SABRIMALA - QUESTIONS and ANSWERS Hindu-Phobia and Hindu-Hatred

2 points | Post submitted by suyash95 158 days ago | 4 comments | viewed 197 times

Some Common Questions and Answers

  • suyash95 158 days ago | +0 points

    Why do you support or oppose the Sabarimala Verdict?

    No, it is not about Hinduism, not about Hindus, not about Ayyappa or gender equality.

    What exactly itches me is that this sets a precedence to thousands of intolerant cultural mishaps that will occur in our country, in the name of “reforms”, “fixing” and “abolition of bad things”.

    When people don’t have the rational ground, magnanimity of mind, and tolerance of the culture and practices of “others”, such unfortunate things happen. It is unfortunate that SC has succumbed to this frenzy of “fixing” and “sanitizing”, apart from “defining” and “dictating” the beliefs of people. I am indeed a helpless citizen of this country and a slave of the nation, what I can do at most is to write a Quora answer like this. I am none to judge the greatest sires in the SC.

    This temple was defined as a place for males and females practising Brahmacarya, and hence happens to not allow a section of people inherently. What is good or bad in it? Why should you view the people who practise that with your eyes? Why should you interfere in a purely private matter of a temple and its defined devotees?

    The Court verdict would have made sense to me if :

    > Sabarimala represented a moral issue, a general social issue that demands attention :

    Sabarimala isn’t. It is all about a custom observed by certain men and women showing their devotion to a deity. It is not a social thing. Sabarimala isn’t a public place of worship.

    Neither does Sabarimala custom make people believe that males are superior or females are inferior. As you see, where such shitty thoughts come from are from outside. And do they deserve any serious consideration?

    In few years, males and females might have to undergo genital mutilation so as to erase inequality there - by the current standard of neo liberal thought progress. Should the highest court of a country succumb to such childish and immature thoughts?

    > Sabarimala had no legendary backup for its tradition, and there exists no strong tradition :

    Despite the commie trials to say otherwise, this is not true. Sabarimala legends and also the strength of tradition is too strong to be ignored. It becomes one of the founding aspects of the temple, and thus “defines” the deity at Sabarimala. Anyone outside the purview of the devotees as defined by the deity and temple have absolutely no moral right to interfere with the traditions and rules unless it impacts them - which it doesn’t. It is not an offensive tradition, but a defensive practice because the practitioners are already defined and they exercise their personal religious belief to themselves by following celibacy and helping Ayyappa to follow celibacy.

    > Sabarimala custom causes a serious discrimination based on health/right of living or property of women :

    It isn’t. It is harmless in all levels.

    What moral high ground does anyone possess to attack, vandalize or demolish a harmless belief of a small group of people?

    In what way does Ayyappa practising his version of celibacy in his shrine itch you, dear friend? Why by the path of śvapadas should you vandalize it?

    If you are a woman who is not defined by the deity himself to go to his shrine so as to protect his vow of celibacy (whatever its definition be) how do you become his “devotee” by forcibly going against the temple rules? You maybe a Hindu - Hindu temples are open there out for you. You may be a devotee of Ayyappa - thousands of Ayyappa shrines are open for you.

    How did you become a devotee of the deity of Sabarimala once you have decided to demolish his very religious existence?

    Every woman who stays in her home that time, worshiping the deity from home and waits for her time to come to visit the shrine - she is the real devotee. Even the dirt from her feet is more purer than your bhakti.

    Keep that vandalizing “bhakti” of yours to yourself ma’am!

    What is your view on ongoing Sabarimala issue in Kerala?

    Originally Answered: What is your stance on the SabariMala issue?

    Since I have made my stance a hundred times clear, let me also make how some have really cruel stance in this. I am quoting arguments from answers in this thread.

    “I have heard the claims that ayyappa is celibate etc. If God exists you are in need of him and he is not in need of you. If so, it is a pathetic god.”

    Intolerance of others’ divine concepts. “Gods” of “others” are pathetic just because they don’t conform to this being’s concept of god. Hence, he mocks the divine concepts of others, and wants them sanitized.

    “Now the question is whether this achara is affecting any civilian rights. Here gender equality comes.”

    Ah, they mean someone practising celibacy is because he is against gender equality. Why do women wear bindi and men are not expected to? Gender inequality. Why men shave themselves? Gender inequality. Tomorrow, men and women having different private parts would also be a concern for these “reformers”. Why? Gender inequality.

    Actually what is the issue? They have so lowly a vision that they can see only the meanest things in any harmless practice. Change your viewpoint, not the practices.

    “I feel pity on the lady activists who intrude into the sannidhanam.”

    So, now you question and distinguish yourself who are lady activists and who are not? How do you differ from that woman activist in the eyes of Ayyappa at Sabarimala? Both of you don’t believe in him.

    So again, these guys are not only intolerant towards traditions, but also intolerant towards their own fellow disbelievers and vandalizers.

    “I have huge respect for real women activists like ajitha, medha pathkar etc for real feminism and activism. It is a shame that these ladies who intrude in the dark, call themselves activists (preserving new age Renaissance).”

    Oh I see, now the issue is, these people, with their intolerant superiority complex, have also defined who are “real women activists”, who are “activists wanting just fame”, and who are “legitimate women disbelievers of deity of Sabarimala who need entry”.

    Again, definitions all defined by these people by their own will.

    “In the downstream of athirapally falls men are carrying siva linga on their shoulders in the memory of our famous god bahu bali.”

    So that is the analogy these people use for their disbelief in the deity of Sabarimala. Fine, believe whatever … but what right do you have to eff the beliefs of others?

    Arguments courtesy : Jishnu Ramabhadran's answer to What is your view on ongoing Sabarimala issue in Kerala?

    Yet some arguments from other silly commie-recycled-crap :

    Prayer places are for worship of God. If it is so, all people without gender, caste and religious differences should have equal right to pray and worship God.

    Worship for which “God”? Christian God? Or neo Vedantic saguna Brahman? Ayyappa is neither. Your argument is flawed in the first place.

    Has Sabarimala awakened the Kerala Hindus into unity? Will it translate into BJP winning?

    Not really.

    Kerala works, like other states of India, strongly on communal politics except for a few confused castes who matter less in population. Though I know people will deny it outside, they can’t really deny it - and it is evident when you see the election patterns.

    There is this most populous community X among Hindus, (I don’t have to name them) who are the vote bank for Communists. These guys are so strong followers of the Communism that they don’t usually leave the Leftist mentality. They have, as such, lesser attachment towards religion - they are worried only about politics and power.

    Though Communism is the hereditary religion of the above most populous group, it is not confined to them. Because of their successful brainwash techniques and their whole control of media and all means of expression (even intellectual) Communism is tolerated by many people outside this community, and thus Communism is the largest religion in Kerala that is at least tolerated and partially followed, if not for the ardent followers of X jāti. Because of similar disunity of new Anglican Christians with Syrian Christians, the former support Communists. Same goes with certain Muslims who are not in communion with the Mappilas. It doesn’t, funnily, matter to these much holier-than-thou preachers that Communists are atheists.

    Now, on the other side, we have Nairs and Syrian Christians among which there can be people who are not happy with Communists. But again, note - because of Communist brainwash, there are only few people who actually are frustrated enough to never tolerate Communists. Nairs and Syrian Christians account together for a population less than the hereditary Communist group, and thus there is no point in dreaming anything that they alone can make happen.

