Akilathirattu Ammanai was written by Hari Gopalan Citar, a disciple of Ayya Vaikundar, the central figure of Ayyavazhi. According to the author, he wrote the book on a Friday, the twenty-seventh day of the Tamil month of Karthikai (November/December) in the year 1841 CE, after God woke him up during his sleep and dictated the words to him. He recorded the book on palm leaves, which were later printed in 1939.
The book contains more than 15,000 verses and is divided into seventeen sections. It narrates the story of God coming in this age, the Kali Yukam or Iron Age, to rule the world by transforming it into the Dharma Yukam or Age of Righteousness. It weaves together the historical facts about Ayya Vaikundar and his activities with reinterpretations of episodes from the Hindu Puranas (mythologies) and Itihasas (epics). It is presented as if Vishnu is narrating the whole story to his consort Lakshmi.
Akilathirattu Ammanai is written as a poem in the Tamil language. The narration alternates between two subgenres called viruttam and natai. Both subgenres employ poetic devices like alliteration and hyperbatons. The book has multiple layers of meanings and contexts, and requires a foundational knowledge of the Hindu pantheon of gods, scriptures, concepts and philosophy to be understood fully.
Akilathirattu Ammanai is considered as the primary source of Ayyavazhi theology and ethics. It contains the regulations and instructions for the followers of Ayyavazhi. As per the book, Ayyavazhi was preached by Hari Gopalan Citar and other disciples of Ayya Vaikundar far and wide. Ayyavazhi is a monotheistic faith that believes in one supreme God, who is called Ekam or Sivam. It also acknowledges other gods as manifestations or aspects of Ekam. It teaches that Ayya Vaikundar was an avatar or incarnation of Ekam who came to destroy evil and restore dharma.
Akilathirattu Ammanai is a sacred and revered book for the followers of Ayyavazhi. It is read and recited in public and private gatherings, especially on auspicious occasions like festivals and ceremonies. It is also studied and interpreted by scholars and devotees who seek to understand its deeper meanings and implications for their lives.
Ayyavazhi is not only a religious faith, but also a social and cultural movement that emerged in the 19th century in Southern India. It challenged the existing caste system and social inequalities that oppressed the lower castes and women. It advocated for social justice, human rights, education, health and welfare for all people. It also opposed the colonial rule of the British and supported the Indian independence movement.
Ayyavazhi has a unique cosmology and eschatology that differs from Hinduism. It believes that the world is divided into eight yugas or ages, each with a different quality and purpose. The first four yugas are called Neetiya Yukam or Moral Ages, where dharma prevails and people live in harmony with nature and God. The last four yugas are called Kali Yukam or Evil Ages, where adharma prevails and people suffer from ignorance, sin and evil. The current age is the seventh yuga, called Kali Yugam or Iron Age, where evil is at its peak and God has incarnated as Ayya Vaikundar to destroy it and usher in the eighth and final yuga, called Dharma Yukam or Golden Age, where God will rule the world with righteousness and peace.
Ayyavazhi has a distinctive mode of worship and ritual practice that sets it apart from Hinduism. It does not have temples or idols, but rather simple structures called Nizhal Thangals or Pathis, where devotees gather to pray and sing hymns. The most sacred place of worship is Swamithoppe Pathi, where Ayya Vaikundar performed his spiritual activities. Ayyavazhi does not have priests or intermediaries, but rather lay leaders called Payyans or Citars, who guide the devotees and conduct the rituals. Ayyavazhi does not have elaborate ceremonies or sacrifices, but rather simple rites such as Thuvayal Thavasu (penance), Ucchippadippu (offering of food), Panividai (offering of flowers) and Pothippu (reading of scriptures). Ayyavazhi does not have strict rules or regulations, but rather ethical principles such as Ekamatra (oneness), Ahimsa (non-violence), Daya (compassion) and Sama-bhava (equality). 061ffe29dd