Ayyappa Yogam is the basic unit of SASS.
The meaning of the word ‘Yogam’ is ‘coming together’ and the word ‘Ayyappa’ is added because Lord Ayyappa Himself organised Ayyappa Yogams during his life time.
Shreedharmasastha, during the period of his incarnation (Avatar) as Ayyappa (son of Pandalam Raja), organised groups under the name ‘Yogams’, by selecting youngsters from the surrounding areas and gave them physical and mental training such as ‘Kalari’- a martial art – to prepare them for war against the demonic forces, for the purpose of saving Good people and protecting ‘Dharma’.
Among the various Yogams, five Yogams, viz.
- Ambalappuzha Yogam
- Aalangat Yogam
- Muhamma Yogam
- Cheerappanchira Yogam and
- Manarkad Yogam…
were considered important, in which only the first two Yogams are still in existence.
‘Petta Thullal’ – a special type of dance (with Nadaswaram orchestra and Saranaghosham – chanting ‘swamy thinthaka thom, ayyappa thinthaka thom’) by Ayyappas – devotees- on 12th of January every year by ‘Ambalappuzha and Aalangat Yogams’ at Erumely, near Sabarimala, is considered continuation of the original Ayyappa Yogams started by Lord Ayyappa. Hence, we decided to call our basic unit / branch as ‘Ayyappa Yogam’.
Coming together of Ayyappa Devotees (including ladies and children) and holding a meeting or Satsangh in a particular place (temple or common place or a house) for about One hour is the essence of an Ayyappa Yogam.
In an area with a population of about 1000 persons an Ayyappa Yogam shall be formed. One Senior Guruswamy (Ayyappa Devotee who has completed several years of Sabarimala Darshan) may be selected as ‘Yogapramukh’ – leader – to conduct the proceedings of Yogam. 3-4 Assistants also may be selected to help the Yogapramukh.
The periodicity of Ayyappa Yogam is Once in a week, any fixed convenient day, preferably Saturday, fixed time for one hour.
The photo of Lord Ayyappa to be decorated with garland made of fresh flowers. The surroundings shall be clean, made of divinity with the good smell of Joss sticks – agar bathi- and fragrant benzoingum.
The program shall be started by lighting lamp – Nilavilakku – by a Senior Guruswamy along with chanting of ‘Saranamayyappa’ – Saranaghosham – by all. There shall be singing of Bhajans of Lord Ayyappa and other Gods also. One person may tell about Samajam, moral stories, spiritual stories, explanation about Ayyappa Dharma, Sanathana Dharma, concept of Vrutha, Erumudi etc., importance of Cleanliness, not only in Sabarimala, but everywhere etc. etc. for 15- 20 minutes. A brief discussion on local events, news etc. which would help or affect the society may be included. Finally, the Yogam to be concluded by Deeparadhana or Karpoorarathi with ‘Saranaghosham’ and/or ‘Harivarasanam’ chanting. Distribution of Prasadam is optional.