August 3, 2007

Temptress, Son, and the Holy Mess

No, Sabarimala is neither a typographical distortion of subnormal, nor is it a group of Jewish scholars in Babylonian amoraim during the 6th century c.e. It is a temple in the state of Kerala in Southern India, where the presiding deity is Ayyappa. Every year, thousands flock to the temple to atone for their sins, and beg their god for health, wealth and prosperity, so they could commit more sins, and then — well, more trips to Sabarimala! Some claim that it is the second largest pilgrimage after Haj, the world's largest pilgrimage to another stone in a desert.

Sabarimala has long remained a bastion of the Martians. Perched atop a mountain in the Western Ghats, Ayyappa, a Martian himself, would be terribly offended if any Venusian in the age group 10-50 — among the Venusians, it mostly signifies the period between puberty and menopause — were to trespass into his house. Well, so the Martians contended, and the temple administration has long held a ban against any Venusian entering the temple.

Everything was fine and dandy until last year, when actress Jaimala, a rebellious Venusian, revealed that she had broken the taboo a decade ago. In 1997, accompanied by her husband, she had ventured into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, and horror of horrors, touched Ayyappa, a confirmed bachelor.

Many Martians doubted the veracity of Jaimala's claim. It has been buttressed, however, by a famous astrologist, who has declared that all is not well with Ayyappa, presumably after consulting his horoscope. The grapevine has it that the actress and the astrologer might have conspired to get more visibility. The actress confirmed the astrologer's prediction, and as a quid pro quo, it is rumored, the astrologer repositioned a couple of planets in her horoscope, so the aging actress could be cast opposite another aging Bollywood superstar.

Clashes ensued between the Martians for the ban, the Martians against the ban, and the Martians against this ban but not against other bans. Things turned ugly, as everyone took the fight to the streets. The alpha Martians of the various tribes in India were naturally upset by the media's preoccupation with the actress, the astrologer, and the arsonists. They decided to take the matter into their own hands, and the war of words and fists shifted to the legislatures, where everything from war to wear to worship are legislated.

G. Sudhakaran, a Martian, and the minister in charge of religious affairs in the communist state government in secular India, spearheaded the movement against the ban. Declaring his bias against the bias against the Venusians of the Hindu tribe only, he announced that his government was biased in favor of allowing them into the temple. In a show of his resolve to lift the ban, the minister filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court of India, an august body of jurists that is currently all Martian. The affidavit called for the constitution of yet another Commission, this time with Hindu scholars and social reformers — read, septuagenarians and octogenarians with nothing better to do — to decide on permitting the Venusians into Sabarimala.

The Martians of the Ayyappa cult would tolerate none of this. CNN-IBN reports that:

A Salem-based Ayyappa Mission -- which pays allegiance to Lord Ayyappa -- has threatened to go on a hunger strike in front of the Kerala state legislature if the government allows [Venusians] inside the famed Sabarimala temple.

The group says that [Venusians] inside the temple would prove to be a 'distraction' to [Martian] Ayyappa devotees.

Having gone without any intimate contact with the Venusians for 41 days as a penance before the pilgrimage, the hapless Martians would be unable to resist any temptress — another dictionary definition for Venusian — in the temple. And, succumbing to the temptation would defile the bachelor Ayyappa's abode beyond imagination.

As an amicus curiae, I would like to file an affidavit on the genesis of Ayyappa to the Supreme Court of India. Here is the gist:

Once upon a time, long long ago, there were two Martian tribes called Asuras and Devas. As most Martian tribes are wont to, these two constantly warred with each other for supremacy. On a rare occasion the two cooperated in their eternal quest for immortality and chanced upon an elixir, locally called Amrita [not to be confused with guava, which is called Amrut].

Of course, the Devas didn't want the Asuras to attain immortality, and vice versa. An alpha Martian called Vishnu decided to intervene. Fair and balanced as Fox News is, Vishnu offered to serve the Amrita to both the Devas and the Asuras. With a wink at the Devas, Vishnu assumed the form of Mohini, a Venusian and a temptress without parallel, and started serving the Amrita. Of course, the Devas got all the Amrita and became immortal, while all that the "distracted" Asuras got were a few coquettish glances from the master temptress — or, should I say mistress tempter — well, whatever.

