'Kannada pooja' concept gaining popularity

Digadakote Narayanachar, who chanted Vedic hymns during American President Barack Obama’s visit to a temple during Deepavali, is also a Kannada priest!

Hiremagalur Kannan who took Kannada into the sanctum sanctorum of temples and the hearts of devotees, shared his views with Deccan Herald in the backdrop of Kannada Rajyotsava.

“Tamil is my mother tongue. But Kannada is the language that is close to my heart. I have studied Kannada literature with a lot of interest. I wondered at the amazing capacity of Kannada language. The Vedic hymns have been efficiently translated to Tamil. After learning how effective will be the mantras if chanted in people’s mother tongue, I concentrated on that venture,” he said.

He informed that poojas are being held in Kodandaramachandra Temple in Hiremagalur since 1970. Savyasachi Swamiji began Kannada poojas here which became popular after 1980.

Kannan felt that there is no harm to the ‘power’ of Sanskrit hymns when they are translated to Kannada. “Narayanachar even conducts poojas, marriage and vratas in English. Devotion from heart is significant to the power of hymns. Though many don’t understand Kannada, God understands all languages,” he said.

He further said that the devotion and love for the almighty increases when people understand the meaning of hymns. “How many people have realised the universal structure of ‘purusha’ after chanting ‘Purushasukta’? Instead of chanting that sukta mechanically, if one studies the Kannada Purushasukta written by DVG or Kuvempu, he will get a different bliss altogether. Kannada and Sanskrit are complementary to each other,” Kannan explained.

When asked whether the Orthodox people agree with the system of Kannada pooja, he said “I don’t know whether they agree or not but the devotees of Kodandarama agree. Almost all seers of different communities have visited the temple. Including Poornachandra Thejaswi, a number of litterateurs, rationalists and traditionalists have listened to the Kannada hymns here. Even those who don’t believe in god too have felt happy with the Kannada verses. Kannada pooja is being conducted in many houses too.”

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