Meet redefines role of temples

NEW ANGLE: Shivaji Sing, president, Akhil Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Yojana, speaking at a seminar on Hindu cosmology at Tirupati on Saturday.  

Staff Reporter

`They were hubs of social, economic and educational activities in ancient India'

TIRUPATI: "Temples used to be the nerve centre of villages in ancient India, where social, economic and educational activities used to be held. It is a pity that they are confined to devotional and spiritual programmes now," said Shivaji Sing, president of Akhila Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Yojana.

He made the observation while delivering the inaugural address at the national seminar on `Hindu cosmology', conducted by Itihasa Sankalana Samiti (Bharateeya) and the TTD's Sri Venkateswara central library and research centre (SVCL&RC) on the latter's premises on Saturday. The two-day meet deals with `Hindu cosmology in consonance with modern science' and `Temple as a matrix of Indian history and culture'.

Prof. Sing explained how science, folk art forms, fine arts like music, dance, theatre, sculpture etc. flourished in temples and how they were used as a platform for academic activities. Medicines used to be served in the form of `theertham' and poor were fed `prasadam'.

Solace to all

SVCL&RC director Bhuman said that the temple, as the epicentre of the society, has been giving solace to millions from time immemorial. He referred to the larger society's participatory role in managing temples in the form of endowments and public contributions.

He also explained how the TTD was engaged in social activities by maintaining educational institutions from schools to universities, hospitals, orphanages, home for the aged etc., besides meeting the civic needs of the temple town.