Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitaha - 2
by B R Haran on 22 Apr 2010 48 Comments

Guru Darshan at Abirami Temple

We held a press conference on April 16 to brief reporters and correspondents about the event, and received good coverage the next day.


On April 17 evening, Kanchi Kamakoti Peethathipathi Jagat Guru Sri Jeyendra Saraswathi Sankaracharya Swamigal and Thondaimandala Adheenam Sri Thiruvambala Desika Gnanaprakaasa Paramacharya Swamigal graced the occasion at the Abirami Amman Temple. They blessed a gathering of over five hundred people; Sri Thondaimandala Adheenam spoke about the historical instances of temple desecrations during the Islamic and Christian invasions.


Sri A.M. Rajagopalan explained the Stal Puran and history of Padmagiri Hillock and emphasised the significance of returning the presiding deities to their original abodes. Pujya Periyava spoke about the importance of temple worship, and eradication of caste discrimination. He cited many instances from the lives of Nayanmars and told the gathering that all the 63 Nayanmars are given equal importance though they are from different communities and Bhagwan Shiva saw only their bhakti and gave moksha to all of them. The press followed the event closely, and Pujya Periyava himself detailed them the next day’s programs. Members of Dindigul Chamber of Commerce, who sponsored the event, were honoured and blessed by Pujya Periyava and Sri Thondaimandala Adheenam with a spatika mala (crystal necklace), rudraksha and shawl each.


Girivalam March and Public Meeting


On April 18 evening, local people flocked to Abirami Temple. A dozen organizations came in full strength to participate in the girivalam (parikrama). All the Mathathipathis, (Pujya Periyava Kanchi Sankaracharya, Thondaimandala Adheenam Sri Thiruvambala Desika Gnanaprakasa Paramacharya Swamigal, Thiruchirapalli Mauna Madam Mauna Kumara Swami Thambiran Swamigal representing Dharmapuram Adheenam, Sri Suntharamurthi Swamigal representing Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam and Sivapura Adheenam Sri Thirunavukkarasu Desika Paramacharya Swamigal were present on the occasion. All Swamijis blessed the devotees who thronged the temple between 4 pm and 6 pm.


All devotees were given a raksha (black thread) and eudraksha as prasad. Exactly at 6 pm the girivalam began, with all Mathathipathis leading the march with hundreds of devotees following and chanting Ohm Nama Shivaya. As the march proceeded with reverberations of Namavalis and Bhajans, the general public en route joined in and the gathering swelled to over 1500 people. Arati was performed and a coconut broken before each and every temple on the girivalam path.


The girivalam around the hill took an hour’s time and ended at Fort Mariamman Temple grounds, where the public meeting was organized. A beautiful stage was erected and it was a glorious sight to see the saffron clad sanyasis on the dais. Around five thousand people attended the public meeting. The Swamis spoke about the importance and methodology of temple worship, the crisis faced by the Hindu majority and why Hindus should stay united in this hour of crisis. They cited stories from the Puranas and emphasized the importance of learning religious hymns like Thevaram, Thiruvachagam and other Thirumurais.


They educated the people about the maintenance of our culture and traditions and the need to defeat the nefarious designs of alien cultures attempting to de-Hinduise this nation. Sri AMR enthralled the audience with a speech replete with facts concerning temples. He emotionally described his personal divine experience of getting darshan of Abirami Ambal as a child sitting on his lap, after Pujya Periyava insisted he sit in the car during the girivalam. He urged that one should treat his Mother Tongue, Mother Nation and Mother Religion equally at par with his own Mother and if one changes even one of them he becomes dead and lifeless.


Pujya Periyava raised the three major issues of putting an end to conversions, stopping the flow of foreign funds to NGOs and minority organizations, and creating an autonomous body for administering Temples and other Hindu Institutions. He requested the local government authorities to remove the encroachments along the girivalam so that the circumambulation of the hill could be easy and peaceful in future. He also urged the government to hand over the temples to autonomous bodies of reputed citizens in the respective places, which would function under the guidance of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha. He informed the people about the formation and objectives of the HDAS, and together all the Swamis encouraged the people to participate in the girivalam every Pournami (purnima, full moon day) and bring more and more persons to the sacred march.


All those who attended the public meeting received prasad - a rudraksha and a laddu (rudraksha gifted by Kanchi Matham; laddu by Sri Krishna Sweets). They were immensely pleased and returned home happily, cheerfully and peacefully.


