The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) which manages the Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala on Monday reiterated its “commitment” to ensure that temple traditions are not tampered with.
Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan said temple rituals were followed based on the will of the deity and could not be governed with a common set of rules.
Gopalakrishnan’s remark came after a meeting of tantris (head priests) of TDB-run temples held here. The ban on entry to women aged between 10 and 50 years to Sabarimala was a key point of debate at the meeting.
“The deity at the temple is a yogi in sadhna. The ban on entry of women in the 10-50 years age group is part of a tradition followed for decades…all the tantris have maintained that the tradition couldn’t be altered. The Board has the same opinion,” Gopalakrishnan told Deccan Herald.
The TDB president said all temples under the Board would, on March 7, organise a prarthana yagna, seeking a “change of heart” among people who demand entry of all women to the temple.
“We hope to send out a message that temple rituals should be left as they are,” Gopalakrishnan said. The Board which is a respondent in an ongoing case in connection with the issue in the Supreme Court will convey the tantris’ take on the matter to the apex court.
The state government has repeatedly said that it would form its response based on opinions of the tantris and believers.