    The UDF supposedly is meant to protect the interests of Syrian Christians and caste Hindus (“Hindus” who have any kind of religious consciousness) but then you know what Congress is good for.

    The game changer is the Indian Union Muslim League, the only secular party in India. Communists have had a love-hate relationship with them, and question their secularism when League sides with UDF. UDF, on the other hand, can win the elections decisively only with the League, because the vote bank of League consists of Malabar Muslims, who are a terrific majority in the most populous district of Kerala.

    How does election work in Kerala

    Election campaign is only about Communists continuing brainwashing and justifying their policies so as to maintain their followers, and UDF on the other hand, trying to do their best to attract the gullible voters to themselves.

    Traditionally, Congress tries its best to project itself as a minority appeasing party so as to target the votes of certain gullible voters from these communities. It is a tough job. Congress wins only by siding with various parties, and that too very difficult way, mostly drawing upon people frustrated with Communists.

    What is BJP in Kerala?

    Now, BJP has no role to play in this political communal landscape. Which votes do they target? If they are not earning the trust of Christians, Communists and Muslims, what is their political existence going to be in Kerala? If they want to project themselves as hearing the voice of caste Hindus, that is already upon the Congress, who themselves come into power only after siding with many parties. If even Congress can’t come into power in Kerala, what hope is there for BJP?

    Recently, in the Sabarimala issue, we saw at first how Hindus were starting to be “united”. But then, as I had warned you guys, one should never underestimate the power of Communists. They are not vaptās. They regained the trust of the X community, and now Sabarimala issue is being projected in media of Kerala as only concerning caste Hindus, who are symbolized by Congress and “fascist forces” denoted by BJP. With such a brainwash, you cannot challenge the big C of Kerala politics. You haven’t grown enough.

    Sabarimala will be soon sidelined as an issue only for Nairs by the Commie friendly media. The issue will be projected as the the concern of NSS. (Nair organization) If at all BJP wants to get a few votes, it should get the NSS votes which Congress eyes upon. With a very anti BJP stance taken by media in Kerala, and with equally senseless behaviour of Kerala BJP unit, I cannot expect this will be easy.

    To get Kerala, BJP will have to totally change itself. In the present climate and for the near future, it is otherwise impossible. If BJP leaves the hard Hindutva, and if the party earns the trust of the UDF voters, then it can manage to win a small share of the already pathetic vote bank for UDF. That is it.

    Either way, never dream for the staunch religious Communists to foresake their religion.

    Should women be allowed to enter Sabarimala shrine?

    Originally Answered: Should woman be allowed to enter Sabarimala shrine?

    The people who built Śabarimala shrine, nor the people who used to go to the shrine, knew or cared about the North Indian reformist and recent versions of Hinduism, neither Indian constitution. Temple was never a public property in India, unless it was owned by the government. But can a secular government own and have a say on the internal affairs of a temple or church or mosque, as long as the traditions are harmless? Unfortunately, this great socialist secular democratic republic of ours is such an entity which can do so. Long live India.

    Apparently, it can own temples to make money, it can also dictate who should go to the temple, who should do the pūjas, or perhaps, in future, even demolish the temple according to its needs and instincts. Living under such laws, and with such great horde of people from unconnected cultures dictating us, we might be forced to accept that Śabarimala temple, which is a public property, (sounds something like public road, public toilet) should be open to all.

    Let me sort out things for you.

    If you believe, after the modern reformed, non superstitious, scientific, progressive, post colonial “great” Hinduism, that women are having same right as men to enter Śabarimala temple, let me also remind you that this brand of Hinduism (there is no Hinduism, there are only brands) also believes god is everywhere; why you should go to temple for it? (You can checkmate me by saying it is your religious belief and your fundamental right to practise your religious belief, not the right of the religion maker to define his own religion) Nevertheless, this brand of Hinduism didn’t create Śabarimala, or its temple. This brand doesn’t even know of the legends on which śabarimala is based upon. If you say that many males today are not following the traditions set out, it is a different business. These transgressions by people are already accounted for in the yearly śuddhi karmas in temple - for we cannot stop this. But those traditions which can be maintained more perfect, why you have to turn them topsy turvy forcibly because some other traditions are not being followed? Honestly, what is the logic?

    If you have nothing to do with Keralite Hinduism and you want to poke nose in this and enjoy, let me ask you, what right do you have to turn a harmless tradition which is an internal belief in a temple. (You can checkmate me by saying you are an Indian and constitution gives you right)

    So, as we see, my counter opinions are checkmated by the Constitution of our country. And also from new Hinduisms. Long live post colonial Hinduism, North Indian master brains, Mallu literate progressive masters, cow belt, reformers, communists, activists!

    Not to jump into the burden of being against the nation or above judiciary, I conclude - I will accept whatever the judiciary decides. For that is the law, and nothing is fortunately or unfortunately, above it.

    Thus we see that fundamental right of the deity of the temple is no way important, but the fundamental right of the people who want to poke noses without following the traditions set out in the name of the deity are way too much important. The right of the conservative follower to reinstate the harmless traditions in his religion is no way important, but the right of the non conservative to redefine traditions is the most important.

    Let me again, ask, why should menstruating ladies not enter temples? Or why should Muslims not enter temples? Or why should people be not allowed to enter sanctum sanctorum in Kerala. I wish you well, to poke your yabhing noses into these and reform the age old traditions! Come on, liberals. You got a lot to do. After all, how not to forget the great mallus who don’t follow post modern Hinduism while eating beef, but remind us of scriptures and injunctions while saying about Śabarimala, which is found in none of those.

    Saying all these, I just step aside, as am least interested in temples and temple worship since years. Who am I to poke nose in this! My constitution gives me too the right to, but morally am not that baseless to use it here. I used this opportunity to ramble just because this question was asked to me, and I wanted to say my opinion. I leave the question open to those who are ardent worshipers and pilgrims to decide. Oh no, I mean, the judiciary of the secular republic will be the final though - I just told about this question in Quora.

    But certainly I hope the opinions don’t upset anyone thinking that their sovereignty is offended. I reinstate that I don’t intend that to happen.

    What is the fuss about women entering Sabarimala temple? Why can't either groups back down from their stance and reach an amicable solution?

    Edits : As a friend of mine had written an answer with arguments to specifically address the original answer of mine, I have edited my answer to this version you read now, including addressing of counter-arguments from him too. I am sorry if I made it too long that way, but I cannot help it.

    I don’t care for upvotes or anything, but this perspective what I bring forth shouldn’t be unheard or silenced. If you are so unhappy for reading this long answer, do feel free to take the help of Quora to collapse this for bad formatting.

    To the answer now.

    They say, it is a matter of “fundamental rights” that a woman should be allowed to enter into a temple meant for devotees who practice short-term celibacy, and the deity who practices absolute celibacy.

    I am unfortunately not able to get the logic of this pūti no matter how much I think over it.

    They link it with the very blunt and generalistic “woman’s rights”, “temple’s rights”, “customs” and all sorts of things that yield an enormous amount of useless arguments which deflect one from the core issue.

    We have some issues here. Let me summarize my points again:-

    1. Shouldn’t the right to practice celibacy be a private matter to be left to the individual to decide? How is the court of a “secular democratic republic” supposed to determine who has which rights?

    If Ayyappa as a legal person wishes to be a celibate, how can the court of a secular democratic republic intervene and banish his right?

