The holy book Akilattirattu Ammanai is the source of the religion Ayya Vazhi...Read More
The holy book Akilattirattu Ammanai is the source of the religion Ayya Vazhi and it’s mythology.Akilathirattu Ammanai the Holy Book in Tamil was written by Hari Gopalan Citar on Friday the 27 day of the Tamil month of Karthikai (December) in the year 1841. Lord Sri Narayana woke him up during his sleep and commissioned him to take dictation of what he said. “Aer” -the First word of Akilathirattu was pronounced by the Lord and the whole Akilathirattu was written on palm leaves by Hari Gopalan, one of the 5 Disciples of Ayya Vaikundar the incarnation of Lord Narayana. In addition to the mythological events Akilam also provides an extensive quantity of historical facts. Akilathirattu has the Swamithope version, the Kottangadu version as well as the Panchalankurichi version which are the earliest existing palm-leaf versions of Akilam which contains more than 15,000 verses. It is written in poetic Tamil in a ballad form (Ammanai). Thamaraikulam Pathi, is the sacred place where the Akilattirattu Ammanai was written down by Hari Gopalan. Akilathirattu gives the history, news and prophecy of the Avatars of Lord Narayana and his coming in this Modern age, the Kali Yuga, to rule the world by transforming it into the Dharma Yuga. This faith and fact has woven together the historical facts about Ayya Vaikundar and his activities with reinterpretations of episodes from Ramayana, Maha Bharata, Kanda Purana and epics. The flow of Akilathirattu is presented as MahaVishnu narrates the whole history to his consort MahaLakshmi. Vinchai is the rules and regulations provided by Lord Narayana to Ayya Vaikundar in Akilathirattu. Acts found there in 3 such Vinchai also fit to humans to improve their moral code. The first Vinchai of Tiruchendur forms the largest ethical accumulation found in Akilam. Akilathirattu focuses on the devotion to Ayya Vaikundar, considered to be an aspect of the God Vishnu. It is a poetic narrative in Tamil intended to be an excellent compilation of the various aspects of Indian mythology and beliefs about God. The holy book narrates the events starting from the creation of the Universe to the time exactly before the incarnation of Ayya Vaikundar in part-1 while the part-2 describes in detail the events taking place in the divine plan during the incarnation of Vaikundar, the legendary, empirical, historical and mythical aspects pertaining to the life of Ayya Vaikundar. To an extent, the Dharmic teachings in Akilathirattu are also considered as ethics. Charity in social ethics and "attempting to realise the ultimate truth of oneness" in spirituality are the ethical codes under the banner of Akila dharma. Akilam also gives separate ethics for Devas also. It is notable that the Ayyavazhi ethics undergo a vast deviation from the incarnation of Vaikundar since a universal change took place then. Over all, as the foremost ethical code, people are advocated to overcome the evil force kalimayai with the weapons of love, forbearance and peace, since Kaliyan as maya rules the minds of people. The Ayyavazhi's teachings are found in the Akilattirattu Ammanai . Like Dharma, the other teachings of Ayyavazhi are twofold, sociological and mystical. The mystical teachings are devoted to revealing divine knowledge, while social teachings are primarily concerned with eliminating inequality and discrimination in society. The teachings encourage a positive relationship with God, as opposed to one based on fear. Followers are encouraged to refer to God as Ayya, "dear father", to strengthen their intimacy and affection towards God. Ayyavazhi mystics and the theology of Akilathirattu focus on supreme oneness. The evil of Kali (Maya)blocks the ultimate or supremeoneness prevailing between individual souls and the universe, creating among them a false sense of individuality and of extreme pride. This erroneous view causes the apparent sense of separation from the oneness and motivates against it. Ekam —the "over-soul" or the supreme soul—is identified as the whole of existence, changeless in nature and ubiquity. This is "one which undergoes different changes with