Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Brihadeeswara temple of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu - language controversy over ensuing Kumbabishekam

1000 plus year old Brihadeewaratemple,Thanjavur,the hindu.com

In Tamil Nadu there is no dearth of controversies and contradictions when it comes to historical Hindu temples. That they heat up over religious matters is a sad story at a time when preparations are under way for the consecration to be held on the 5th of Feb.  Brewing at the historical Thanjavur big temple  dedicated to Brihadeewara (lord Shiva) built by King Raja Raja Cholan I of the famed Chola dynasty is  a controversy whether to hold the temple's consecration in Sanskrit or Tamil. The British  Government's   policy that the church and state are different is not being followed by certain political parties here.  The group spearheaded by Thanjai Periyakoil Urimai Meetpu Kuzhu  is in the forefront. The state government would like to continue the unbroken tradition and old practice of reciting prayers in both languages, but certain  fringe groups  want the consecration done only in Tamil language. Their basis of argument is it was built by a Tamil king aided by Siddhar Karoorar, a true devotee of God Shiva. No matter what other groups argue, the consecration will be done as before in the past in both languages, the government report points out.   However, there  will be invocations in Tamil  devotional hymns in praise of Lord Shiva in  Tirumurai, besides  those in 'Sanskrit,'
1000 plus year old Brihadeewara temple,Thanjavur, TN, Wikipedia.com

Certain organizations baked by some political parties  held a conference in the recent past and made a strong proposal to the government  to conduct Kudamuzukku (consecration) only in Tamil and do away with Sanskrit. The Tamil Nadu Archagargal Samooga Nalasangam, consisting of temple priests  impressed on the state government  to ensure that  consecration of Brihadheeswara Temple was conducted as per the existing tradition and practice.  ''The State president of TASNS,  Arunachalam claimed that the Supreme Court had already clarified that the rituals and other events being held in temples built as per ‘agamas’ should be performed as per the ‘agamas’ only. Attempting to deviate from the existing tradition and practice would not only go against the religious principles and beliefs but also tantamount to contempt of court''.  A committee under chairmanship of Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu Government is constituted to ensure smooth conduct of the consecration.
Brihadeewaratemple,Thanjavur, TN. pirest com.
The Aalavai Annal Trust, Madurai, and Aalavai Annal Trust, Chidambaram, have been permitted  to organize Thanjai Raja Rajecharam (Big Temple) Thirukudamuzhukku Thirumurai Vinnappa Vizha from February 1 to 5 at the temple premises. The Thirumurai Vinnappa Vizha will begin  with recitation of Thirumurai Pannisai by Thanjai Peruvudaiyar temple Othuvamoorthy  at the ‘yaga salai’ on February 1 at 5.30 p.m.

The Othuvamoorthys
will recite  Thirumurai hymns at the `yaga salai’ both in the morning and evening from February 2 to 4 and on the morning of the consecration day, February 5.  Panniru Thirumurai Muttrodhal will be performed by the Othuvamoorthys at the ‘yaga salai’ from February 1 to 5 and Thirumurai Aganda Parayanam will be held at Natarajar Mandapam during the consecration ceremony.  On the final day, the Othuvamoorthys and students learning Thevaram and Thiruvasagam will recite the hymns from 8 a.m. to noon near Nandhi Mandapam.

A homam (oblation in fire) for the smooth conduct of the consecration ceremony called Asthra Homam, sponsored jointly by Agasthiyar Trust, Thirukazhukundram, and Thanjavur Aranmanai Devasthanam, began at the Big Temple premises recently.

The poornahuthi of Asthra Homam will be performed around 12.30 p.m. as per tradition. Tradition has it homams need to be performed at nearby temples.
Shanthi homams were performed at eight Kaliamman temples in and around Thanjavur town and at Mariamman Temple, Punnainallur, on Thursday as a prelude to the consecration of Big Temple. 110 Yaga  kundams have been set up for the main ceremony and 28 Vethigas (pundits) will get involved in the  main consecration ceremony.  ASI took control of the temple in 1922 and since then the temple has been administered by them.

Religious places should be free from political interference and should  not  become a center of confusion and contradiction, in particular,  at this juncture and this will create a bad image in public and people across India. Such religious matter should be left with those who are well-versed in that field  and such differences should be sorted out amicably, according to  many devotees.  

Thanjai Periyakoil Urimai Meetpu Kuzhu has a plan to continue the protest on the first of February   as they want only Tamil language  used  for the consecration ceremony and there is no room for Sanskrit.Several persons and groups have moved the Madurai High court regarding the use of only Tamil language for rituals associated with consecration.

Responding to PIL to conduct the ensuing consecration ceremony of Thanjavur Big temple only in Tamil  submitted to the Madurai branch of High Court by certain groups, the HR& CE, the Palace Devasthanam Board submitted affidavits yesterday  saying both Sanskrit and Tamil are used as per Agama sastras. The HR & CE (state govt.) counsel argued that it is impossible to conduct Kumbabisekam only in Tamil.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/tussle-over-consecration-hots-up/article30634866.ece
 https://www.deccanherald.com/national/south/thanjavur-big-temple-consecration-on-february-5-797517.html
 https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/big-temple-consecration-on-february-5-next-year/article30306599.ece
New Indian Express (Tiruchi edition), dated February 28, 2020. page 03:: ''Bomb detection squad deployed at Big Temple''.
.....do.............. ''PIL to conduct ceremony in Tamil''.