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Monday, July 4, 2011

The riches of Lord Padmanabha Swamy – they belong ONLY TO HIM.

Thiruvananthapuram  [Thiru Anantha Puram] – the holy abode of Sri Padmanabhaswamy sung by Saint Nammazhwar is in news as the count of its assets is flashed in all media.   The Lord Maha Vishnu is depicted in a reclining position over the serpent Anantha or Adi Sesha.   The Padmanabha swamy [lotus-navelled Lord] is  reclining ananthasayanam that  is so huge that one cannot have darshan of the Lord through a single gate.  It is said there are  12008 Saligramams brought specially from the  banks of the river Gandaki in Nepal.  It is stated that the  daily worship is with flowers and peacock feathers are used to remove the flowers ensuring  that nothing damages the idol.  Devotees have darshan of the Lord through three doors. 

At Thiruvananthapuram [called Trivandrum now], the King is called a "Padmanabha Dasa", or a "servant" of Vishnu. Adherents believe that it is actually Vishnu who rules the state of Tranvacore.  The temple is rich with lots of ornaments adding to the beauty of the Lord with many of those  parts cast in gold. 

Recently in  June 2011 a review of the temple's underground vaults, by a seven-member panel appointed by the Supreme Court of India, began. The present estimates suggested that the temple could be the richest in the world; unofficial estimates on the sixth day of the inventory placed the value of contents at close to  100,000 crore (US$22.3 billion). The local rulers (most recently the Travancore Maharajahs) had  sealed immense riches within the thick stone walls and vaults of the temple, over at least a millennium, as offerings to Lord Padmanabhan.  The stock-taking process was ordered by the Supreme Court following a petition by advocate T. P. Sundararajan over mismanagement of the temple affairs. Some of the list of gold inventory found in the temple include golden crowns, 17 kg of gold coins dating back to the East India Company period, gold in the shape of rice trinkets weighing one tonne, 18 ft long golden necklace weighing 2.5 kg, gold ropes, sack full of diamonds, thousands of pieces of antique jewellery studded with diamonds and emeralds, and golden vessels.   The treasure also  includes antique gold ornaments, diamonds and other precious stones, golden crown, golden bow, golden vessels, and other precious stones were found in the secret chambers (Nilavara in temple) of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.

Some of the chambers have remained shut for nearly a century and the inner recess of this chamber was believed to have previously been opened during the reign of Travancore ruler Sree Visakham Tirunal about 130 years back !

It is stated that going by evidences available in history, there  are six underground lockers at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, The temple was  the treasury-repository of the wealth of the erstwhile royal house of Tranvancore, which ruled in the name of the deity since 1750, when the then king, Marthanda Varma, declared himself and his descendants to be its servants. This position continued till 1947.  Even now, the head of the erstwhile royal family continues to be the official custodian.

Even as the count of treasure is getting estimated, there are some orchestrated opinion about the ownership of the treasure.  Can you imagine occurring elsewhere to any other property ! How preposterous to debate on whether it should be distributed or taken over by the Govt.  Whose money ?  Who deposited all these ?  For the benefit of whom ?? and who are to decide ???

How can one tend to forget that what was ordered was only inventory of the treasure and by no stretch of imagination – the ownership issue.  There cannot be any iota of doubt that all the wealth belong ONLY TO HIM – LORD PADMANABHA.    It is HIS money offered by devotees over the years and kept properly by the Kings – who had become dasas of Padmanabha.  Where non-believers rule, temple properties have been looted and local politicians are enjoying [abusing and misusing the temple property for their personal gains].  How can others decide on what needs to be done with the funds of Lord.  

Some will try to propagate an argument that the Temple does not need so much funds.  Who are these people to decide – how much is needed.  If this is the line of thinking, can people with conscience tell that whether they are right in keeping the money that they have, assuming that it was properly earned and accounted for.  When it comes to individuals, they want money, they want their wealth to remain with them for generations.  If there can be a limit to riches, thousands of people – politicians, bureaucrats, industrialists, administrators, traders, professionals can squander major part of their wealth for the welfare of the money.  Why should political parties have huge amounts of money – after there has to be a limit for them as well.  Similarly the theory that Archaeological Dept can take over is also absurd.  It is not a treasure unearthed from the ground – it is the riches, the offerings of the Devotees  guarded in the temple precincts for use of Lord.  

The Govt. tries to dole out benefits to remain in power – the budget is an exercise in watering some political projects at the governance cost.  

Nobody has the right to infringe and determine what the money of the Lord needs to be done.  It is temple money – the riches of Lord, provided over the year by His devotees.  How can non-believers and those practising others expect a share in the revenue of Lord ?   Just like the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam, the administrators of Padmanabha Swamy Temple can plan more facilities for the devotees at the temple, creating better infrastructure, maintaining the temple in a better manner, providing facilities to those visit the temple.  

They can also think of building hospitals, Educational institutions and other public amenities all in the name of Lord and maintained only  by believers understanding at every point of time that these are the monies of Lord.  Temple money can only be used for temple purposes and propagating religion.  It can be utilised for maintenance of some other temples, where administration and maintenance suffers for want of money.    
Recorded evidence suggests that the tax collected from people went into the tax treasury, and the presents, tributes to the Lord and possibly the wealth accumulated by winning battles, went into the temple treasury. 'Mathilakom' (related to the Padmanabhaswamy Temple) documents clearly state that tax treasury was called 'karuvalam' and temple treasury was 'ituveippu'. According to those who were involved in the temple affairs there is clear history that money belongs to the temple and the  treasury was different those times.  Therefore,the money should not be given out. "It is legally and morally wrong to take the money out of the temple. It should be preserved’.   

Are there not other Religious Institutions, so called Educational houses, Political parties and others – who are rich beyond measure..  has there been at any point of time, opinion that the money should go to the Govt. or be distributed ?  Will anybody come to say that an individual does not need wealth beyond a point say 50 lakhs and any money above this from him should become a National treasure.. but when it comes to Temple property, free opinions galore.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

6 comments:

  1. Well Said Sir, I agree with you. Govt or others especially non-believers have no right to suggest what can be done with the money - Parasuram

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  2. The useless Reds and Greens and others are eyeing the riches and are so much after the money. They never had any values and now will try to usurp the funds of the Lord which can be used only for him - Prakash

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  3. In the recent past the so called champions of black money speaking so ferociously involving crores of people to pressure the Govt to make legislation so cruel as death penalty to the offender but their reactions are found no such outbursts when lacs and lacs crores worth of gold,precious items and cash is unearthed in various temples unused and lying as dump.May they tell us how much is that is in black or in white. Why they have become suddenly dumb and awestruck.Do not they feel they are answerable to people of India. Why at all this money is not to put to use for which it was delivered to them and many more questions they definitely need to explain

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  4. Well written article !

    When it comes a Hindu temple especially, it becomes a charitable institution for the poor and the money deposited by pious devotees is used for state-run schemes. Its such a pity ! But what bothers me more is that we as Hindus never take any step to protect our cultural heritage and give in to the pressures of non-believers.

    It is obviously the property of the temple and by all means it should remain in the temple under tight security.

    Though I agree the inventory is a good thing because had the temple management gone under the control of Govt., half of this would have disappeared with the knowledge of public.

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