Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitaha - 1
B R Haran
21 Apr 2010
Dharma will protect those who protect it!
An old Tamil film song goes, "Dharmam Thalai Kaakkum; Thakka Samayathil Uyir Kaakkum; Kooda Irunthu Kuzhi Pariththaalum Koduththathu Kaaththu Nirkum…" or "Dharma will protect head; Dharma will protect life at the time of threat; Dharma will protect even when acquaintances turn adversaries…"
In this vein, this column presents a true story of how Dharma protected a few individuals who embarked on a Dharmic mission and successfully accomplished it despite attempts of sabotage by friends turned saboteurs. This is a real story of Dharma prevailing ultimately.
Threats looming over Tamil Nadu
While Christian, Islamic and Communist aggression is common to all states across India, Tamil Nadu is unique with the additional threat of Atheism, propagated vehemently by the Dravidian parties for more than six decades. Sadly and unfortunately these anti-Hindu forces have been in power since 1967 and Atheism has been a state-sponsored policy since then. Atheism for these Dravidian racists is anti-Hinduism.
The saddest part of the 43 year Dravidian regime is its stranglehold over the Temples, which have been exploited in all possible ways with the sole intention of making money. The temples have become mere commercial enterprises, losing their sanctity in the process. Now, it is believed that the government is contemplating a takeover of even Mutts and Jeeva Samaadhis.
As these selfish power-mongers appease the minorities to stay in power, the minorities in turn use them to de-Hinduise and establish a Christian State or a Dar-ul-Islam. While both the Abrahamic religions have their own respective political agendas, they join hands with the Dravidian Parties, forming an unholy nexus and working to achieve their common agenda of de-Hinduising this state.
This unholy nexus has taken control of powerful mass-media like Cinema, Press and Television, through which it works round the clock to degrade Hindu culture, religion and tradition. This forms a significant part of their mission to de-Hinduise the state. Another important aspect is that the Christian and Islamic organisations capture territories and trades with the connivance of the corrupt bureaucracy and simultaneously build their worship places, religious institutions and commercial establishments completely disproportionate to their actual population. These two aspects facilitate the progression of religious conversions, which is the focal point of their mission.
All the above is made possible because of the flow of astronomical amounts of foreign funds to their religious organizations and NGOs owned by them. The government doesn't have a proper mechanism to control or screen the flow of foreign funds and no political party has so far hinted at bringing a stringent mechanism. The Home Ministry has officially recorded that Tamil Nadu gets the maximum of foreign funds, which help both Islam and Christianity to expand a lot in territory as well as numbers.
Heralding the launch of Hindu Dharma Protection Movement
In this backdrop, some of us met to discuss matters and decided to approach the Peethathipathis and Mathathipathis of Tamil Nadu and submit our prarthanas to them. Some six months ago, we requested an audience with Pujya Periyava Sri Kanchi Sankaracharya Swamigal, to confer about the threats looming large over the state. We submitted our prarthana seeking his guidance and blessing to convene a conference of Tamil Nadu-based Mathathipathis, to which he readily agreed and blessed us.
Encouraged by His Holiness' blessings, we started meeting heads of major Vaishnavite Mathams (Ahobila Mutt Jeer, Andavan Swamikal, Vanamamalai Jeer, Sri Embar Jeer, Sri Ramanuja Jeer…) and Shivite Adheenams (Thiruvavaduthurai, Thiruppananthal, Dharmapuram, Thondaimandalam …) and many others, who gave us audience and kindly listened to our explanations about the threats faced by the Hindus of Tamil Nadu.
We marked down three important topics, namely, (i) Stopping Religious Conversions, (ii) Stopping the flow of foreign funds and (iii) Forming an Autonomous Board to administer all Hindu temples and religious institutions, as the agenda of the proposed meet. All the Acharyas blessed us, assured support and cooperation, and agreed in principle to participate in the conference, provided the date is convenient, for a meaningful discussion.
