Kerala reclaims identity: Ayyappa Bhaktha Sangamam turns out to be the largest-ever Hindu congregation in the state
Sending a stern warning to the ruling CPM that has been incessantly trying to destroy temple traditions and Hindu customs in the state, the Sabarimala Karma Samiti organised a mammoth gathering ‘Ayyappa Bhaktha Sangamam’ in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, on January 20. The meeting witnessed a huge number of sanyassins and spiritual leaders from across the South India and lakhs of Hindus, turning out to be the largest Hindu congregation ever in the history of Kerala.
Inaugurating the meeting, Mata Amritanandamayi urged the CPM led Kerala Government to respect the traditions and customs of Hindu Temples. “The controversy about young women’s entry to the Sabarimala temple is unfortunate, and it emanates out of ignorance about temple customs and traditions. Temples are the pillars of our culture,” she added.
Referring to the Government’s intervention in the temple affairs, Mata Amritanandamayi said that the situation is such that ‘the baby is thrown out with the bathwater’.
Presiding over the function, Swami Chidananda Puri said that temple traditions could not be altered by a secular government. Criticising the state government and the ruling party CPM, he said that Hindus should be thankful to Kerala Chief Minister Vijayan for organising the Hindus of Kerala against the backdrop of the Sabarimala issue. He also condemned the repeated verbal assaults made by CPM ministers against Hindu Sannyasins and priests.
“Sri Ayyappa is not just the God of Kerala but of the entire country and the whole universe. Vijayan, being the chief minister of Kerala, can administer the people of the state, but he can’t administer Ayyappa Bhagwan, said Swami Paripoornanda. In a video message, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar underscored the need to protect traditions and urged the government to respect the sentiments of devotees
Speaking on the occasion, former Director General of Police Dr TP Senkumar IPS urged the faithful to exercise voting rights vigilantly in the coming elections to give a fitting answer to all anti-Hindu parties and protect Santana Dharma. “All our problems will be solved if a small amendment is made in our Constitution that the majority too will be entitled to the same benefits enjoyed by the minorities in the country,” he said
Bharathbushan, brother of Kanaka Durga, a CPM activist who trespassed to the Sabarimala temple only to defile the traditions, was also present on the occasion. Apologising to devotees for the sin committed by his sister, Bharathbhushan broke down and said, “I apologise for the sin my sister has committed. We won’t allow her to enter our house unless she seeks an unconditional apology to Hindu society.”While women formed the major chunk of the audience, a galaxy of senior Hindu sannyasins, including Swami Prakashananda and senior Sannyasin of Sree Narayana Gurudeva order and Swami Golokananda of the Ramakrishna Math graced the dais. Sabarimala Karma Samithi national chairman former jurist N. Kumar, Smt KP Sasikala Teacher, O Rajagopal MLA, RSS Prant Sanghchalak PEB Menon, and representatives of social and cultural organisations were also present. A Namajapa Yatra preceded the meeting from Palayam to the venue. The Hindus in large number thronged the Putharikkandam Maidanam, where the event was organised. A huge number of people, who participated in the Namajapa Yatra failed to reach the venue of the meeting, as the ground was jam-packed.