respect to space and time" because of the evil force maya. All of creation evolved from this Ekam, the supreme consciousness. All the qualities of Ekam are within each soul, and evolve from it. Each and every individual soul is a reflection of the absolute Supreme, Ekam. Human and all other souls are restricted and limited by the evil of Kali.This is why individual souls are not able to attain supreme bliss, and so are secondary to Ekam. Once a soul overcomes the influence of maya, it becomes one with Ekam. Its individuality is gone, and thereby it is Ekam. Ayyavazhi philosophy applies a common formula for the creation of human beings and the rest of the universe. Thus as per Akilathirattu, whatever exists externally to human beings exists also internally. Akilathirattu and Ayyavazhi clearly and openly condemns the caste based inequalities in its social teachings. It heavily criticizes the caste discrimination rather than the 'Caste system' itself prevailing in India. From its inception, Ayyavazhi has also served as an engine of social reform, particularly in the area of Travancore, which was previously noted for its unusual strong caste system. On mythical studies, Akilathirattu covers almost the entire main mythology of Hinduism, including Mahabharata, Ramayana, Kantha Purana and Vishnu Purana, but with limited details. It includes only the main events that are directly linked to the main-stream story flow. Akilathirattu provides all these collectively in brief with an overall story line, which make it unique. Many philosophical concepts from Hinduism are found in Akilathirattu ; some of them are completely accepted, some are regenerated, while others are rejected. Some important events in the Akilathirattu are: Genesis of the Universe and living organisms from the Lord. Events of Neetiya Yugam, Chatura Yugam, Nedu Yugam and Kretha Yugam, Dwapara Yuga and Dawn of Kali Yuga. Birth of Santror, their growth and marriage under the custody of Kali. Pre-Incarnational activities of Ayya Vaikunda Avatar. Imprisonment of Kali, acceptance of Seven Virgins to took birth in the world. Ayya Vaikundar's Avatar at the sea-shore. Instructions, Rules and regulations to God-heads given by Ayya Vaikundar, Performance of Tavam by Ayya Vaikundar for 6 years at Swamithope.The destruction of devils, and Mantras. Arrival of Kaliyan's force from Trivandrum to arrest Vaikundar and second Vinchai inside the Sea. The Arrest of Vaikundar by Kalian, the Katuvai Sothanai and release of Vaikundar. The events of Vaikundar's symbolic marriages with the Seven deities. Ayya Vaikundar's final Judgement to Kroni and sentencing him to hell. The dawn of Dharma Yuga. The key philosophy in the book is that human beings are by themselves separated from God by the influence of Kali, and Vaikundar has come for their restoration.
Akilathirattu starts with the explanation given by Lord Vishnu to...Read More
Akilathirattu starts with the explanation given by Lord Vishnu to His consort Maha Lakshmi about the Genesis and Evolution of Universe and of human beings. It is said that there is a total of 8 aeons or yugas and we are currently in the seventh yuga called as Kali Yuga, the age of deterioration. It is believed that for each yuga there is a Demon that will be destroyed by Lord Vishnu. In the first yuga, Kroni was born. Lord Vishnu fragmented him into six pieces and each fragments incarnated as demon in each Yuga. The first four yugas are said to be the Neetiya Yuga, Chatura Yuga, Nedu Yuga and Kretha Yuga. The 5th yuga is said to be the Treta Yuga in which the Lord Rama incarnated as human. The sixth yuga is the Dvapara Yuga, and there is a short but striking description of the life of Krishna and the Maha Bharatha war. Additionally there is said to be another event called the birth of Santror or noble people at the closure of Dvapara Yuga. Kali Yuga, the seventh Yuga begins when the evil spirit called Kali was born. Kali is believed to be cognate with the modern human beings. Then was born the Neesan, the demon for the Kali Yuga. It is said that this demon became the king of earth in various places and tortured the lives of the Santror. Because of this Lord Vishnu got angry