Tamil Nadu

HC orders status quo on recitation of hymns inside Devarajaswamy Temple in Kancheepuram

The petitioner insists that both Vadakalai and Tenkalai sects must be given the right to recite hymns.

The petitioner insists that both Vadakalai and Tenkalai sects must be given the right to recite hymns. | Photo Credit: File Photo

The Madras High Court on Monday ordered maintenance of status quo as on Saturday with respect to recitation of hymns inside the Devarajaswamy Temple in Kancheepuram since an order passed on Sunday by the Executive Trustee, permitting the Tenkalai sect alone to recite hymns in praise of Manavala Mamunigal and preventing the Vadakalai from reciting hymns in praise of Vedanta Desikar, had been put to challenge.

Justice S.M. Subramaniam partly heard arguments advanced by Advocate General R. Shunmugasundaram as well as senior counsel G. Rajagopalan, representing writ petitioner S. Narayanan of Vadakalai sect, and adjourned the case to Tuesday for further hearing. Till then, he ordered maintenance of status quo as it prevailed before the passing of the Executive Trustee’s order which had been challenged before the court.

In his affidavit, Mr. Narayanan said, there was a great urgency in hearing the writ petition since the Brahmotsavam of the temple was on and the Vadakalai sect alone had been denied its right to recite Desika Prabandam, Ramanuja Dayapathram, Vaazhi Thirunamam and other hymns in praise of its spiritual guru. Though a request was made to the court to hear the writ petition on Sunday itself, such plea was not entertained, he said.

Though the Executive Trustee, an officer in the rank of Assistant Commissioner in Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department, had, in his order, claimed that a series of court orders passed since 1910 permit only the recitation of Srisaila Dayapathram in praise of Manavala Mamunigal, the writ petitioner refuted such claim and contended that the temple itself belongs to the Vadakalai sect and hence the latter could not be denied their right.

The petitioner said that the Sampradhayas (customs) of the temple flow from Thathacharya community who belong to the Vadakalai sect. The temple was renovated by the Cholas in 1053 but during the Mughal invasion in 1688, the main deity was sent to Udayarpalayam. The deity was brought back to Kancheepuram only in 1711 and it was since then the Tenkalai sect had begun to claim rights over the temple.

“At the said point in time, one of the pontiffs in Srirangam area by name Atanjeer is believed to have threatened the people belonging to Thathachar sect calling upon them to sign an agreement by which the said Jeer, belonging to Tenkalai, had demanded for rights to sing Prabhandam in Kancheepuram temples failing which he would not return the idol. It is through this alleged agreement that the present Tenkalai sect is claiming rights in the temple,” the petitioner said.

Further, referring to several cases filed since 1844, the petitioner insisted that both Vadakalai and Tenkalai must be given the right to recite hymns.

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Printable version | May 17, 2022 4:25:31 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-orders-status-quo-on-recitation-of-hymns-inside-devarajaswamy-temple-in-kancheepuram/article65420521.ece