A Great Move in Right Direction from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam

published on June 19, 2008

Tirupati temple reaches out to Dalits and STs



HYDERABAD: Reaching out to Dalits and backward classes, the administration of the Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirupati has launched several initiatives for the community including training them in performing temple rituals.

“The idea of taking up programmes with a social emphasis is to spread ‘Sanatana Dharma’ (universal religion) among the masses,” B Karunakar Reddy, Chairman of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), the body that administers the temple, told PTI.

“Saints of yore like Sankaracharya, Ramanujacharya and Telugu saint poet Annamacharya spread the ancient culture during their times. That tradition lost momentum for whatever reasons. This resulted in Hinduism facing threats. We have decided to take up social programmes as per the advice of elders to help sustain the credibility of religion,” he said.

The social schemes being carried out by the TTD, one of the richest temple administrations in the world, includes ‘Dalita Govindam’ wherein the priests of the Tirupati temple carry the idols of the Lord and his two consorts to Dalit colonies and perform prayers there.

‘Matsya Govindam’ is another revolutionary initiative to train fishermen along the East Coast in Andhra Pradesh in performing rituals.

The fishermen will be taught the basic tenets of Vedic religion, evolution of temple system, the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of idol worship, rituals, conduct of festivals and so on besides increasing rapport with devotees.

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