Ayyappa Deeksha is the ritual undertaken by Ayyappa devotees and
Karthika masa is the apt time to take up the deeksha. In the year 2012,
the ayyappa deeksha begins on the day of mandala puja on 16th November
2012 and ends of the day of Sankranti on 14th January 2013.
In south India, it is a popular practice to take up deeksha during
karthika masa, especially on the first day of karthika masa and continue
the ritual for 41 days. Some devotees however take the deeksha for a
shorter duration owing to their work.
The ayyappa deeksha is usually taken in an ayyappa temple or at home
after performing a puja to the Lord Ayyappa. The senior person who has
visited Shabarimala for more than 18 years is allowed to initiate
another person into the deeksha.
After taking the Ayyappa Deeksha, the devotees wear black dress as
far as possible and refrain from wearing footwear and eating non
vegetarian food. They take bath in cold water and usually stay away from
family in groups so as not to get distracted from the goal. The deeksha
is removed only after visiting the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Kerala
and there after the devotee can resume normal life.
Ayyappa Deeksha during karthika masa is very popular as it is
considered a sacred month in Hindu tradition. Also taking the early
morning cold water bath in karthika masa is considered sacred. Every
year millions of people visit the Sabarimala Temple during this period
till Sankranti in January.
1. Do the bath in early morning with normal
water. There is a big controversy that on using soap or not. When the
rules framed by elders long long ago, there was no soap. So, they didn’t
think of future facility. At that time every one was used some home
made powders. They didn’t discuss about that powders also. That means
the real meaning of this rule is- We must do bath cleanly, which helps
us to be healthy and happy in a day.
2. Do the bath in evening with normal water. This is also a good healthy guideline to get rid of tiredness of day work.
So we can go to bed with good sleep, which is more important to a
3. Do the pooja in the morning (before sun rise) and evening (after
sunset). Poojas or praying god are meant for getting concentration. So,
doing pooja in the morning means, we are putting a coma to home life
and to getting ready to do the day work. And doing pooja in the evening means, we are putting a coma to day work and to getting ready to do the home life.
These above are not rules; they are the best methods to be happy in our
regular life. So, we have to understand that GOD does not get anything
from us by our bath and our cleanliness or pooja. It is 100% meant for
Then what is God expecting from human? The answer is Live Happily, and
Let Live Others Happily. Whereas every one (except few human beings)
trying to do the first half of rule and not at all bothering about
second half of the rule. We have to think about this. If one is
following the above rule, then he does not need any Deeksha. He is 100%
perfect human. God likes this type of people.
4. Have one time meals. This is also very good health point. This is also benefit to us, not to God.
5. Do the Anna Danam to others. This is what God expecting from human being, that is doing favour to others.
6. Sleep on ground without pillow and bed. Every one knows that this is helpful to our perfect blood circulation.
7. Talk less. This will help in getting good results of our job. That
means we should not waste our time by simply chatting. It is also good
for our efficiency.
8. Eat vegetarian food. This is also good for health.
9. The cook must also do the head
bath and then he should prepare food for Swamies. Again it relates to
cleanliness, which will stop the unhealthiness.
10. Help others. This is the way to be a good citizen. We have to know
the Happiness behind the Helping. This is what we have to learn by doing
11. Make them others happy. This is another important thing we have to learn by Deeksha.
Can’t we do these 10 and 11 without Deeksha? Yes, we can do.
12. Do the Brahmacharya. This the rule framed by elders to get concentration on our training or Deeksha.
13. Maintain simple life. Use minimum things to run the life.
1. Don’t smoke.
2. Don’t drink.
3. Don’t eat
4. Do not use foot wear. This is good for health. The pressure on the foot bottom will keep the all organs of body freshly. This is also helps to us, not to God. Another benefit to us is, when we trekking on Sabarimala hills, it is always better to walk with bare foot, instead of foot wear, which will be slippery.
5. Don’t make others unhappy.
6. Don’t cheat others.
7. Don’t say lies. At the same time we should not make others unhappy by telling truth. Try to avoid that topic, if you are supposed to say A LIE to keep the others happy.
8. Don’t do half mandal Deeksha, quarter mandal Deeksha and instant Deeksha. Mandalam means 41 days. In olden days doctors used to give the medicines for a period of Mandalam for chronic diseases. Because it is their experience that the minimum time required by a body to get cured. Similarly to get cured by our mental diseases we need Mandalam days. We can observe the difference of a person before starting Deeksha and end of the Deeksha, with lot of change in behavior and way of thinking, if he is following a perfect Guruswamy.
9. Don’t do hi-tech(LUXURY) Deeksha.
10. Don’t do violence.
11. Don’t proud yourself. Because, the greatness you are feeling is not the great ness of you, it is given to you by the god. So, faithful to the god.
12. Don’t argue with others on any matter. I have seen the swamies arguing on the Rules of Ayyappa Mala, which will break the real goal of Deeksha. Just say the YOU are correct. Then the other person will feel happy. Think that you got the opportunity to make the others happy.
13.Finally most of the rules are meant for our health, and few are meant for becoming a good citizen.
Generally people follow the above rules in that Deeksha period only, after that they will continue their life with routine bad habits. Then doing the Deeksha is waste. Hope every one will try to reach the ultimate goal of Deeksha. So do the Ayyapp Deeksha properly by understanding the real meanings of rules and regulations and keep continuing the good habits after Deeksha also, which are deserved to our life.