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Madras High Court directive in dispute over temple procession

Chennai: Intervening in a dispute between two sects of Vaishnavites, Madras High Court has asked the Vadakalai sect not to shut the doors of a famous temple in Cuddalore District during a procession by Thenkalai

PTI [ Updated: October 19, 2014 7:07 IST ]
madras high court directive in dispute over temple
madras high court directive in dispute over temple procession

Chennai: Intervening in a dispute between two sects of Vaishnavites, Madras High Court has asked the Vadakalai sect not to shut the doors of a famous temple in Cuddalore District during a procession by Thenkalai sect.

Justice V Ramasubramanian said doors of Devanatha Swamy Temple at Thiruvendipuram, managed by Vadakalai sect, should not be closed when their Thenkalai counterparts take out the utsav idol of nearby Manavala Mamunigal temple in a procession tommorrow.

He also asked police to ensure that the procession passes off peacefully.

“One who is a Vaishnava knows the pain of others, does good to others, does not let pride enter his mind, tolerates and praises the entire world, and does not say bad things about any one”, he said, quoting from Nasinh Mehta's rendition ‘Vaishnava Janato'.

The directive was issued by the court while disposing of two petitions—one by Vadakalai sect for closure of the door and another by Swami Govinda Ramanuja Dassar of Intenational Sri Vaishnava Dharma Samrakshana Society, who opposed the closure.

The idol of Sri Manavala Mamunigal is taken in a procession on a particular day (Moola Naktchatra day) by the Thenkalai sect who also chant “Divya Prabandhams”, after lighting camphor in front of Devanatha Swamy Temple.

The Vadakalai sect used to close the doors of the main entrance to the temple at that time, which was described as an act of ‘untouchability' against the Tenkalai sect.

In the backdrop of the petition filed by Dassar, Hindu Religious & Chartable Endowments Commissioner refused permission to close the temple doors.

Justice Ramasubramanian said: “Even as per the Sastras, doors to the entrance of a temple constructed as per the Aagamas cannot be closed, except during fixed hours and except during certain inauspicious times.

Therefore, the doors of the main entrance shall not be closed when the procession of the deity of Manavala Mamunigal is taken out.”

The Judge asked the processionists not to light camphor when the deity passes infront of Devanatha Swamy temple, but said: “It is neither fair, nor possible to prohibit the precisionists from chanting Divya Prabhandams and stopping for a few minutes in front of the temple, since it happens to be a public road. However, the processionists shall not obstruct the ingress and egress of devotees to the temple.”

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