The press was in full strength to cover the event. The police force was meticulous, gently and respectfully controlling the public and giving protection and ensuring security to all the Mathathipathis. Municipality officials helped arranging the stage and watering the girivalam path for easy walking. The Sun God was merciful, going behind clouds early in the evening, and the Rain God showered his blessings after completion of the meeting. Mother Goddess Abirami blessed us with pleasant weather throughout the event. The local business community was generous in sponsorship and treated us with love, affection and great respect. Some individual activists from various organizations volunteered themselves and worked tirelessly to make the event a great success!   




Earlier in the morning, Pudukottai Sri Bhuvaneswari Avathootha Peethathipathi Pujya Sri Omkarananda Brahmmendra Saraswati Swamigal attended the Sadas and blessed us. His Holiness could not be present in the evening due to prior engagements in Thanjavur.


The following resolutions were passed:


-        It was resolved to perform Girivalam around Padmagiri Hill every Pournami Day without fail.


-        It was resolved to conduct a signature campaign among the local people and thereafter to approach the Archaeological Survey of India for earlier installation of the presiding deities at their original abodes atop the Padmagiri hillock.


-        It was resolved to conduct the Consecration Ceremony with the help of the government immediately after getting the permission from ASI to install the deities. 


-        It was resolved to conduct such meets thrice a year taking any temple related issues across the state.


To support or not to support? That’s the question!


As the presence of Sanyasis is the most important part of such an occasion, we accepted the date (18 April) decided by them. Immediately after deciding the date, the all-India chief of a Hindu organization was informed, and he in turn instructed his Tamil Nadu officials to meet and extend all possible support to us. They duly called us for a discussion and when apprised of our plans, simply said we should have deferred to them before finalizing the dates with the Sanyasis! They refused help on the pretext of hosting their own annual conference the same day, viz., April 18. We politely replied, “With your help and support we would get 50,000 people, but without you we might get only 50 people. Nevertheless, the March and the Meet would go on!” We were certain other forces were behind this blatant non-cooperation.


But if this was an organization where the leader supported us and subordinates didn’t, we had another organization where the leader refused support but the cadres attended! This organisation’s President felt the organizers of the Hindu Dharma Protection Movement (that is us) had “ulterior motives” and refused support. But his Dindigul-based cadres were present in full strength during the public meeting on April 18. Such is the power of Dharma!


Muckraking and sabotage


Final preparations for the meet went on amidst high drama over the Nityananda scandal, with some self-appointed supporters of the disgraced godman demanding that everyone support the beleaguered swami on the grounds that this was a Christian conspiracy – even though there was no trace of the same, despite searching high and low!


Nityananda himself made things difficult for his ‘friends’ - first he denied everything; then he said he had not done anything ‘illegal’ (whatever that means); then he said he had done it in trance (how? Don’t ask!). Then he told an American independent researcher that he did indeed do ‘tantra’ experiments, for which he had duly executed ‘legal contracts’ with women (no comment)!


Since some of the fellow columnists on this website had already perceived a severe departure from Dharma and accordingly called a spade a spade, enraged associates of Nityananda – who have as yet unknown stakes in his reputation – unleashed salvo after salvo against the colleagues of this writer, as also this writer.  


This heat percolated to the March and its preparations. Rumour mills were launched to propagate the Hindu Dharma Protection Movement as a dubious move to split the Hindu society! There was little regard for the fact that Pujya Periyava Kanchi Acharya and other major Mathathipathis had blessed the movement and were participating in it to begin a pro-active phase of Hindu society against the gigantic dimensions assumed by the conversion industry.


Anticipating sabotage attempts, we visited the major Mathams and Acharyas again to confirm their participation. Some Mathathipathis candidly discussed the attempts to dissuade them from joining the march, but promised to attend, and did indeed do so. Even Sri AMR was urged to abandon us, not knowing that he who initiated this movement!


This writer would like to place on record that the attempts of sabotage by the saboteurs have diminished only their standing and not our standing in the eyes of Mathathipathis. I have a small message and a request to them:


“You have not acted against us, but against Goddess Abirami!

You have not troubled us, but attempted to derail a temple cause!

You have not belittled us, but our revered Mathathipathis!

So, please apologise to the Mathathipathis and seek their blessings!” 




If an event like this can be conducted by four or five individuals with the blessings of the Acharyas and cooperation of the local people in a communally sensitive place like Dindigul, then nothing is impossible. This success reiterates the importance of commitment to Dharma. If Hindu Samajam stands united for the cause of Dharma, pushing aside egos and personal prejudices, then Dharma will certainly protect us and lead us to victory.   



The writer is a senior journalist; he lives in Chennai 

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