He was in a dilemma whether to take the child to the Palace or leave it there itself.

While the King was engrossed in his thoughts, a Sanyaasee appeared before him and told the King that he need not be afraid of the child and take him to the Palace and that the child belonged to Kshatriya dynasty capable of mitigating all sufferings. The Sanyaasee further stated that since the child had a gold bell around his neck, his name be called Manikandan and when the child will have completed twelve years, the King would know his Divine history. After uttering these words, the Sanyaasee disappeared.

The King and the Queen, having prayed to Lord Shiv, for the child, were very happy and brought the child to their Palace. The people also felt happy that an heir to inherit the Kingdom after the King, has been found.

When the child Manikandan began to grow in the Palace, everything began to prosper in the kingdom. He was taught all martial arts and Shaastra 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. After completing his education Manikandan approached the Guru to offer his Guru Dakshinaa.

When Manikandan went to his Guru for his blessings, the Guru told him that he already knew that he was a Divine power and he was blessed for having been given an opportunity to have Manikandan as a student. The Guru further told Manikandan that he had one request to make and that was that his only son who was dumb should be given speech. Manikandan called the Guru's son and put his hands on his head and immediately Guru's son had his speech. Manikandan requested the Guru not to reveal this to anyone and went to the Palace.

In the meanwhile, the Queen gave birth to a male child and the child was named RajaRajan. King Rajasekar, impressed with the talents of Manikandan, decided to crown him, treating him as his eldest son. He ordered his Deevaan to make arrangements for the same. The Deevaan hated this and started devising plans to prevent Manikandan from being crowned to the throne and to annihilate him. He tried various methods including poisoning of food, but failed in all his efforts. However, Manikandan's body bore an injury due to these and ordinary physicians could not cure it. Lastly, Lord Shiv disguising himself as a physician, treated Manikandan's injury and cured him.

Having failed in all his attempts to kill Manikandan, the Deevaan approached the Queen and told her that since now she had her own son, it was not correct to crown a person who came from the forest. He further told the Queen since Arth Shaastra 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 stomach pain and he would make the physician tell that only a tigress' milk should be brought to cure the Queen and since Manikandan would only go to the forest to bring the milk, he would be in danger from the wild animals and even if Manikandan returned without bringing the tigress' milk, the King's love for him would not be as before. The Queen, became a prey to the Deevaan's plot and agreed to do what he told, so that her son could succeed the King to the throne.

The Queen, as told by the Deevaan, cried out loudly that she was suffering from severe headache and stomach pain and the King, believing this, called the Deevaan to bring in the best physicians to treat her. The physician, brought by the Deevaan examined the Queen and told the King that the Queen had been suffering from a dangerous disease and it could be cured only by applying Tigress' milk . The King understood that it was an impossible task and wanted his dear Queen to be cured at any cost and offered half of his Kingdom to anybody who brought the Milk.

Ayyappaa Goes to Forest
When the King was thinking about this, Manikandan asked him to let him go to the forest promising to bring the milk. However, the King told him that he was awaiting to be crowned to the throne, and that he was also not of age that is why he would not allow him to go to forest. Manikandan told the King, in spite of his refusal, that he had to go to the forest lest he would be cursed for not curing the Queen. Since the King persisted in his refusal Manikandan wanted the King to promise to do something he wanted. The King gave the promise and asked him what he wanted and immediately Manikandan asked the King to permit to go to the Forest. The King felt disappointed that he had been tricked and with no other alternative permitted Manikandan to go to the forest.

King Rajasekara made arrangements to send a group of his loyal men along with Manikandan, which however Manikandan refused to take on the ground that the tigress might run away seeing the crowd of soldiers. King Rajasekar sent along with Manikandan necessary foodstuffs and coconuts with three-eyes, in remembrance of Lord Shiv. The Panch-Bhoot, sent by Lord Shiv, accompanied Manikandan to the forest.

