Addressing a massive gathering of devotees organised by Sabarimala Action Council, spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi said Sunday changes are required in temples, but they should not be introduced by “forgetting” the temples.
She was inaugurating Ayyappa Bhakta Sangamam, held under the aegis of Sabarimala Action Council, an umbrella outfit of Hindu organisations protesting the entry of women of all ages to Sabarimala.
She said recent incidents at Sabarimala temple were unfortunate and that the root cause of all problems was “lack of knowledge about temple traditions”.
“Every temple has its own concept of deity. It is not fair to neglect that concept. If such traditional concepts are not maintained, it would affect the circumstances of a temple. Temples require thantri, poojari and also the faithful. Lord Ayyappa of Sabarimala temple is an eternal celibate. Changes are required, but the changes should not be brought in forgetting the temple,” she said.
Amritanandamayi said every temple has its own rituals which have to be respected. Temples are pillars of our culture and they should be protected, she said.
Former DGP T P Senkumar, who is national vice-president of Sabarimala Action Council, alleged the state government had tried to “destroy the sanctity” of the Sabarimala temple by bringing young, non-Hindu women.
Several Hindu saints took part in the meeting.
Meanwhile, speaking at a seminar in Thiruvananthapuram, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the Sangh Parivar was trying to bring out the faithful on the Sabarimala issue. “When fighting against those who are trying to destroy the renaissance tradition of the state, one should not remain hesitant over the prominence of such forces. Society should come forward to oppose wrong things. One need not get apprehensive about the forces which reconcile with conservative system,” he said.
He said Kerala has a tradition of defeating caste forces. When such attempts went in vain, these forces are trying to torpedo the state’s renaissance tradition by bringing out the faithful over the Sabarimala issue, he added.
On Sunday the Sabarimala temple was closed after the annual festival season which began on November 15. This was the first festival season after the Supreme Court order lifting age bar on entry of women to the temple. Kerala has witnessed violent protests by Sangh Parivar organisations and devotees against the entry of young women to the temple.