The Tirumal Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD)’s decision to do away with the ‘evening break darshan’ meant for VIPs is being widely appreciated by devotees for the immense relief it will provide to the ordinary pilgrims who are invariably the victims of the ‘VIP breaks’.
It will surely come in handy for the TTD top-brass as well, as they can now take excuse under the ‘blanket ban’ and say a gentle ‘no’ even to the VVIPs, whose surge, of late in to the hill temple, especially during the week-ends, has increased manifold.
The ordinary devotees, at whose expense the VVIP class has been having the privileged darshans, are hailing it as a ‘better late and than never’ decision taken boldly by the TTD’s top-rung management.
In fact, the TTD has been experimenting with the cancellation of the ‘evening breaks’ for the last few months, but has been imposing the ban only at week-ends, i.e. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, when the pilgrim influx is huge. But the onset of summer and the imminent increase in the pilgrim inflow from all over India, has now forced it to extend the blanket ban for the entire week, except on Thursdays.
The TTD officials appear to be consciously retaining the evening break on Thursdays, both for its own benefit and for the benefit of the VVIPs.
It would be a prime slot, for it is only on Thursdays that the devotees can have the ‘Nethra Darshan’ of the Lord during the ‘poolangi seva’ when not only the width of the ‘Thirunamam’ on His forehead is drastically thinned, making his holy eyes visible to the devotees, but also the entire body of the deity, which is normally adorned with diamond jewellery, is completely draped in flowers of different hues and fragrances, providing a grand spectacle.
Another recent and well-meaning move of the TTD authorities was the launching of the “Subhapradam” scheme, throughout the State. The programme envisaged instilling devotion for the almighty in the minds of the younger generation towards and reverence for ancient values, ethics and ethos, which have been eroding.
Summer camps would be held in this connection from May 12 in different towns and cities of the State wherein spiritual-minded persons will conduct classes on subjects covering Hindu dharma and values.