Ayyappan is known as "Hariharasutan" because he is the son of Hari (Vishnu), the saviour and Hara (Shiva), the destroyer. His most common name is "Manikandan" because when the king Rajasekara Pandiyan of Pandalam found little Ayyappan in a forest there was a "mani" (bell, in Malayalam) tied around his "kanda" (neck, in Sanskrit).
As Dharma Sastha, many of them consider him to be born out of the union between Mohini (an avatar of Vishnu) and Shiva.[8]
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