Submitted by Rashmi on Thu, 2016-12-15 14:16 Dharwad: In a bizzarre incident, a group of Aiyyappa devotees have resorted to nude worship annoying many Shabarimala devotees in Khalghatgi. Shabrimala devotees generally take up 41-day penance as a mark of their devotion to Lord Aiyappa and visit Shabarimala temple. However, this group’s deviation from the “set norms” to worhsip the diety has angered many, especially, women.“This is our way of worshipping the Lord. Although this has not been practiced by anyone, we think through this form of worship we will be able to please the diety,” claimed Ramesh, a head guru of the group – Guruswamy – to a news channel.“Aiyyappa devotees are expected to shun worldly pleasures and this is our way of achieving it,” he added.He further said that the devotees will be in nude state for 41 days and on the 42nd day they will wear black or orange robes – preferred for Aiyyappa devotees.Anil, swamy, another devotee who is performing nude worship said, "The devotees who take up worshiping of Aiyappa Swamy during Kartika Maasa are supposed to start and end the day by taking bath twice with cold water. One should eat self-cooked food in earthen vessels. Food has to be vegetarian. One should sleep on the floor only. "However, this has not gone down well with Aiyyappa devotees. For, women are scared to venture out as the group is camping near the agricultural field.Veteran actor Shivaram who has been a Shabarimala devotee for the past 48 years, ridiculed this form of worship while speaking to a television channel. “This is absolutely disgusting. They are just wicked devotees. Worshipping Lord Aiyyappa is such a sacred ritual and this is the first that any devotee has done this,” he fumed. Aiyyappa devotees are usually guided by their ‘Guruswamy’ a leader of the group and their ‘Guruswamy’ seems to have misguided them, he observed.