Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Holy Task on Foot

A Hindu Cultural Exhibition is organised every year at Thiruvanmiyur in Chennai to explain the People on the various social and cultural activities rendered by various institutions across the Nation. It draws the attention of the visitors towards various subjects like rehabilitation of poor, protection of cows, awareness on Vedic Dharma, organic farming,propagation of true values of religion and so on. A good reader should easily get plenty of books of his choice from the stalls installed in the fair. A stall put up by Hindu Devalaya Parirakshana Samithi of Hyderabad was one among the many that attracted the attention of the visitors.

The above mentioned organisation has shown keen interest in the protection of Temples and Temple Lands. They have undertaken Padayatra that covered 23 districts of Andhra Pradesh (8700 km in 330 days) The Samithi has succeeded in bringing up a revolution in public- awareness in every citizen about the need to protect ancient temples and conduct rituals there according to the tradition. They opposed the move of the Government in 2005 to take over the assets and management of 181 Mutts. They appealed to the Govt to dissolve the Endowment dept., and hand over the temples to the faithful peole, matadhipathis, Vedic Scholars who would form a governing council for the management of the temples.They denounced the interference of the Govt in this regard.

The samithi has distributed pamphlets at the fair in which the status of Temples in Andhra Pradesh is given:
* Temples and institutions under the control of Endowment Dept: 34463
* Institutions with annual income of more than 1 Lakh : 2033
* Every Temple must contribute 15% of its income to Maintenance Fund and 3% to Common Fund.
* 3200 temples all over the State are in dilapidated condition.
* Many Temple priests (whose salary ranges between Ra 400 and Rs 1000 per month) have not received the salary for the past five years.

The Samithi has summarised their objectives as follows:
* The Temple properties should be protected by all means and used in accordance with the wishes of the donor.
* To liberate temple lands from illegal occupation.
* To restrain the Govt. from interfering in the religious activities.
* To conduct/organise workshops and discourses for uplifting the status of the Temples.
* To make Temples as platform to integrate various sections of society.
* To instill Bhakthi in the minds of people.

Well. That is the message of the Samithi as found in their pamphlet. Is it not a call for people living in other states of the Nation ? We do not know what the Temple Protection Committee of Tamil Nadu is doing now. People are very quick in forming committees. They seldom follow it up to make it alive. They do not have a monthly agenda either. The situation is so bad due to poor leadership quality and lack of integrity. But then we notice lot of small group activities at many places. Look at the Samithi functioning in A.P. under a good Leadership which obtained court's stay order to restrain the Govt. Who will come forward to lead people of this part which is known as the "Land of Temples" ? Kanchi Kamakoti Sankaracharya was undertaking padayatras years ago to visit remote villages. The State now waits for someone to take over the unfinished tasks and get them executed for which "Padayatra" is perhaps the best solution. Sri Adhi Sankara in His Shiva Maanasa Pooja Stotram says, “ Sancharapadayo pradhakshinavidhi:”- Whenever I walk, O Sambho, it is Pradhakshina around You. It is because of the fact that the Lord is so merciful to forgive us if we commit mistakes with our hands and feet, with words or deeds, through eyes or ears or thoughts by omission or commision.
" Karacharanakrutham vaakayajam va karmajam va
sravana nayanajam va maanasam va aparaadham;
vihitham avihitham va sarvamethat kshamasava
jayajaya karunaabdhe sri Mahadheva sambo"
__ Siva Manasapooja sthothram of Sri Adhi Sankara