Lord Ayyappa and Dharmasastha are the incarnations of the same infinite power. Legends say that after achieving his birth goals, Lord Ayyappa merged into Dharmasastha. Sabarimala Ayyappa is also said to be an unparalleled power that the Thanthrik practices separated from Dharmasastha for the purpose of worship. An interesting fact is that the bachelor Ayyappa and the Dharmasastha with his wife and son sit face to face – Lord Ayyappa in the east and Dharmasastha in the west. Though at opposite extremities, both shrines come in a straight line.
Thrikkunnappuzha Sree Dharmasastha temple is believed to be the ‘moolasthaanam’ of Sabarimala Ayyappa. As already stated, Sabarimala Ayyappa and Thrikkunnappuzha Sree Dharmasastha are on par with each other in radiance and power. It is believed even to this day that if one prays or meditates whole-heartedly facing the east, standing in the south-west direction, after circumambulating the Thrikkunnappuzha temple, early before the sunrise during the ‘mandala’ season, it becomes equivalent to witnessing Sabarimala Ayyappa! The festive reign of Sabarimala begins the next day on which the festivals of Thrikkunnappuzha Sree Dharmasastha Temple end. The festivals are conducted in the Malayalam month of Vrishchikam.
Worshippers from distant places still pay visit to Thrikkunnappuzha Dharmasastha Temple by both land and water ways. Worshippers from Idappally have a rare observance. Their offerings include fishes, shells and ‘shoolam’ made of gold and silver. When the offerings are over, the main priest offers them paddy seeds. These devotees return to their home land and spill these paddy seeds over the back waters. Their belief is that this will enhance the marine wealth there. This belief exists even to this day. It’s more of an experience than a belief.
Besides the main charismatic idol of Dharmasastha together with his wife and child, a whole lot of ‘upadevathas’ or subordinating deities too are installed at this temple. The idol of Balasubrahmania is installed in a circular abode called ‘srikovil’. This abode of the Balasubrahmania is supposed to be 2000 years antique. When offerings are made this deity receives as equal an importance as Dharmasastha. Durga, Yakshi, Bhadra, Nagaraja, Nagayakshi, Ganapathi, Shiva, Vishnu, Brahmarakshass and Parashurama as Yogeshwara are the other subordinate gods here.