Until a month ago, Sri Padmanabha Swami Mandir was known as a religious place. No sooner the cache of treasure to the values of a lack crore was known in the 6 underground rooms of the temple, people have been debating animatedly over this subject, not the temple. Not only this, the temple has become the country's richest one after the find of this massive treasure trumping all the other temples throughout the country.
What lie in treasure
An idol of God Padmanabha has been found in the underground rooms of Sri Padmanabh Swami Temple. This alone costs over 500 crores which are made up of pure gold. Besides this, gold coins of the periods of East India Company weighing 1700 kg is among the reserves. Apart from the antique ornaments from the cellar, one golden necklace 2 and ½ kg in weight and 18 feet in length are also among the finds. Diamonds and emeralds are countless numbering in thousands. A boat made up of gold, crown, tiara, bows- all made up of precious metals are included in the temple's treasure. To sum all this, the value of the treasure find reaches the figure of one lack crore.
Where did the treasure come from?
The temple's records tell that the gold ornaments were kept in the 15nth century. The question arises here who kept this treasure here. There are several opinions which say the then king Martand Verma who had also pitched in the foundation of Travancore Empire had got this treasure transported to this temple. Martand had got this treasure piled up from the business of spices transacted from the southern part of India to Europe apart from adding to the treasure with the enormous wealth received from the Belgian commander after defeating him.
History reveals the Tranvancore Empire had reached from Kochi to Kanyakumari during 1750. The king, during the annual functions held then used to distribute gold coins equivalent to his body's weight. This treasure story dates back to this period when Martand Verma reconstructed this temple and possibly stored the piles of wealth in the cellar rooms of this temple. After this, he remitted his entire empire to Padmanabh Swami and began calling himself the servant of God Padmanabh.
What could be done with the treasure find?
This seems to be a very strange fact that the quantum of the reassure find equals to that of the annual budgets of the current financial year almost of three country's states- namely Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan. Not only this, the gross income of the Indian Railways of the financial-2011 has been evaluated to be slightly more than this treasure find. The question is what is going to happen to this huge find?
After the find came to limelight, the chief minister of Kerala, Oman Chandi declared it to be the temple's property while the minister related to temples, S Sheokumar says to abide by whatever decision is delivered by the Courts in this matter. After the knowledge of one lack crore worth of treasure, debate is hotly rife to spend the treasure trove in the interests of public welfares. One of the groups opines the treasure should be kept reserved into a museum. As to what would be done with the treasure would be decided by the courts but the fact is that the Padmanabha Temple has left far behind the hitherto fore known and the richest temple of Tirupati.
Who is Padmanabha?
Sri Padmanabha Swami Temple is considered to be one amongst the 108 resting places i.e. 'Divya Desham' of Lord Vishnu. This is also known as Sri Anand Padmanabha Swami Mandir. This Maha Vishnu Temple is located in the east of Thiruvanantpuram. Here God Vishnu has been enshrined in the Avtar of 'ananthshyanam posture' (Yog Nidra) who is perched on the bed of the Sheshnag. 12008 Shaligrams especially brought for this purpose from the Gandaki Rive of Nepal have been built around this idol of Vishnu in Yoganidra.
According to assumptions, Swami Padmanabha Temple is one of the seven Parshurams of Kerala. The literal meaning of Thiruvantapuram is the 'Lands of Anant Padmanabha Swami'. As per accreditation, that Thituvanant has been named after the name of the serpent of God Vishnu which went by the name of 'Anant Naag'. Here, the resting posture of God Vishnu is called 'Padmanabha'. The God established in this form is famous as 'Padmanabha Swami'.
The idol of God Vishnu in Ananthshyanam posture is situated in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple which has been chiselled in a single stone. The specialty of the idol of the God is that except the head and the chest, the rest parts of this idol has been made in gold. There is shell casing of a coconut which is said to be 1200 years old which is also covered with golden layering. It is compulsory for the males to wear dhoti (Loin cloth) and sarees for females. Only Hindus can enter this temple. Every year, altogether two annual functions in big scales are celebrated- one in March-April and another one in October and November.
The curtain raiser who died today?
The T0 year old T P Sundarrajan, a former IPS officer had filed a writ petition for unveiling the mystery from behind the treasures of Sri Padmanabha Swami temple. Sundarrajan is also one of the members of the seven member's panel constituted by the Supreme Court to supervise the inspection of the six chambers built in the temple's sanctum sanctorum.
