It was one of the most unexpected and the most hurting situation for millions of Ayyappa Swami devotees when the Tranvancore Devaswom Board (TDB) confirmed that the Makara Jyothi that appears on the edge of the Ponnabalamedu hill (on the 14th of January, every year) at Sabarimala is man made.
Every year, millions of Ayyappa Swami devotees used to visit Sabarimala and the Temple trust managed to gather crores of rupees as a revenue. Now the fat is, the Jyothi that appears on the hill slope is man made and this “fake” process of creating a Jyothi has been ongoing from hundreds of years! So are all Ayyappa swami devotees been fooled? Are Ayyappa devotees been misled?
Another interesting fact here is, most people in the Kerala were aware of this fake creation of Makara Jyothi. The truth came to light when the High Court questioned the temple authorities about the Makara Jyothi, whether it was natural or a man made one. The President of Travancore Devaswom Board then revealed that it was man made. Sow how is it actually done? Read below -
On every 14th of January at about 7:00 pm, a few people from the Kerala Forest Department, Kerala State Electricity Board, TDB, authorities from the Sabarimala Temple and a couple of policemen carry 4 – 5 kgs of camphor (in the form of cubes) in a plate and a few matchsticks. They then proceed to the Ponnambalamedu hill, light it and show it to the devotees thrice. Since the Sabarimala temple is situated on another hill opposite to Ponnambalamedu (where the camphor is lit) and about hundreds of feet beneath it, the flame that comes out appears to the devotees as Makara Jyothi but in reality, it is just the flames that you are seeing and not the actual Jyothi (light). This entire process is done by people, along with the support of Government of Kerala, and is not due to the miraculous powers of GOD. So to be honest, all devotees were fooled. Or better to say, all devotees are being fooled from hundreds of years.
Millions of devotees visit Ayyappa temple every year from all over India. Famous celebrities including Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, Kollywood super star Rajnikanth and Kannada Super Star Dr.Rajkumar had been to see the Makara Jyothi and have praised this miracle a lot. This made the people all the more confident that the Makara Jyothi appears due to the miracle created by the GOD himself and had no clue about this “artificial” way of creating it.
What I feel is, the Temple Authorities should have come up with the truth decades ago instead of misleading people. All they wanted was the crores of rupees that used to come from the devotees’ accommodation, transportation, food, their huge donations to the temple and through variety of poojas that were conducted there. Most of the devotees that come to Sabarimala are from Karnataka and TamilNadu. This will also add to the fact the the people of Kerala did not visit the temple in abundance in spite of the temple being in their own place. Why?
It is because most of the people in Kerala were aware of the fact that the light that appears on the hill was man made and there was nothing special about it. All those people who stool for hours waiting to see the Jyothi, and people who have been following a ritual of visiting Sabarimala from years are deeply hurt and disappointed, This is a best example of betraying people and this “cheap” act from the temple authorities is no less than “cheating” people.
With the Makara Jyothi being seen every year, lot of money was spent by the television channels to get the exclusive rights, and to telecast it on the TV. This made people at home (who could not visit Sabarimala) happy enough to get the view of sacred Makara Jyothi right from their television sets. In fact I myself have been happy seeing the Makara Jyothi every year right from my home . I thought that I was so lucky to get the view of the Makara Jyothi right from my home, as only a lucky few can get to see it on that day. On the contrary, I was a fool to feel happy to see the light being created artificially by a few local people with a matchstick and a few kilograms of camphor! Literally, a scam gone way beyond people’s imaginations!
We all know that Scam is everywhere and embezzlers are increasing with each passing day. I however had little or no clue about Makara Jyothi being created artificially. All my beliefs towards Sabarimala and Makara Jyothi has now been slashed and this has really made me think twice about believing any miracles that is claimed to happen because of the supreme power of GOD. Anyway, the hype surrounding the Makara Jyothi is now over and I hope that the devotees of Ayyappa will visit Sabarimala to pray to Lord Ayyappa, and not to view the artificial Makara Jyothi light.