There are few Ayyappa SevaMandalis, which are mostly operating in South India, such as in Bangalore, Coimbatore, Andhra Pradesh, and in Kerala. These SevaMandalis, helps the Ayyappan Devotees with regard to their holy pilgrimage to Sabarimala, such as arranging the “GURUSWAMY”, providing Tulasi Manimala and other puja utensils, giving valuable suggestions about the fasting procedure during the Sabarimala season etc.
Apart from these services, they are also providing wholesome delicious free food to all the Ayyappa devotees whenever they visit their Mandalis. Since Lord Ayyappa very much likes those who do Annadanam, the SevaMandalis are willfully doing this noble activity through its members, and they also used to collect donations from the Ayyappa devotees, and from the general public, in order to continue this noble task forever.
In Chennai, there is a famous Ayyappa temple in Anna Nagar, and there, they used to provide food packets to the social welfare institutions everyday mornings, and they also provide free uniforms, education and medical aid to the poor ones. As per the famous saying, “Doing service to the mankind is equivalent to doing service to the god himself”.
Though Lord Ayyappa gets seated in the Ayyappa Temple, Sabarimala before few thousands of years, but still his name and fame gets increasing day by day, due to the continuous visits of his devotees to the Sabarimala shrine. Lord Ayyappa is a child deity similar to Lord Guruvayurappan who also appears in the Guruvayur temple in the form of a child, and we could get great happiness, peacefulness and fulfillment by worshipping Lord Ayyappa at his Sabarimala Shrine.
It is not compulsory to worship Lord Ayyappa only at his Sabarimala Shrine, we can also worship him in his other temples, which are situated throughout India, and a few temples of Lord Ayyappa are also situated in some foreign countries. Lord Ayyappa expects purity, sincerity and generosity from his devotees, and he also expects us to be clean and neat. As per legend, it is also mentioned that Lord Dharma Sastha, from whose powers Lord Ayyappa was formed, had once performed penance in the present day Sabarimala, before few millions of years ago, and this detail was mentioned in the Ramayana. Dharma Sastha is an ancient deity, and he was worshipped even by the ancient pious demon kings like Prahalada, Namuchi, Mahabali and Vibhishana.
Instead of ignoring Ayyappa, just by considering him as one among the thousands of Hindu deities, let us worship him sincerely, faithfully and wholeheartedly, by considering him as an aspect of Shiva and Vishnu.
Chanting the names of Lord Ayyappa would boost our spiritual energy, and would add great pleasantness to our life.Hence let us give our helping hands to Ayyappa SevaMandalis, especially during this Sabarimala season, in order to get the entire grace of Lord Ayyappa.
“OM SWAMIYE SARANAM AYYAPPA”