Melsanthi-designate E.N. Krishnadas Namboodiri of Ezhikode Mana, Panjal, Thrissur, offered prayers at the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple on Sunday.
“I am here as per the divine will of Swami Ayyappa,” he told The Hindu. Mr. Namboodiri was accompanied by his paternal uncle Ezhikode Sasi Namboodiri, who had served as Sabarimala Melsanthi. The entire atmosphere was charged with Saranam Ayyappa chants as the devotees came to know that the new Melsanthi-designate was offering prayers with them.
The Melsanthi selection was through a draw of lots at the temple ‘sopanam’ on Saturday. The Melsanthi-designate offered prayers at the Malikappuram Devi temple and other associated shrines. He called on Tantri Kandararu Rajeevararu. Mr. Namboodiri was serving as head priest at the Pavakkulam Mahadevar temple at Kaloor in Ernakulam. He was earlier Melsanthi at Sree Krishna Temple, Guruvayur; the Pon Guruvayurappan temple, Dombivilly, Mumbai; and the Ayyappa temple atop Chamundi Hills, Mysore.
Mr. Namboodiri said his paternal uncle was his guiding spirit in tantric duties and spiritual life.
The installation ceremony of the new Melsanthi would be held at temple ‘sopanam’ on November 16. The Tantri would perform the Kalasabhishekom as part of the ceremony, lead him to the sanctum sanctorum, and give initiation of the Moolamantra of the presiding deity, sources said. The Melsanthi would open the sanctum sanctorum of the temple on November 17, the first day of the Malayalam month of Vrischikom, and perform the temple rituals for one year. Mr. Namboodiri left the holy hillock in the afternoon. Melsanthi-designate of the Malikappuram Devi temple S. Kesavan Namboodiri of Mavelikara Cheruthala Madhom also visited the Sannidhanam and offered prayers.