Friday, December 2, 2016

Parthasarathy Koil Mid Night Samprokshanam

A once in a lifetime event of a Samprokshanam past mid night
A Grand Samprokshanam on August 22 has been followed with a 'Silent' one in November at the Parthasarathy Temple in Thiruvallikeni

On Wednesday (21 Nov 2016) night, the Moolavar Sannidhi  at Parthasarathy Koil, Thiruvallikeni was being re-opened much after all the Sannidhis had closed for the night. 

In the renovation activity leading up to the Samprokshanam, in June 2015, of the Parthasarathy Sannidhi, Rama Sannidhi and Ranganatha Sannidhi among others, improper and hurriedly carried out works had led to leakages in the Parthasarathy Moolavar Sannidhi and Rama Sannidhi.

(In one of the earlier rain spells, the idol of Lord Rama had to be 'kept' in another Sannidhi for a night!!!)

And last quarter, while writing the story on the high court case relating to issues on renovation in temples, I had brought this issue of leakages in Sannidhis with Smt. Jothilakshmi, the DC of the Parthasarathy temple. She seemingly with all sincerity rejected that there were any leaks and said that she herself had inspected the Sannidhis in the recent rains (the brief spell in June), there was nothing noticed. I did not make a mention of that issue in the story I wrote then.

But earlier this week, the HR & CE officials made an entry into the Parthasarathy Moolavar Sannidhi well after 10 pm. The news leaked through different sources from inside the temple and many from the media had made it to the temple by mid night to enquire as to what the HR & CE officials were doing inside the Moolavar Sannidhi after mid night when the temple had closed after the 'artha jama' pooja couple of hours earlier. The officials went up to the Vimana for inspection!!!

There was a needless roll out of a story stating that there was a Homam performed that night for the sake of the TN CM.

However, the reality was that a quick post mid night Samprokshanam was performed after a Balalayam.

For possibly the first time in recent history in a Divya Desam, a Samprokshanam had been performed in the middle of the night without Adhyapakas and without devotees.

Only a few months earlier, the Samprokshanam of four Sannidhis at the temple had been performed under the LIVE cameras beaming pictures across the country. 

Those that were keen on LIVE coverage on multiple channels of a grand Samprokshanam now sent out messages that what they did on the night was a Homam. What a sad way for a temple to use the state of CM's health to roll out a false story.

How many times in the last two months since the time the CM was admitted to the hospital has the HR & CE performed homam in any temple in the state without TV cameras showing those pictures through the day.

Many devotees have asked as to how the archakas of the temple could allow the Sannidhi to be opened that late in the night and how they could allow HR & CE officials into the Sannidhi well past mid night. They opined that they could understand the pressure from the Government officials but at the end of the day (and night), the powers to perform the pooja and to follow the agamas rest with the archakas. Should they not have sensitised the officials on the downsides of waking the Lord from sleep at such an unearthly hour of the night.

(the story goes that the Agama experts of Tirupathi and Srirangam temple were consulted and they suggested a process to be followed for that night's set of events)

To the lay devotee, it was darshan as usual the next morning at 6am. And life has carried on since without anyone battling an eyelid on the events of Wednesday night.

It does seem that the petitioners in the temple renovation case have a point on the quality of repair works undertaken in temples and how lot more care needs to be taken in preserving the centuries old temples in Tamil Nadu.

Doubts in the Devotee's mind
Recently, yet another devotee, belonging to the Senior Management of a leading corporate, who has also performed big Thirumanjanam at this temple in the last year, told me as to how he is looking to make a significantly big contribution to the next renovation activity at the temple that is currently on.

Everyone (non HR & CE) connected with the Parthasarathy temple have suggested that he make the contribution directly towards the expenses as any contribution to the temple by way of cheque may not find its way back to the renovation activity leaving him stumped for he is looking to avail tax benefits out of this huge contribution which can be done only if it is contributed through a cheque to the religious institution and not if it is re-imbursed as an expense or if it is directly contributed to the maker of the particular renovation activity, so much for the belief and trust in the HR & CE even from within the temple.

Another devotee who had undertaken the renovation activity in one of the Sannidhis earlier this year was very clear that he would make all contributions directly towards the expenses and not hand over the payment to the HR & CE.

At a time when the PM is so passionately pitching for every one to come clean, it is hoped that HR & CE officials will take corrective steps and bring more transparency into the system.

(On the positive front, last week, the roof that had come up in front of the Varadar Sannidhi was removed - had written about this as part of the renovation issues story in September this year- now providing for a beautiful full view of the Sannidhi and also allowing a lot more natural lighting to come into the Prakara)

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