    Counter argument : “Now, where is celibacy of Ayyappa comes in the legal debate of validity of a law passed by Govt? The secular court wasn’t dealing with personal choices of Ayyappa, but the validity of a law by a government authority established by the Constitution of India.”

    As I have said elsewhere, I am not into discussing legal issues. That is for the learned judges and lawyers to boggle their minds. Indian legal system is not eternal and divine, it has evolved and is always trying to evolve - but only if we allow it to evolve. I was speaking of the moral right of a Court of a secular democratic republic to intrude into a truly personal and private matter of a religious deity. An appropriate rebuttal should be regarding how the choice of the religious deity is not the private matter of him and his followers.

    As I have said elsewhere an analogy, the court of this very secular democratic republic had the legal right to outlaw homosexuality and punish the gays or lesbians for “unnatural sex”. My issue is not related to legality, but issue is always regarding the morality.

    Point 2. How does practising celibacy adversely affect any of the third parties? Does it contribute to a social discrimination, a harm to life or a harm to property? Has there been any incident where Sabarimala custom has been used by people historically to deny entrance to other Ayyappa temples? If it doesn’t affect the society or generate socially undesirable consequences, how does it itch the society?

    (For the record, self-harming, polluting, animal-killing fests are all very widespread in the same secular republic - ever cared to touch them?)

    Counter argument :

    “The question in court wasn’t about celibacy of the deity, rather about rights of devotees.”

    I care much less about question in court raised that led to this issue. I am talking about the issue that we are in now, not about how Court got into it. Discussing those will only waste the time.

    The original petitioners were 4 Hindu ladies who were practising Hinduism

    But which Hinduism? :)

    How can you be morally a stakeholder (legally you may be by present legal standards, and I don’t care a bit about it) of a religious dispute pertaining to a temple deity when you don’t believe in the deity of the temple?

    “How could a government prosecute a lady for praying her favourite god?”

    How do you know the god of Sabarimala is her favourite? And who prosecutes a woman for praying to her favourite god? My mother and my grandmother literally pray to Ayyappa daily, they never get prosecuted or banned.
    The answer is that the moment she doesn’t believe in the deity of the temple, she doesn’t owe any special right to mess with the beliefs of other people who believe in the deity of the temple.

    Point 3. So you might ask, how do you know what deity of Sabarimala wants?

    Who is that person that gives power to the deity and makes the deity there? Tantri. If there was a religious king sworn in God’s name deriving from divine law, he also would have had a say on it. Opinion of the deity of Sabarimala is with the Tantri.

    Counter argument :

    “The concept of Tantri and Tantra is well codified under Tantric law - the Tantra Samucchayam which codifies all multiple theses and viewpoints of Tantra into one single source which all Kerala tantric temples follow rigorously.”

    Tantra Samuccayam is hardly old enough compared to the temples in Kerala. Tantra samuccayam is just a standard book that discusses the pūjā vidhis, consecration of idols etc. It doesn’t interfere in the traditions and the svarūpams of the deities in the temples. Most of the temples are older than this work. This work is not meant to be a discussion on what the traditions of a temple are, what the form of deity is, what is his divinity etc.

    It will also appear that Śabarimala itself is not an ideal temple constructed in the way mentioned in the book.

    Tantrasamucchyam defines Tantri as someone who knows the tantra (the technique of unleashing the divine energy). It has nothing to do with a deity at the very first place. A tantri can unleash the divine energy even from a stick or grass if he follows the tantric concepts (as per tantra).”

    Sorry, but the spirit of your first line contradicts with the last line, though both essentially mean the same - Tantri is the one who gives life to the mūrti. He is the final authority in any discussion that affects the nature of the deity.

    Tradition considers Tantri as the guru of the deity. (I will come to this later)

    As you yourself note, Tantra samuccayam doesn’t have Maṇikaṇṭha as a devatā. Because Maṇikaṇṭha is a human legend who lives in the śāstā idol. The tantri strengthens the śāstā idol through his rituals, and only through that can Maṇikaṇṭha be enlivened. There is no body of work that outlines the procedure to worship Maṇikaṇṭha.

    This is the case with most of the temples in Kerala. The tantric idol acts as the power centre into which the deity’s concept is understood by the devotees. Tantra samuccayam doesn’t say when to celebrate utsavam in a particular temple. Tantra samuccayam doesn’t tell about how a temple was formed or about the deity of the temple. It only speaks about the pūjā vidhis to the mūrtis consecrated and to which its laws apply, the standard set up of a temple and all those. How can it be used to support or oppose anything in this issue? Clearly, what we are talking (Maṇikaṇṭha and his temple) are outside the purview (as you yourself admit : “Can you spot a deity called Ayyappan or Manikandan from these 7 deities? Can you spot a deity called Durga or Lakshmi or Parvathy from here? Can you spot some of the favourites deities like Krishna, Sree Rama, Vamana or Nagas from here?”. Don’t you find contradicting yourself? I never mentioned Tantra samuccayam as an authority here, so I don’t owe the burden of proving or disproving whatever you have said - but I just wanted to show how it is useless to the issue.

    If readers still don’t get it, I am putting it again : The traditions and customs in a temple (apart from the Tantric standards of pūjā) are unique to each temple and lie outside the purview of a work like Tantra samuccayam. How do you use that work in an argument here?

    Point 4. “But Ayyappa temples in other places don’t have this restriction, so why Sabarimala? If Ayyappa in other temples can bear women, why not in Sabarimala?”

    Well, we are not speaking about brahman or the omnipresent “G”od here, but the deity of a temple. It is because of belief in the deity of Sabarimala that people visit there. Else, they would go to other Ayyappa temples, right?

    As you say, indeed the customs are different for each temple. And that validates the need to consider the deities as individuals, as their devotees consider them. People don’t view Kāśī Viśvanātha and ,a local temple Śiva deity the same way. Again, the issue comes to the right of the deity of the temple.

    Counter Argument :

    Can you quote the difference of deity worship from Sabarimala and nearby Achankovil temple or in Pandalam temple?

    Indeed I can. In fact, anyone can. It is as clear as the day.

    There is no business of maṇḍalakāla worship, carrying of irumuṭikkeṭṭu to shrine, all those unique worship modes and concepts that you find in Śabarimala. You might say the Tantric rituals are same - well, then you are clearly disregarding the deity of the temple, his individuality, how he is unique from other deities.

    Two conclusions that infer from your perspective would be :-

    > Just Tantric rituals are sufficient, the temple traditions, practices and beliefs, legends are all meaningless. In such a case, why would you even call it a temple of Maṇikaṇṭha? Why should you have a temple in the first place?

    > The tantric idol and basic pūjā vidhi is same across all the Śāstā temples, so Sabarimala deity is not any different - if it is like that, then why cry over entering Sabarimala? Why can’t the desperate revolutionaries enter Achankovil instead?

    To explain the inaccuracies here finally :

    > Deity of each temple is unique, that is why the deity of Śabarimala has his own fair set of believers, his own customs and traditions. In fact, the temple where Maṇikaṇṭha the prince’s full spirit resides is Śabarimala. Hence why there are lots of traditions unique to the temple. So, explain what is the point in just demolishing someone’s beliefs because you think they are wrong and you are right? That is just plain intolerance.

