Sasi Namboothiri – New Sabarimala Melsanthi

published on October 18, 2010

New chief priest for Sabarimala selected
PNS | Pathanamthitta

Sasi Namboothiri of Ezhikkode Mana in Thrissur district was on Monday selected as the Melsanthi (chief priest) of the Lord Ayyappa temple at Kerala famed mountainous pilgrim centre Sabarimala for a period of one year from mid-November.

A native of Paingulam near Cheruthuruthy in Thrissur district, Sasi Namboothiri had served as the Melsanthi of the Lord Krishna temple of Guruvayur in 1995. Responding to his selection for the holy task, Namboothiri said he considered it as the greatest blessing he was receiving in life.

Sasi Namboothiri was selected as the new Melsanthi through draw of lots from ten short-listed names held in front of the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine after the morning poojas on Monday. The temple’s traditional head priest, Kantararu Rajeevaru led the draw of lots.

M Rajagopalan Nair, president of the Travancore Devaswom Board, which was in charge of the administration of most of the Hindu temples in southern Kerala, board members V Sasi and K Sicily, Devaswom Special Commissioner M Rajagopal and others were present at the draw of lots.

At the same time, Dhananjyan Namboothiri of Kodakinal, Vallikkunnam was selected as the new Melsanthi of the Malikappuram Devi temple, situated adjacent to the Lord Ayyappa shrine. Pilgrimage to Lord Ayyappa’s shrine without worshipping at the Malikappuram temple is considered incomplete.

The new chief priests of the two temples will assume duties on the evening of November 16, when the sanctum sanctorum opens for the annual 41-day Mandala Vilakku pilgrim season. The current Melsanthis will leave the Sabarimala after the sanctum sanctorum closes that night after poojas.

Sasi Namboothiri said that this was the happiest moment of his life. “For a man in the service of God, the highest bliss is to get the position of Melsanthi at Guruvayur and Sabarimala temples. I have got both these opportunities. I am blessed,” he said.

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