He died today early in the morning. He had fever for the last. He had been living in a house situated near the temple. He was a 1964 batch IPS officer. He was in the inner security ring of the former PM Indira Gandhi. He had later on begun practicing law after quitting his police job. He had filed the writ in the Kerala High Court on account of the mismanagement of the temple treasure.
Through the peephole of history
The history of Sri Padmanabha Swami begins from the 8th century. Its first mentions are made in Tamil Alwar's authored 'Divya Prabandh Kanan'. Alwar was a Tamil saint poet whose time is ascertained to be between the 6th and the 9nth century. This temple finds mentions in 'Brahm Puran', 'Padma Puran', 'Varah Puran', and 'Vayu' Puran'. It is the assumptions that the Lord Indra had worshipped in this temple. In the construction of the temple, the mixed construction designs of both the Dravidian and Keralite styles have been experimented. The Gopuram (Main doors) is made up with the Dravidian style the foundation of which was laid in 1566. The reconstruction of this temple was undertaken by the king of Travancore, Martand Verma and gave the shape what it looks as of the date. On the 3rd of January, 1750, King Martand Verma transferred his entire empire in the name of Swami Padmanabha and vowed that the members of the king's family will rule as representatives of God and his descendants would live as the servants of the Lord. After this, all the kings were called 'Padmanath Das' and the queens as 'Padmanath Sevini'. The present head of the Travancore king's family is Uttaradam Therumal Martand Verma who lives in Thiruvananthapuram in the red roofed phantom palace.
The temple breaths life filled with Godly aura
The devotees are not at all concerned with what the finds have been discovered. Their supreme goal is the worship of Lord Vishnu. When the temple opens, the god is bathed and dressed up with clothes and ornaments. Naivedyam is offered to Him. Time for the after siesta is given then. Deep Aradhana is performed during the evenings. And he is made to retire in the nights after the meal is offered. After this, the Mandir is closed. His every wants are fulfilled like a living being. This tradition of worshipping Him is coming since ages.
There is the idol of God Padmanabh Swami in the temple which has three 'Nada Darshan' is done from three directions- from the direction of the head, from the sides of legs and from the fronts. You cannot have this type of Darshan anywhere else in any temple.
Big temple-big earnings
What could be assumed to be possibly done with the treasure finds from the temple of Sri Padmanabha Swami located in the Thiruvananthapuram of the Kerala state of the country which is the greenest state of the country?
- It is being estimated that A National highway up to the length of the 14 thousand kilometres could be constructed with the temple's finds.
- 100 of stadiums could be constructed of the size of Delhi stadium.
- Could be purchased 255 fighter planes with the treasure finds.
- Kerala could be totally freed from its entire credits dues. There is a credit outstanding of 71 thousand crores on Kerala.
- The treasure is more in excess compared to the annual budgets of the three states of Delhi (27 thousand crores), Uttarakhand (33 thousand crores), and Jharkhand (7-800 crores).
- The treasure alone can meet the expenses of the country's most two ambitious plans, Rashtriya Gram and the in Rojgar Yojana (40 thousand crores), and the proposed food security plan (70 thousand crores.
- The treasury could meet the expenses for three years of budget expenditures on education.
- The defence budget can run for several years.
Conclusion: The temple treasure of Padmanabha Swami may undoubtedly be a part of past legacy, but the reality is that in the present course of times, several companies are becoming not only the homes of numerous nami- benami properties with big temples as their addresses but the annual earnings of temples are in millions and billions while the country remains starved of resources.
|Author: Ramachandran Pattabiraman 18 Jul 2011 Member Level: Diamond Points : 1|
|In those days, there was no almirahs etc., to keep the valuables possessed by the rich people/kings etc., That too during the period of problems like war,invasions etc., they used to keep their valuables under the earth. That is the main reason we are getting sudden treasures while digging for housebuilding/ploughing etc.,|
Similarly, not only in Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple of Trivandrum, many temples are having its own wealth donated or trusted by the yester year Kings or Landlords. In many situations, then Kings were stored their valuables in the ground room of temples (formed by themselves for safety pruposes)from the ruin of invaders durint the time of war etc., But one thing is sure that the wealth of such temples are to be maintained as it is and should not touch for personal use by anyone as it would affect the whole generation of such persons which is sure and experienced. By seeing the incident in the temple of Lord Padmanabha, nobody should start to dig all temples which will have nodoubt leads ruin to them.