    > There is a temple called Śabarimala dedicated to the Maṇikaṇṭha indeed because the deity of the shrine is Maṇikaṇṭha. The tantric mūrti might be Śāstā, the vigraha might be of dharmaśāstā, but the recipient of Tiruvābharaṇas from Pantaḷam palace is not the deity at Achankovil, but the deity at Śabarimala. You cannot remove the persona of the deity and depersonify him like that.

    So, as you yourself note, (again because you used the wrong argument by using an out-of-syllabus book) :

    “The public/ devotees can believe anything just like they keep on believing Guruvayurappan is Krishna, Ambalapuzhappan is Baby Krishna, Tripayarappan is Lord Rama, Thrikkakarappan is Lord Vamana etc. But in eyes of Tantra and the pooja techniques, there is only one deity.”

    What you fail to acknowledge is that, deities of the temples are not limited to the tantric pūjās they receive. It is just a matter of acknowledgement and perspective. You think that because many deities are out of syllabus for a work like Tantrasamuccayam, all the deities of the temples are fake. That is circular reasoning from a false premise you have begun with. And not so good to force others to obey your conclusion which is highly aggressive and dismissive of the existence of the temple itself.

    Point 5. “But in some occasions, women entered the temple in the past … So why not now?

    The entry of women as an everyday thing in “earlier days” is a commie myth and I have debunked it here : Kiron Krishnan (भगवतीश्वर शर्मन्)'s answer to Is it true that women of all ages were allowed in Sabarimala until a verdict in 1991?

    I don’t know how stupid Mallu commies have to be, to believe this crap. Don’t know whether to laugh or just pity their arrogance. Why such a pledging to pūtitama ideologies?

    Even if say, there was a time when women entered the temple, that time is “gone” at the instant when Tantri decides otherwise. In Kerala, there is this tradition of devapraśnam that usually is a procedure to hear from the deity. Devapraśnams in Sabarimala have unanimously rejected the possibility of entry of women of the particular age group, till date.

    Counter argument

    “Can you quote which Devaprasnam said specifically about 10–50 years of age?”

    It is actually a tradition of a temple and is understood as the default. The age-group was only to enforce it properly by a non-religious government. That is the only way to legalize the tradition of the temple. Why should a Devapraśnam be conducted to know what is already an understood tradition? Did I miss something here?

    “In few other Devaprasanam and Ashtamangala Prasanam in past, there was some topics that the deity was unhappy of having women in the temple.”

    That is it. Doesn’t require further explanation from my side.

    “There was no instances where any Devaprasanam categorically saying NO ENTRY at all.”

    As far as I know, devapraśnams don’t have to say, and don’t usually say like that, word to word. It is not like you ask an oracle.

    “When you say unhappy, it doesn’t mean No entry.”

    What else does it mean? That the deity wishes to break the tradition?

    “In last Devaprasanam, the deity was unhappy about non-reinstatement of Kandararu Mohanaru as Sabarimala Tantri. Do you want a sex-scandal involved person like Mohanaru as Tantri of Sabarimala who was stripped from that post by Devaswom?”

    I don’t want anything - it never bothers me. But if the Tantris decide he needs to continue and the bhaktas of the deity of the temple, the Pantaḷam palace are all happy with it, then I won’t poke my nose into it. They can also reconduct another devapraśnam if they want.

    And yes, the Tantri was acquitted of all charges by the same Indian legal system you speak of, after examining well the pieces of evidence. The case is itself called the “Sabarimala Tantri attack case”, as the narrative supported by the court is that Tantri was kidnapped by a sex-racketeer and threatened. If Tantri could manage to be acquitted of all charges as per the legal system you invoke often in your perspective, (he is on the other hand, a victim of kidnapping as per the legally victorious narrative) why would you not consider him to recontinue his business in the temple? Is that something under the purview of yours? Or should it be left to the legal authorities to handle it?

    Aren’t we again in the same dilemma of poking our noses in things we cannot change.

    But wait, how does this thread of argument hold anything useful for our discussion now, in this issue? Did I just waste myself on a red herring here?

    “the actual ban of ladies inbetween 10–50 into the shrine came in 1991 when Kerala High court banned it. Before that, there was no legal ban, rather part of belief systems.”

    I mean, you talk about legalization by the High Court of an already existing traditional ban. Please do specify it like that. We have to be intellectually honest here. It is very unfortunate that people had to fight for their practice to be legalized in order to some to not poke their nose on it. That is exactly why High Court decided to interfere in the religious matters in the first place. (I should admit, the judgement was far morally visionary) You don’t had to worry about such a necessity of legality earlier because there were no organized groups of “revolutionaries” ready to mess up with the temples and beliefs of others before. Only when there is a legal conflict, does something gets legalized. Before that, the ban was understood and followed by people.

    Point 6. “But Tantri is not a godman, he is a human. In fact, there are instances where a Tantri is known to be a criminal”

    You are right. But to counter that is not by absolving the Tantri’s post of its rights, but to change the person who sits in the position of Tantri. You don’t demolish the party system to show dissent to a government, do you? Similarly, none can challenge the authority of Tantri’s position here. I don’t know why people don’t use the basic logic here.

    Counterpoint :

    “If he errs, he must be questioned and a logical answer must be obtained.”

    What is his role here? To affirm the existence of the tradition, to express the consent or dissent regarding a change in a temple custom. He holds nothing else for us here, so dragging him more into this is again, distracting us from discussing the major issue before us.

    In his roles,

    > Tantri of Sabarimala has always affirmed the rigidity of tradition and also explained it in High Court, as you can read in the verdict.

    > Tantri of Sabarimala, till date, has not advocated the breaking of tradition. He has not expressed any ill-will regarding the results of devapraśnam as well.

    What else do you expect from him? Clearly whatever the Tantri has stood for is concrete.

    When all the moral stakeholders - the Tantri, believers in the deity of the temple, Pandalam palace, Devapraśnam are all unanimously against breaking the tradition, what moral right does a random person who is not morally a stakeholder in the above have to question the tradition?

    “If one Tantri errs, other tantris and scholars can rectify and consensus be made. It happened numerous times.

    That system don’t exist today.”

    Indeed, it doesn’t exist now, so why did you bring that here in the first place? Should we call for a Tantri meetup? Because only that can replace the system you talk of.

    We should also not forget that this is not a matter of an error in Tantra ritual, but something that is very unique and central to the deity of the temple.

    “So in that place, a legal forum like courts forced to involve as courts and government stepped into the old shoes of various Sabhas and Kings”

    That is quite, quite, wrong. How can a Tantrisabha be “replaced” by a Court of a secular republic? Government stepped into old shoes of various sabhas?? Where?

    Point 7. “But it is śāstā who is the idol in Sabarimala, and Śāstā is not a celibate. In fact, it is Śāstā’s mūlamantra that is chanted for pūjās in the temple…”

    Yes, you are right. Sabarimala is essentially a temple housing the Dharmaśāstā. However, the legend is that Maṇikaṇṭha the prince is a human incarnation of this Śāstā, and he merged with the deity in Sabarimala. In that way, the deity of Sabarimala is not just the general Ayyappa Śāstā, but strictly the Maṇikaṇṭha infused into the deity. (Note the difference between mūrti and devatā)

    Of course, since you don’t have a mūlamantra for a historical age human incarnation who rests in the temple as a perpetual celibate, indeed the Śāstā of the temple might be worshiped with his own mūlamantra where Śāstā is also the husband of Pūrṇā and Puṣkalā. But this can never change the divinity and the deity of the temple whose all traditions point to the Maṇikaṇṭha legend.

