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Big temple debate begins

THE ASIAN AGE. | G SRINIVASAN
Published : Jan 24, 2020, 2:49 am IST
Updated : Jan 24, 2020, 2:49 am IST

Interestingly, they say Devaram and Thirumurais also mention about these agamas which existed even before they were sung by Nayanmars.

Many of them who want to be anonymous, in view of not getting into controversy, said there are 28 agamas according to which consecration should be done to Saivite temples and two agamas for Vaishnavite temples.
 Many of them who want to be anonymous, in view of not getting into controversy, said there are 28 agamas according to which consecration should be done to Saivite temples and two agamas for Vaishnavite temples.

Thanjavur: Even as the demand for conducting the consecration of Big Temple here, scheduled to be held on February 5 as per Tamil tradition and by uttering Tamil mantras, is getting louder, temple researchers, archakas and some former HR & CE officials are in support of conducting the consecration only as per agamas. They also cite manuscripts in Saraswathi Mahal library here in support of their views.

Many of them who want to be anonymous, in view of not getting into controversy, said there are 28 agamas according to which consecration should be done to Saivite temples and two agamas for Vaishnavite temples.

These agamas are specific to temples and they stipulate how all aspects of the temple should be decided, for example, starting from land selection for construction of temple, measurements of the temple, measurements of principal deities at the sanctum sanctorum, pujas to be performed, consecration to be done and festivals to be conducted.

Interestingly, they say Devaram and Thirumurais also mention about these agamas which existed even before they were sung by Nayanmars. "Manickavasagar in Thiruvasagam describes lord as "Agamamai nindru andripan" (He is in the form of agamas). Thirumathiram says that if these agamas are violated, it will be danger to the king, government, country and people. There will not be rain if agamas are violated, says Thirumoolar who wrote Thirumathiram," said an epigraphist and temple researcher.

"We are not against Tamil. We love Tamil. But agamas should be followed with respect to temples built by Chola kings and where Devarams and Thirumurais are sung," the archakas said. There are nearly 3,000 Chola temples in Tamil Nadu. The high court also has given an order that agamas should not be violated in these temples. Tamil was used for consecration only in some newly constructed temples, they say. Tamil guidelines should be framed before violating agamas, they said.

According to a source at Thanjavur Rajah Serfoji Saraswathi Mahal Library here,  German scholar A.C.Burnel has catalogued Sanskrit manuscripts which say Big temple has been built as per Mahudamam.  

Thanjavur people who witnessed two consecrations, one in 1980 and another in 1997, said that there were no such demands in those old times that consecration should be done as per Tamil tradition.

Tags: tamil tradition