Poojya Swami Bhoomananda has declared that Makara Jyoti at Sabarimalai is man-made and terrestrial, not divine or celestial. In the wake of widespread agony caused by the recent stampede death toll of 102 devotees, caused by the Makara Jyoti frenzy, this statement made by a spiritual leader, especially a Sannyasin, has significant relevance and impact on the general public. Quoting from authentic sources, Swamiji said that the “Jyoti” is found to have a history of 45 years, lit first by the tribal people in the area, called Malayarayas. Later on the “lighting” was taken over by the Electricity Board, and then by the Devaswam Board officials along with police.
Explaining further, he said: “Devotees trek to Sabarimalai after an elaborate arduous austerity, which imbues them with great holiness and piety. What greater travesty can be there, if the climax of such an austere spell is to be showing and seeing of a fraudulent man-made flame publicized in the name of divine and celestial occurrence ? There is not the least religious, ritualistic or mythological touch in the whole affair. It is mischievous and fictitious.”
Poojya Swami Bhoomananda
Press release on 22nd January 2011.
Vicharasetu; Vol.46.No.5;February, 2011.