Ayyappa Swami under siege in God’s own country
by Panikkath Krishnanunni on 23 Oct 2018 6 Comments

Kerala has been burning for the past few days on account of to the Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala, allowing ladies of all age groups to enter the premises of the Lord Ayyappa temple. Kerala has not yet fully recovered from the consequences of mismanagement of the recent floods of August 2018. The Sabarimala verdict shows that the judiciary seems to have succumbed to the “break India forces” and thrown caution to the winds. Recall the statement of one of the judges, “society has to undergo a perpetual shift from being the propagater of hegemonic and patriarchal notions of demanding more exacting standards of purity and chastity solely from women”.


The question arises, why do we go to temples in the first place. Answers vary from individual to individual. Most devotees visit temples with a spirit of devotion to God and reverence to the rules laid down in worship of that particular form of God. When we speak of devotion and austerity, it automatically implies within its concept, a certain set of rules to follow for the upkeep of one’s purity of body and mind. Devoid of purity and devotion, visiting any temple is useless and meaningless. The Supreme Court verdict has resulted in violations of a unique tradition and violations of the minimum required qualifications a devotee must possess.


By allowing entry of two lady activists, escorted by the Kerala police, the Supreme Court verdict has enabled the police to desecrate one of the holiest Hindu temples. Is their assertion of “rights” more important than the concepts of devotion, humility, cleanliness and moral decency?


Taking advantage of the Supreme Court verdict, many will feel entitled to go to Sabarimala, irrespective of age, without the requirement of devotion. Feminists will go not to pray but to arrogantly exercise their right by quoting the Supreme Court verdict. The apex Court has thus given freedom to diabolic characters to enter and spoil the pristine purity and holy atmosphere at Sabarimala.  In the event of violence, will the Supreme Court judges who delivered this verdict feel responsible for the mess?


The media and secularists scream “we want equality”. The court succumbs and blindly agrees without examining the biological differences between males and females. It is not a lady’s menstruation impurity that is the problem; the media has distorted the real facts and reasons for their exclusion and have incorrectly interpreted as gender discrimination, misogyny, patriarchal domination and so on.


Hindu culture, the most ancient surviving culture in the world, has always welcomed diversity of traditions. Different traditions are in vogue for centuries. Hindu rituals of marriage, death, birth and temple rituals vary from village to village, and state to state. The temples of Tamil Nadu give more importance to the Vedic system, but Kerala temples give more importance to tantric systems. The Sabarimala temple follows the tantric system and demands stricter observance of rules from devotees visiting this shrine.


Tantric texts have as much validity as the Vedas; they are believed to have been propounded Shiva Mahadeo, father of Ayyappa Swami. The Supreme Court cannot assert authority over how a tanthri does his rituals and the rules laid down by him for upkeep of the purity and sanctity of the temple. Questioning his authority is tantamount to questioning the tenets of the tantric texts and Vedas, founded by thousands of ancient Rishis. Their prescriptions and proscriptions spring from meditative intuition, which is beyond logic, and hence some rules of worship may not be available as an authority from the Vedas or any other dharma shastras. It may also be noted that logic is not necessarily the only authentic source of knowledge.


The Times of India (October 18, 2018) reported “At Pamba, cops took custody of Devika Antharjanam (80), Kandaru Maheshwaru’s wife, Thazhamon tanthri family’s chief priest. Janam TV has showed police brutalities on harmless Ayyappa protesters; police shamelessly arrested a harmless 80-year old woman from a highly respectable lineage; backed by the Pinarayi Vijayan regime, the police insulted not only the caretakers of the deity, but insulted Lord Ayyappa Himself. They insulted not only womanhood but the entire Hindu society and traditions.


The media played victim card when young ladies devoid of devotion were prevented from ascending the steps to the sanctum sanctorum; but the media never showed the arrest of the 80-year old lady, wife of the chief tanthri.


Those who question the rationality of religious traditions should consider some issues concerning our political or democratic traditions. Is the system for electing representatives logical and rational? Persons with no basic education become MPs and rule the country. If the political tradition has no logical basis, why should logic be applied to faith?


Recently, the tradition of kumbasaram (confession) in Christianity was misused by Bishop Franco Mullakal and the Kerala High Court granted him bail. Has this served the cause of rationality, logic, equality, justice? How many have risen to the defence of the vulnerable ladies crying for justice in the parishes?


The Sabarimala controversy is clearly a contrived conspiracy against Hindu dharma and Hindu society. This is how the matter is being perceived by society at large and that is why the defence of tradition is uniting adherent Hindus across the country.

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