10 November 2007

Outside Big Temple

Today I was supposed to meet Thiagaraja Gurukkal Elavarasu Pattam (family head and a senior priest at Arunachaleswarar Temple) so he could relate stories his father told him about Sri Seshadri Swamigal who lived and died in a room belonging to the family. Nowadays the room is being used as a video/music cassette shop and its virtually impossible to imagine it was the hallowed home of such a renowned Saint.

Anyhow the priest had to postpone our programme till next week, so I was left feeling rather disappointed nearby Arunachaleswarar Temple. So I decided to have a dosai breakfast and then wander about.

A deepam outside the main Gopuram is kept alight by pilgrims visiting the Temple.

Two hundials (boxes for offerings) stand outside the Temple gate - doubtlessly they are emptied every evening. I was told by a Trustee of a private Temple at Arunachala that private Temples have to be careful about soliciting offerings (such as by using hundials) - as they don't want to compromise their independent status and get taken over through the use of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Act, by which Hindu temples and Maths are taken over by State Governments in the name of better administration. Most large Temples at Tiruvannamalai have in fact already lost their independent status under the Act.

Outside the Temple bamboo frameworks are being covered with awnings in preparation of the HUGE crowds that will come to Tiruvannamalai to celebrate Deepam.

Life outside the main gate of Arunachaleswarar Temple continues peacefully and much the same as it has for hundreds of years.

The next generation seems ready to take over the family Temple business!


Divya said...

Sorry you could not meet the priest but happy to get the consolation prize of the sweet photos of the simple life around the temple! ;-)

Arunachala Living said...

Love that Temple.