12 September 2009

We Need A Plan

The photograph in this posting is an aerial view of Tirupati which is home to the most famous and busiest Temple in the world – Sri Venkateshwara Temple (Balaji) which is situated in the Chittoor District of southern Andhra Pradesh.

The name Tirupati (i.e. the Lord of Lakshmi) is assigned to the Municipal town at the foot of the Hill, while the village around the Hill near the Balaji Temple is called Tirumala (the Sacred Hill).

The twelve Temples and their sub-shrines of the Tirumala-Tirupati area are maintained by the the TTD (Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam) which employs about 14,000 people. Its declared responsibility is to provide facilities for pilgrims, preserve the serenity and sanctity of the Tirumala-Tirupati area and also to facilitate schemes and activities designed to improve conditions for the people of the area.

Right click for enlargement

Tirupati is a shining example of how communality of thinking for the welfare of an area and its implementation through an efficient and dedicated organisation can have truly wonderful results.

One hopes that through the inspiration of Arunachala, decision making positions of this area will be increasingly filled by righteous Siva devotees who understand the importance of preserving the sanctity of this area. Particularly by addressing the problems of granite quarrying and dynamiting in residential and agricultural areas, sand quarrying at Samudram Erie and Eries (lakes) around the Hill, land grabbing with ensuing speculation and development, rampant inflation, noise and plastic pollution and lack of a unified vision in the expansion of Tiruvannamalai and its surrounds.


Anonymous said...

The Vaishno Devi Temple is like that too. The Shrine Board is in charge of everything - the maintenance of temples, the path, the coolies, donkeys, pujas, helicopters, security, everything.

Too bad the shrine board came into criticism recently because of government interference but the will of the Devi prevailed.

I hope Arunachala mountain is declared a UNESCO heritage site and like you wrote, all development is put in the hands of Siva devotees who don't have profit as their vision.

Grasshopper said...

The Mountain, I think, is far far beyond all this. I have seen photographs of the bare Arunachala, during Ramana's time, when there were hardly any trees, and I could feel a raw power emanating from the picture itself.
And Siva's devotees are all types, all sorts, aren't they?
So although I agree with this post, I don't really see it happening.
There is a certain freedom in the air here. And the winds favor the wayward lot. :)

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Dear Grasshopper:

Agree that all this is totally irrelevant as far as Arunachala is concerned -- as if it needs anything from us!

"Sri Siva said:

Let this perpetual and immobile Fiery Form of mine, famous as Arunadri, be present here forever.

Even at the close of the Yugas the great oceans shall not submerge it, the winds shall not shake it and the fires shall not burn it. (28)

Skanda Purana

My sadness is how WE are defiling the greatest manifestation of sanctity on earth.

Its is the Kali Age. And the people with the power to make decisions -- instead of protecting and preserving the serenity and beauty of this place, are the very people responsible for its rapid debasement.

The story of man on earth. The unbridled and unprincipled wanton defilement currently underway is our disgrace and our shame.

Anonymous said...

Agree all these don't matter to Arunachala. But they to us. It will make our stay more comfortable.

While we are on this subject, I also think an "Arunachala Development Authority" or an "Arunachala Mountain Shrine Board" should control how many people come to Tiruvannamalai and do the Girivalam, like they do in Vaishno Devi. You need tokens to climb that mountain.