The Madras High court had dismissed the writ petitions against
chanting Tamil mantras in temples
on the basis of certain observations which are quite illogical and invalid
and are obviously based on mis conception, mis-interpretation
and mis-understanding of the many practices in temples.
This kind of trying to intrude language issues into temple practices
has been going on for sometime and
it is unfortunate that even learned persons are oblivious to the rationale of
sticking to practices ordained by agamas.
First about the observations made by the court which are untenable.
The court has said -
"there is nothing in the Agamas (texts laying down rules of pooja) or in any other religious script
to prohibit the chanting of Tamil Mantras in temples run under the administration of
the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department"
When nothing has been mentioned about the archanas Tamil,
how can that be taken as a justification for archana in Tamil?
Nothing has been said in any agamas about the offer of non-veg food as 'prasad' to the deity.
Can that become a justification for the introduction of non-veg as prasad?
It is illogical to correlate the absence of something
as a justification for the presence of something else.
The presence of something is related to its consequence.
But a consequence can not be related to a cause that is not present.
When nothing has been mentioned about the archanas Tamil,
the obvious inference is that
archanas were not to be done in Tamil but only in the language (sanskrit)
as mentioned in the agamas.
Another observation by the court is that
"the attempt to portray as if God can understand only Devanagari, and Tamil
cannot stand on par with it,
is only stated to be rejected and it does not have any foundation based upon
any scripture or religious texts."
This observation has two parts -
the assumption that god can understand only certain languages
and this assumption having no basis in agamas.
Here the assumption is only of the people,
who have thought or who tend to argue that god understands only specific languages.
The assumption of the people rests with people.
Here again this assumption is not in the agamic rules,
for nowhere the question of language comes in agamas.
Only those who want to intrude their languages to the poojas
speak like this. (if god is capable of understanding only specific languages.)
If one's language preference is thrust on the practices in temple,
then a Hindi speaking one can demand that the archanas must be done in Hindi
or a Telugu speaking one can demand that only Telugu archanas must be done.
Such a demand can be made by anyone and everyone in support of any language.
Will this not make a mockery of the pooja or archana itself?
Let the judges and any thinking person reply this,
if the archanas are going to differ from state to sate in India,
on the basis of languages predominantly spoken there,
will that not be a mockery of temple worship itself?
Will that not make Hinduism a museum of beliefs
something the judges observed in a wrong context-
"it will only result in Hinduism becoming a museum of beliefs."
This too is illogical on the basis of absence becoming the cause for something.
Since it is not said so in the agamas, it must be understood
that the language part of poojas or archanas have nothing to do with
whether god is 'capable of ' or 'fond of' only certain languages.
The third observation of the judges also is flawed.
"On the contrary, the choice is with the devotees to seek for their 'Archanas' to be performed
by chanting the 'mantras' in Tamil or Sanskrit"
On what basis this 'choice' can be entertained?
Has it been said so in the agamas -
that the people's choice is paramount and that pooja must be done as per people's choice?
Is this a TV show or film programme
or a marketing decision
where people's choice is given importance?
This is about temples and in a temple one must respect the Temple rules.
In the name of entertaining devotee's choice, can one change the laid-down practices in temple?
In the name of choice of people, can the Parliament change the conventions?
In the name of choice of people, can the Parliament allow a go-shaala in its central hall?
In the name of choice of people, will Karunanidhi allow the devotees to do bhajans in his house?
I may be accused of taking it too far.
But the fact is that
the thrust of people's choices in temple practices are in no way less serious
than the above quotes.
The Parliment has its own conventions.
Karunanidhi has his own rules as far as decision within his house are concerned.
Similarly the temples have their own conventions and reasons for certain practices.
If someone can ( be a government or one in the name of devotee)
thrust their opinion on temple practicals,
then the Parliment must allow a goshaala in its central hall
and Karunannidhi must allow people to do bhajans in his house.
The temple worship is something special.
A temple can not be constructed just like that and
be said that God has come to reside inside that.
There are rules and conditions which make it suitable for God as an energy to reside there.
It is like the rules and condition that must be fulfilled in any scientific process
aimed at a specific result.
The absence of one of the conditions or a slight vitiation of one condition
is enough to derail the desired result.
The same with temple rules.
God exists everywhere
but to trap Him as an energy in a temple-Vigraha (vigraha means special house),
certain specifics must be fulfilled.
This can be compared with electricity.
Electric power is in nature everywhere
but it is not in the form usable by man.
Certain processes must be done to produce it in usable form and
even then it can not be used unless it is available as an easy supply at our homes.
The God's energy is made usable like this in temple.
But now comes the crucial work of using the switch to convert that electrical energy
to light our homes.
The switch is the instrument to make it happen.
Suppose one says 'I don't want switches,
I want electricity to come through the taps,'
can that happen in the name of choice of that person?
It can not.
For everything the connected set of rules are applicable.
By changing in terms of addition or deletion of any one condition,
the desired result can not be obtained in an experiment.
