Five Sastha Temples
Let’s talk about some amazing facts about Lord Ayyappa Swami. One of the five Sastha Temples that were installed with His help, the Achankovil Sree Dharmasastha Temple was dedicated by Lord Parashurama. With His consorts Poorna and Pushkala on either side, the Lord is seated in Grihasthashramam in this image.
At the Achankovil Sastha Temple, one of the five revered Sastha temples, which also includes Sabarimala, Ayyappa takes on a different aspect. He is sat there with two consorts on either side of him, attending to routine, urgent everyday things. Ayyappa, who sits with theertham and bhasmam (holy ash) in each hand in this shrine, which is tucked away into the thick forest, is largely known for curing snakebites. The priest must open the sanctum and apply ash to the wound when someone arrives there with a snakebite at any time of day or night.
The fascinating fact is that Lord Ayyappa appears as a Vishahari, a person who treats snake poison. Theertha and Chandan are held in the idol’s left hand. It is widely believed that consuming the sandalwood paste of the deity will cure any form of poisoning, especially snake bites. When a victim of a snake bite is brought over, the Temple must always be opened. And the Priest must then open the Sreekovil and present the victim with Chandan and Theertham. Venomous snake bites are believed to be healed with the Chandan and Theertham that is offered to the victim.
Please click the source link to know more on the Temple from the renowned authority on snakes -Vava Suresh (in fact, there is an app named after him for snake bite victims). He is second to Romulus Whitetaker, the Pioneer on snake bite cure based at Vandalur along with his association with the Irula Tribals at Tamil Nadu.
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