Girl's visit to Sabarimala: Purification rituals to be held

Girl's visit to Sabarimala: Purification rituals to be held

Taking a serious view of the visit of chief priest's 11-year old daughter to the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple in violation of bar on entry of women in 10-50 age group, officials today decided to perform 'purificatory rituals' at the shrine at the expense of the priest himself.

A meeting of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) held here viewed the girl's visit to the famous hill shrine as a serious breach of tradition and also removed the temple Executive Officer from the post in connection with the incident.

It felt that the incident warranted conduct of 'parihara kriya' and 'suddhi kirya'(atonement and purificatory rituals), official sources said.

The TDB meeting, chaired by its President M P Govindan Nair, however, refrained from taking drastic action like dismissal of the chief priest (melsanthi), though certain quarters had demanded his removal before the expiry of his remaining tenure of six months.

Chief priest for the Sabarimala temple is appointed  for a period of one year just before the commencement of the annual pilgrimage season in October. As per the temple custom, he has to stay at the temple complex till his term is over.

The Sabarimala Special Commissioner, in his report submitted to the High Court earlier this week, stated that the girl had reached 'sannidhanam' (sanctum sanctorum) and offered prayers on April 17, violating temple traditions.

The report was drawn up based on a probe by the Vigilance Wing of the TDB, the sources said. The claim of Kannada film actress Jaimala that she had offered worship at the shrine of Lord Ayyappa in her prime youth had sparked a huge controversy about 10 years back.

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