Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sabarimala: Govt not to interfere

Sabarimala: Govt not to interfere: "Kannada actress Jayamala's claim that she entered the sanctum sanctorum of Kerala's famous Sabarimala temple in 1987 has created a furore in Kerala. Meanwhile, the Kerala government on Thursday said it would not interfere in the customs followed by the temple, including its ban on women in the 10-50 age group from praying at the hill shrine.

Priests say if the claim is true, it means the sanctity of the temple has been defiled and lakhs of rupees will have to be spent on purification rituals. Mohanaru Kantaru Thantri, the chief priest of Kerala's Sabarimala temple, has however denied Jayamala's claim.

The Kannada actress had claimed that in 1987 she had entered the temple's sanctum sanctorum and touched Lord Ayyapa's idol. According to temple laws, this is sacrilege. Ayyappa is believed to be a bramachari and only the priest and chief priest can touch the idol.

Recently, Unnikrishna Pannicker, an astrologer, had announced that the spiritual aura of the idol had been affected because a young woman had breached the sanctum sanctorum. Jayamala read this in a newspaper and sent a fax to the astrologer, saying she too had visited the temple almost 20 years ago.

Lakhs of people visit the Sabarimala temple each year, with the temple receiving Rs 70 crore as donations last year. (With PTI inputs)"

No comments: