[Advaita-l] Temple Worship by all

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 1 16:52:49 CDT 2010

There are specific rules laid down in the Shruti and Smriti that only Brahmins should officiate as priests in Yajnas and Homas. But are there similar commands laid down in the scriptures (in the Agamas for instance) that only Brahmins can perform priestly temple worship?

I got this question when I was reading about saint Kannappa, who though born as a hunter, worshipped in a Shiva temple where a Brahmin was the "official" priest. Is this story not evidence that all castes are permitted to **physically worship** in the temples? I'm not talking about mental devotion alone, but also things like performing Abhishekam, Aradhana etc.

If one claims that "Kannappa was a great saint and hence an exception to the general rule", I must point out that it was Thinnan (Kannappa's name before Shiva appeared before him) who began worship at the Shiva temple. Thinnan was only a hunter who perchance happened upon a Shiva temple and then began his Sadhana of worshipping the Shiva Linga on a regular basis.

Ramana Maharshi was very attracted to the story of Kannappa and has narrated it on occasion.



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