[Advaita-l] Temple Worship by all

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 3 14:02:15 CDT 2010

--- On Thu, 6/3/10, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 7:09 AM, S
> Jayanarayanan <sjayana at yahoo.com>
> wrote:
> > -
> >
> > ---
> >
> > Note the phrase, "The way in which the ordained
> priest, Siva Gochariar,
> > resented the intruding defiler of the sacred Sivalinga
> was so
> > characteristically brought out by Bhagavan...". Ramana
> Maharshi narrates
> > just how shocked the Brahmin priest was by the
> "impure" activities of
> > Thinnan as a study in contrast. In other words, it is
> not that Thinnan had
> > made a mistake by his worship, but because he was
> performing worship at a
> > **higher** level than the priest! Thinnan's worship
> with meat, water from
> > the mouth, etc. had the approval of Ramana Maharshi.
> >
> Surely, no one would accuse Thinnan of making a mistake by
> that kind of
> worship
> but certainly no one would recommend everyone else to
> follow such a kind of
> worship.  Even in Thinnan's case, it was
> spontaneous. 

My point precisely. There is really no disapproval of such a "spontaneous" temple worship, as you call it. Again, I must point out that I'm referring to Thinnan's case, before he became Kannappa.

This is unlike the express prohibition of any kind of priestly activity in Yajnas and Homas by those who are not Dvijas. Some castes can participate in a Yajna as non-priests, but I think Thinnan would be considered an outcaste and cannot even participate in a Yajna.

I agree with you that certainly no one would recommend everyone else to follow such a kind of worship!


> > For one thing, it was a theoretical question - whether
> or not temple
> > worship in the physical sense of Abhishekam, Aradhana,
> etc. was forbidden to
> > castes other than Brahmins as per the scriptures. I
> still haven't received
> > an answer for this.
> >
> > Secondly, there are many temples where priests are not
> Brahmins that even I
> > personally am aware of (surmise there should be dozens
> if not hundreds of
> > such temples in reality). There are Shiva linga
> shrines around the
> > Arunachala mountain where the priests are not
> Brahmins. I also know of a
> > Vishnu temple in South India where the priest is not a
> Brahmin. I was
> > wondering what the scripture says about priestly
> worship in such temples.
> >
> I have myself seen several Amman temples where the priests
> are not
> brahmins.  In some places the priest is even a
> woman.The Temple at
> Melmaruvathur in the outskirts of Chennai is owned and
> worshiped by a
> popular male called 'Amma'.  He is not a
> brahmin.  Yet the temple has a very
> large following including brahmins.  I doubt if these
> temples, which do have
> a large following/patronage, have the Agamic
> approval. 

The converse question is more pertinent - do all of these temples have Agamic disapproval?




More information about the Advaita-l mailing list