Mandala Pooja – Worshipping the God in a Disciplinary Way
Mandala Pooja is a Hindu festival dedicated to Ayyappa. The festival celebrated mainly in the southern Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Mandala Pooja is regarded as one of the major festivals of the South Indian people and is celebrated with great devotion and passion by them. The festival holds a great place in the community as it is believed to signify the power of unity and equality among the people.
Mandala Pooja is celebrated as a series of forty-one days of austerities towards the deity and culminates on the forty-first day that is simply regarded as the day of Mandala Pooja. The most fervent devotees of observing fast for all the forty-one days. Even those who cannot observe fast for the series of all the days are supposed to refrain themselves from certain substances like alcohol, tobacco, non-vegetarian food, etc. the rituals of the festival are, in a way, quite stiff and strict and are followed by the devotees and worshippers with great sincerity and purity. Devotees break their fast on the forty-first day of the festivals by offering a special item known as Kalabhaattam, which is made of sandalwood paste, camphor, rosewater, and saffron, to the deity. People also offer flowers, fruits, and incenses to AyyappaAyyappa
Ayyappa is the famous south Indian God. The 8th chapter of Bhagavath Geeta.... by visiting a temple of the deity. In some temples, the ritual of Abhishekam Bathing the idol of the Hindu deityis very important in which the idol of the deity is bathed and cleansed with Panchamrit, a special liquid made with the help of five different substances namely milk, yogurt, ghee, honey and sugar. The devotees are required to abstain themselves from the worldly pleasures, and indulge in benevolent activities like meditation, donation, etc.
Beliefs and Significance
There are many temples of Ayyappa in South India. The most prominent among them, however, is the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala and is considered as the shrine of the deity. The devotees and worshippers are supposed to visit the temple at least once during the series of forty-one days of the festival to seek the blessings of the Ayyappa and achieve happiness, prosperity, discipline and joy in their life. The festival of Mandala Pooja signifies the importance of discipline, principles, simplicity and morals in life and helps in exploring the potential everyone has to achieve great things in life.