The Kasi Mutt temple, also known as the Thirupanadal Kasi Mutt, holds a significant place in history. It was founded by Kumaraguruparar, a poet and Saivite ascetic associated with the Dharmapuram Adheenam, in the 17th century. Kumaraguruparar’s life was marked by a miraculous event, where he gained the ability to speak after a visit to the Thiruchendur Subramania Swamy temple. He then dedicated his life to composing poetry in praise of Lord Muruga.
During the year 1658 CE, Dara Shukoh, the eldest son of Shah Jahan and ruler of the Varanasi province of the Mughal Empire, sought to understand the beliefs of various religions and encouraged interfaith discussions. In an era where previous Muslim invasions had damaged the sacred city of Kasi and the abode of Lord Vishwanath, Kumaraguruparar embarked on a remarkable journey. He approached Dara Shukoh, conversing fluently in Hindustani and eloquently presenting the philosophy of Saiva Siddhanta. After winning a debate, he requested the king to grant him land in Kasi to establish a mutt dedicated to Saivism. The saint prophesied that a falcon would mark the area required for the mutt’s construction, and as foretold, a falcon appeared in the sky, delineating the land that included the Kedhar Eashwaraswamy Temple.
Returning to Tamil Nadu, Kumaraguruparar established the Kasi Mutt in Tirupanandal, near Kumbakonam. The mutt boasts a serene tank known as Poigai, adorned with lotus flowers. It serves as a hub of educational institutions and has produced exceptional scholars over the years.
According to Selvaraj, the mutt’s manager, the incident occurred during the early hours of October 30 when a mutt employee heard commotion near the tank. Upon investigation, he witnessed individuals associated with TNPK in the act of demolishing the temple tank wall. Fleeing the scene on more than 10 motorcycles, the miscreants left the wall on the eastern and western sides breached, leaving students and the public vulnerable to accidental drowning. In the centre of the tank stands a small temple dedicated to Vinayagar, the Lord of Beginnings.
TNPK’s Troubling Presence
TNPK’s involvement in the Poigai tank issue has been escalating in recent months. The group had organised street corner meetings and distributed handbills, raising concerns among the local community. As they fled the scene, they chanted slogans in support of TNPK President Karthikeyan.
The local police, in response to a complaint from the mutt, have registered a First Information Report (FIR) and initiated a search for the individuals responsible for vandalising the temple tank wall. The motive behind this crime remains uncertain and can only be established following the arrest and interrogation of the culprits. Authorities are strongly suspecting that the incident may have been orchestrated with the ulterior motive of instigating communal tensions in the area.
The destruction of the Kasi Mutt temple tank wall has left the local community deeply shaken and concerned. The cherished historical site, revered for its spiritual and cultural significance, has become the focal point of a distressing incident, raising questions about the state of religious harmony and heritage preservation.
As the investigation unfolds, the community and devotees of the Kasi Mutt temple anxiously await justice. The incident underscores the importance of safeguarding historical and religious landmarks and promoting communal harmony, values deeply ingrained in the fabric of Indian society.
The shocking demolition of the Tirupanandal Kasi Mutt temple tank wall serves as a reminder of the need for preserving India’s rich heritage and maintaining religious tolerance. The incident also highlights the importance of promptly addressing such incidents to maintain peace and harmony within the community.
The 27th pontiff of Dharmapuram Adheenam, Sri Masilamani Desiga Gnanasambanda Swamigal, has penned a heartfelt letter, urging the Tamil Nadu government to take immediate and resolute action to apprehend the perpetrators responsible for the recent wave of temple vandalism in the state.
Since the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) assumed power in Tamil Nadu, there has been a disconcerting surge in the demolition of nearly 200 Hindu temples. These actions were ostensibly carried out under the pretext of encroachments, leaving the Hindu community deeply distressed.
Furthermore, this period has seen an alarming increase in attacks and vandalization of Hindu temple idols and properties by individuals whom law enforcement authorities have, at times, labeled as “mentally challenged” or “intoxicated.” These events have left a trail of desecrated sacred spaces and shattered religious artifacts.
Adding to the disquiet, it has come to light that the government itself has encroached upon temple lands in various locations for its administrative offices. Notably, the revenue generated from these properties has been diverted to purposes other than those originally intended, leaving the devout followers feeling let down by the authorities.
The plea by Sri Masilamani Desiga Gnanasambanda Swamigal underscores the urgent need for accountability and an impartial investigation into these temple demolitions and acts of vandalism. The current climate has left the Hindu community in Tamil Nadu anxiously waiting for swift justice and a commitment to the preservation of their religious heritage.
Concerns Over Religious Tolerance
The recent events raise concerns about religious tolerance and the safeguarding of places of worship in the state. The community hopes that their concerns will be addressed with the seriousness they deserve, and that necessary actions will be taken to protect their religious sites and symbols.