Sabarimala Iyappan viradham (Fasting) do's and dont's

25th November 2019

Sabarimala Iyappan viradham (Fasting) procedure

Here is the link for 108 saranam for the daily pooja during the fasting period with FREE PDF download,

108 ஐயப்பன் சரண கோஷம் தமிழில் + இலவச PDF பதிவிறக்க,

An important read for all Kanni Swamy and for anyone who want any clarification on Sabarimala viradham.

This is my second year taking up the Sabarimala Viradham. Last year I just felt I need to go to Sabarimala. I realized it was my call. It was June end I guess. I had no idea what are the do's and dont's during the fasting period. I did not know how to go or where to go.

One of my friend and his dad go to Sabarimala year after year. I knew he will be a good source of information. I gave him a call and found they are starting their fasting in July and planning for the travel for August 18th, 2013. I only called for information, but the set-up was already ready for me to join. I was able to connect the time I felt I need to go to Sabarimala. If you are wondering how we can go in August. Sabarimala Iyappan temple will be open every month for the first 5 days of the Malayalam calendar. Here is the link which will be useful if you are planning a travel like us,
First we need to understand the essence of the Viratha kalam (Fasting period). Each viradham has a purpose to prepare yourself towards a destiny or a direction. (Here you can read about Shasti Viradham if you are interested) During Sabarimala viradham period we need to give up all the worldly pleasure. We need to detach from all good and bad, what we like and dont like. Take us away from everything around us and stay focused on Lord Iyappan. This will give us a new look in to our self and the outside world. All the do's and dont's are again towards this same goal if you can start to relate it. The Viratha kalam also prepares our mind and body for the long trek to Sabari mala.
Now let us move on to the do's and dont's during the viradha kalam (Fasting period). This is the compilation of all the resources I went through from the web and what I have heard from others.

Do's and Dont's
    1. You need to have a Guruswamy who can guide you during this Viradha kalam. It is not advisable to take up the viradham on your own as you need the wisdom of a guruswamy to take you through the fasting period and to take up your journey to Sabarimala.
    2. Your Viradham starts by wearing Tulasi mala or Rudraksha mala or a Spatika mala with Iyappan dollar in it. You also get dollar with lord Ganesha or Murugar on the back side, you can wear these dollars too. You can wear the mala at a temple, your guruswamy's house or at your house. The temple priest can wear you the mala or your guruswamy of your mother.
    3. Wear black color dress as it denotes that we have given up the colors in life. After we have taken up a few years of fasting we can also wear Blue and Safron color dresses, this is purely based on your preference and there is also a meaning behind those colors if you prefer. But black made more sense to me at least.
    4. Daily pooja to be performed in the morning (Before sun rise) and in the evening (After the sun set). Take a bath before the pooja time. It is said in many references not to use Soap or Shampoo during this period. There is also counter argument as these rules were set before people started using Soap and Shampoo. The goal is to remain clean. If you can avoid Soap and Shampoo well and good. Otherwise you can use it, dont feel you are breaking any rule here. Using perfume and deodorant should be avoided.
    5. For pooja chant 108 saranam to Iyappan, make a small offering, raisin or Kalkandu or any fruit or any other prasadham which you can cook. Make it simple and practical as you have to offer twice a day. Here is the link for 108 saranam in English., Here is the link for 108 ஐயப்பன் சரண கோஷம் தமிழில் you can also download the 108 ayyappan saranam as a PDF file and print it from that links.
    6. Visit a near by temple at least once a day.
    7. You can eat to satisfy your hunger and not to fill your stomach. Have meals with rice only once a day, for the other time, have light tiffin items. Preferred to eat self cooked or home cooked food. Food has to be strictly vegetarian. If you can avoid garlic and onion, it is even better. For those who cannot have home cooked food, you can have in a clean and tidy place outside. All this is to prepare for the long trek once people use to take with self carried ration. This is also good for health.
    8. You must follow strict bramacharyam.
    9. Speak less as much as possible. Do not get in to any argument. Do not hurt anyone with word, thoughts or deed.
    10. You must sleep on the floor on a mat. You cannot use pillow for comfort. You can use a blanket if needed. All this must be used only during your fasting period. You must keep it away after you end your fasting period.

  1. Avoid attending marriages, new born ceremonies, death etc. You must be following a sanyasi's life and have to move away from worldly ceremonies. If you have to attend a death of your relatives, you need to remove the mala, leave it to lord Iyappan in your pooja room. When you are back, you need to take bath and have your mother or your guruswamy to wear the mala back.
  2. Always have scandal wood paste or Vibuthi or kunkumam on your forehead. It is a must to have all the time.
  3. You cannot shave or have a hair cut during the fasting period. If your profession deems you to be tidy, you can have a shave. Do not feel bad about it. You cannot also cut your finger nails during your fasting period. Make sure you keep your nails clean always.
  4. You need to observe the fasting at least for 41 days before you take up the irumidi kattu. If you are not able to do the complete fasting, it is suggested you visit Sabarimala without the irumudi kattu. It is the respect you pay to Lord Iyappan.
  5. For any reason your profession does not let you be away from a birth and death situation, you can take up the fasting without wearing the mala, but follow all the above rules. Before your irumudi kattu, you can wear the mala and proceed.
Here is an article on Irumudi Kattu - Palli kattu - Kattu nirai,
All this is based on my learning so far and from what I have heard and read. If I am wrong in any ways, please correct me. I will make any changed needed. I want to share a drop in this ocean. If I have helped someone with what I have shared, I will consider myself blessed.

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