and advised Neesan to stop torturing the Santror. But he won't agree to Vishnu and would prefer to die rather than giving up. In order to stop the rule of Neesan and to bring an end to Kali yuga, Vishnu made a plan to make Vaikundar incarnate as human. Ayya Vaikundar , the Son of Vishnu and Lakshmi was beget inside the sea, and sent as human into the land. From the point of incarnation of Vaikundar, it is said that He was made the supreme of all godhead, and will destroy Neesan and also the evil Kali Yuga. It is also said that he will take all righteous people with him into the Vaikundam in the eighth yuga called as Dharma Yuga. Avatars and Asuras through the Yugas
|1||Neediya Yuga||Kroni||Maha Vishnu|
|3||Nedu Yuga||Thillai mallalan and Mallosivahanan||Thirumal|
|Dwapara Yuga||Duryodhana||Krishna( Bheema)|
|7||Kali Yuga||Kali||(Ayya Vaikundar)Trinity (Bhramma, Vishnu & Shiva)|
|8||Dharma Yuga||none||Ayya Vaikundar|
The Santror are given a historical background in Ayyavazhi mythology as seven boys who were made to born in the mythical garden Ayoha Amirtha Vanam (supposed to be between present-day Srirangam, Tamil Nadu and Triconamalee, Sri Lanka) by using the seven seeds from seven upper worlds, by Thirumal, to the seven virgins. Theologians interpret that these 'Seven boys' refer to the ancestors of the whole human race, and hence the term "Santror" refers to the entire human race. Their lineage started at the end phase of Dvapara Yuga and continued through the Kali Yuga into the Dharma Yuga. It is believed that Kali is being destroyed continuously by the activities of the Santror in the Path of Vaikundar, and so the Dharma Yuga unfolds eventually. In this sense they have a considerable roll in the destruction of Kali, the foremost evil. Akilam reads, "Chanars (Santror) are those who have the ability to see 'The Invisible God' constantly." The Ayyavazhi proposes an emancipatory utopia under the banner of Dharma Yuga. The basis of the belief is that Ayya Vaikundar had come to establish and rule as the everlasting king over the Dharma Yuga in the place of Kali Yuga after sentencing Kroni to hell by a final judgment from the Lion-throne of Dwaraka pathi, the rising mythical landmass (which was sunken at the end of Dwapara Yuga by Krishna) located south east of present-day Kanyakumari. The Dharma Yuga is narrated as beyond the limits of time and space.
Ayyavazhi- the "Path of the God OR Path towards God" is centered on the life...Read More
Ayyavazhi- the "Path of the God OR Path towards God" is centered on the life and preaching of Ayya Vaikundar the Purna avatar of Lord Maha Vishnu; The ideas and philosophy of Ayyavazhi are based on the holy text Akilathirattu Ammanai the holy book of Ayyavazhi which shares many ideas with Hinduism in its mythology and practice, but differs considerably in its concepts of good and evil and dharma. Ayyavazhi is classified as a dharmic belief because of its central focus on dharma. Vaikundar's activities and the growing number of followers caused a reformation and revolution in 19th century surprising the feudal social and religious system of South India by which Ayyavazhi first came to public attention in the 19th century as a Hindu sect. Ayyavazhi was noticed initially by the large number of people gathering to worship Vaikundar ) at Swamithope. The Thuvayal thavasu (washing penance) of 1840 is the origin of Ayyavazhi as an alternative religio-cultural phenomena. The majority of its participants were from marginalized and poor sections of society. Ayyavazhi began to function as a distinct and autonomous society, and gradually identified their path with the phrase 'Ayya vazhi'. Majority of these followers were from the Nadar Community and also large number of people from other castes and religions following it. The rapid growth of Ayyavazhi throughout its first century of existence was noted by Christian missionary reports from the mid-19th century. In 1840s, Ayyavazhi was recognised as a separate religion with deep roots in the regions of South India and the numbers of devotees increased significantly. After the time of Vaikundar, Ayyavazhi was spread through Akilathirattu Ammanai and his teachings.
