Travancore Devaswom Board exploring the possibility

The Travancore Devaswom Board is exploring the possibility of setting up an International Centre for Spirituality and Hinduism at Nilackal, near Pampa, at the foothills of Sabarimala.

Talking to The Hindu here on Tuesday, Subhash Vasu, TDB member, and P. Venugopal, Devaswom Commissioner, said the proposed spirituality centre was aimed at reviving the once-vibrant spiritual tradition and Ayyappa cult at Nilackal. According to them, Nilackal is believed to have been the cradle of a rich Hindu civilisation and spirituality years ago.

Remnants of the past

They said the remnants of an ancient place of worship found deep inside the forests as well as the age-old temples dedicated to Siva and Durga at Nilackal stood a testimony to this historical perception.

They said the TDB was planning to set up an Institute of Tantra and Vedas, which would be developed into a University of Hindu Spirituality at Nilackal in a phased manner.

The proposed institute would also open a training school and higher learning centre for priests as well as people on a spiritual pursuit, they said. The spirituality centre to come up here would be a well-designed one dotted with a series of caves in the names of the seers of yore to introduce the Indian sages to the modern generation and to the Western world, said Mr Venugopal.

Facilities

A full-fledged library, auditorium, meditation halls, puja huts, bhajan mandir, administrative block, accommodation blocks, modern dining halls, cafetarias, toilet complexes, sewage treatment plant, etc, were various other facilities planned at the proposed spirituality centre, they said.

Seers honoured

Both the Commissioner and the board member were at Nilackal on Tuesday to pay their respects to a few senior monks as part of the atonement rituals prescribed during an astrological consultation held there a week ago. Renowned spiritual leader and Mooppil Swamiyar of Thekke Madhom, Sankarananda Brahmananda Bhoothi; Sreedharan Swami of Nagerkovil; Swami Amritagitananda Puri of Mata Amritanandamayi Math; Swami Radhakrishna of Mavelikkara; Swami Pavanaputradas of Sabari Saranashram; and Acharya Kamala Narendra Bhushan of Saraswati Vaidika Gurukulam, Chengannur; were honoured as part of the atonement rituals.

The Sabarimala Tantri, Kandararu Rajeevararu, led the rituals.

More In: Kerala | National