Alappuzha: The tantric rights at Sabarimala Temple are passed on down the generations and the ‘tantris’ are not appointed by the Travancore Devaswom Board, according to the Thazhamon Math, which has been holding the hereditary tantri post for years.
“The board can in no way question the authority of the tantri. The allowances given to the tantri for his services at the temple are ‘dakshina’ (gift) and not salary,” said the Math.
"Several news items have been appearing in the media regarding the tantri recently. Many of them are misleading. In fact, Thazhamon Math was given the tantric rights of the Sabarimala Temple back in the year 100 BC by Sage Parasurama. Till 55 AD, the Math was situated at Nilakkal,” said the Math.
“Tantri is the final authority regarding the rituals and traditions of each temple. The rules to be followed at a temple are based on the belief associated with the idol. All these aspects are decided according to Kerala’s own tantric methods and the knowledge passed by the Gurus. So, deep learning is required to understand all this,” it continued.
According to the Math, the Supreme Court, in several judgments, has established the supremacy of the tantris in temple rituals. “When the government authorities issue baseless statements, the sentiments of the Math are hurt deeply,” added the Thazhamon family.
Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran had recently remarked that the Board had the powers to sack the tantri as well as appoint him. “The tantri has to consult the Board before conducting purification rituals, which violate the law dealing with untouchability,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Board sought an explanation from the tantri for closing the temple following the entry of two young women. A notice served on him by the Board Commissioner was handed over by the executive officer. The tantri has been asked to file a reply by January 21.