Tradition vs rituals to the fore again

The members of Bhadradri Parirakshana Samithi for the past few days have been distributing books to devotees and temple authorities at Bhadrachalam regarding the flaws taking place during Sita Rama Kalyanam.

By Author  |  Published: 20th Feb 2019  10:27 pm
Bhadradri temple EO T Ramesh Babu speaks to the press at Bhadrachalam on Wednesday.

Bhadrachalam: The age-old differences between followers of Shaivite and Vaishnavite traditions have come to the fore again, weeks ahead of Sri Rama Navami scheduled to be celebrated here in April.

Some sections are raising questions over the validity of Vedic rituals and traditions being followed during the celestial wedding of Lord Rama and his consort Sita, alleging there are slip-ups in the celestial wedding at historic Sri Sita Ramachandra Swamy Temple here.

The members of Bhadradri Parirakshana Samithi for the past few days have been distributing books to devotees and temple authorities at Bhadrachalam regarding the flaws taking place during Sita Rama Kalyanam.

Quoting mythological and historic instances and references and the book penned by Annadanam Chidambaram Sastry of Arepalli in Guntur of AP, they said that though the priests at Bhadradri seemingly take names of Lord Rama and Sita, while chanting mantras, they take the names of deities Lakshmi and Narayana.

“What is the scriptural character of the celestial wedding here? Whether it is Sri Rama Kalyanam or Lakshmi Narayana Kalyanam?” was the poser from the book’s author Chidambaram Sastry and Samithi members B Shanker Reddy, R Ravi Kumar and others. Sastry in his book maintained that as the celestial wedding is solemnised, the names and lineage of king Dasharatha and king Janaka, the fathers of Lord Rama and Sita respectively are not referred to. However, the temple priests have strongly objected to what the Samithi members are saying and what the author Sastry wrote in the book.

The priests who took part in a press conference on Wednesday even tore the copies of the books as a mark of protest.

The temple Executive Officer T Ramesh Babu along with the priests told presspersons that Endowments Commissioner has the authority to settle the matter. “It is wrong to confuse the minds of devotees by spreading false views on social media,” he told Samithi members.

He objected to the distribution of books by the Samithi members and appealed to them not to create confusion among devotees ahead of Sri Rama Navami. He even cautioned that if required they would take legal action against those involved. It might be recalled the question raised by Sastry and others has come forward many times in the past decade.

Those opposing the tradition followed during the celestial wedding have even approached courts and higher authorities, but the issue remains unresolved.