The Madras High Court today directed the smooth conduct of ‘Brahmotsavam’ along with ‘Prayaschitha’ of an ancient temple in Nagapattinam district. A division bench comprising Justices M M Sundresh and M Sundar gave the direction while disposing of a petition by one Rangarajan Narasimhar of Sanathan Dharma, Sri Vaishnavism. In its order, the bench said, “As consensus has been arrived at between the Fit person of the temple and the petitioner, we pass the following order by consensus of both the parties.” The Brahmotsavam of Sri Sowriraja Perumal temple shall be conducted from June 29 to July 11 (both days inclusive), it added. Reiterating its June 23 order, the bench directed the Superintendent of Police, Nagapattinam district, to provide necessary assistance to maintain law and order, besides ensuring smooth Brahmotsavam at the over 1,000-year-old temple in Thirukkannapuram, Nagapattinam district.
The bench further directed the petitioner and the officials to co-operate with each other and ensure the smooth conduct of function. The petitioner submitted that every year Brahmotsavam is held in the Tamil Month of ‘Vaikasi’ so that the ninth day (Theerthavari) of Utsavam coincides with Pournami (Full Moon Day), which has been the practice for centuries in the temple. This year, the first day of the festival fell on June 1, as per the English calendar, which is the 18th day of the Tamil Month Vaikasi.
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Referring to Agama Shasthra’s (tradition), the petitioner submitted that on any account, Agama Shastra’s do not permit conduct of Balalayam (repair work of the temple) by stopping Utsavas. On the decision by the Executive Officer of the Temple to conduct Balalayam in the temple on his own, the petitioner alleged that the officer has not shown the basic management principles and courtesy,expected of an officer of his calibre, which warrants a consultation with stakeholders of the temple.
The official decided on his own to conduct Balalayam, by cancelling the Brahmotsavam without consulting anyone,he said. Referring to a letter and an affidavit by the Commissioner of the HR&CE department, the petition said the Executive officers can only administer immovable properties and cannot interfere in ‘Agamas’ and customs and usage prevailing in a particular temple.
He had earlier prayed for a court direction to the Board of Trustees of the temple to conduct Brahmotsavam after performing necessary ‘Prayaschitha’ as specified in the Agama Sasthras.