Friday, June 27, 2003

Crazy Mt Shasta connections

My aunt Devika who lives in Madras, sent me an email saying that "the Ayyappa of Sabari
Malai mountain is called Shastha". I thought it was just one of those crazy coincidences that crop up from time to time, but couldn't resist checking it out. I found two things. First, Ayyapa (a god of south India also known as Karthikeyan) is definitely called shashta, and also some scholars claim that the Ayappa is a buddhist deity incorporated into hinduism (don't know how much of this is verified though). Second, there is a temple now established on Mt Shasta (the US one i mean), dedicated to Ayyappa!!