Pathis and Nizhal Thangals are centers of worship and religious learning in various parts of the country which serve as centres for propagation of the Teachings of Akilathirattu beliefs and practices of Ayyavazhi. Some of the Pathis and Nizhal Thangals were established when Vaikundar was alive. Reports from the London Missionary Society (LMS) of the mid-19th century also speak of Nizhal Thangals. These centers emerged as the abode of Dharma. Food and shelter are offered to the needy in these centres. Hence charity is one of the main activities conducted in these centers. The Nizhal Thangals form an important institution in the socio-religious life of the people of Ayyavazhi.
The ethics of Ayyavazhi, integrated with the meta-narrative mythology, are found throughout the primary scripture, Akilattirattu Ammanai. In Akilam, the ethical abstracts are pointed out as "told by God" at several places at different situations to lesser god-heads,devas, saints, etc. when ever asked by them. Neetham ( Justice) is the primary virtue of Ayyavazhi. This shows how society, its people, the ruling king, etc., lived in absolute harmony with nature, placing the power of Almighty in all their works, deeds and activities during early ages. In return, nature and the divine beings protect the society which follows the Neetham. Charity and life in ultimate union with nature form the central theme, an ethical form that is to be followed. Akilathirattu teaches theological, sociological and philosophical values for the enlightenment of human life. The theological teachings revolves around the supremacy of Ayya Narayana Vaikundar while the sociological teachings mainly focus on breaking up the inequalities prevalent in the Indian society and the Philosophical ideas focus the 'Ultimate oneness' of nature and all living beings.
The theology of Ayyavazhi differs considerably from other religions. It speaks of Ekam, the Oneness from which all that exists formed, and also an ultimate oneness that exists behind all differences. The Ekam, which is articulated as the supreme divine power itself, is supposed to remain unaffected by maya deep inside every changeable matter as an absolute constant. In theological terms, God is, in the highest sense, formless, infinite, genderless and beyond time and space. The term Ekam in Tamil language give simply the meanings, "one", "absolute", "the whole which exists" and "the incomparable"; all give some sort of direct monistic definition about God from Ayyavazhi theology. According to Akilathirattu Ammanai the Sakthi and the Sivam are the first to get evolved from Ekam. The Natham (voice), Trimurthi, other lesser gods and the entire universe further evolved. The Trimurthi are greater among the personified Devas. Lord Siva, one among the Trimurthi, was the supreme power until Kali Yuga. Maha Vishnu became supreme from the advent of Kali Yuga. Then, from the incarnation of Vaikundar, again the powers of all god-heads, including that of Vishnu, is transformed to Vaikundar. Ekam, the supreme oneness as one among the Trinity takes a place within Ayya Vaikundar for the present age. Therefore, Ayya Vaikundar is said to be the only worshippable and supreme power in Kali Yuga. Akilathirattu says this supreme oneness (Ekam) itself is created by Vaikundar, who is a personified God. Hence, Ayyavazhi being centered on Ayya Vaikundar, is more monotheistic rather than monistic. No other god-heads have gained an equal or greater status than Vaikundar. Ayya Vaikundar is a turbine power who includes the qualities of the Lord Brahmma, Lord Siva and Lord Narayana. In Ayyavazhi mythology, Kroni, a primordial evil manifestation, was fragmented into six and each fragment took birth and plays an anti-Vishnu role throughout the successive six yugas. He was finally destroyed by a final judgment which is followed by the god-ruled Dharma Yuga.
