Inauguration of “Harivarasanam” Centenary Celebrations was kicked off in Pandalam, on August 29, where Lord Ayyappa is said to have spent his childhood. Harivarasanam is played in Sabarimala before closing the door of the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple every night. It is Lord Ayyappa’s lullaby. The song played there was sung by legendary singer Dr. K.J. Jesudas several years ago. The very playing of the song flies the devotees to the heights of spiritual ecstasy.
Justice Dr. K. Jayachandran (Retd), Chennai, presided. Sreemoolam Thirunal Sasikumar Varma, incumbent descendant of the Pandalam Royalty, inaugurated the function by lighting of the traditional lamp before the august assembly. Legend says, patriarch of Pandalam royal family is Lord Ayyappa’s father. Swami Vivikthananda Saraswathi (Chief of Chinmaya Mission Kerala Chapter), Swami Sadswaroopananda Saraswathi (Marga Darshak Mandal General Secretary) and Swamini Jnanabhanishta (Shubhananda Ashramam, Cherukol) delivered blessings.
A.R. Mohanan, Patron of the celebration committee, in his introductory speech, spoke on the relevance of the Harivarasanam Centenary celebrations, its need and aim.
Prajnapravah national convener J. Nadakumar delivered the keynote address. He said that cultural and spiritual rise of not only southern Bharath but also the whole Bharat, based on Ayyappa Dharma and Sanathana Dharma, has been kicked off from Pandalam, the very own land of Ayyappa. He wished, it would be through the Harivarasanam Centenary celebrations. He added that the organisers have planned several programmes for strengthening the organised activities for the protection of dharma, the unity of Ayyappa devotees and the fulfilment of the revival launched in 2018 in the same place. He called on the participants to move in the path of Sanathan Dharma by going beyond the word meaning of Harivarasanam and grasping the implied meaning and spiritual principles of them.
Programme continued with felicitation speeches by prominent personalities belonging to arts-social-cultural realms from all over the country like Justice Thottathil Radhakrishnan (Retd. Chief Justice), Nikhil Kamath (Mumbai), M.R. Veeramani Raju (Chennai), K.G. Jayan (Jaya-Vijaya), Rani Mohandas, Playback singer Vaikkom Vijayalakshmi, Padmasree Acharya M.K. Kunjol, RSS Pranth Karyavah P.N. Eashwaran, T.B. Sekhar (National President, Sabarimala Ayyappaseva Samajam), Pandalam Municipal Chairperson Susheela Santosh, Mullappalli Krishnan Namboothiri, Kulathinal Gangadharan Pillai Guruswami.
Earlier Poojaneeya Swami Ayyappadas performed Deepaprajwalanam amidst the traditional ‘Swami Saranam, Ayyappasaranam’ rendered by Maruthavana Sivan Pillai Guruswami.
P. Shanmukhanandan explained the 18 month long programmes. Rathyathras, in the southern states, for the propagation of Ayyappa Dharma, music-literature-painting competitions for all sections of devotees, spiritual disclosures, debates on dharma, honouring of Guruswamies, Ayyappa Samgamams, large seminars, world-wide Harivarasana Rendering Yajnas, Global Ayyappa Mahasangamam in January, 2024, etc. are the major programmes.
Ashtadravya Ganapathi Homam, Abhishekam on Ayappa idol with waters brought from various rivers in the country, Samooha Neeranjana Pooja, Sasthampatt (devotional songs about Lord Ayyappa), etc. were started at 5am at Pandalam Manikantan Althara.
Despite slight drizzles, the shobhayathra, commenced from NSS Medical Mission Centre, culminated at the dais next to the Manikantan Althara. Various drums and musical pipes, various diverse traditional-cultural and temple arts from various states, especially from Tamil Nadu, added colour to the shobhayathra. Thousands of people, including women, participated in it.
Deeparadhana was led by Swamini Njanabhanishta. It was accompanied by devotional songs by famous singers Sannnidhanandan, Veeramani Raju and Sabareesh. The inaugural session was concluded by rendering Harivarasanam. Earlier S. Vinodkumar welcomed the gathering. G. Prithvipal cast the vote of thanks. The inaugural session was organised by a committee with Rani Mohandas as president and G. Prithvipal as the general convener.
There are number of personalities who worked hard, in connection with the Sabarimala agitation, to spread the messages of Sabarimala and Ayyappa Dharma to various states as well as abroad. Prominent of them will be introduced in deserving manner before the devotees during the celebrations, informed national convener Erode Rajan. Poojaneya Swami Chinmayanandaji, Navab Rajamanikyam, Vimochanananda Swamiji, Kampamkuti Kuzhathoor Sundaram Iyer, M.N. Nambiar, P.T. Rajan, and Swarg. Janaki Amma, the author of Harivarasanam are those important personalities.
The organisers believe, the celebrations will convey the message to the mankind that the source of eternal solutions to the issues and challenges the countries all over the world face will be Ayyappa Dharma. International Harivarasanam Centenary Celebration Committee is formed and it has been working in this direction. Various spiritual movements, Hindu organisations and Ayyappa Devotee organisations are joining hands for achieving this divine goal.
About fifty five patrons lead the committee. They are famous sanyasins, chiefs of Mats and members of erstwhile royal families. World famous musical maestro Padma Vihushan Ishainjnani Ilayaraja is the chairman. The international committee consists of about 250 members who represent various fields of life around the world. The committee was formed in a meeting held at Chennai on June 11, 2022. State and district committees are formed all over the country. Kerala State Committee was formed, with Justice Thottathil Radhakrishnan, Retd. Chief Justice, as president, at Kaloor Pavakkulam temple (Kochi) premises on June 26, 2022. Erode Rajan expressed the hope that hereafter sixteen months would be in absolute ‘Harivarasana mood’.