Never knew this before…..Sabharimala is one place that I had always wanted to go since i was small – till date, I am not blessed…One day, I hope, Lord Ayyappa will bless me with this! Sri Vaariyar Swamigal talks in detail about the significance of 18-steps….if I remember right, here are some from the lecture
“Eighteen is considered as the code number to break into the soul of the Nature. The significance of 18 can be traced back to the Vedic age. The first Veda, believed to be protected by Lord Brahma himself, had 18 chapters. Later, Veda Vyasa divided it to create the four vedas: Rigveda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and Atharava Veda. Each of these vedas had 18 chapters.Veda Vyasa also wrote 18 puranas and 18 upa-puranas. The Bhagavad Gita has 18 chapters and the Kurukshetra war lasted 18 days”….He goes on with more such data pointers – I dont remember all of that….
Pathinettapadi (18 divine steps) to the sanctum sanctorium is divine in all aspects. Initially the 18 steps were made of granite. It was later covered with Panchaloha in the year 1985 to prevent it from deterioration. As per the tradition, ONLY those who undertake the penance for 41 days and those who carry the IRUMUDI on their head are allowed to use the steps.
I got this from FB – the english seems to be lot broken 🙂 I am sure you can make out the message..
- 1st step- Getting knowledge and consciousness to make think is called first step.
- 2nd step- The bhakters ultimate consciousness is second step. Dvaita & advaita are same. Advaita means God & Dvaita means soul.
- 3rd step- vision or insight, imagination, understand, act, excercise, law to be connected with intellect.
- 4th step- pure consciousness image of knowledge it refers.
- 5th step- not in pure form & enlightened like bhagavathi gods form.
- 6th – past several births (purva janam) goodness if we climb sixth step and we can see lord shiva.
- 7th step- will-power, we will have will-power to get god blessing
- 8th step- yaga inner form. rahoyagam.
- 9th step- supreme celestial light , “paramjyothis” in order today also “makara jyothi” is seen.
- 10th step- meditating and knowing universal supreme lord.
- 11th step- ascetic meditating. God and devotee uniting.
- 12th step- samadhi non dualistic state of consciousness.
- 13th step- atma, soul changes happens.
- 14th step- supreme brahma, indicates knowledge person god subramanian. Ultimate supreme brahma is also called this step.
- 15th step- nadabrahma means ecstasy continues.
- 16th step- jyothiswarupa- illumination of god. A supreme effulgence, the proper form of god.
- 17th step- trigunathitha means tri characters of god
- 18th step – which is considered as parama feet- the ultimate supreme feet of lord ayyappa swamy.
Swamiye sharanam ayyappa.