    Counter argument :

    But the question is how can merging of a human spirit with a deity, alter the position/identity of a deity?

    The deity’s perceived form changes. That is why the deity of Śabarimala is different from deity of Achankovil or Kuḷattūppuzha or the deity opposite my house. It is not the Tantric mantra, but the traditions and custom pūjās and practices of a temple give it its existence. Tantra doesn’t say Maṇikaṇṭha exists in Śabarimala or Śāstā exists in Kuḷattūppuzha, or regarding the circumstances of these temples or even anything about the individualities of the deities of the temple.

    Note that deity is a theistic concept, that is different from a ritual recipient. It is the deity to whom bhakti occurs, not the mantra mūrti. We are not here discussing a ritualistic problem (if that was the case, you could refer Tantrasamuccayam) but a problem with bhaktas and traditions of the temple. Else, it just becomes a logical fallacy, and certainly I don’t owe any kind of explanation for your own conclusions and perspectives stemming from that. For example, just to show your fallacy, I shall entertain speaking on one :-

    “His identity is merged with Dharmasastha and that temple is of Dharmashasta. Every pooja offering is done in the name of Dharmasastha.”

    How about doing the Tiruvābharaṇa cārttu on Makara saṃkrānti? Which Śāstā is that who has his legends involving Tiruvābharaṇam? Even the offerings like ghee coconut carried on irumuṭikkeṭṭu in this temple are beyond what a ritual book should mind. Which Tantra samuccayam handles all these?

    “Interesting the deity is offered even Panaka, a divine drink to boost sexual energy and its part of that temple’s custom. And then after boosting the sexual energy (because Tantra says the energy of a deity can be manifested in its ultimate pinnacle), you call that deity is celibate? What kind of logic is that?”

    Well actually, celibacy is itself grounded on the premise of conserving and boosting the sexual energy (ūrdhvaretas). For the celibate tradition believes the sexual energy gets wasted upon releasing the seed. This is why all practices that lead to shedding of the seed are forbidden, and the means to strengthen it are actually encouraged, with a strict control over senses.

    Pānakam actually is an offering to Śāstā. Even considering your premise, it is the best offering to make the deity of Śabarimala the strongest - because he is indeed a perpetual celibate and at the maximum of his energy he is just beyond the control.

    But seriously, you never knew it? :)

    “You are free to assume the deity is celibate. It's your wish. But you cannot enforce your viewpoint of Celibacy over the deity’s worshiped identity and enforce over others.”

    This is really funny. You use a ritual book to define who the person of deity in a temple is. It is a fallacy discussed many times earlier, so your contradictions are your burden. But seriously, “enforcing” our “viewpoints of celibacy”? Totally funny. I have already iterated the fallacy in your perspective many times, so don’t find any necessity to do it again. By now, readers should get what I mean.

    Point 8. “People should throw age-old beliefs and move to progress”.

    Learn tolerance first before advising others about how their beliefs seem ridiculous to you.

    Counter argument :

    “There are so many customs disrespected, so many ignored, so many avoided. Then why specifically this one alone?”

    Again, this is another classical example of logical fallacy. None of those were perceived by the stakeholders to be as integral as this one - as simple as that. Most of the people were not even aware of many of the discrepancies. And their right to defend their practices is as strong as their right to evolve within their thoughts.

    Saying “but some of their traditions were infringed, so let us dismantle all their traditions” is a variant of the Nirvana fallacy.

    Coming back to this, I have already explained when do we see something as “evolution” and “attack” below.

    Point 9. “Hindus have always evolved”

    Oh yes, they have always. Evolved.

    If the deity says through the devapraśnam or if the Tantri decides that deity is ok with your decisions, then indeed there will be an evolution. If say, this land was ruled by a king deriving his power from divine authority, and if that king decided to change the practice, then too there is an evolution. If the believers in the deity feel it is ok, even then there is an evolution. Else, it is not evolution what you are trying to trigger, but just your attack on someone’s harmless personal beliefs and practices based on your “holier than thou”. Don’t come up with that in India.

    I can only pity the people who forget what “Hinduism” actually is, while forcing down their monolithic versions of some of the Hindu religions down others’ throat.

    “Did Kings of Travancore have any divine authority of Padmanabha before Marthanda Varma? No!!!”

    As long as they get coronated by a religious ritual, or undergo the saṃskāras of a kṣatriya (even though they may not be accepted as “full kṣatriyas” by Nambudiris) they do have the divine authority. The king is essentially a pratipuruṣa of the divine, and holds religious sway. Mārtāṇḍa varmā even had the ceremonies like Hiraṇyagarbham that make him the pratipuruṣa of Vedic deity Prajāpati. Even if you don’t have such a level of rising, getting coronated by a traditional religious custom is more than enough. In addition, divine right is the driving factor for existence of a religious monarchy. People believe that they have god-given right to be the king, and if dharma stands on their side, they will win any battle.

    I assume you are not attributing divine right to a democratically elected individual. That would be against the very principle of democracy, especially in a “secular republic”.

    Its this same democratic institution that threw away NO-ENTRY for women in Thiruvalla Sree Vallabha temple in 1965, so as today every lady enters. I think my friend- Kiron is from Thiruvalla …

    Thanks for reminding me - I am indeed from the land of Śrīvallabha. In fact, the (partial) exclusion of women from the Śrīvallabha temple was not a central part of the temple practices. Women used to enter this shrine, and indeed it was to the woman called Śaṅkaramaṅgalattamma to whom the Lord first manifested. However, once in a period of time, a woman who actually loved the form of Śrīvallabha died on her temple visit, before the idol, while being “blind in love”. (Whatever they adduced from the devapraśnam) The legend says that administrators, after a devapraśnam to investigate the death, decided the restriction of women into Śrīvallabha temple, after which the entry was restricted to two days of a year when Śrīvallabha would be dressed in a very minimalistic and “unappealing” way. (My grandmother has visited him before the lift of ban too, in the above days when women were allowed)

    As you see, it is more with what happened in the temple with bhaktas rather than what happened to the Lord. As a consequence, when the traditional ban was legally lifted, (by whichever person) female or male devotees did not actually feel it a sacrosanct to enter the temple. They accepted the change. There is what I call in the beginning of this point - a harmonious evolution, where the stakeholders are in a position to agree with what happens. There may be sudden spurts of resistance (but none was seen in this case) to revolutionary overturnings by some of the powerful moral stakeholders (as we see in Temple Entry Proclamation) but we should let it go as such, because the decision comes from a valid stakeholder within - they know what to do. That is what you call a “reform”.

    The temple now opposite my house in Trivandrum, was also voluntarily not entered by ladies at one point of time because they were afraid to enter the Śiva’s premise who was considered to be a fierce deity. (Especially after legends of Ettuveettil Pillais making the deity fiercer and cursing Mārtāṇḍa varma and his ruling dynasty to never step in) Over the course of time, women began entering themselves. Interestingly, no ruling monarch from Travancore entered the temple, and HH Utrāṭam Tirunāḷ was the first person from the list of dynasty heads to have actually visited the temple, which he did kinda intentionally as well. All welcomed the rājā that day, though the irony was also that he was no longer a ruler of the kingdom. But still, an evolution could happen - that was all my point.