Similar is the case with temples.
While worship or bhakti or devotion has its origination in thoughts and mind,
it will bring out the respective results in one-to 0ne communion with god.
Language plays no part in devotion.
But in the case of temples,
it is about creating some conditions deliberately,
so that the entire community stands to benefit.
The famous adage in Tamil says ,
'Koil illa ooril kudi irukka vEndaam'
Don't reside in a town that does not have a temple.
The existence of a temple is for the benefit of the entire community
That is why you will find in olden times
the entire township situated around a temple.
The Tower (Gopuram) of the temple will be the highest in the town
so that anyone can have gopura darshan from his house itself.
That tower will have kumbhas / kalashas which are actually energy traps.
In consecration of deities, only these kumbhas are made to trap energy.
When the mantra-filled water is poured on these kalashas
at the end of Kumbha bhishekam,
one can notice perspiration on the body of the deity in the garbha graha,
as though saturation has been attained in getting filled with energy.
This effect is achieved by strictly following the agamic rules
and mantras chanted in sanskrit.
(In an earlier post I have explained how sanskrit mantars alone were found
to have the desired effect in the agni hothra homa
that was proven scientifically.)
The consecration of the deity must be done every 12 years
(in a Brahaspathya-mana - in the 12 year round of Jupiter around the zodiac)
That is done to replenish the positive energy stored in the temple.
Reading this if one says,
what is this god who requires to be replenished.
Can such an entity be god?
It is here where people's ignorance is demonstrated.
God's omnipresence and omni potency is something which one gains access to by
devotion, meditation and spiritual growth.
But temples are places made to possess high levels of concentration of this Supreme energy.
This concentration happens by means of rules laid down by agamas
and can be sustained by sticking to the rules only.
It is like a battery which works on certain principles.
If you choose to use some electrolyte replacing the specified one,
then the desired result can not be obtained.
Temples too will become powerless in course of time if people's preferences are thrust.
This came to be known from a real incident that happened in the temple of ThiruveLLIam kudi near KumbakOnam.
This temple is one of the 108 divya desas of Vishnu and
is hailed as one temple where the worship is equivalent to worship of all the 108 divya desas.
The violation here happened with reference to Abhisheka
The main deity here is made of wood and can not be given any abhishekam of moist products.
But some devotees have made commitments (vEnduthal) in their prayer
to do sandal abhishekam or milk abhishekam and so on.
Due to pressure from influential persons,
the archakas had given in
and in course of time, such abhishekam came to be done regularly.
It was seen after many years
that this township faced a lot of hurdles and
people also faced great hardships.
When this was referred to a religious head,
the violation of the practices came to be unearthed.
Suitable remedial were done and abhishekasm were strictly prohibited in this temples now.
We have known of temples where,
when the power exceeds the desired level,
the deity is left immersed in water.
All these go to show that there is more than what meets the eye in temple practices.
It is wiser not to tamper with them.
Also people at large and devotees must understand that love of one's language
should not be allowed to be exploited by chauvinists and atheists
who are out to undermine Hinduism.
It is in the best interests of community and posterity,
that devotees stop harping on archana in their language of choice.
I said posterity, for, if the current trend is allowed,
temples will cease to function the way they are supposed to.
This perhaps explains why it has been said that in Kali yuga,
chanting of names (nama sankeerthana) will do.
Temples might become dysfunctional for the purpose they are intended for
and only naama sankeerthana might become the only choice for people
for trapping this energy.
The text of Court order can be read in the link below:
HC dismisses pleas against chanting of 'mantras' in Tamil
Thu, Mar 20 08:18 PM
Chennai, Mar 20 (PTI) Dismissing two writ petitions seeking a directive against chanting of Tamil 'mantras' in the temples in the state, the Madras High Court today said if the plea was accepted, "it will only result in Hinduism becoming a museum of beliefs." The Bench, comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and K Chandru said, "there is nothing in the Agamas (texts laying down rules of pooja) or in any other religious script to prohibit the chanting of Tamil Mantras in temples run under the administration of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department.
" It also said "the attempt to portray as if God can understand only Devanagari, and Tamil cannot stand on par with it, is only stated to be rejected and it does not have any foundation based upon any scripture or religious texts." The Bench observed that the present attempt by the state was not to replace the existing method with a new one.
"On the contrary, the choice is with the devotees to seek for their 'Archanas' to be performed by chanting the 'mantras' in Tamil or Sanskrit," the Bench said. V S Sivakumar and Pitchai Battar, in their petitions, sought a direction from the court to restrain the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments from performing poojas and archanas in Tamil, besides restraining it from interfering in ceremonies and customary modes of worship.
The State had no right to interfere with any aspect regarding rituals and modes of worship in temples, they said claiming that the Government had ordered the Archakas and Gurukals (the priests) of temples under the HR&CE to perform archanas in Tamil. Persons in-charge of administration in temples were also being compelled to do Kumbhabishekam (consecration) in Tamil, they submitted.