Hindumatha Maha Mandalam to celebrate the centenary of Hindumatha Parishad

via V N Gopalakrishnan Nair published on January 12, 2012

The Hindumatha Maha Mandalam (HMM) will be celebrating the centenary of the annual Hindumatha Parishad (Hindu religious meet) on the sand bed of Pamba river at Ayiroor-Cherukolpuzha in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala from February 5 -12, 2012. The Pamba river and the surrounding hills make Ayiroor one of the most picturesque places in central Travancore which was part of the erstwhile Travancore kingdom.  The Hindu Parishad is held for a week in February every year. Snake boat races also attract people to the village which has several churches and temples and is known for the religious harmony.

Mata Amritanandamayi of the Mata Amritananda Madom will inaugurate the centenary meet. Shri. Ashok Singhal, National President of the Viswa Hindu Parishad, will preside over the inaugural function. Shri. O.Rajagopal, former Union Minister, will deliver the keynote address whereas Swami Sivananda of Sringeri Madom will deliver a religious discourse. Adoor Prakash, Health Minister of Kerala will inaugurate the Cultural Meet on February 6 followed by the Youth Meet to be inaugurated by Dr Vivek Arya, President, All-India Vedic Mission on February 8. Swami Jayendra Saraswati, Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peedom will deliver the benedictory address at the Ayyappa Bhakta Sammelan on February 9. Swami Rithambarananda of Sivagiri Madom will inaugurate the Vidyadhiraja Chattampi Swami Commemoration meet on February 10. Pankaj Behan of Brahmakumari’s Iswariya Viswa Vidyalaya at Kottayam will inaugurate the Women’s Meet on February 11. Shri Oommen Chandy, Chief Minister of Kerala will inaugurate the valedictory meet. The week-long religious event addressed by several luminaries will be concluded with a Sarvaiswaryapuja.

The 100-year old Hindumatha Parishad was started under the aegis of Hindumatha Maha Mandalam in 1913. Swami Theerthapada Paramahamsa, the trusted disciple of Sri Vidyadhiraja Chattampi Swami took the lead in starting the Parishad in the name of his guru. The Hindu society in Kerala was in the throes of severe spiritual decadence during the last century. Casteism and untouchability were very much prevalent in the society. It was during this time, Swami Vivekananda visited Kerala and remarked that the state was a lunatic asylum of castes and creeds. The Navodhana Prasthanam (Reformation Movement) came into being during this period providing intellectual and moral leadership by Vidyadhiraja Chattampi Swami and Sree Narayana Guru.

The simple and unpretentious Chattampi Swami was an intellectual genius who never yearned for any personal glory or any organisational set up. The grand vision of Chattampi Swami for a spiritually enriched and socially empowered society was multi-dimensional in real terms. His trusted disciple Swami Theerthapada Paramahamsa took the lead in forming Hindu Matha Maha Mandalam trying to bring in its fold all sections of the Hindu society.

The week-long annual religious convention is the prime activity of the Maha Mandalam and is considered as the biggest Hindu meet in Kerala and perhaps one of the most notable ones in the country. Spiritual discourses and religious expositions by eminent sanyasins and scholars will be interspersed with bhajans during the convention. The Vidyadhiraja Samskarika Kendram (Vidyadhiraja Cultural Centre) formally inaugurated on February 4, 2008 by H.H.Sadguru Bodhinatha Velan Swamikal of the Kavai Adheenam, Hawaii, USA will be opened on the eve of the convention. The Centre will have a reference library, an academic wing designed to conduct regular courses, trainings and competitions, a publication-cum-documentation wing besides other facilities.

During the one hundred years of its existence, several illustrious Acharyas including Swami Sadananda, Swami Agamananda, Swami Chinmayananda, Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati, Mata Amrithanandamayi, Swami Brahmananda, Swami Aryabhata, Swami Satyananda Saraswathi, Swami Nityananda Saraswathi, Sri Sri Ravishankar, and others graced the Parishad. Sarvashri V.V.Giri, K.K.Kelappan, K. P. Kesava Menon,. Mannathu Padmanabhan, M.P. Manmathan, Uthradam Thirunal Marthanda Varma, Justice Radhakrishnan, Mallikarjuna, O.Rajagopal, Ms. Prema Panduranga and other eminent personalities enriched the Parishad sessions.

The Hindumatha Parishad will attract more devotees and the Vidyadhiraja Cultural Centre) will become a catalyst for a spiritual renaissance in the years to come.

(Author is a freelance journalist and social activist. He can be contacted on [email protected])

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