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Sabarimala is Not a Circus Arena

Is it not funny that this Sabarimala’s case was moved by non-devotee of the temple -- Naushad Ahmed Khan and supported by a group of non-believers et al?

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By Salil Gewali

What will happen if a bunch of lawyers gets down to perform a neurosurgery? They will definitely mess up with the patient’s body. It would be very likely the patient might die even. If you look at the Sabarimala’s issue dispassionately, exactly the same thing has happened. The judiciary has hurt the “sentimental nervous system” of Ayyappa devotees. I daresay, the non-spiritual lawyers hardly know about the “DNA of faith” and its significance in the pursuit of GOD. Faith, in fact, is a far “subtler” subject which can’t be touched, felt and analyzed with the hammer and tongs of court’s jurisprudence.

The justification of rationality without the feeling of sympathy and compassion does not at all heal the wounded belief system.  Therefore, the customary practices of “any faiths” that have been handed down for centuries, would be better if they are not crushed down by the gross weight of laws and acts.

Sabarimala
Sabarimala Rush.

Other may disagree but most of the belief system and practices in Hinduism, particularly those mentioned in the ancient scriptures, have been recommended by the seers who have “realized” a various level of truths. Those sages, after deep meditation, had understood about life, bodily (tangible and non-tangible) functions and changes of behaviors in each phase of one’s life. Various methods of rituals, day-to-day conducts and a series of “restrictions” for certain proposes are enshrined in such scriptures. They are all well intended to help one climb the “ladder of spiritualism” so that the believers will not run into the negative forces and the like. So, tinkering with these regulations and prescriptions are like the uneducated discrediting and undermining the principles, formulae, theories thought out by Laplace, Faraday, Dalton, Rutherford, Einstein… 

What is most disgusting is that some of the non-Hindus (non-devotees) and atheists are now pouring oil into the fire of controversy. Why people from other faiths have to rush to visit the sacred Ayyappa temple? Are they sincere devotees of Ayyappa? Their facebook posts/blogs and activities clearly reveal what they are up to. Maligning the particular FAITH is their prime motive. Desecrating the sacred seat of Ayyappa has become their new-found adventure. Who is Rehana Fathima? Is she Hindu? Since when has she become a devotee of Lord Ayyappa? Why is the government not taking the right step when the scared Ayyappa is being impurified? One wonders how the judiciary utterly fails to suspect such godless activities leading to a series of outrageous backlashes. One can see this as a solid testimony to the failings of our judges who can’t see beyond certain horizons. Spirituality is seemingly non-existent to them.

Sabarimala
Sabarimala Rehana Jaggesh.

Is it not funny that this Sabarimala’s case was moved by non-devotee of the temple — Naushad Ahmed Khan and supported by a group of non-believers et al? If Naushad is so clear-headed and wants to do worthwhile for the society, why is he not campaigning aggressively first against the blatant women discrimination and numerous misinterpretations in the faith he has taken birth in? After having studied a few ancient books sincerely, one becomes pretty convinced that labeling Hinduism as discriminatory to women is like an ill-bred son calling his loving mother a hateful taskmaster who doesn’t allow the son to “touch food” with hands which have not been washed properly after the latrine. To know Hindu culture well one needs to make earnest efforts and undertake spiritual practices. But the first thing is that seekers have to unlearn all that “misinformation” that has been read and got assimilated into their thought process.

Finally, those who want to criticize India being intolerant, I would like to quote the science-fiction novelist – HG Wells – “In Indian ancient wisdom, tolerance is not simply a matter of policy but an article of faith”. However, it is very ungodly to “tolerate” the rise of sinister voices that senselessly spread misinformation and hurt humanity.

Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali. 

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All prepared for new season of Sabarimala festival

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Sabarimala: All arrangements are ready for the beginning of the two-month Sabarimala temple festive season, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said on Saturday.

Chandy told IANS that he was at the pilgrim centre a few days ago to review the arrangements and felt happy with what was being organised for this season.

“We have spent Rs.62 crores in the past few months for increasing the facilities for the smooth pilgrimage. A new parking facility has been created for over 4,000 vehicles. A new waste treatment plant has also been commissioned,” he said.

Chandy pointed out that the temple receives more non-Keralites than Keralites during the two months and for that the government has allotted five acres of land to each of the south Indian states.

“Karnataka has already taken possession of the land while Telangana will sign the agreement soon, while the other two states Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are expected to do it shortly,” Chandy said.

He said these states would have the freedom to build guest houses and post their officials.

“Through this arrangement, we expect that people from these south Indian states will get better facilities and service from their own officials,” Chandy added.

The sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple opens its doors on Monday evening, signalling the commencement of welcoming devotees from early Tuesday. It coincides with the first day of the Malayalam month of “Vrishickam”.

Situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 metres above sea level, Sabarimala temple is four kilometres uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district, around 100 km from Thiruvananthapuram.

The temple, which bars the entry of women who have attained puberty, is accessible only on foot from Pamba.

The practice among many pilgrims before setting off for the holy shrine is to undertakes an intense 41-day penance where they do not wear sandals, wear a black dhoti and eat only vegetarian food.

Each pilgrim carries a kit (lrumudi) that contains coconuts broken just before climbing the 18 steps. A pilgrim carries it on his head during the pilgrimage and without it, nobody is allowed to step onto the holy 18 steps at the Sannidhanam.

(IANS)