The temple administration body of the Guruvayoor temple on Wednesday expressed regret over the purification rite conducted after the entry of Union minister Vayalar Ravi’s son Ravi Krishna on May 19.
After a two-day meeting of the Devasom Board Council, its chairman Thottathil Ravindran said the documents produced before the council proved Ravi Krishna was a Hindu and the board expressed deep regret to both him and his father. The board also recommended that the government amend the Guruvayoor Devaswom Act for the removal of clauses making the thantri (high priest) the supreme authority in religious matters.
“The thantri told us a purification ceremony was done because a similar ritual was conducted in 2000 after Ravi Krishna's marriage. However, Ravi Krishna’s certificates show he is a Hindu,” said Ravindran.
The board also sought an explanation from the thantri and the temple manager while deciding to hold an astha devamangala deva prasnam (puja to know the will of God) to know how the presiding deity felt about opening the temple doors to non-Hindus. A five-member committee has been constituted for this purpose. The board will convene another meeting in two months time to discuss the issue.
The temple had sparked a controversy by conducting a punyaham after the minister’s son visited the temple for his son’s choroonu (rice feeding) ceremony. Since Ravi’s wife Mercy is a Christian, the thantri immediately ordered a purification rite. The thantri has stood by his decision. In a recent interview to HT, he maintained that age-old practices should be upheld.
Kerala govt to amend rule
The Kerala government said it would bring a legislation to enable any believer in Hinduism to worship in temples. The Press Trust of India reported that Devaswom Minister G Sudhakaran said the present rule, which states that any person who by birth is a Hindu can enter a temple, would be amended. “Thantris have no right to determine who is a believer and who isn’t,” he added.