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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Do the temples need to be administered only by the priests?

    There is a big campaign to restore the temples to the people and the claim is that the politicians of the ruling parties have intervened to loot the temple lands and that the vast lands of the temples should be given back to the priests or the local people who manage such temples.

    This is the biggest debate currently on in Tamil Nadu. The CM wants total transparency. Just today, the encroachments to the famous temple at Vadapalani, a thickly populated area of Chennai city with fabulous gated communities, have been ordered to be removed. Every bit of property and other details of the temple are now being uploaded in the website of the Hindu organization of the State Government.

    Should temples be run by the priests and the local people? If yes, what I'd they misuse their rights and loot the temple property? Or should the Tirupati model, where the Board does fabulous social work, should be followed everywhere?
  • #733331
    It is good if the temple lands occupied by the politicians and local people are given back to the temples. No rule that the administration should be in the hands of the priest. There can be a board to administer the temple. But that will depend on the size and the richness of the temple.
    In Telangana recently we heard that some leaders grabbed the lands of the temples and making their own buildings in those areas. The ruling party is supporting such people as the important leaders in the ruling party are also getting a good share of the property.
    In my opinion, the government should not involve in temple administration and the local people can manage their temples by having a board elected by the local people and one person from the donor's family should be there as an honorary member without any election.
    In Andhra Pradesh, the government is using the temple property for other works. There are rumours that they are misusing the money also. To avoid such issues we should have independent bodies to administer the temples.

    always confident

  • #733351
    The campaign originated from the hurt and betrayed feelings of believers and temple devotees. It is also conviction of unbiased people irrespective of religion and faith too.
    The very first reason is govt(which in reality means politicians) control the temples of Hindus only.

    Earlier even though they were theoretically under govt control, those who managed the temples as govt nominees or representatives were themselves believers and devotees and did not do anything willingly to go against the tradition and faith of the devotees. While the govt officials or nominees managed the day to day matters o administration, the matters and decisions relating to rituals and religious functions were left to the Priests, Acharyas, Mutt heads etc as relevant and established by tradition. They were having t he last word on such matters.

    But by and by the government officials and nominees and trustees came to be non-believers, atheists, and following other religions and faith. Most of them did not have any knowledge about the traditions followed in those temples nor had any knowledge about the different systems followed in Hindu temples. They alienated temple properties knowingly of unknowingly or helped those exploiting temple properties by collusion, ignorance or negligence. In many temples, the Dakshina given by devotees to the priests were also not allowed to be taken by the priest, but added to government revenue. While the temples were brought under govt with an intention of managing them well and keeping those heritages and archives without causing any deficiency to worshippers and devotees, things came to the opposite. temples started becoming dilapidated. The political and government representatives and trustees ignored all those. They did not do anything to recover the misappropriated temple properties. They did not do recover dues from the hirers and lessees of temple properties.

    As opposed to other religious worship places, government took the whatever income coming to temples and used it or non-temple uses. The politicians and parties who themselves declared as atheists and non-believers and indulged in anti-Hindu activities , unnecessarily interfered in temples and used their position and temple money for anti-temple and anti-Hindu activities. As the money as added to govt coffer it was also benefitting to non-Hindu people whose worship places are not controlled by government and whose money is not taken by govt.

    Many incidences of serious happenings which hurt the devotees of temples deeply and really wounded their faith and sentiments. Some of these were perpetrated by wanton defiance not listening to knowledgeable advice and pleadings.
    The govt temple managements did not allow those essential rituals prescribed to be conducted on certain occasions or periodical cycles. All these wounded the Hindu devotees and the unbiased people .
    Hence they all felt that equality means that Hindu temples also are to be managed by the religious Acharyas
    ,priests and the devotees.
    Secularism means mutual non-interference of religion and governance..Why should a real secular government control only Hindu temples and allow other religions freedom to control and manage their worship places and institutions? This is the justified feeling and grievance.

  • #733358
    While speaking of Temples, let us not be reminded of only big Temples that draws a large crowd of devotees due to different reasons and the income that is generated thereby. We must take note that there are thousands of Temples across the country that does not have enough income even to conduct the daily mandatory rituals. It must have been in that context that Acts were enacted and regulatory boards formed in some states, with inclusive participation of members from the community, to oversee the functioning of Temples. I agree that, over a period of time, the interest of such boards/ trusts started hovering around Temples with huge property and attractive income but things are indeed better than when they were managed by a few elite people in the society.

    I don't see any point in drawing a comparison between Temples and other places of worship. The places of worship of other religions, especially Christians and Muslims, are more concentrated and each has jurisdiction over an area unlike the Hindu Temples that are scattered all across and the devotee has the choice to offer his prayers in any one of them. Also, the power or the rights exercised by the priest over the devotees visiting the Temple is so negligible when compared to those enjoyed by the priests of a Church or a Mosque (though there have been erosions over a period of time).

