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Unique Posture of Lord Ayyappa

Uncovering the Spiritual Significance

Lord Ayyappa is unique and very different from other Hindu Gods. Hindu Gods are usually installed in three common postures in temples worldwide – sitting, standing, or lying. Yoga asana, which distinguishes Ayyappa’s sitting position from that of other idols, is a type of posture. Yogasana is a posture for meditation. The lap is not kept empty like other gods, which has the figurative notion of giving the concert space. Lord Ayyappan is regarded as a Naishtika Brahmachari (one who practices celibacy).


Ayyappa sits on his pita (feet), not on a flower or a throne like other gods do. His stance is more akin to balancing on one foot than it is to sitting on the hip. It’s challenging and uncomfortable to balance on one foot.


Numerous tales are connected to the belt on the legs. The underlying concept, however, is preserving an area of observance. It demonstrates mental discipline.


His fingers are in the abhaya mudra, displaying courage.


The world of thoughts is depicted in a space on Ayyappa Idol.


The fingers on the Lord’s right hand are set in Abhaya mudra pose, which signifies fearlessness. His left-hand rests firmly on his knees indicating a controlled mind with the senses kept in check.


The space around Lord Ayyappa’s head symbolizes the universe of thoughts while the space above his head represents the awareness witnessing thoughts.


The uniqueness of Lord Ayyappa’s posture emphasizes the various underlying facts related to attaining to liberation, salvation or moksha as stated in the various Hindu Scriptures. Being aware of the Supreme, rooting out all desires and fears, controlling the mind and striving for perfection and unconditional devotion to the Lord through constant practice of Yoga or Sadhana.


This is further reinforced by the statement “Tat Tvam Asi”, which is displayed in Sabarimala and in most Ayyappa temples. Tatvamasi indicates the fulfillment of spiritual knowledge. It means there is no second – “I’m that Supreme Entity”. Once we wear the sacred Mala during the fasting, we purify ourselves to become God. And that’s the essence of the hard religious observance we prescribe before visiting the Lord at Sabarimala.

Swamiye Sharanam Ayyappa!!!


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