Friday, 8 March 2013

-Vyas Raj Sharma

  His people love him. They love him so much that they crucified him. They drove nails into him and screws. Not just any iron screws but brass screws of fairly good quality. Not just nails and screws they hammered decorative items into him. He should look good. He had the right to look good. It was their duty to make sure that he looked good. They invested; they bled him for his benefit.

 Have you been to a temple, a Hindu temple, where prayers are offered to a god who has been crucified? If not come to Panjabjapuram(Ernakulam Tirumala Devasom). The god here, Maha-Vishnu, Venkatachalapathy, Panjabjapuresh, recently got nails hammered into him.

 “There is no god in our temple here; he’s left. He left long ago.” Says J “God is the ultimate power in a temple. He is a power which spreads goodness and purity into all who visit the temple; a purity which you will feel especially when you perform some function or service; a purity which will encourage you to do good things. The purity will spread into you and from you into others. But do you feel any such purity or power in our temple here? No; because the temple has lost its purity. God has left the temple. He has left his people. He was tired of the people here; people who fought over silly things like which curry to prepare for the festival feast rather than offering sincere services and prayers. He had said in the Ashtamangalyam that he’d leave and he has left.”

 But has he left? I don’t think so. He is certainly in a lot of pain and is bleeding but has not left.

 What made people drive nails into him? Did they want to inflict pain on him? Did they want to show that they were greater than god? Did they want to compete with Christians (‘See?! We can crucify our god better than you can yours!’)? Was it because they didn’t want him to leave? He had said in the Ashtamangalyam ‘I’m not satisfied here and I’m thinking of leaving.’ Was this a reply to that? ‘We know how to hold you in place. Let’s see how you leave now.’ No; it was not for any of that. They did it out of love; out of devotion. They did it to see him in splendour. They did it to see him shine; shine in all glory and power.

 Now what am I talking about? I am talking about the decorative lamps (Chuttuvilakku) recently installed in the temple. To see these lamps glowing is indeed too great an experience to be described by words. One look at the lamps glowing all around along the walls of the temple is enough for anyone to feel the power of the god present in the temple. The initiatives taken by the group of people to install these lamps is certainly good but what went wrong?

 “They have hammered nails into the inner walls of the temple! They planned to do something good but ended up doing something bad.” Says S “Everything within the outer walls forms a part of the lord’s body. That’s the temple shastra. Into that body they have hammered nails. They have hammered nails into the lord’s body. Have you seen such a thing in any other temple?
“Yes; they have installed Chuttuvilakku. What’s wrong with that? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It’s a good thing that; a very good thing. But the way they did it, that is wrong. For installing lamps you don’t just go about hammering anyway you want. You cannot hammer anything into the inner wall. It is a part of the lord’s body. The right way to install such lamps would be to erect a panelling along the walls and fix the lamps on to that panelling. That’s the right way to do it. That’s the way it is done in other temples but here they went and hammered nails straight into the walls. They never asked us a thing how to go about it. But let me tell you we will be the first ones blamed when the results of this hammering start showing.”
Correct way :
 This was a mistake committed in ignorance; a mistake which can be corrected. The mistake should be corrected. The results haven’t started showing yet. Nails have been hammered into Panjabjapuresha. He is bleeding. He is in pain. Not correcting the mistake soon would mean that we’d have to see the other side of our kind and forgiving lord.
 Note: - J & S are real people. J is J--------a Pai and S is S--------a Bhat. What J said was not specifically in the context of the lamps.