Mandala Puja is an important ritual followed by the Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala, and also by other Ayyappa Temples situated throughout India. During the year 2020, the Mandala Puja would begin in the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple on 16th November and ends on 26th December and during that time, strict fasting and discipline would be observed by the devotees of Lord Ayyappa.
During the period of Mandala puja, Ayyappa devotees would also visit the ‘Guruvayur Temple’, the abode of the divine child Lord Krishna, and during this period, ‘Special Abhishekam’ would be done to Lord Guruvayurappan, considering him as Lord Ayyappan.
Mandala Puja fasting must be made with full of dedication and devotion on Lord Ayyappa, and by doing that, the devotees reasonable wishes would be fulfilled through the grace of Lord Ayyappa.
During the period of Mandala Puja, devotees must have to lead a noble life. They must have to wear the holy Rudraksha or Tulsi mala and must keep the picture or dollar of Lord Ayyappa in their purse or in their bag. The devotees who plan to visit Sabarimala are fondly called by the people as ‘Ayyappa Swami’.
During the time of Mandala Puja, devotees must keep their mind filled with full of spiritual thoughts on Lord Ayyappa, and they must avoid going to theatres, clubs and other entertainment places. They have to prohibit bad habits like smoking and drinking and must avoid eating non-vegetarian food, and also must avoid garlic and onion in their food.
All sorts of worldly pleasures must be avoided, and the Devotees attention should be only on Lord Ayyappa. They must have to bath and visit temples twice a day, and must offer their sincere worship to the deities. During the Mandala puja period, they should not speak bad words, and must move softly with others.
Those who are unable to visit the Sabarimala temple, like young ladies, and old aged people,can visit the other Ayyappa temples, during the Mandala puja period.
“SWAMIYE SARANAM AYYAPPA”