The Ayya Vaikundar Jayanthi is celebrated on the twentieth day of the Tamil month Masi which falls on 3rd or 4th March. This is the only Ayyavazhi festival to be celebrated as per the Solar calendar. The Thiru Edu-Vasippu is a festival of seventeen days celebrated in the Tamil month of Karthigai (November–December). This celebration of textual reciting as a festival itself is a unique feature to Ayyavazhi. Akilathirattu Day is another important Festival observed by the Ayyavazhi Followers on the 27th Day of Karthigai, Tamil Month which falls on 12th or 13th of December . This was a Friday when Hari Gopalan Seedar started writing the Akilathirattu with the direct instructions, guidance and directions of Lord Narayana. However in addition to the philosophical concepts and mythology, some more unwanted rituals of Ayyavazhi evolved in their own way. Most of the rituals have different operational and historical meanings. Historically, the rituals were used or viewed as an attempt to break the caste-based inequalities prevailed in the society of the time, and to strengthen and uplift the sociologically downtrodden and ill-treated. The Thirunamam is treated religiously as if the Namam has the power to heal all sorts of mental as well as physical illness. Thuvayal thavasu is suggested as a training to reach the ultimate aim of Dharma Yuga. The use of the Turban on the Head (crown) reveals that "all are equal and kings of their own world".
The formula of inclusiveness and exclusivity, as applied in the religio-cultural universe of Ayyavazhi, is unique because both the theories are mixed up in Ayyavazhi scriptures. The inclusive theory accepts the views of different religions for a certain period of time, and from then onwards exclusively rejects all of them in its narrative. Ayyavazhi accepts different god-heads of several religions, like the concept of Allah, Jesus Christ and almost all the god-heads of Hinduism. It also says that the one and the same God incarnates in different parts of the world at different time for rescuing the people from sufferings. But due to the advent of Kaliyan and because of the cruel nature of his boons, for the first time, the supreme power Ekam incarnates in the world as Vaikundar, and so all the lesser god-heads and previous scriptures had lost their substances. So after the time of the Vaikunda Avatar, Vaikundar was said to be the only worshippable God and hence, the theology of Ayyavazhi was channeled towards exclusivism. In General, creation of religions and shaping individualities for them are heavily condemned by Akilathirattu and it says openly 'Accept God and NOT the religions which are framed by Human Being as per their will and wish . Ayyavazhi accepts various incarnations in Hinduism, but necessarily rejects the so-called ' Hindu ' scriptures. It initially accepts Vedas. Later since Kaliyan had bought the Vedas as boon they too lost their substance by the advent of Kaliyan, and so had gone invalid. It also says that he (Kaliyan) had performed several additions and had hidden some of their content. And hence God incarnated as Vaikundar. So for the present age ( Kali Yuga), Akilathirattu is said to be the only 'Book of Perfection' and by this Akilathirattu rejects / eliminates all other scriptures. Akilam highly condemns the creation of religions especially religious and theological ideas. Akilathirattu teach sensibly and symbolically that God and his activities are beyond the reach of religions and it preaches only about universal oneness.
The mythology of Ayyavazhi narrates that the essence of this vision is an account of a history – a past, a present and a future – meant by weaving together of empirical facts, historical events as well as mythical accounts. It moves around three axiomatic typologies, namely Santror, Kali Yuga and Dharma Yuga, placing their base on the concepts and events of previous yugas that are associated also with Hindu mythology. The basic concepts give a symbolic vision which is at once religious and social. Akilam talks about the previous yugas and the evolution of Kroni through them. Events, mythical characters, and concepts are shared with Hinduism, though they may be engendered in different form. The number of Yugas and Avatars differs in Ayyavazhi from Hinduism. The personification of the entity of Evil for the current yuga, Kaliyan, is unique to Ayyavazhi. Akilam says that the true concepts were destroyed, so that all previous scriptures had lost their substances due to the advent of Kali. Akilathirattu speaks of God incarnating in the world in the Kali Yuga (the present age) to destroy the evil spirit, the final and the most serious manifestation of Kroni. God incarnates as Vaikundar, and since Vaikundar lived recently, he was well known in history.
