||The English used in this article may not be easy for everybody to understand. (February 2012)|
Akilathirattu Ammanai (Tamil: அகிலத்திரட்டு அம்மானை; from akilam (world) + thirattu (collection) + ammanai (ballad)), also called Thiru Edu (venerable book), is the main religious book of the Southern Indian Ayyavazhi, officially a branch of Hinduism. The title is shortened as Akilam. This is the largest Ammanai work.
According to the book, Hari Gopalan Citar wrote this book on the twenty-seventh day of the Tamil month of Karthikai (November/December) in the year 1016 ME (1841 CE). The author says that God woke him up during his sleep and ordered him to take the first words from what he said. Akilathirattu was recorded on palm leaves. Then in 1939 it was given printed form.
According to the author, the book is the story of God coming in this age, the Kali Yukam or Iron Age, to rule the world by transforming it into that of Dharma Yukam. This story of faith has woven together the historical facts about Ayya Vaikundar and his activities, with mixing of episodes from the Hindu Puranas (mythologies) and Itihasas (epics). It is presented as if Vishnu is telling the whole story to his consort Lakshmi.
Though the Citar Hari Gopalan wrote the book Akilam, as per him, he did not know any thing about the contents of the book. He woke up in the morning as usual and he did not know what he had written the day before.
As soon as Ayya Vaikundar attained Vaikundam, the tied-up palm leaf text, which was until then not opened. It was there the regulations of Ayyavazhi contains. As per the instructions found there in Akilam, Ayyavazhi was preached by the Citars far and wide.