‘Swami Sharanam’ is a common incantation uttering by every Sabarimala devotees at the moment they started 41 day austerities.
This is one of the most important incantations chanted by the devotees of Swami Ayyappa. This conjuration is uttered as a greeting when two Ayyappa devotees or pilgrims meet. During the 41 day penance of Sabarimala devotees, everything starts and ends in Swami Sharanam. Literally, the word ‘Swami Sharanam means that the presence of Swami Ayyappa is the ‘one and the only’ refuge center to all devotees. The two words that persist in the mind of millions of Ayyappa devotees have been found molded throughout in the environments under which they perform the 41 day austerities.
The significance of ‘Swami Sharanam’ can be expressed as follows
Swa – the uttering of this linguistic unit reminds one of the ultimate source or the Supreme Being(Parabrahma).
M – represents Shiva.
I – represents Shakti.
The linguistic unit ‘MI’ represents ShivaShakti which is the supreme source of creation.
Sha – in the incantation represents the destruction of enemies of human beings which in turn represents the destruction of all evil thoughts like ego.
Ra – stands for knowledge, which guides and help human beings to choose an ideal path of self realization.
Nam – designates peace(Shanti) which merges with the Supreme Soul.
The significance of Swami Sharanam is inherent in the principles of the aforementioned linguistic forms.
The uttering of the mantra Swami Sharanam installs righteousness and decency in a devotee. It induces an eagerness in devotees to take refuge under Swami Ayyappa. Moreover the continuous chanting of this incantation develops a kind of flame on the tongue of the devotees. Hence both body and mind of devotees become sacred like fire. Devotees are advised to understand these factors before chanting the eternal incantation ‘Swami Sharanam’
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Video on Swami Sharanam