HC moved against stopping age old practice in Srirangam temple

Claiming that the JC had also stated that Brahmaratham honours had been cancelled, the petitioner said such practice could not be stopped overnight without proper notice.

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2010, 23:54 PM IST

Madurai: Madras High Court Bench here on Tuesday
admitted a petition seeking a stay on a showcause notice by
Joint Commissioner of the famous Sri Ranganathaswamy temple at
Srirangam to stop a centuries old practice of honouring a seer
and carrying him in a Palanquin, known as `Brahammaratham`.

According to the petitioner, the JC had issued the notice
for preventing Sri Kovil Vedavyasa R.Lakshmi Narasimha Bhattar
Swami performing his turn of chanting Vedas and receiving
hounours which included "Brahmmaratham", practice of his
devotees carrying him from the temple to his house.

He said three families -- Vedavyasa Bhattar, Parasara
Bhattar and Arayars -- in the temple town were given temple
hounours, including Brahmaratham, for chanting "Vedas" and
"Nalayira Divya Prabhandam" respectively.

The practice of Brahmaratham existed since the days of
saint Ramanuja. Even as per temple`s official records the
practice was being followed from 1890. The disciples carried
them in a palanquin voluntarily and the question of Human
rights violation did not arise at all.

When the Brahmaratham for this year was due on Kaisika
Ekadasi day tomorrow, the JC had issued show cause notice for
the stoppage of Brahmaratham on the score that carrying men in
the Palanquin inside temple had to be prohibited. The
Petitioner had given reply to the show cause notice.

Claiming that the JC had also stated that Brahmaratham
honours had been cancelled, the petitioner said such practice
could not be stopped overnight without proper notice or
enquiry,and same was violative of natural Justice.

The Temple counsel submitted that the decision was taken
as per the trust board resolution.Besides the temple employees
association had passed a resolution to stop the practice
inside the temple. The Bhattar could be carried in palanquin
outside the temple. Other hounours would be given as per
practice.

Justice Jeyachandran heard both the sides and reserved
orders.

PTI