Saints to work for eradicating social evils
Seers from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have decided to launch a drive against untouchability. Seers and sadhus cutting across community lines joined hands to spread the message of equality. They will now campaign to allow people from weaker sections to perform puja in village temples. As a result, all the 32,000 small temples that are soon going to be freed from government control, will have nitya pujas performed by local devotees.
Seers from different peethams, who assembled in Hyderabad on June 21, discussed the problems caused by the practice of untouchability. According to reports, there were two basic realisations among the seers. One, the menace of untouchability is leading to conversions and the spread of other religious campaigns in villages, and two, the temples are lacking in care due to untouchability. ?Untouchability was not a part of ancient Hindu dharma. It is a practice adopted later on for the benefit of certain sections. So, being heads of various cults, we need to campaign against it,? Hampi Viroopaksha Vidyaranya Mahapeetham Seer Vidyaranya Bharati said. He further added, ?After all, temples are places that are intended to establish and strengthen social relations in villages. They are places of peace and we want that holy feeling should be revived.? The convenor of the newly formed Dharmacharya Mandali Swaroopanandendra Saraswathi blamed untouchability on the British. ?The practice of untouchability was strategically introduced during the British period, maybe for their administrative convenience. What purpose does it serve to the Hindu dharma?? he asked.
The seers realised that Arundhati (wife of Vasishta), who belonged to a lower caste, plays a crucial role in Hindu marriage. ?A marriage is not complete without the couple watching the Arundhati star. Such is the importance of Arundhati in the dharma,? the seers explained. They also cited the example of respect for the Ramayana, which was penned by Valmiki, who belonged to a lower caste. Shri Ramachandra Gopalakrishna Mutt's(Adilabad) 10th seer Yogananda Saraswathi said, ?It is high time we took interest in the protection and promotion of Hindu dharma.?