Tirumala Archakas need to change their attitude

via Temples Protection Movement - Press Release published on June 16, 2009

We strongly condemn the infighting among the Archakas at Tirumala. The Tirumala Archakas
should understand and implement the feeling that “Service to the Lord of Universe is more important than petty positions”.

The Recent amenemdnets to the Endowments Legislation is a result of the agitations Hunger Strikes,sacrifices of thousands of Archakas except the Tirumala Archakas.

The Archaka has an intimate relationship with the idol and he worships because it is his duty to
serve the deity. An archaka is distinguished by his austerity, penance, devotion, commitment, selflessness and discipline. He is responsible for the welfare of the people, which his worship is said to be meant for. In fact, the divinity in the idol, sanctity of the shrine, and their benefits to the devotees are all derived from the personality of the Archaka and the worship he conducts. If he becomes greedy for money, he loses the right to be an archaka and no benefits would result from his worship-Ananda Samhita.

Andhra Pradesh has a respectable heritage and lineage on having produced many highly qualified Archakas. Each and every Temple had a small Learning centre attached to it, which would train from the early tender age Archakas for future. Father would train his son along with a few outsiders as per the Gurukula system and the tradition was continuing uninterrupted. Though there were a few Agama Patasalas in major Temples, the students trained by them were very small compared to such small Gurukula family training centres. Some of the Mathadhipathies were also running Agama Patasalas and the State always boasted of very many highly knowledgeable Archakas trained in a traditional way. All of this was until the early 80s.

The Challa Kondiah Commission was weaving a disastrous web of an Act that would destroy this fabric of the traditional learning for the Archakas. It suggested many changes, ordered many unimplementable and thoughtless steps that resulted in the destruction of the Temple system. Even the most tyrant invaders could not achieve what it achieved in these two decades.The 30/87 Legislation was enacted keeping in mind the Archakas of Tirumala who were assumed to be earning in lakhs. This Legislation brought doom to the entire Temple system in Andhra Pradesh.

In Tirupathi there is the system of Jeeyangars who are supposed to take care of the proper conduct of the rituals. They have failed in their responsibilities.Because the Tirumala Archakas and Jeeyangars failed to keep up their responsibilities, outsiders had to correct the system.

When an option was given to Tirumala Archakas to select between service to the Lord
and the Mirasi system as a compromise on the selective withdrawal of the 30/87 Legislation
by the Chief Minister N T Rama Rao in 1995, the Tirumala Archakas insisted that service to
the deity was secondary than Mirasi rights and let down the entire Temple system. This is a
very unfortunate truth.

We request the media also to play a responsible role than sensitizing the sentiments and refrain from digging deeper into the wedges of the ignorant Hindu. Only blood in the form of tears will come out if this mudslinging in the open continues.

We appeal to the Archakas to settle their differences over mutually agreed platforms than the
newspapers as platforms. Otherwise, the Religion, its followers, the Temples, the Devotees will all be the losers.

C.S. Rangarajan
Co – Convener
Temples Protection Movement
2-2-647/77/D, Srinivasanagar Colony, Hyderabad – 500 013
Ph : 27425640, 9885100614

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