The Guruvayur temple performed a punyaham (purification rite) on Saturday after Union Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi’s family entered it to make an offering. Tanthi (chief priest) Chenas Raman Namboodiripad ordered the cleansing rite after Ravi's son Ravi Krishna failed to produce a certificate to prove his religious status to temple authorities.
Non-Hindus are strictly barred at the temple. Ravi’s wife Mercy Ravi is a Christian by birth.
The minister had visited the temple with his family on Friday to perform the choroonu (ceremonial rice-feeding of the infant) of his six-month-old grandson Rajiv Krishna. After the ceremony, the minister had spent about an hour at the temple.
Guruvayur Devaswom Board chairman Thottathil Ravindran confirmed the incident. “Tantri is the final word as far as temple rituals are concerned. He instructed the temple to perform the purification rite. But personally I feel some of the old traditions will have to be changed with time,” he told the Hindustan Times.
All poojas (offerings) of the day stood cancelled. These offerings will be repeated on Sunday.
“It is really unfortunate. I am a strong believer of Lord Guruvayurappan. They really hurt me. Controversies like this should have been easily avoided,” Ravi told HT.
Six years ago also, the temple had performed a punyaham after Ravi Krishna’s marriage was held there. Ravi had threatened to move court then but dropped the idea.
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