The devotees of Swami Ayyappa have just started an unprecedented movement in the history of Kerala to save the prestigious Sabarimala temple in the backdrop of Supreme Court judgement that permits women of all age groups to worship at the temple. As the movement against the judgement is gaining momentum, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has made it stand clear on the issue.
RSS, in a statement, said that it is an issue of a local temple tradition and faith to which sentiments of millions of devotees are attached. “The sentiments of the Ayyappa devotees cannot be ignored while considering the judgement,” said the statement issued by RSS Sarkaryavah Suresh (Bhayya ji) Joshi Wednesday.
The Sangh also emphasized the point of honouring Supreme Court. “While respecting the varied temple traditions followed by devotees, we need to also honour the Supreme Court.”
The RSS has criticized the Kerala government for their plans to implement the judgement with immediate effect without considering the sentiments of devotees.
According to the RSS, all the stakeholders should come together and address the issue in a way that reflects the concerns of devotees on their right to worship.
Sanskrit Prayer in Kendriya Vidyalayas all about Indic legacy and Dharma, not about communalism
The moment we become sceptical about our Indic legacy, the game is lost. It’s the Vedas and Upanishads that sculpted the spirit of India
The recent hullabaloo targeting one of the most popular yet powerful mantras in Indic culture over the Morning Prayer in Kendriya Vidyalayas makes no sense, but it assumes great significance in the present socio-political context as one can easily interpret it as a move to undermine the very identity of India.
What’s the issue all about?
An advocate from Madhya Pradesh has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) to ban the morning recitation of the famous ‘asatoma sadgamaya’ mantra in Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs).
Kendriya Vidyalaya is a system of central government schools in the country that are instituted under the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
As the KVs are state-funded institutions, he thinks chanting the Sanskrit verse is religious, communal, anti-secular, and it needs to be stopped at any cost. And the advocate approached Supreme Court to achieve his mission.
What’s the status?
On January 28, the Supreme Court of India referred the petition demanding a ban on chanting Indic mantras in KVs to a constitution bench comprising five judges. They will decide whether chanting this mantra offending the sesne of secularism in government-run schools. According to Article 28 (1) of the Indian Constitution, no religion instruction shall be provided in any institution funded by the State.
The Indic View: It’s not about religion
The mantra in the limelight is taken from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, and it goes like this…
Om asato ma sadgamaya
tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
mrtyorma amritam gamaya
om shanti shanti shanti.
The gist of the mantra can be interpreted like this. Lead me from falsehood to truth, from darkness to the light, from death to immortality. It’s all about the cosmic truth and Multiversal ethos. Nothing more nothing less. Connecting religion and communalism with this mantra is totally unacceptable and it needs to be discouraged.
Vedas and Upanishads form the heart of Indic civilisation; one cannot equate them with the present form of religion, indeed in the Semitic sense. The mantras are not about religion, it’s about the culture and heritage of this country, inspiring all Indians to be proud about their legacy.
Great Indic leaders like Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati, Swami Vivekananda, and Sri Aurobindo unambiguously defined the very character of our country. India is all about spirituality and knowledge. The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad itself means the great forest of knowledge. The moment we become sceptical about our legacy, the game is lost.
Not just KVs…
It needs to be noted that many of other public institutions have phrases extracted from Indic texts.
The Upanishad text on Indian State emblem: Satyameva Jayate (Truth alone triumphs- Mundaka Upanishad)
Supreme Court motto: Yato Dharmastato Jayah (Where there is dharma, there is victory- Mahabharata)
Motto of Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW): Dharmo rakshati rakshitaha (dharma protects those who protect it; the Mahabharata)
Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, LIC…. the list goes on and on…
Acharya M R Rajesh receives International Vedic Award from Swami Ramdev
Praising Acharya Rajesh for his efforts to popularise the Vedas, Ramdev also said that the founder of Kashyapashram is a man of yajnas
Eminent Vedic scholar Acharya M R Rajesh received the Mahashay Dharampal International Vedic Award, instituted by International Arya Sammelan, New Delhi, Friday (October 26, 2018) from yoga guru Swami Ramdev.
Acharya Rajesh, the founder of Kasyap Ashram which is based in Kozhikode, Kerala, has been spearheading a movement of democratising the Vedas for the last 15 years. Praising Acharya Rajesh for his efforts to popularise the Vedas, Ramdev also said that the founder of Kashyapashram is a man of yajnas.
Acharya Rajesh has also published around 40 books in both Malayalam and English which includes the English translation of the Atharva Veda
Under Acharya Rajesh’s leadership, Kasyapashram is conducting Vedic classes to all irrespective of caste, religion, age or gender.
An ardent follower of Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati, the founder of Arya Samaj, Acharya Rajesh has taken the Vedas to the masses, training thousands of people in South India to absorb the ideals of Sanatana dharma in their daily life.
Mahashay Dharampal International Vedic Award is instituted to those who have devoted their lives to spread the message of the Vedas in society.
Acharya Rajesh has also published around 40 books in both Malayalam and English which includes the English translation of the Atharva Veda.
Sabarimala is not a place for activism: Sri Sri Shankar
The founder of the Art of Living movement made it clear that Sabarimala is not a place for activism or one-upmanship
As Kerala has been witnessing heavy protests over the state government’s stand on Supreme Court’s judgement on Sabarimala temple, eminent spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s tweet on the issue is getting much attention.
The founder of the Art of Living movement made it clear that Sabarimala is not a place for activism or one-upmanship. “The abode of Lord Ayyappa should be kept intact with utmost serenity, respecting tradition. It’s not a place for activism or one-upmanship,” Sri Sri tweeted.
He also believes that while considering the review petition, the Court will take note of the sentiments of devotees as well.
The abode of Lord Ayyappa should be kept intact with utmost serenity, respecting tradition. It’s not a place for activism or one-upmanship.
I am sure, while considering the review petition, the Hon’ble Court will take note of the sentiments of devotees as well.#Sabarimala
— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (@SriSri) October 20, 2018
The Supreme Court’s judgement that allows women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple has resulted in one of the biggest movements in the history of Kerala by Lord Ayyappa devotees, demanding the state government to back off from implementing the Court’s order with immediate effect.
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