The Hindu and Ayyavazhi ideologies are closely tied to each other. The place where Ayyavazhi and Hinduism depart from each other is at the advent of Kali Yuga. Akilam says that until the advent of Kali Yuga, the Vedas and all other Hindu scriptures remained with Divinity. Each of the gods referred to in the scriptures (Hindu) also remained with all their powers. But from the beginning of Kali Yuga, they and all their virtues collapsed. Kaliyan was a part of the mundane primordial manifestation who spread maya or illusion upon the existing scriptures and Devas. In Kali Yuga, all true scriptures are bound to maya and are unhelpful. The reason, as stated in Akilam for the disintegration of the entire system is that, towards the end of Dwapara Yuga, there in Mount Kailash, Siva believing the words of devas, created Kaliyan without discussing to Vishnu, who had the responsibility to destroy Kaliyan as per previous deeds. Vishnu refused to take birth (Avatar) in the world to destroy Kaliyan. So Lord Siva and Lord Brahma surrendered all their powers to Vishnu. Until this event, Siva was the supreme power as per Akilam. Then onwards, however, Vishnu is the supreme power. This supremacy of Vishnu remains like this from the beginning of Kali Yuga until the incarnation of Vaikundar, from where it changes further. During the incarnation, Vishnu himself cannot incarnate directly in the world to destroy Kaliyan, since he (Kaliyan) had bought as boon the power of Devas, including Vishnu's, and spread it all over the world as maya. So God needs to be incarnated with a new set of rules and with unique importance. A total universal transformation of the power relation of god-heads, the rules of scriptures, the dharma, etc., took place, and Vaikundar was given birth by taking in the power of Ekam, by Lakshmi and Vishnu conjoining together inside the sea. And from now onwards all the powers were handled over from Vishnu to Vaikundar inside the sea. Siva, Vishnu and Brahma therefore form a part within Vaikundar. This ideology about Trimurthi (three are equal in power) is similar to that of Smartism. Vishnu alone forms a double role; one, within Vaikundar, and the other, as the father of him, remain inside the sea and regulating Vaikundar through Vinchais. After Vaikundar was given birth to, by assuming the Power of Ekam, Vaikundar was supreme to Vishnu and all other God-heads, though Vishnu playing the role of Father to Vaikundar. However, Vaikundar had to obey the order of Vishnu, since Vaikundar was given birth to perform the duties of Vishnu, which he (Vishnu) could not do. Vaikundar (and scriptures given by him) is the manifestation of the supreme Ekam so, in Ayyavazhi spirituality, he is the only worship able universal power. As per Akilathirattu Ammanai, Ayya Vaikundar, arose from the sea at Thiruchendur on 20th of the Tamil Month of Masi (March 4, 1833 ) is considered a unique avatar . Regarding scriptures, the first part of Akilam is summed-up events of the previous yugas, which are present in Hindu scriptures. The second part says about the universal transformation and the uniqueness of Vaikundar and his incarnational activities. So as a summary, till the beginning of Kali yuga, what is Hinduism, that is Ayyavazhi. From then onwards for a series of reasons, Akilam says that 'Hindu' scriptures and its ideology had lost its purity and was destroyed, and so the Dharma was re-configured in the name of Akilam and Vaikundar and the 'Hindu' ideas were re-formed.
