25 June 2020
NO SHOES INSIDE HINDU TEMPLE-
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS ORDER
I was recently sharing my belief that we needed a boundary wall around our family temple to preserve its positive Energy from youth who reject our rules and occupy the temple premises to chat and relax. It took us a long time to educate them that it was private property with its own structures as developed by us and not ‘free’ to be used by anyone as they pleased. This was necessary for them to respect each other’s homes as ‘private’ and not free public. From time to time I felt the message from the Divine power which I believed protected me and guided me – include when local leaders overrode my instructions. Once when they installed a tap as per their convenience, out of our funds but in breach of my instructions , I cried – and complained to the spirit of my grandmother from whom we inherited the temple. The following morning the daughter of the person in charge said to me over the phone that her mother had gone to the hospital because the mother’s hand which was wounded and healed years before had swollen without any apparent reason. Hence the daughter was fearful that her mother was doing something wrong. As explanation of how that was indicated the daughter said that there was a snake that had wound itself around the Thiruvaasi (the aura plate behind the deity). I immediately connected it to my prayers to my grandmother. Since the daughter was honest with me – I said not to worry – but to pray to Nagapooshani Amman – recognized largely through Nagapooshani Amman temple in Nainativu in Northern Sri Lanka. The daughter said later that she had done so and the snake quietly went away.
The parallel of the above is swearing instead of affirming when taking an oath. I myself learnt from my mother about the faith of Mrs Sri Khanta – wife of former Government Agent of Jaffna. According to that legend, the lady had an indicator at the temple - before they knew officially that Mr Sri Khanta was succeeding to that position. Back then that position including governing powers. Their daughter in law Mrs Chitra Sri Khanta continued to demonstrate her belief in that shrine in many ways – including special donations. I had the good fortune to become the connecting medium when I regularly visited Jaffna. I believe that by respecting Mr & Mrs Sri Khanta who by structure were our family seniors, I also inherited their belief in Mother Nagapooshani. On that basis, once when I was taking photos inside the temple which was then not prohibited – my camera battery lost power. I took that as an order – not to take photos within the temple. From that day onwards I stopped taking photos inside any temple. Now I keep that as a lesson that if we use our Energy to show – there is less to Feel.
Today when I read the Economy Next report ‘Inquiry into alleged desecration of the Nagapooshani Amman temple in Nainativu, I felt disturbed. I was disturbed similarly in 2006 when I felt that Thruketheeswaram temple access was being taken over by Military. I then wrote to Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa. The letter is published by Lanka web under the heading ‘THIRUKETHEESWARAM TEMPLE ACCESS UNDER MILITARY CONTROL’.
As per the Economy Next report:
[The Prime MInister’s Office has ordered an inquiry into an incident that happened last week at the historic Nainativu Nagapooshani Amman Temple on Nainativu island where some police and military personnel allegedly entered the temple wearing their boots.
…. Speaking to EconomyNext, former TNA MP Mavai Senathiraja said that police and military personnel had entered the temple premises without removing their footwear last Saturday (20 June) which the first day of the annual flag-raising ceremony.]
This would not have happened at Nallur temple where the Temple Administrators are highly orderly. Whenever I saw army personnel within Nainativu Nagapooshani Amman Temple, they were without not only shoes but also shirts – as per the rules of traditional Hindu temples. Obviously, these officers were assuming war-mode due to their empowerment through Covid19 crisis.
Unless therefore there was evidence of Terrorism inside the temple – the army has ‘invaded’ Hindu shrine by using military power.
The above happened on 20 June. On 23 June, the President’s attitude towards Buddhist culture is confirmed as follows:
President wants media to help preserving national identity and Cultural values
[……President Gotabaya Rajapaksa highlighted the necessity of right media practice that helps preserving Sri Lankan identity and cultural values.
He made this comment during a progress review meeting with the Independent Television Network(ITN) at the Presidential Secretariat today(June 23).
The changes that should be made to create a new television culture incorporated with the state of the art technology and the requirement of programs to improve knowledge were discussed at this meeting. Majority of the people accepted the National Policy Framework; ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’ presented during the Presidential election campaign. The President stated that he does not want media to promote his personal image. “What I expect is to take to the people, the vision enshrined in the policy framework, which my government is committed to execute” President added.]
There was no emphasis on ensuring that separation between Buddhist culture and non-Buddhist culture is highlighted. Buddhists have to have external/intellectual knowledge of the rules of other cultures. In Buddhist temples Hindu deities are demigods, whereas they are Presiding deities in their respective Hindu temples. Unless the army were Christians – their respect for their own religion would have influenced them to enter a shrine without shoes. Once when I was waiting for clearance to board the plane from Colombo to Jaffna, I happened to lean against the wall around a bo-tree. I was asked by an Army officer not to do that. I complied. I expect the Army officers not to lean on temple walls, leave alone not to wear shoes inside Hindu temples in Sri Lanka. I expect the current government to give form to this right to be respected on equal basis.