Lord Ayyappan is a Hindu deity who is believed to be the son of Lord Shiva and Mohini. Mohini is the only female avatar of Lord Vishnu. Ayyappan is also known by many names as Manikandan and Hariharasutan.
Manikandan is the most commonly used name because soon after His birth Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu tied a bell, means Mani around His neck, means Kanda and left Him on the bank of the Pampa River.
The childless monarch of Pandalam, king Rajashekhara found little Ayyappan and accepted the child as God’s gift and adopted Him as his own son. Hariharasutan means the son of Hari that is Lord Vishnu- the saviour and Hara that is Lord Shiva– the destroyer.
According to the ancient scriptures or Puranas, after the death of Mahishasur by Goddess Durga, his sister Mahishi set out to take revenge of her brother’s death. She performed many fearsome austerities and pleased and secured a boon from Lord Brahma that no one except the son of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva could defeat as well as kill her. She asked such because both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva are male and so there is no possibility of giving birth to anyone. Feeling safe she started conquering and plundering the world and harassing the Devas of Heaven. But Lord Vishnu has immense power and with this power He took the form of a female named Mohini. Ayyappan slew Mahishi on the bank of the river Azhutha.
It is believed that Lord Ayyappan left for His heavenly abode after telling the king Rajashekhara to build a temple on His name at Sabari such that the people of the earth perpetuate His memories forever. Since then Sabarimala in Kerala became the most prominent and largest pilgrimage of Lord Ayyappan shrine in the world.
Childhood Story of Ayyappa
After adopted Ayyappa by King Rajashekhara, his own true son Raja Rajan was born. Both the child grew up in a generous manner. Ayyappa or Manikantan was very intelligent and excelled in martial arts and the familiarity of various “shastras” or scriptures. He astonished everyone by his superhuman powers. Upon finishing his princely training and studies when he presented ‘gurudakshina’ or fee to his guru, the master know about his heavenly power asked him for a blessing of sight and speech for his blind and dumb son. Manikantan put his hand on the boy and the miracle happened.
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