South India Religious News Updates ( 12/03/2018)
Telanagana : Andhra seer stages a sit-in at Bhadrachalam
There was a mild commotion on Sunday at the historic Sri Sitaramachandra Swamy temple in Bhadrachalam when a seer from Andhra Pradesh staged a sit-in on the precincts of the temple following an argument with some priests of the shrine over the deity being reffered to as “Ramanarayana”.
On Sunday Saiva Kshetram seer from Amaravati Sri Shiva Swamy, along with his disciples, visited the temple in the evening and a heated argument ensued when the seer reportedly raised objections over the alleged practice of referring to the presiding deity of the temple as “Ramanarayana”.
He sought some clarifications over adherence to the “Agama sastra” , which in turn drew sharp reaction from a section of the temple staff, sources said, The Hindu reported. The seer and his disciples squatted inside the temple, seeking explanation on the issues raised by them. The seer and his followers relented following the intervention of the officials concerned.
Sources said that though the devotees visiting the temple on the Sunday were slightly inconvenienced but the darshan was not interrupted. The issues raised by the seer from Amaravati pertains to agama sastra and only the Vedic committee is competent to speak on them, said an official of the Endowments Department. Agama sastra is being strictly adhered to in the temple, the official asserted.
Tamil Nadu : 50 Priests in Vadapalani attended “Agama Shahstra” classes
Around 50-odd archakas attached to Vadapalani and other Shaivaite temples have been attending classes by Kapali Vaidhyanatha Gurukkal, an Agama expert and an archaka at the Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple, that are a refresher course for the seniors and a fresh course for the juniors.
These classes were based on a curriculum approved by the Department HR &CE, he fits in astrology, Agamas, tales from the puranas , slokas used in various rituals, and even rules pertaining to repair and renovation of temples. The classes that are being held at the Sri Palaniandavar Temple in Vadapalani began last month and will go on till the end of this month.
As for the morning rituals in the temples, there are more rules. The moola agama and the vazhi noolgal prescribe the nithya puja (daily rituals) that have to be done at the temple. There are 28 Saiva Agamas,” explained Kapali Vaidhyanatha Gurukkal.
“We fixed a curriculum for five years where every year, the subjects would change. Last year we taught them about how a temple should be constructed, beginning with the bhumi puja .” This year, the focus is on installation of idols and performing kumbabhishekam , explained an official source in the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department.
For archakas like S. Chandrasekara gurukkal of the Sri Komaleeswarar Temple, afternoon is the time they take a break after standing for nearly seven hours. But spending those precious moments at the class is worthwhile, he says. “Though we may know the rituals, the explanations offered are helpful. Many times when devotees ask us, we feel bad that we are unable to answer properly. I have attended every class without a break, even on p radhosham day,” he said. Similar classes are being held for bhattars attached to Vaishnavite temples by experts.
Karnataka : Demonetized Currency in the Yellamma Temple Hundi
Demonetised currency was found in the hundi chest of Saundatti Yellamma Temple in Saundatti in Belagavi district. Government officials and bankers who were counting the notes and documenting offerings at the temple came across currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 amounting to around Rs. 50,000.
When the counting ended early morning on Saturday, officers signed a ledger that showed Rs. 17 crore collected as offerings. “This is not the first time we are getting old or invalid notes. We have kept them in the temple safe under lock and key. Now, we will write to the government seeking directions,” said Ramanagouda Tiparashi, temple committee chairman. Ravi Kotargasti, temple committee chief executive officer, said that he will write to the State government and the lead bank. “If the government asks us to send them to the banks, we will do so,” he said.
The temple, which attracts devotees from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, is a Class A-Temple as per the Endowment Department norms. Its revenues have been increasing between 15-20% annually in the last few years. Last year, the offerings added up to Rs. 14 crore.
Andhra Pradesh : iPhone 6S in Mopidevi Temple Hundi
The presiding deity of the famous Subramanya Swamy temple situated in Andhra Pradesh has got a bizarre donation and the administration there is in a limbo over what to do with that. When the temple officials opened the donation box or ‘hundi’ last week after a gap of three months, they were in for a surprise as they found an Apple iPhone 6S along with monetary collections.
The officials quoted in a report by The News Minute said that they had no idea about when the phone was dropped in the hundi or by whom. “We opened the hundi on Friday after a little over three months (108 days) as usual, and as we were counting the collections, we found the iPhone with the sealed pack. It had everything from a cover, to the warranty card,” an official said as per the report.
Though it is not the first instance when the officials have found a phone in the hundi, however, it is the first time it has been intentionally dropped rather than by mistake. The officials suspect that the phone could be from a mobile shop owner who donated it to the deity as an offering, though they added that they could not be sure.
The temple administration is looking into what to do with the phone. A couple of ideas have been put forward which include auctioning it to raise fund for the deity or using it at the reception desk to answer the queries of devotees. The temple executive officer M Saradha Kumar said that they would consult with the endowment department and the government to discuss further on what to do with it.
The Lord Subramanya Swamy temple at Mopidevi is situated close to Vijayawada and visited by thousands of devotees every month.