However, on his way to forest, Manikandan, came to know the atrocities of Mahishee in the Dev Lok, he went there and fought with Mahishee. During the fight, Manikandan threw Mahishi down to Earth from Dev Lok and she fell on the banks of Azhutha River. Manikandan also clashed with her at Azhutha River. At the end, of the battle between Mahishee and Manikandan at Azhutha River banks, Manikandan climbed up on her chest and danced violently. The impact of his dance was felt on the Earth and Dev Lok and the Devtaa got afraid. Mahishee knowing that the Divine power dancing on her body was none other than the son of Hari and Haran (Shiv), prostrated before Manikandan and died. This dance was witnessed by Lord Shiv and Mahaa Vishnu from a place called Kalakattee. (It is said that Maharshi Kavalan's daughter Leelaa was born as daughter of Karambh, with a face of Mahishee due to her husband's curse,  and freed herself from the curse and obtained Moksh by the grace of Dharm Sasthaa, which is described in Sabareemalaai Temple as Malikapurathu Ammaa, by which name she has a temple there)

Ayyappaa Rides on Tiger
After killing Mahishee, Manikandan went to the forest for the tigress milk, when Lord Shiv appeared before him and told him that though he had done good for the Devtaa, still there was one main task he will have to do to comfort to the King who was very concerned about him. Lord Shiv further told him that he could go to the Palace with Devendra in the form of a tiger. With Manikandan on the tiger, all Devee in the disguise of a tigress and Devtaa as tigers started their journey to the Palace.

Ayyappaa Comes to the Palace
When Manikandan, with the tigers and tigresses, approached the Palace, the people who ridiculed him when they started his journey to forest that whether he wanted a toy tigress, really got panicky seeing the violent bunch of animals and started running helter shelter.

Just then, the same Sanyaasee who appeared before King Rajasekar when he picked up Manikandan at the forest as a baby, appeared again at the palace and told King Rajasekar the real identity of Manikandan. Hearing this, the King stood in great surprise and silence. He saw Manikandan riding a tiger and people running away. Seeing the King, Manikandan descended from the Tiger and told him that since the tigresses were there, he could get the Queen cured with their milk. King Rajasekar fell at his feet and asked to forgive him for whatever happened without his knowledge, and asked him to send back the tigers as the Queen's ailment was cured at the moment when Manikandan went to the forest. On that day Manikandan reached the age of twelve.

Ayyappa Shoots an Arrow
King Rajasekara told Manikandan that the Deevaan was responsible for all these things and hence he should be punished. However, Manikandan told the King that he need not punish the Deevaan and all had happened only through the will of God, and he told further that time had come for him to go to Dev Lok since the task for which he took Avatar on the Earth is completed. He then asked the King what boon he wanted from him as he was very much pleased by his devotion. Immediately, King Rajasekar told him that they wanted to raise a temple in his memory and suggest a suitable place for the temple. Manikandan aimed an arrow which fell at a place called Sabaree, where in Shree Raam's era a Sanyaasinee called Shabaree observed Tapas. Manikandan told the King to build the temple in that place and then he disappeared.

A Shrine is Built at Sabareemalai
As per Sage Agastya's advise, King Rajasekar laid the foundation stone for the building the Sabareemalai Shrine. Bhagavaan Manikandan, had made it clear that he would grace only those devotees who offer Darshan after performing Vrat for forty-one days keeping themselves isolated from family desires and tastes and leading a life like a Brahmachaaree, thinking of good things always, and that while coming for his Darshan, they shall carry the holy Irumudee on their heads, as he himself did when he went to the forest to fetch tigress' milk, and bathed in River Pampaa raising slogans of Saranam and climb the eighteen stairs. As graced by the Bhagavaan King Rajasekar completed the building of the temple with eighteen steps to reach it. When the King was thinking how to put Dharmasastha's figure in the temple for Darshan to devotees, he recalled the words of the Bhagavaan, the River Pampaa was a holy river as River Gangaa, Sabareemalai was a holy place as Kaashee.



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Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/9/09
Updated on 10/01/13