Staff Reporter

The programme is aimed at restoring values that are witnessing a fall due to sweeping changes in society

TIRUPATI: The training programme conducted by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) for archakas (priests) working in various temples under its control began here on Monday.

The five-day programme, conducted under the auspices of its propagation arm Dharma Prachara Parishat (DPP) on SV Employees' Training Academy (SVETA) premises, is aimed at restoring values that are witnessing a fall due to the sweeping changes in modern society.

Temples' maintenance

Inaugurating the classes, TTD Executive Officer A.P.V.N. Sarma underscored the need for priests to stand for values and meet expectations of the devotees. Mr. Sarma said that the temples in South India were better maintained as per scriptures and that the doctrines laid down in the sacred texts were being followed more stringently than in temples north of the Vindhyas. However, a very minuscule section of priests was unable to meet the norms relating to pronunciation and expression of certain complex hymns and this training programme was targeted at improving these specially-identified skills and set a benchmark for the new generation of priests.

Vice-Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha K.E. Govindan spoke on the need for the priests to follow the prescribed dress code and perform the rituals with utmost devotion.

Plea to priests

Joint Executive Officer N. Muktheswara Rao appealed to the priests to act as a bridge between the God and His devotees.

The archakas will be trained on proper pronunciation of Sanskrit words, daily rituals, rituals related to festivals, astrology, temple Vaasthu, Agamas, Puranas and other guidelines, besides the historically and mythologically-relevant details pertaining to Tirumala and other temples.