    That right to be given for themselves is all what I advocate here. As I have said elsewhere, I am not a personally affected party of women entering or not entering the shrine, but it bothers to me only as a human to voice the moral right of fellow humans to maintain their personal beliefs and private practices. That is the reason why I stand with the people who struggle to keep their harmless beliefs. If they are personally happy with what happens, I am happy. (I am boldening this as it should not go unnoticed)

    As you might be knowing from many of my answers in Quora, I am not at all a person who really believes in most of what is the popular Hinduism - including the Purāṇas and epics. My commitment is only towards my religion of Vedic Brahmanism. It doesn’t mean that I would desecrate the temples and idols of people, even though I personally don’t believe in any of their logic to maintain their beliefs. (Including legends of Sabarimala) I might verbally defend against (people may find it aggressive) whatever scriptures like Purāṇas have badmouthed regarding Vedas - but I would never support a person messing with Purāṇas for wrong reasons. And in spite of all this, I won’t force my beliefs into belief systems of people.

    “I think his family ladies might have entered into the shrine which was not a decision of Sree Vallabha, rather EMS Government (yeah, a communist govt). Are you cursing that now?”

    A bit of ad-hominiem or perhaps a bit of “Et-tu-quoque” lingering there? I am not obliged to, and it shouldn’t have been expected from me to express anything that personal here, but I wouldn’t hesitate now, as I don’t mind it actually.

    My grandmother used to visit the deity before the lifting of the ban too, on the two days. As Śrīvallabha is not a naiṣṭhika brahmacārī, or someone who practices celibacy, and the reason for ban was not something that was central to the deity but was actually considered to be for the “well-being” of women devotees and the situations inside the temple which was more of a concern for the administrators, as I mentioned. Subsequently, after the lifting of the ban, none felt that they are wronging the deity. (For the record, the Śrīvallabha indeed rests with his consort in the night, and his concept is not that of a celibate one) Guess what the name Śrīvallabha itself means! Regarding their “safety”, women devotees put their belief in the Lord that he won’t cause anything bad again. The atrocities by Devaswom in this temple are a wholly different thing to talk about, will leave that as it is of no purpose to the discussion.

    Point 10. “What about believing women?”

    I mean, every single person who believes in the deity of Sabarimala essentially accepts (need to accept) the fact that Maṇikaṇṭha is a celibate, and recognizes the divinity of the deity in the temple, the rituals and traditions of the temple. Most of the women believe in the deity of Sabarimala, and they have their ways to pray to the deity traditionally, by visiting him at their childhood or old age, by praying to the deity with lit lamp, making offerings, and observe celibacy with her husband and a pious lifestyle as her husband is on the trip to the great hill.

    Those are the ones whom you call, “believers in the deity of Sabarimala”. A random “Hindoo” or “believer in God” or “Brahmin” or “Nair” or “Brahmin’s son” doesn’t have any extra religious authority over the believers of the deity. Only the believers of the deity are the devotees and thus the stakeholders here. Celibacy is an integral part of the temple legend, and only those who accept it become the believers of the deity. If you think Maṇikaṇṭha doesn’t have any restrictions to accept “your worship”, go ahead, build a temple for your deity and worship him as much as you want.

    Counter argument :

    Does a Kashmiri or a UPwala has more belief rights over these deities than me, a Malayalee?

    When did I say that in my answer? Did I ever speak of any geographical merit? Even if you are an alien from another solar system, if you believe in the deity of the temple, (thus essentially recognizing the points of his individuality and identity) you are a believer. It is that simple, is it so hard to digest?

    “You cannot claim, you are the only believer and others are not. You are free to follow your customs, but shouldn’t school others what you do?”

    Why is it still so hard for people to get the difference between belief in Śāstā, belief in Maṇikaṇṭha, and belief in the deity of Sabarimala. Sabarimala is a separate temple with its individualistic characteristics that make it unique, just like most of the temples in Kerala. When one believes in the deity of the temple, he essentially accepts the central legends about the temple and its central traditions, of which the mentioned practice occupies a central post. (Indeed that is why there is a very strong reaction from believers regarding this particular tradition, as it changes the whole concept of the deity) The deity perceived is fully dependent on the actual legends and practices in the temples, and is beyond merely the shape of the idol, the ritual system followed etc.

    And aren’t you reversing the logic?

    You are claiming that someone’s harmless beliefs don’t validate your logic, so you decide to intrude into their system and to the record, claim yourself as more entitled to their system than they themselves. That is not a mere intolerance, it a criminalistic and arrogant assertion of superiority, which I fear, is dangerous than a mere “holier than thou”. It is morally wrong. The following assertion is a very alarming example of that :-

    If my belief says hair to be shaved while entering in a temple, can someone deny entry into the temple just because I have shaved head? Its my personal right, nothing to do with deity or pooja techniques.

    You mean, there is a temple where the established practice central to the temple forbids people with shaved heads. And you randomly choose to “believe” that you should shave your head to visit “a temple”, and that because of that belief, you decide to hurt the established system of a temple that never asked for your validation? Come on, this is seriously wrong. Aren’t people getting the absolute death of moralistic thinking and the golden rule?

    “What is the fuss about women entering Sabarimala temple?”

    Thus, explained.

    “Why can't either groups back down from their stance “

    Why do you think that always justice is in the midway between the opposing themes? That is a fallacy in itself. (The fallacy of moderation)

    Unless and until the ones who attack the personal rights and privileges, harmless deeds and way of existence of a being have nothing solid to defend their aggression, there is no way by which the other side should magically come down to accept the senselessness.

    Note :

    Deity of the temple is used here for the theistic construct who is considered to be the deity, the individual housed in the temple, and thus represents the legally, individually, devotionally and morally relevant person of the temple.

    Do you think the Supreme Court's decision to allow the women of all ages in the Sabarimala temple is right?

    It is right, when viewed from the narrow viewpoint the judges had to confine themselves to, while handling the issue. Because that is how devotees and lawyers made the Court to visualize.

    Most of the people who rant about the issue here and elsewhere have no idea of what the core problem is.

    I have already covered the issue in other answers :
    Kiron Krishnan (भगवतीश्वर शर्मन्)'s answer to Should women be allowed to enter Sabarimala shrine?
    Kiron Krishnan (भगवतीश्वर शर्मन्)'s answer to What is your opinion about the Supreme Court verdict lifting the ban on women’s entry to Sabarimala Temple?

    So, am just concentrating on why I am unhappy with the effects of this decision.

    Personally, I follow Vedic religion, and I don’t have to go to Śabarimala or any other temple to feel divinity, and I don’t usually go to temples. Having made that clear, let me summarize the issues I have.

    How did the Court define Śabarimala as a public place? Does a religious place of worship, just by the virtue of Devaswom board ownership, become a public place? Śabarimala contributes to its own welfare, as well as to the Board. Where does that money come from? From a random tax payer in Trivandrum? No, but the devotees of the temple. By their religious definition, again, Kerala temples are not “larger pooja rooms”. They are not even a place of “public worship”, if you relate them with other temple structures, like that in North India. They have a Tantric code, they have different unique legends, different customs and different ways of worship. Most of the Kerala temples are, for example, restricted to Hindus, and Sabarimala is actually an exception where men or women of allowed category from any religion or caste can enter.

    There is a procedure when you decide to change things in the temples in Kerala - you consult Tantri, you consult the families who are in close connection with temple for centuries, and you conduct a deva praśnam, and if they agree, you take a decision. Else, you had to be a kshatriyan king, pledged to protect and reform religion, imitating Indra and Varuṇa in land, and implement your decision while devotees maintain a good faith in you.