We met Sri A.M. Rajagopalan, editor, "Kumudam Jothidam" a weekly magazine on astrology, which focuses on religious issues. He is a fiery writer and his editorials on Christian and Islamic aggressions are famous and popular. He has a huge fan following throughout the state for both his writing and astrological predictions. When he told us several temple-related issues needed to be solved in numerous places across the state, we discussed and decided to select such places to organize the meet, so that the local issue could be projected in front while the above-mentioned three important points could be incorporated to educate the masses who would enthusiastically participate in the interest of the local issue.
Sri AMR agreed to guide us and suggested we organize an "Anti-conversion March" at Namakkal, close to Kolli Hills where rampant conversion is going on. Hence we toured Salem and Namakkal districts for a survey and found that the place was not conducive for conducting a march and conference. During darshan at the famous Anchaneyar Temple at Namakkal, the thought of having the meet at Dindigul struck all of us simultaneously and immediately and unanimously we decided to go to Dindigul straight from there for a survey.
We recalled Sri AMR telling us about the Padmagiri Hill and the Hill-temple which stands without deities. The presiding deities (Sri Padmagiriswarar and Abirami Ambal) were removed some 200 years ago when Tipu Sultan plundered the temples in Dindigul. Those deities have been installed at Sri Kalahastheeswarar Temple downhill and worshipped for the past 200 years. Having two sets of presiding deities (Mulavars) in a same temple is not good and in fact is against Agama Sastra.
Hence it is important to take back the presiding deities to the Hill-Temple and install them in their respective sanctum sanctorum with consecration conducted at the earliest, worship restored, and Girivalam (circumambulation of the hill) started. As the hill-temple is under the control of the ASI, efforts have to be taken to convince the department and get government permission to return the deities to their original abode atop the hillock.
Surveying the Girivalam path around the hill, we found that the entire stretch of three kilometers was completely occupied by Christian churches and Christian cemeteries at every 30 feet. Thus it is all the more imperative that the temple is immediately restored, failing which Christians will occupy the hill-top and build a church there, as they have done in Achirupakkam Hills near Melmaruvathur Adi Parasakthi Temple. Members (industrialists and merchants) of the Dindigul Chamber of Commerce readily agreed to host the Mathathipathis and take care of the entire expenses in conducting the march (Girivalam) and public meeting.
Dindigul has become the epicenter of Christian and Islamic aggression and scores of Hindu activists have lost their lives there; property loss has also been heavy in the past decades. Islamic terrorist organizations like Al Umma and Manitha Neethi Paasarai have a strong base and presence here, and Christian conversion has been rampant due to the presence of an array of Christian NGOs. Sadly the district has not had the fortune of having a Matham, Adheenam or Ashram on its soil, and the local populace having no religious leadership to go to for solace and guidance have become almost dhimmis, fearing the Christian and Islamic fundamentalists. As they were yearning for divine intervention, the news of a conference of Acharyas was a pleasant surprise.
Having decided on Dindigul, we made another round of visits to the major Mathathipathis and finalized 18 April as the date of the event after discussing the same with them. As the event has to be organized under proper auspices, we chose two names namely, "Hindu Dharma Paadukaappu Iyakkam" (Hindu Dharma Protection Movement) and "Thirukoyil Bakthar Peravai" (Temple Bakthas Forum) and Pujya Periyava Sri Kanchi Acharya selected the former. We drafted a detailed letter in Tamil addressed to the Acharyas and sent it to all of them seeking their blessings and requesting them to attend the meet at Dindigul.
The major Mathathipathis who confirmed their attendance, graciously permitted us to put their names on the invitation card. As per the request made by members of the Dindigul Chamber of Commerce, the invitation was printed and sent in the name of "Then Thirukkailaayam Padmagiri Vazhipaattukkuzhu" (South Kailash Padmagiri Worshippers Forum) and "Thrukovil Paraamarippu Kuzhu" (Temple Maintenance Committee). We made yet another visit to all the major Mathams and personally handed over the invitation cards and got their blessings.
By the grace of God and Blessings of Revered Acharyas, we accomplished our mission successfully.
Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitaha - 2
B R Haran
22 Apr 2010
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.