    Therefore, I personally feel that it is good to have a regulatory body for Temples but their properties must not be allowed to be grabbed by any under any garb and the income generated by them must be spent for the upkeep of the Temples and conduct of daily and special rituals only.

    'Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power'. -Lao Tzu

  • #733391
    Churches, mosques, and temples in Kerala are governed by its committees. Churches, mosques, and temples are governed by committees, but the temples under the Devaswom Board are governed by the Devaswom. In Kerala, the government has a minister. Therefore, on each Devaswom Board, there will be representatives of the political party to which the Minister belongs, as the representatives of the Government. Although the Devaswom regime plays some small monitory games, I don't think the temple land is being held or encroached upon and used for its purposes.

    Ordinary temples (except family temples) and churches and mosques are governed by an elected committee from the area of ??the respective temple - the mosque, the mosque's Mahallu Committee - the church, and the parish of that church. The high priest will have an important role to play in that committee. In the case of a church, the high priest presides over the governing body. In short, the governing body of all churches is made up of Parish members and the Church's priest. So no other problems occur here.

    "Cheruthulli Peruvellam"
    small drops make a mighty ocean

  • #733402
    What if we follow the below two steps process,
    1. Free all temples from governmental control in the country and
    2. Mind your own business.

    During invasions of last one thousand years, the Mughals destroyed a major part of our civilizations and eliminated every physical structure which they were able to. Then came the Britishers and they destroyed our whole education system and finally we have the politicians who are immensely doing their best for what the previous two parties left for complete destructions. I also intend to include those who think themselves as the most intelligent intellectuals on this planet who suddenly pop-up from somewhere having a feeling that they have every right to interfere on every matter that they found in a news headline.

    I would not have so much direct but woefully few do not know what Indian culture all is about. This is because they personally belonging to a belief system which itself is very narrowed is its approach. Both Christians and Muslims, do not have life beyond their faith. Please correct me if I am wrong. And therefore @ Saji Ganesh, please do not make comparisons in here. Hinduism is a very modified version; the original name is Sanatan Dharma.

    The questions for sure would raise of some mismanagement when devoid of state intervention but this too is not doing any good. The conditions of temples have worsened.

  • #733405
    Whether it is a temple, church, or any other place or other religious institutions have always been the subject of public reverence on the one hand and on the other hand, have also been the medium of bribery of corrupt officials. It is not hidden from the people that people also promote corruption through temples or any religious bodies. But for us the temple is a holy place where we spend some time with our God, making ourselves positive and thinking about new hopes in life. The temple should be maintained by a person who sincerely wants to give his dedication only in the service of God. The responsibility of managing the temples lies with the workers as well as the devotees.

  • #733417
    A HR Manager need to be qualified HR degree or diploma, A lawyer should get qualified BL or LLb, a doctor need MBBS degree, a teacher need BED,TET,an auditor should pass CA. These are required to get the concerned department administered well. Similarly the temple people only knows the aagamas and follow ups well comparing to others. We are seeing the managers who are not knowing subjects of other departments leads to chaos in companies irrespective of sizes,

  • #733444
    Saji Ganesh has a very valid and practical observation( when he points out (#733358)
    ".....The places of worship of other religions, especially Christians and Muslims, are more concentrated and each has jurisdiction over an area unlike the Hindu Temples that are scattered all across and the devotee has the choice to offer his prayers in any one of them. Also, the power or the rights exercised by the priest over the devotees visiting the Temple is so negligible when compared to those enjoyed by the priests of a Church or a Mosque (though there have been erosions over a period of time)."

  • #733455
    Ved Prakash, as far as my little knowledge goes, Sanatan Dharma is actually different from Hinduism. It is not a religion but is a way of life and religion is just a part of it. It is above ideological differences and is based on individual spiritual experiences. The term Hinduism was coined to indicate the group of Hindus but Sanatan Dharma, which is said to have existed even before the Vedic period, is inclusive of all and is not prophet or incarnation based. It connects everything in the universe with a single supernatural power. So, to say that Hinduism is a new version of Sanatan Dharma is not, in my opinion, correct. In fact, Hinduism is only a part of the all inclusive Sanatan Dharma.

    Venkiteswaran sir, thanks for understanding my point.

    'Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power'. -Lao Tzu

  • #733485
    Saji Ganesh,

    I mentioned, "Hinduism is a very modified version;" and with this concluding, "Hinduism is a new version of Sanatan Dharma" will give it a completely different perspective. However, the two have a completely different meaning.

    The author has raised a truly relevant topic and the common people must make aware of it.

    I was also unaware of this till the petitions were filed by few in the court with debates on the different news channels. Now I am wondering more on a definition of secularism with a secular constitution and in a secular nation.

  • #733517
    A very interesting subject is being discussed. In fact, this thread is fit for Active GD. Venkiteswaran said it well.
    What I really wonder is - The author of this thread is missing from the scene. He being the initiator of this topic should be live here and participate. This is the attitude of Hindus that the Hindu temples suffers under the hands of politicians.

    No life without Sun

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