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Ritual to please deity at Kerala temple today

india Updated: Aug 08, 2011 00:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Thiruvananthapuram

An astrological ritual (deva prasnam) will be held on Monday at the Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple, where the devotees believe the presiding deity may not be happy at the wealth inventory going on.

The fear of having incurred divine displeasure became strong after former IPS officer TP Sundararajan, on whose petition the courts ordered the opening of the vaults of the temple, died last month.

"We have been receiving many letters from devotees asking for a deva prasnam. When there are deviations from temple customs and rituals, such offerings are generally made," said Aditya Varma, a scion of the Travancore royal family.

The royal family, which manages the temple's affairs, took the decision after consultations with religious leaders.

The three-day ritual, to be attended by priests and astrologers, will examine the recent developments at the temple to know whether the presiding deity was happy at the opening of five of the six vaults at the temple, yielding a treasure whose value has been reckoned at Rs 1 lakh crore.

In south India before taking major decisions relating to temple affairs, deva prasnam is held to gauge "the likes and dislikes" of the gods. Here also before opening the vaults, the present head of the Travancore royal family, Uthradam Thirunal Marthanada Verma, favoured a prasnam. However, Sundararajan had opposed it, saying it was a ploy to delay the inventory.

However, many devotees also believe photo documentation and videography inside the temple would defile the age-old shrine.

The Supreme Court-appointed panel is yet to take a decision on "B" vault, which is believed to have been last opened 137 years ago. There is speculation that this has more wealth than any of the other five.

This vault reportedly carries a model of a cobra, which many devotees claim is a "symbol of danger". Hence they insisted on a deva prasnam.