Ayyappa Swami Temple: Heaven on The Earth

Today I went to Bhagwanji's abode, Paramdham and just returned meeting Him. Surprised? We are told that we can meet the God after death and then how can believe His existence. I went to the Ayyappa Swami temple in Dhule today to  spend the peaceful devotional Saturday evening with Ayyappa Swami. The atmosphere is so devotional it's just like the Abode of the God as described in Puranas. The  temple becomes heaven during the Sandhya Samay - the twilight.  

Could click the devotional aura from outside only as taking pictures is not allowed in this temple. However, you can see the Diyas and heavenly atmosphere there.

The temple opens every Saturday in the morning and evening. The temple is built in the architecture like that of Kerala traditional temples. It is surrounded by small temples of Lord Ganesha, Lord Kartikeya Swami (Ganesha's brother) and Maa Bhagwati temple is just in front of the main temple.  There is a small temple of Nagdevta and Nagadevi (Gods of Snakes)  

I attended evening Artis and rituals. The temple is decorated with earthen lamps- Diyas. One Diya is lit behind Ayyappa Swami. Amazingly created mirrors placed behind the Diya shows reflections of flames in circular form. Ayyappa Swami blesses us when the temple opens. When we take Darshana of Ayyappa, our hearts get completely filled with waves of Bhakti and love, hands are put together, eyes get closed and we meet Him and His Swaroopam. Supreme Dhyana happens without any efforts of focusing on the deity. 

First the Arti of Ayyappa is performed. Then Artis Lord Ganesha, Lord Kartikeya Swami and Maa Bhagawati are performed. Then, Sanskrit and Malyali hymns  and spiritual songs (Bhajans) are sung by the devotees in traditional classical music. 

This evening was most unforgettable for me. When the devotees were singing Bhajans I was looking at Kartikeya Swami. His blessings, the blessings of Lord Ayyappa made my mind absolutely blank. It's difficult to happen in the fast paced life we live. My mind became totally free from all the thoughts, just like a child and I couldn't feel, see anything other than Bhagwanji. 

I couldn't understand Malyali Bhajans but could feel the Bhava of Bhakti - the devotional feelings. In one of the Bhajans, the child singer was praying, "Abhayam Ayyappa, Swami, Abhayam Ayyappa", which means, "Lord Ayyappa! Please make me fearless, I pray to you please make me fearless." This prayer has a very deep meaning. Nobody can become fearless without the realization of oneness. All our worries are rooted in the Dvait- the Bheda- realization of oneness gives complete bliss. That's what Advaita is! And, I don't think such a state can be attained without the Kripa, blessings of Ishwar or Sadguru. My heart is still praying Lord Ayyappa to bless me with realization of Advaita. 

Bhajans continue till 9 PM. Then, traditional Prasad and dinner is also arranged for the devotees. I couldn't experience the delicious taste of Prasad and had to return home without it, sadly. While returning home, I didn't say bye to Ayyappa Swami, I just brought Him in my heart and returned while thinking about Him. I thanked Him with teary eyes for blessing with such a peace . While driving my heart was singing, 

"Abhayam Ayyappa, Swami, Abhayam Ayyappa" 

and it's still singing, when I am writing this experience, 

"Abhayam Ayyappa, Swami, Abhayam Ayyappa" 

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