Although Makaravilakku is the most sacred time in Lord Ayyappa's temple, Makaray Jyothi is rather controversial. The staunch believers of Lord Ayyappa believe it as the blessing from their deity and atheists believe it as an act of cheating the devotees. Makara Jyothi has been in newspapers along with its controversies for years. But till now, nobody has came with a solid prove that could prove the reality.
The Two Beliefs About Makara Jyothi
1. The sacred Ayyappas and other devotees believes that Lord Ayyappa spread his blessings to the humanity on this auspicious occasion.
2. There are lots of people who think Makaravilakku is merely an artificial lightning of fire by some people to induce an act of divinity among people.
The rationalists often pointed the following two incidents to question the sacredness of Makarajyothi. They are:
1.In 1981, Mr. Karunakaran Nair of KSEB and his driver Gopinathan Nair set up an 'artificial' jyothi by lighting 2Kgs of camphor. In the same year, Kerala Yukthivadi Sangham climbed Ponnambalamedu and lighted a number of fires to confuse devotees with many Makaravilakkus.
2.In 1986, Officials of Devaswom Board set up an artificial Jyothi with the protection from the Kerala Police.
There are many other controversial events associated with Makara Jyothi.
•Rahul Easwar, grandson of traditional supreme priest of the Sabarimala temple, Tantri Kantaru Maheswararu also believes that Makara jyothi is just an act to make symbolic divinity among devotees.
"It is the star that is worshipped as a celestial light. The Makaravilakku is merely a ritual involving the lighting of a fire as a symbolic act," he said.
•A group of rationalists petitioned the court requesting to Grant permission to visit Ponnambalamedu during the Makarajyothi day. This petition is known as Writ petition.
Whatever may be the truth behind Makara jyothi, the number of devotees who visit the temple on this "sacred" day still goes high.
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