Opening temple vaults could invite deity's wrath: SC told

Opening temple vaults could invite deity's wrath: SC told

Advising the apex court against passing any direction, the affidavit claimed vault B (kallara) had an insignia of a "serpent" indicating that it would not be advisable to open the treasure trove.

Alternatively, it said an appeasement ceremony be held before opening the vault to mollify the deity. "That opening of the last cellar namely 'B' is not advisable at all because the sign of the 'serpent' visible at the entrance indicates that it is not auspicious to open it. However, a decision on this may be taken after conducting the traditional "deva prashnam'so as not to incur the displeasure of Lord Padmanabha by opening it.

"That is necessary because it is the belief of the devotees that opening of this 'kallara' can invite the wrath of the Lord. Opening without conducting 'deva prasnam' will be contrary to the age old religious custom and practise," senior counsel K K Venugopal, appearing for the petitioner, submitted before a bench of justices R V Raveendran and A K Patnaik.

The scion also opposed any direction from the apex court for public display of the huge wealth discovered from five of the other vaults of the temple in pursuant of the court's earlier direction.

"That the 'kallaras' ought not to have been opened as opening of the 'kallaras' unnecessarily exposed the security of the temple to grave risk. Now, damage control has become necessary. Moving the wealth of Lord Padmanabha to a place outside the temple complex for public exhibition as directed by the high court requires reconsideration," the affidavit stated.

Meanwhile, the Kerala government acknowledged in an affidavit that neither the state nor any individual can claim any right over the huge wealth and also opposed the high court direction for display of the discovery at any public museum.

"The gold ornaments, precious stones, coins and other objects of value found in the cellars of Sree Padmananabha Swamy Temple belong to the temple. Nobody can lay any claim on them.

"As was the practice with the rulers of Travancore, much of their personal wealth and offerings by devotees went to the temple and the erstwhile state did not have any claim on it. Therefore, all the wealth now brought to light is temple property and should remain such within the temple itself. Taking them out and locating them elsewhere in safer places is neither advisable nor desirable," the affidavit filed by state counsel P V Dinesh stated.

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