33 crores of Gods
We have heard that 33 crores of Gods resides in this world and protect the
globe. Although that belief exists with the Buddhists, worshiping God is
mostly done by Hindus. Among them, there are Gods who are worshipped by both Buddhists and Hindus. Although they are believing, a great person
becomes a God, Gods can be found popular to a particular region in Sri Lanka as well as India.
The God Ayiyappa
The God Ayiyappa, who initiates our conversation , is one of the Gods who
has been honored by people belongs to a particular region in the past. But
now the belief in God Ayiyappa is not limited just to one area. Devotees
throughout the world have been created to receive blessing from God
Ayiyappa. So, in the recent history, God Ayiyappa has granted a special
place as a respected God of the people.
The Ayiyappa kovil
The God Ayiyappa or Ayiyappan was a prince who lived in state of Kerala in
India. The main kovil of God Ayiyappa is also in Kerala. It is now widely
seen Sri Lanka that a large number of devotees visit the Kerala each year.
There is also a kovil which is constructed for God Ayiyappa in Sri Lanka.
That is in Trincomalee. There are many Hindu kovils built in Trincomalee,
where many Hindus live. Many of these kovils, built for various deities are
older than many centuries. But the Ayiyappa kovil was built about six years
ago. As mentioned earlier, God Ayiyappa has become more popular in the
world recently. Although the history of the kovil is not old, the number of
devotees attending the Trincomalee Ayiyappa kovil is very large.
The folklore on God Ayiyappa
The story of God Ayiyappa is very wonderful. King Rajshekar, who ruled in India was very distressed because he had no child. Thus, Oneday these
distressed king and queen found a little child who was dressed in gold. The
king and the queen decided to take care of this child as their son.
According to the legends the child belonged to Lord Shiva and Mohini. The
child was gifted to the royal family according to a decision of Lord Shiva.
The child was named as Manikanthan as he was wearing in gold when the time thet meet the child. However, when this prince was brought up with the love of the royal family, another prince joined the royal family. So, the queen had decided to kill prince Manikanthan with the intention that his real son should be the king. She had planned this with the king’s chief minister.According to the plan, the queen was made up of a rare stomach ache. The royal doctors decided that the milk of a living tiger in the wild needed to heal. The prince Manikanthan was willing to take the milk even the king wasn’t approved. The prince had managed to bring milk by defeating a tiger. With the return of the prince, the plan of the queen failed and the prince became famous among the people. After hearing the conspiracy of the queen, the prince abandoned his sovereign will and he went to have a meditative life. From the age of 16 until his death, the prince was counted to receive meditation. According to Hindu folklore, this prince Manikanthan has become the God Ayiyappa. The Shakrimala kovil in Kerala has been built in this place where this prince defeated the tiger. The Hindus believe that the God Ayiyappa does not like women. Although the women in India are allowed to visit there Ayiyappa kovil, women in Sri Lanka have no permission to visit Ayiyappa kovil.
How to get there
The Ayiyappa kovil is situated in Nilaveli in Trincomalee. When we travel
from Trincomalee, we find a kovil in blue in the left, just few miles away
from Nilaveli Junction. That is Ayiyappa kovil. As its doors are opened
only in the morning, it is wise to approach there in the morning.