Part 1 of this series, is titled Tirumala issues – Major Allegations. This part deals with The Way Forward.
Should not the Hindu Samaj know the truth in the allegations? What are we doing? Do we sit back to allow courts to decide on our rituals? The Honorable Judges in the Supreme Court Bench should not reduce themselves to a Kangaroo court Thinnai in interfering in the sacred rituals of our Mandirs; the types of Pujas to be performed; the time and duration of each Puja; the Naivedyam; the Prasadam; the jewels to be adorned at appropriate Sevas and festivals like the Utsavams including the Bramhotsavam; etc. These are best left to the learned Archakas and their Acharyas. Do we need another Gopal Subramanium amicus curiae for Tirumala? Now the Judges must be slapping their backs instead of the Bench that they have successfully added this as religious experience to his CV. Trivandrum, Puri, possibly, Tirupati. Anything left?
…if there is one person the Hindu Samaj can really bank upon in this issue, it is Dr. Subramanian Swamy. In addition to fighting this legally in the SC which he has taken up, I would pray to him to consider bringing the Acharyas together for this fact-finding and course correction that is required.
I have the following proposal as the way forward for the Hindu Samaj and as I see it:
- The various Matadhipathis should come forward IMMEDIATELY and form a committee. This is NOT a conclusive list. But I propose, The Tirupati Jeeyar, The Ahobila Matham Azhagiya Singar, The Tridandi Jeeyar, The Andavar, The Pejawar Swamiji, The Hathiram Mutt Swamiji etc., should constitute members of the committee. The Tirupati Jeeyar has already taken the side of the TTD and the Government in this matter, as seen in His statements on this issue. But as the Head of the Matham that Srimad Ramanuja started, it is time to convince Him not to be left out of the fact-finding divine mission, to separate truth from fiction.
- Imagine if the current Kanchi Acharya and the Sringeri Acharyas agree to be in it TOGETHER? The whole issue would gather steam. After all, Sri Adishankara sang the Bhaja Govindam, Karavalamba Strotram, Kanakadhara strotram etc., and to these Acharyas, Narayanasmruthi is common.
What should this committee do?:
- They should each propose 3 or 4 names of their Auditor Bhakts/ followers of their respective Mathams. In addition, they will propose 4 highly competent Hindu Jewellery Assessors each to complete the team.
- They should announce by a joint declaration that this team would perform the Jewellery audit at the Mandir. Considering the source of such a joint statement, the Government and the TTD would be left with no option but to accept.
- The Acharyas should then personally get into the Rituals part. They ALONE have the authority to call the people concerned, investigate, question and get to the truth of the matter. The Acharyas should make it abundantly clear to the TTD management that it has NO business in taking ANY decisions on the Rituals, timing, Utsavams, Naivedyam etc.
- The Acharya committee would then let the public know their findings and offer guidance to ensure non-interference in the rituals and the annual audit of the jewels etc.,
What should be the baseline for Jewellery audit?
The Pradhana Archaka said that the last such audit made by the Pradhana Archakas was about 22 years ago. That list can ideally form the starting point. All jewels that have been donated and accrued to the Bhagawan since then should be added and an item by item check for the ornament and its genuineness should be recorded. In this age of digitization, each item has to be digitized and stored as a digital record, with description and details of the donation etc. Today, it is not certain if the genuine jewels are returned to the vaults or fakes have found their way in and the genuine have gone missing.
These are times that I wish Pujya Swamy Dayananda Saraswathi was alive. His noble work of bringing all Acharyas, Aadheenams, and Mandaleshwars under one roof as Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha was to decide and bring in a consensus on issues pertaining to our Mandirs, combat the threat of rabid conversions, Go Samrakshanam, etc. His case on releasing the Hindu Mandirs from the Rakshasa control of the Governments is still pending before the SC. Had He been alive, I would have rushed to Him instead of writing this article.
But, if there is one person the Hindu Samaj can really bank upon in this issue, it is Dr. Subramanian Swamy. In addition to fighting this legally in the SC which he has taken up, I would pray to him to consider bringing the Acharyas together for this fact-finding and course correction that is required. He alone has the stature to make the Acharyas to take the leadership role in this issue. His Gurubakthi to Paramacharya is unparalleled.
The suggested committee of Acharyas would serve the purpose of Sanatana Dharma in the longer run, as this body, with additions of Acharyas and Sadhus from the concerned Mandir regions could well be the guiding body if and when the Governments are driven out of our Mandirs.
The Hindu Samaj is rudderless. The leaders that we believed and voted to power have become more pseudo-secular than the generations of hereditary pseudo-seculars. Politicians and Bhakti-less Bureaucrats, some of whom infested our Mandir administration with followers of the desert cults are NOT the solutions to running our Mandirs. They have ruined our Mandirs. This is the domain of the Acharyas. Not the politicians. Not the courts. Nor the desert cults. The Acharyas should take control into their hands.
Can there be a better opening for this than through Tirupati?
(I spoke to a very senior official in TTD who has since retired. He was my classmate during my schooling at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Tirupati five and half decades ago. He told me that years ago when an Acharya questioned the TTD on certain irregularities, they paid a visit to Him and subtly a-la-Don Corleone reminded the Acharya that He has a Matham in Tirumala. He would need the support of the TTD’s Senior officials. He was even told that He would get Temple Honours at the MahadhvAram and in the Sanctum Sanctorum only once a year as per their diktats and that might even be scaled down! This is how TTD operates).
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
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- Part 6 – Why is TTD against MirasiArchakas? The Protectors of Rituals and Customs - June 25, 2020
- Part 5 – Why is TTD against the MirasiArchakas? The Protectors of Rituals and Customs - June 18, 2020