It's not only the Asuras who were mesmerized by Mohini alias Vishnu, but also another alpha Martian, Shiva, who often sits on the fence between the Asuras and the Devas. In a fleeting moment of weakness, Shiva succumbed to the irresistible charms of Vishnu. We are not exactly sure what happened next, but Ayyappa was conceived by Mohini! After giving birth to Ayyappa, Mohini had a sex change and became Vishnu again. Considering the circumstances of his birth, it is not surprising that Ayyappa became a recluse and retired to the rain forest of Sabarimala.

Now, at first glance, it may seem reasonable that temptresses should not be allowed inside the temple of a son born of temptation. I submit, however, that there is more in the genesis of Ayyappa than what meets the eye in the first glance. You see, Shiva, a Martian, was tempted by Vishnu, another Martian, cross-dressed and more, as a Venusian. The temptress here is not a temptress after all, but a tempter, a Martian!

If you thought that it was Mohini, a Venusian, and not Vishnu, a Martian, who tempted the Asuras and Shiva, think again. Do you remember the story of the Martians, Bhishma and Shikhandi, in Mahabharatha? Bhishma wouldn't fight Shikhandi because Shikhandi was Amba, a Venusian, in a previous birth. Once a Venusian, always a Venusian, Bhishma had declared, even if she were to assume the form of a Martian in some of her reincarnations. And, what holds for the goose, holds for the gander, too!

Ayyappa is the silent proof that Martians can distract, tempt, and more, as well as Venusians can. I argue, therefore, that no Martian pilgrim be permitted in the temple either, lest he should tempt his fellow Martian pilgrims, leading to unthinkable and dangerous liaisons. I submit that Ayyappa should be left in peace and seclusion that he had sought so desperately after the traumatic events surrounding his birth.

In the light of this affidavit, I would also urge the court to consider declaring Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as unconstitutional. Saves valuable time for the overburdened court!

  1. I agree with the swamiji - Just imagine what might happen?
    Having repressed all their desires while observing the vrat for 41 days while being surrounded by temptations of every kind at home and work ( aren't women generally out to seduce men day in and day out?)these poor pilgrims finally set out to achieve their objective. And there at the temple they do not want more seductresses in austere black garbs and sandalwood paste on forehead and vrat mala around their necks chanting the prayer - can their be anything more irresistible for a man? you cannot blame the swamiji for trying to protect the vulnerable men from such vile tempting sights at the holiest of holy shrine with a God born without any feminine interference.
    Rational Fools, Stay off. is nothing sacred anymore?

  2. Oh I forgot to metion! all this in the sensual ambience of the temple premises with lamps and bells and incense and cymbals.
    I am terrified of what might happen if Sudhakaran had his way!

  3. This is over my head !

  4. Acronn:
    >>This is over my head!

    I have a few questions for you:
    Q.1 Are you 18 or more? If not, read no further; come back when you are :)
    Q.2 Have you read the book, "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" by John Gray?
    Q.3 Have you read Neil Jordan's, "Crying Game", or watched the movie by the same name? You'll then know what a Martian can do for a fellow Martian ;)
    Q.4 Are you a person of faith or reason? If you are the former, you should have no doubt about what an alpha Martian (or god for the faithful) like Vishnu can do - you know, command the sea to part, call a dead Lazarus to life, turn water into blood. What's the big deal about a Martian having a baby? If you are a person of reason... well, if you are a person of reason, Ayyappa is not, so why bother?

    Fools rush in where angels fear to tread! [Alexander Pope]

  5. Why declare section 377 as unconstitutional? It could be our only hope to unite Hindus and Muslims.


  6. Bloghopped from Usha.

    I love the way you have taken potshots at everybody involved.
    And if it were not so ludicrous, I would get angry with those Salem people. Total nincompoops.

    After 41 days of fasting for the Lord, if all they have eyes for are the ladies dressed in 'sensuous' black, why are we letting the Martians in to pray in the first instance? Poor Ayyappa martian. To be burdened with these pseudos year after year after year....

  7. You see, Shiva, a Martian, was tempted by Vishnu, another Martian, cross-dressed and more, as a Venusian. The temptress here is not a temptress after all, but a tempter, a Martian!

    If you thought that it was Mohini, a Venusian, and not Vishnu, a Martian, who tempted the Asuras and Shiva, think again.

    Hilarious, sir! But that's a point made very well.

    But surely, you underestimate the amount of story required to get a man away from his wife for so long!

  8. Very funny. Was laughing all through the article.

  9. That was simply superb you blaspheming martian low life. The ambience at the place is not just full of incense and camphor but also of the bodies of people standing in queue for 12-24 hrs at times. Sensual I must say


  10. I bow before thee o great and wise one. such deep insight. unbelievable.


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