But what is the customary practice in the mosque it is Muslims, in church it is Christians, and so on. To maintain purity, cleanliness, and sanctity, certain customs were evolved, it is the conscience of the person belonging to that faith which made them adhere to that custom. Reinforcement and reconfirmation of the existing right should not be construed as a new liberty. It is conscience, faith, and custom which governs temples and that every man and woman of the faith may continue to follow.
Religious institutions are blind to fundamental rights like equality and harmony. Apart from patriotically cast based derogatory beliefs, customs are entertained in our system. Another feud system in villages is barring certain caste people from entering temples, no person approaches the highest court. Gandhiji fought for Schedule Caste and Tribes’ right to enter temples, which practice is alive even today. We Indians are dual values one for rich and famous another for lower rung as well for upper caste and lower caste. These disparities need to be removed by people in power.
More power to Women! Lord Aiyappa is smiling! About time he sees his mums and sisters at Sabarimala! Indian philosophy is on the rise! Notwithstanding! Can the Administrators of Sabarimala Temple organise the annual Darshan of Lord Aiyappa in a more professional manner! There is bound to be an accident if it is not improved! With more worshippers during peak Aiyappa season, anything can happen.
The judgement reflects the spirit and essence of real Hinduism and the teachings of Lord Krishna. Messages from the Bhagavad Gita reveal that:-
- “Progress and development are the rules of this universe: Things may not be the same, the way they used to be. Things and circumstances change. We should neither expect people, nor surroundings, not even society, to be the same. They all change with time. We move ahead. The Universe forgets old things and moves forwards, so do we. We should not stick to one place. That will make our existence much more problematic in this world.
- “Accept the equanimity of life”: When you see all beings as equal in suffering and in joy when you are rooted in the oneness of all beings, you cannot love or hate anyone because it is all part of the same thing.
Of course, the apex court paved the way for women of all ages to worship Lord Aiyappa as a matter of fundamental right. But the pertinent woman folk know that celibacy is the basic religious need of men to worship Lord Aiyappa and that ought not to be disturbed by women in the age with menstruation. Hence, they will keep up the religious value and keep them away from visiting His temple. Let us cherish both moral and religious value. But there is no bar for women who want to exercise the new right as per the verdict of the apex court. Women have been worshipping Aiyappa for thousands and thousands of years. May not be at the temple as in the olden days, they couldn’t get there.
Hopefully, Kerala Devaswom Board learned its lesson. Building roads and helipads to increase revenue through offerings is the death of tradition. If people had to walk to get to the temple, there won’t be any rush to get there. The increase has created pollution problems for the Pampa River. There is the reason our ancestors did things in a particular manner. Same environmental issues are showing up at every religious place where the access is made easy.
The welcome judgement under the modern disposition where people travel to Sabarimala by modes other than foot, unlike olden days. In that situation, women would not be comfortable as it would take several weeks to reach the pilgrim centre a very strenuous job indeed! As such the rule of that time fitted very well with the circumstances prevailing then.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)