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             Ayyavazhi first came to public attention in the 19th century as a Hindu sect. Vaikundar's activities and the growing number of followers caused a reformation and revolution in 19th century Travancore and Tamil society, surprising the feudal social system of South India.

             Ayyavazhi worship was marked by its simplicity. The absence of idol worship and priestly mediation, and inclusion of alternate type of centres of worship, the Pathis and Nizhal Thangals, were other characteristics of Ayyavazhi worship. Rituals of Ayyavazhi are a reform or revolutionary activity, focusing upon social equality, deviating from Hinduism. The rituals are also characterised and bound by religious beliefs that give them an alternative spiritual meaning. Its scriptures cover basic elements and ideas throughout Hinduism. They refer to Shastras, Agamas, Vedas and Puranas. But address them all to be gone awry by the Advent of Vaikundar, from where Ayyavazhi scriptures forms negative ideas over all other traditions. Though Ayyavazhi shares many god-heads with Hinduism, it weaves unique ideology and power assumption for them. Ayyavazhi can be portrayed as a Hindu renaissance. Ayyavazhi is viewed as a reform movement too, as it brought many social changes there in the Tamil and keralite society during the 19th century.


             The religious structure evolved in the path of Ayyavazhi scriptures and, as a result, it transfigured itself as an alternative religio-cultural system in the social category. The Ayyavazhis addressed their system as "Path of God" with the phrase "Ayya Vazhi". On one hand, they believe that their tradition had come to replace all old traditions (religions), but on the other hand, they believe that Ayyavazhi is the synopsis of the world's religious knowledge. On one hand, they believe that unified all deities within him; on the other, as all the previous had gone awry by the advent of Vaikundar. Apart from this, Ayyavazhi has separate, and ethics of its own.

              Though many new papers, academic researchers [and some of its followers consider it as a separate religion, many of the followers are even of the opinion that this is but a Hindu sect rather than an autonomous religion. They indulge in the mystic practices of possessions and divinations similar to the tribal religions of Tamil Nadu. Also, many of its core beliefs are similar to some Hindu sects such as Advaita and Smartism.

Historical Events

  • 1841 January/February - The first Thai Thirunal of Swamithoppu Pathi begins.

  • 1841 March 4 – The Ayya Vaikunda Avataram celebrated for the first time.

  • 1848 February/March – Ayya along with the followers and virgins reached Ambalappathi.

  • 1850 January/February – The foundation stone for the Thangal of Sunda Vilai laid; Ayya participated in the function.

  • 1871 June/July – The first Flagmast of Swamithope pathi constructed.

  • 1871 August/September – The first Kodiyettru Thirunal celebrated in Swamithoppu pathi.

  • 1892 December – Swami Vivekananda reached Swamithoppu pathi as per some historians.

  • 1939 – Akilattirattu Ammanai , for the first time released in the printed form and circulated among the people.

  • 1944 August/September – The first Thirunal begins in the first Nizhal Thangal, Thangal of Chettikkudiyiruppu.

  • 1956 – The king of Travancore, Chithirai Thirunal (Descandent of the Kalineesan series)visited and worshipped in the Swamithoppu Pathi .

  • 1975 – The "The great Masi Procession organized by Bala Prajapathi Adikalar, from Nagercoil to Swamithoppu.

  • 1978 – A new temple car dedicated to the Swamithoppu Pathi.

  • 1989 – The Vaikundar Thirukkudumbam Edition of Akilattirattu Ammanai, released. Big controversy arosed questioning the removal and reference of additional verses from various versions of texts of Akilam.

  • 1990 – A new Flag mast constructed at Swamithoppu Pathi replacing the old one.

  • 1990 October/November – The Flag mast and the Temple car included Kodiyettru Thirunal begins in Ambalappathi.

  • 1993 - Ayya Vaikunda Avataram was announced as a holiday by the government for the district of Kanyakumari.

  • 1999 January 1 - The first transliterated version of Arul Nool published in Malayalam by Bala Prajapathi Adikalar.

  • 2000 – The Second edition of the (Vaikundar Thiru kudumbam Version) Akilattirattu Ammanai released by Ayya Vaikundar Thirukkudumbam.

  • 2006 February/March - The Ayya Vaikunda Avataram was declared official holiday for the districts of Tirunelveli and Thoothukkudi by the Tamil Nadu Government.

  • 2006 September/October - The first impression of Akilam Kalai Ilakkiya Peravai version Akilam released.


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