Ayya Vaikundar, arose from the sea at Thiruchendur on 20th of the Tamil Month...Read More
Ayya Vaikundar, arose from the sea at Thiruchendur on 20th of the Tamil Month of Masi (March 4, 1833) is considered a unique avatar of Lord Maha Vishnu. According to Akilathirattu, in each of the five yugas prior to the transformation of Ayya Vaikundar, as each fragment of Kroni (evil or Devil) came into physical form, the Lord Vishnu incarnated as well, destroying them. However, in this the sixth yuga, the evil was called Kali, and having no physical form (see Pre-Incarnational Events for this account) he occupied the mind of people of earth as the Mayai (Illusion), causing them to behave discourteously. Kaliyan claimed, it was impossible to destroy him in this yuga as in the previous ones as he held the boon from gods, it was impossible for Narayan, or any others, to incarnate in the world to destroy him. Since God could not incarnate directly, He incarnated as Ayya Vaikundar in the Spirits of Narayana, Lord Shiva and the Bhramma along with the Ultimate Soul (Paramatma) incarnated . All these happens in the Golden Capricorn in the Sea. Then Ayya Vaikundar was given Vinchai by Narayanar. He had the power and responsibility to destroy the evil of Kali. As per Akilathirattu Ammanai, Maha Vishnu did not take a human body and showed only a bodily appearance to mankind. After reaching Swamithope, he undertook a penance.The penance consisted of three stages, each spanning two years. Akilattirattu speaks of his incineration of evil spirits as an important event in Ayya Vaikundar's incarnation. It took place when he was performing his penance, which he had announced to be the means of destroying the kalimayai - the illusory evil force. He gathered the people and caused some of them, both male and female, to be possessed of the evil spirits. The possessed ones danced in front of the crowd as if the evil spirits had come upon them. Vaikundar, then, ordered these evil spirits to make an oath, in front of the people, to surrender their powers and incinerate themselves. When he had finished his orders, the dancers fell flat on the ground and burned. Similarly, Vaikundar performed another action to 'seize the esoteric evil powers'. Akilam says that he took away the powers of those who knew to perform witchcraft, sorcery and other magical rituals. People living in the hills, were believed to be powerful shamans, having powers to contain or to provoke the demons. Vaikundar, in a trance, made some of them testify that they had surrendered their powers. People grew appreciative of Ayya's actions and began addressing him as Vaikuntacami. Ayya Vaikundar exhorted the people that “There are no demons, no devils. No ill effects of magical practices, No disease, no pain and no extortion of taxes, and, therefore, live courageously without any fear”. The fame of Vaikundar began to spread in the countries of Travancore and Tirunelveli and he was gradually recognised as a religious person with extraordinary powers. He was addressed as a Pandaram, a religious person hailing from and serving the ordinary folk. People came to listen to his teachings and instructions, to be cured by him of different diseases, to witness, worship and serve a religious person. Ayya Vaikundar encouraged the people to come together around a well to take a ritual bath, irrespective of caste. He encouraged them to dine together in his presence. He stressed that he had come to abolish Kali Yuga and to usher in an age of Dharma Yuga, when the now-oppressed and suffering people would be liberated and rule the land under his leadership. 'Uplift of the lowly is dharmam’ was a constant refrain in his teachings. People were encouraged to serve as catalysts for the destruction of Kali by transforming themselves to be 'people of Dharma Yuga' and to acquire a new character. The new character would come upon them, he said, if they learned to live with self-respect, social dignity and fearlessness. Underscoring the importance of self-respect and social dignity, he said, ‘if one lives with dignity and self-respect, the kali would destroy itself’ . He said when people grew out of kalimayai, Dharma Yuga would unfold and in that age, he would rule over the people as Dharma Raja, the king of Dharma Yuga. Against the background of the growing popularity of Vaikundar and the convergence of people around him in multitudes, a complaint was lodged against him with the king of Travancore. The king arrested Ayya Vaikundar and tortured him. He was in the jail for more than 3 months. After he returned from imprisonment, Vaikundar inspired a group of his devotees to undertake a religious exercise called Thuvayal Thavasu. He also performed miracles. He married Saptha Kanniyar ( Seven deities ) as Narayanar in the form of Ekam . The deities were made to 'come upon' some of the female devotees who became their human media and a marriage ceremony was performed. Ayya Vaikundar married many other dieties ( Bhagavathy Amman, Mandaikattu Amman, Parvathy, Valli, Theivanai, etc.) to make the people understand that all the god are one. Ceremonial processions were held amidst singing, incantations and shouts of joy by the followers. Several rites and rituals were instituted during these occasions. Later Vaikundar was invited by his devotees to their homes and treated in a grand manner. By way of soliciting his blessings, his devotees carried him to different places. During these occasions, he laid foundations in various places for small shrine-like centres, called Nizhal Thangals. Vaikundar came to recognize five individuals as his closest disciples. The Soul of Ayya Vaikundar left the Body on 3rdJune 1851and attained Vaikundam.