Attukal Durga Temple in Thiruvananthapuram has entered the Guiness Book of World Records. Every year 50-60 lakh women from all over the world come to the temple on a single day and offer Pongala (a mixture of rice, jaggery and ghee) to the deity. Entry for males is denied and every road, pocket road and bye-lane of the capital city is jam-packed with mud-pots burning on firewood. Even foreign women offer Pongala and there is no difference on the basis of religion, caste, class etc. A top judge or an IAS officer may be igniting the Pongala pot along with a road side vendor. This, temple is aptly called the ?Women'sShabarimala?.
The Vijayadashami Award for the best social activist of this year instituted by the Temple Trust, was presented to Padmasri P. Parameswaran, RSS ideologue and director, Bharateeya Vichara Kendram on October 10 at the Temple. The award consisted of a citation, shawl and gold locket of goddess Durga Devi.
Presiding over the function, leading poet and writer Ezhuvattur Raja Raja Varma complemented Parameswarji for giving pride in Hindu culture and traditions. ?He is the best disciple of Swami Vivekananda and Aurobindo and has given a new direction to the people of Kerala. He has proved that denying past is not progress. Like Himalayas, he is the icon of Hindutva, brave and proud.?
Presenting the award, Poet Vishnu Narayanan Nampoothiri, said in such trying times, when Bharat is in existential crisis as a result of the Indo-US Nuclear deal, which is a threat to free India, there is hope only in Sanatan Dharma and men who steadfastly propagate it like Parameswarji. He described him as the perfect disciple of Swami Agamanda and ?living encyclopedia of Hinduism and Hindutva in Kerala.
Receiving the award, Parameswarji said, he was accepting it with all humility for the RSS, which made me what I am. ?The Attukal Durga Devi Temple Pongala, has become the largest congregation of women in the world, making the capital city inadequate. Temples, Ashrams, Mutts, deities and saints are the spiritual strength of India. Despite the weakness of modern life, its pulls and pressures, spiritual life is still alive, because of existence of temples, the Bhagavad Gita which says every body is a temple and Bharat is a Punyabhoomi, a huge big temple. The body is the jeevatma and the temple paramatma. Temples are synonymous with Bharatiya culture, traditions etc. That is why, invaders from Islam to British destroyed temples. By rebuilding temples like Somnath and Shabarimala, destroyed by Muslims and Christians, Bharat has proved that by ?Shetra Shakthi?, Adi Shakti can be established,? Parameswarji said.
Temple trustees R. Gopinathan Nair, K.P. Ramachandran Nair, Madhavan Nair and Prof. T.P. Sankarankutty offered felicitations.