It has been bad times for Kerala temples ever since the CPM came into power. The Party and its foul-mouthed and arrogant Dewasom (temple administration) Minister G. Sudhakaran have a one-point agenda of taking full control of temples and looting their vast properties and finances. The first target was Sabarimala. The controversial Devaprashnam, rumour of entry of Kannada actress into sanctum-sanctorum, tantri embroiled in a sex scandal were all part of this design. The next target was naturally Guruvayur, the third richest temple in South India after Tirupati and Sabarimala. The demand of G. Sudhakaran to allow famous playback singer Jesudas (Christian but lover of Hindu traditions and Guruvayur Krishna) despite his reluctance and minister'suncultured and sub-standard attack on the tantri for conducting punyaham (purification rites) when Vayalar Ravi (central minister whose wife is a Christian) and his son entered the temple for giving choroonu (first food) for Vayalar Ravi'sgrandson are all part of this conspiracy.
All temple boards governing 1500 odd major temples were dissolved by an ordinance and new laws have been enacted for temple governance. Communist MLAs, who as atheists don'ttake oath of office in the name of god, appoint presidents to the temple boards, who also take pride in their anti-god labels. But for looting poor Hindus? money deposited in temple coffers, they are together.
Moreover, all temple boards in Kerala have been packed with CPM men and the government is conspiring for entry of Christians and Muslims in temples of Kerala.
In this context Special Correspondent S. Chandrasekhar spoke to the Tantri Chennas Raman Namboodiripad, whose family has been appointed by the Zamothiri King of Malabar as hereditary Tantri of Guruvayur temple for several centuries. Excerpts:
A lot of controversy has been generated around Guruvayur due to the punyaham and demand for entry of non-Hindus like Jesudas. Moreover Minister Sudhakaran has used abusive language against you. Please comment.
The puja, rituals and traditions being carried on in Guruvayur Krishna temple have been continuing for centuries. Irrespective of the number of devotees coming, continuous puja goes on in the temple for almost 17-18 hours a day. Purity of the deity and the priests gives power to the temple. This has to be maintained as per Tantra Sastras. It clearly defines that punyaham should be performed when children urinate, when vomit, spit or blood is seen or when non-Hindus enter. A person'sreligion is determined by his mother and Vayalar Ravi'swife is a Christian and hence his son is a Christian. Therefore, punyaham was performed. With regard to Jesudas, if he genuinely wants to enter Guruvayur temple, he can do so by obtaining a certificate from Arya Samaj stating he is a practising follower of Hinduism. For centuries temples in Kerala, except Sabarimala, are open to Hindus only. Foreigners, Muslims, Christians who wish to enter Guruvayur temple can obtain certificate from Arya Samaj and enter the temple. Many foreign devotees of Indian Gurus like Amritanandamayi, Mahesh Yogi, ISKCON etc. enter the temple and offer worship. A French woman Babita stayed in temple premises for three years, did extensive research and published her work. Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi have come here getting Arya Samaj certificate. Hence if any citizen of the world wants to genuinely enter the temple, he can come. The CPM, DYFI etc. are hell bent on destroying the temple and looting its thousands of crores of assets. All these controversies are to create confusion and make the tantri and priests villains. With regard to the uncultured language of the minister, it is not my culture to reply in the same language.
The minister is talking of new laws for entry of non-Hindus into temples and restricting the power of tantris.
The LDF has a brute majority in the Assembly and temple boards are CPM dominated. Let them pass laws. The basic fact is government does not have the guts to enact such laws and it wants the priests and tantris to allow it. They want us to do as per their wish. We are against it. Hindus, especially women, maintain purity while entering temples. This cannot be expected of other religions. Moreover, the Church or Islam will never allow their people to go to temples. In Christianity a Catholic will not go to a CSI church. If he does, he will be excommunicated. The Shia-Sunni conflict is world over. Women are not allowed in several mosques. Why does not CPM or DYFI take up these issues?
The annual income of Guruvayur temple is alone Rs. 80 crore, not to mention the gold, silver, diamonds etc. received. The fixed deposit of the temple is almost Rs. 1,000 crore. Similar is the case of Sabarimala and other major temples. All these controversies are nothing but conspiracy to loot poor Hindus? money, divide Hindus and destroy temples. We are following the customs, traditions, rituals going on for centuries and if the LDF wants to change them, let it change them, but let leaders of other religions also give their opinion.
In Sabarimala non-Hindus are allowed. Is there difference between temples? Please explain.
Every temple has a different concept and significance. With regard to rituals, customs, traditions etc. Sabarimala and Guruvayur are totally different. Sabarimala is a forest temple and opens only two months in a year. Moreover, due to its peculiar geographic nature, all classes of people go there. In Guruvayur almost 17-18 hours of continuous puja goes on 365 days for centuries. In Sabarimala tantri is the main priest and the melshanti secondary. Here the tantri has only an advisory role whereas the melshanti is the main priest. Except Sabarimala, almost all temples in South India are restricted to only believers of Hindu religion. Hinduism is the religion of the nation and other religions came here due to trade and invasion. The late P. Madhavanji of RSS has explained the significance and importance of each temple in his classic book Shetra Chaitanya Rahasyam (Secret of temple'saura).
What about the minister, CPM charges that tantri, priest posts are dominated by Brahmins?
This is total untruth. There are many non-Brahmins who pass out from the Tantra Vidya Peetam (founded by RSS Senior Pracharak the late Madhavanji) and become tantris and priests in several major temples. Shri Rakesh son of Parur Sreedharan Tantri (Hindu Ezhava), who is a tantri as well as a priest in a major Shiva temple, is a classic example. All this is CPM misinformation campaign to divide Hindus and defile priesthood.