    Who are you?

    A secular state.

    A state that supposedly allows freedom of religion to all. (shh … except pious believers of that religion)

    And those ignoramuses who rant about menstruation and patriarchy, let me point to you a temple in the very Sabarimala rail-head town - Chengannur - where Pārvatī devi gets periods, and her bathing is celebrated as grand festival, Tṛppūttāṛāṭṭu.

    When the goddess bleeds…

    What is this custom, according to your broad thinking and great labeling? Of course feminazis would be saying it is another custom to objectify menstruation of a woman, but I am just up to hearing opinions from more sensible ones.

    Like this, thousands of temples exist in Kerala, with their own unique customs and codes of worship. Erasing anything from it can be done only when you are religiously fit to take a decision. Or the customs have to be offensive to public, in the real sense. (Cause some serious physical or psychological harms to anyone who follows it)

    Of course, that is what I have to tell for the ones who say : “Did Ayyappa come and tell you about banning women”. Ayyappa may not have, but the people who made it a religious place of worship (the kings, the families, the pious devotees, and most importantly the Tantris who made deity the deity) are even now not happy with Court’s decision. If you don’t believe in the defining legends of a temple, fine with you. Even I may not believe these. But we don’t own any moral right to mess up with people who believe it. Just like how a concerned loving and true mother, though non vegetarian, won’t feed her vegetarian child meat even in secrecy, a true devotee and believer doesn’t choose while believing and caring for the deity. He or she wouldn’t want to disturb the penance what the deity observes, or is believed to observe.

    Sabarimala Maṇikaṇṭha maybe the one whom the males, mothers and children seek, and at the end realize “tat tvam asi”. But there is always that Māḷikappuṛattamma, who carries him in her heart, and waits, so as to not disturb him in his penance. Her piety is equally, or perhaps a bit more sincere, than the devotion of the other devotees who have to ascend the hill to realize Svāmi Ayyappa.

    You think of yourself a devotee, but you aren’t a true believer unless you believe in everything of what Sabarimala stands for. Else, doors of every other Ayyappa temple are open for you. Why Sabarimala?

    Had this decision been taken by an Aryan monarch, who had the religious right to do so, I wouldn’t have made any remarks. He pledged in his heart to be a guardian of religion, and was coronated in religious way, with the “agreement of divinites”.

    Perhaps, does our state think of itself as Hindu Republic? Pakistan is at least honest in this respect - they didn’t show double standards. They defined the (non) Muslim identity of Ahmadis, and they have the right to do it, because they are essentially an Islamic Republic, or by definition, a country for Muslims. What kind of republic is India?

    Not certainly “secular” - even in the worst of meanings it has been attributed to, by Indians. (Read about funny concept of “Indian secularism”)

    Question is not whether or why women can go or can’t go, but about who should take the decision.

    India, if going by this course of legal interpretations, will suffer from cultural annihilation, for which perhaps some of our centuries-later saner descendants, who won’t have this West aping pseudo progressiveness in them, won’t ever forgive us.

    Is Ayyappa mentioned in the ancient Hindu epics, or is he a creation of Keralite folklore?

    Ayyappa, as we see today, is the fusion of three distinct entities :

    1- Śāstā - Actually a Brahmanic deity, who is the actual, transformed form of the Vedic Indra in the South India. He is what you would consider closest to Vedic Indra in many attributes : riding green horses, (remember the very famous haryaśvas of Indra) being sagely, (remember how Vedic Indra is called as the greatest sage often in Rigveda) being dear to the devoted, poor as well as the wise alike, heroic, who guides and instructs like Vedic Indra, who leads the uncontrollable bhūtas, (like Maruts, Rudras of Indra) who uses māyā (much like Rigvedic Indra) to baffle demons and spirits away, and who loves songs. (Indra is defined by the same attribute) Like Indra, Śāstā is independent of other deities - his origin is quite independent yet he assumes the most supreme position. (Though he was later merged with a mythical persona born from Śiva and Viṣṇu by post-Puranic compromise between Śaivism and Vaiṣṇavism) We should believe that the Indra of Vedas is the core of Śāstā deity. In the Buddhist period, the renaming or exchange of name (Buddha is called Śāstā in Amarakośa) probably took place among the Brahmins in those ages. What to say, even the iconography of bhūtanātha Śāstā is identical with the earliest Indra iconographies. Like Indra’s mace (vajra), Śāstā holds his daṇḍa in hand, almost identical in iconography.

    Śāstā, being universal like Indra, was adopted and appropriated by different communities in their own ways - some focusing on the māyā aspects of him, and making him a lord of magic, to possibly delude the innocent masses. Tales of this cāttan are famous in Kerala - he is a notorious deity who uses his māyā to claim his offerings. Quite a role which even epics attributed to Indra. Though this more non Brahmanic appropriation, cāttan, is fortunately, separate from Śāstā who is Brahmanic.

    2 - Ayyanār / Ayyanappan / Ayyappan : He is the village deity (mostly guardian deity) of many communities of Tamil Nadu. Inspired from Indra, the iconography such as horse and the name Ayyanār with a pun of Prakrit ayya = arya were coined for this deity. He is closest to Śāstā, though he is more non Brahmanic and confined to villages. He is also called Cāttan in Tamil Nadu, Ayyanāyake in Sri Lanka. Ayyappan is worshiped in Kerala by some tribes as well, as the protector deity.

    3 - Maṇikaṇṭha prince : The legendary prince of a Pāṇḍya kingdom in South Kerala, who is merged with the Śāstā - Ayyappan icons, and who attained his samādhi (?) in Śabarimalā. There are so many points typically Indrian in character - his bad relationship with his foster mother, (Cf. Indra being abandoned by his mother) himself being an abandoned child (Cf. Indra and abandoned child in Rigveda) he performing heroic deed in his very young age, (Cf. Rigvedic Indra who grows up so soon to kill Vṛtra) his “birthday” related to Śāstā’s special day Paṅkuni utram (the Malayalam/Tamil equivalent of uttara phālguna of Arjunī - Phālguna - month) which is again so Indrian. (Indra’s relationship with Arjuna, Ārjuneya are all famous)

    He kills mahiṣī, a water-buffalo ogress, quite inline with the killing of blocking, dark forces. And he is considered as an avatāra of Śāstā.

    As we see, the first entity is purely Aryan and Brahmanic in origin, the second one is a Sanskritized local deity, or yet another popular form of the Brahmanic deity in the most Sanskritized form, the third one a legendary prince whose legends identify him as an incarnation of the first.

    About mention in Hindu Puranas, yes Śāstā as well as Ayyanār are mentioned in Puranas, though the stories have no connection to the concepts of either, and are mere Puran-ifying tools, as Puranas have stood always - a mere rambling in Sanskrit of popular known entities so as to make them standardized.


  • suyash95 158 days ago | +0 points

    Can any Hindu give a logical and spiritual reason why women should enter or not be allowed in the Sabarimala temple in Kerala?

    Devout Hindus believe that the deity is actually present in the consecrated image and can listen to prayers and grant the wishes of the devotee. The deity in the temple is treated as a real person (and is regarded as a legal entity by the courts but the extent of the deity’s rights are in dispute.)

    So this ban is the desire of the deity. How does one know what the desire of the deity is?

    In Kerala temples a ceremony known as Deva-praśna is conducted in which an oracle is cast by the Head Tantri and the temple astrologers and the desire of the deity is divined.

