‘Open the temple vault and face death’

Lead priest K Padmanabha Sharma said that no videography of the temple`s unearthed treasure trove should take place.

Thiruvananthapuram: A group of priests who conducted an astrological examination or `devaprasnam` at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple here has concluded that family members of those who open its yet untouched vault B would die, said an expert Thursday. They also warned against videography of the treasure discovered so far.

Lead priest K Padmanabha Sharma said that no videography of the temple`s unearthed treasure trove should take place.

"Of the treasure troves that are in the temple, vault B should not be opened and of the remaining five vaults, there should be no valuation done, besides there should be no exhibition of the treasure that has been found," said Sharma.

The temple, among the richest in the world, has six vaults. Five of these were opened on the orders of the Supreme Court and a treasure trove estimated to be more than Rs 1 lakh crore was discovered.

Vault B was not touched by a committee that was appointed by the court for stock taking of the temple`s treasures last month.

The astrological examination that began at the temple Monday involved discussions among the members of the team headed by Mathur Narayanan Renga Bhatt, an expert in conducting rituals.

The discussions, held in the open, concluded that it would be best that vault B was left unopened because it was believed that it could only be opened by "God".

The experts concluded that if anyone opened the vault, one of his family members may die either due to a snake bite or consumption of poison.

Stocktaking of the temple`s treasure started after TP Sunderarajan, a former Indian Police Service officer, approached the apex court alleging mismanagement of temple affairs.

Sunderarajan, 70, died July 17.

The erstwhile royal family of Travancore oversees the functioning of this prestigious temple, through an executive committee.

Aditya Varma, scion of the erstwhile royal family, earlier said that the discussion and astrological examination related to vault B was done after receiving numerous letters from devotees and also from various Hindu organisations.

According to the records of the temple, on the main door of vault B a picture of a snake is etched and it signifies danger.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy also reached the temple premises and remarked that the wealth of the temple was not just an asset alone but also related to faith.

"We all expect that the apex court, when it comes to deciding the opening of vault B, will take into consideration the feelings of the devotees," said Chandy.


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