Sree Bhootha Naatha Sadha Nanda
Sarva Bhootha Dayaa Para
Raksha Raksha Mahaa Bhagoh
Shastre Thubyam Namo Namah!
The story of the Glass Picture of Lord Ayyappa (as narrated by our Guruswamy)
It was in 1959, if I am right, our Guruswamy, my dad's maternal uncle, Sri. T.V.Gopala Rathinam Iyer of Trichy, brought this picture from Sabarimala. It is painted on a glass and then framed with an outer glass. It is, I think, the rarest painting of our Lord.
It has been in the pooja room for more than half a century. It has gained/acquired lot of Sannithyam because of so many Sahasranama Archanai over the years.
The back drop has faded a little bit, the dark blue back drop has become light blue and when I consulted some of my friends, who are real good artists, they suggested not to disturb it in any way, as it is a bit difficult to remove the frame and take out the picture on glass, as there are chances of it getting broken.
I may add at this juncture that Ayyappa's cult in Tamil Nadu was propagated by the greatest dramatist Nawab Sri Rajamanickam Pillai, who was the close associate of my grand uncle Sri. Rathinam Iyer. My grand uncle was a guiding force for Sri. Pillai's troupe and they were going to Sabarimalai, with the actors of the company. Sri. Iyer had initiated many persons in Trichy in to Ayyappa cult, irrespective of caste, creed and race. He was running a sandalwood/paste and perfumery shop in Trichy. He had taken with him his staff Sri.Mani, who became a very renowned Guruswamy of that town. One Veerappan, who was a load man of the shop, was also a member of his group to the Holy Shrine.
There were no songs on Lord Ayyappa, excepting a very few, which were brought out in a book by Sri.Pillai. In those days, people were afraid of that God and some elders used to chide my grand uncle for taking me and my brothers to the shrine, as we were very young. There were absolutely no facilities and it was a real jungle. And where is it now????
The serenity and ambiance are all gone. But, I am happy that with the development, the temple could attract lakhs and lakhs of devotees from all over the world.
Lord Ayyappa is a magnetic force and He attracts so many devotees, who are longing for His Dharshan.