    The enshrined Ayyapan in this particular temple said that he did not want to see women of child-bearing age. Should we respect the wishes of the enshrined deity or not? As a real devotee I’m sure you would want to respect them.

    If you disbelieve that the deity is present in the icon and cannot make his wishes known then he is just a lifeless idol and can neither hear your supplications nor respond to your prayers so why would you want to go there? How strong would your ego be to go there to worship the enshrined deity, whom you believe to be a REAL Presence, while totally disregarding his wishes? Some religions would call that “blasphemy!”

    So rather than cause mayhem and public disorder why not sign a petition for the Tantri (Shaman) to conduct a Deva-praśna and find out exactly what Ayyapan himself wants and if he’s changed his mind - it’s HIS temple after all. THIS IS THE ONLY VALID SOLUTION TO THIS IMPASSE.

    This is a Hindu spiritual matter which should be resolved by devout Hindus using traditional Hindu methodologies.

    There is no need for any legal or SJW intervention super-imposing western values and applying Neo-marxist political ideologies like identity politics, misogyny, patriarchy, exclusionism, gender-equality or any other such ideas.

    It is simply a matter of asking the Lord himself what He wants and abiding by that request.

    P.S. Bindu Ammini one of the two women who entered the temple under police protection has stated on International TV that she did so from political motivation only! So this ruckus is purely a neo-marxist political point scoring - and nothing to do with faith or devotion. This is not about women’s rights to enter a temple but a rather a blatant attack on religious freedom. Remember one of the prime objectives of the Marxist political agenda is the undermining and ultimate obliteration of religion. Causing and fomenting class, religious and social conflict is one of the main tools in their political tool box.

    Here's a list of 8 temples in India where men are not allowed to enter!

    What is the fuss about women entering Sabarimala temple? Why can't either groups back down from their stance and reach an amicable solution?

    Bhagavad Gita 12:15 yasmān no dvijate loko lokān nodvijate ca yaḥ | harṣāmarṣabhayo-dvegaiḥ mukto yaḥ sa ca me priyaḥ ||

    One by whom the world is not disturbed, and who is not disturbed by the world, who is free from joy and jealousy, fear and repulsion — is dear to me.

    Many have asked my opinion on this now international news item and I have been reluctant to engage, but finally I shall give my 2 pence but I make no pronouncements and just ask some rhetorical questions.

    Firstly it is none of my business or interest. I am not a devotee of Ayyapan and have no desire to visit the temple. Shan Bharani has written an excellent response and I fully endorse everything he has said.

    1. In a liberal democracy there is a separation of Church and State. Does the judiciary have any right to intervene in a purely religious dispute? Would the learned and esteemed justices have given the same verdict based on gender-equality with regard to Mosques and women being allowed to stand in the same row with men during namaz?
    2. The temple is managed by a Devaswom board, a committee, priests and a high priest all of whom are stake-holders. In any democracy the corporate bodies within that democracy operate by exercising of the vote - the majority wining. Were those stake-holders of the temple democratically consulted? Or — if so - was their majority decision respected?
    3. The temple is a private space and it is occupied by everyone regardless of caste or creed (even Yesudas a Christian has made the pilgrimage) entrance is at the discretion of the authorities and according to the constitution of the temple. Does the sentiment and devotional convictions of these thousands of other devotees need to be taken into consideration or is the majority irrelevant to the demands of a few?
    4. Do those women who are campaigning to enter the temple do so from overwhelming devotion that cannot bear a moments separation from their beloved lord or are they doing so from political reasons?
    5. There are hundreds of other Ayyapan temples in every city in Kerala and most of India - in these temples women have full right of access and the right to exercise their devotional imperatives - Sabarimala is the ONE temple in the entire world in which there is restriction of access to women from 10 to 50 years old — why has this single remote temple become the focus of SJW’s activism?
    6. Temples and sacred places in India are associated with legends, mysticism, traditions, customs and practices particular to that place - as Shan has pointed out - should we not respect those traditions and practices and let them be? (As long as no one is harmed — temple entry is not a human right.)
    7. Kerala is run by a communist government and as such is severely hostile to religion - is such a Government an impartial arbitrator in this dispute or should they back off from conflict of interest?
    8. This regrettable incident has generated huge international interest and has attracted negative criticism of Hinduism by talking-heads without any understanding of the complexity of the issue - is this in any way beneficial?

    Here's a list of 8 temples in India where men are not allowed to enter!

    For all those who wish to have immediate darshan of Lord Ayyapan without rush or discomfort or controversy here’s his picture:–

    What happens if a woman who is menstruating enters a Hindu temple?

    Why would a menstruating woman want to enter a temple?

    In Hinduism, temples are not essential places for people to pray - you can pray or meditate anywhere - even in your bedroom sitting on your bed.

    If it is have the darshan of the enshrined deity - that too is never an emergency - so another day could be chosen.

    If it is to hang out with friends perhaps a mall would be more conducive.

    If it is to study the architecture then the best part of a temple is its facade - the inside is very bland.

    If it simply to challenge custom and tradition then nothing will happen unless she broadcasts it to all and sundry as she goes along - some people might find it willful and objectionable and say something abusive. If it is brought to the attention of the priests then they may perform a purification ceremony.


  • suyash95 158 days ago | +0 points

    Why are sex, menstruation and excretion considered impure in Hinduism?

    These three are considered as “impure” in Judaism and Islam as well.

    Hindu Scriptures recommend a shower after sex. Sex is often accompanied by sticky fluid stuff which most people don’t consider very favourably and many people shower after sex regardless of religion.

    The menstrual discharge consists of the waste matter of the uterus - in ancient India there were no accessories like tampons etc. to manage the cycle - and so while menstruating, women were segregated in order to avoid contamination and embarrassment. This confinement also relieved them from all domestic duties for 3 -4 days. Most women never had any other days off! I still remember days of my childhood when strange looking rags were hung on the washing line monthly - people avoided explaining to us what their function was!

    Excretion — meaning any discharge from the human body, urine, feces, sweat, snot and tears are not considered as “pure” by any one I dare say.

    Why is menstruation considered impure?

    Here we go again …. sigh, rolling of eyes …. ! This question has been asked at least 100 times.

    All exudate from the human body is considered as “impure” i.e.

    • Blood
    • Urine
    • feces
    • pus
    • sputum
    • sperm

    As long as these substance are present, the situation is said to one of “impurity”.

    Purity and immunity are social conventions.

    This is agreed by Jews and Muslims as well as Hindus.


  • suyash95 158 days ago | +0 points

    Why are sex, menstruation and excretion considered impure in Hinduism?

    These three are considered as “impure” in Judaism and Islam as well.

    Hindu Scriptures recommend a shower after sex. Sex is often accompanied by sticky fluid stuff which most people don’t consider very favourably and many people shower after sex regardless of religion.

    The menstrual discharge consists of the waste matter of the uterus - in ancient India there were no accessories like tampons etc. to manage the cycle - and so while menstruating, women were segregated in order to avoid contamination and embarrassment. This confinement also relieved them from all domestic duties for 3 -4 days. Most women never had any other days off! I still remember days of my childhood when strange looking rags were hung on the washing line monthly - people avoided explaining to us what their function was!

    Excretion — meaning any discharge from the human body, urine, feces, sweat, snot and tears are not considered as “pure” by any one I dare say.


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