Book resurrects 1,000-year-old ritual in Melkote temple

Melkote’s Cheluvanarayanaswamy Temple follows a ritual of worship that turns a 1,000 years old this year.

Published: 20th May 2017 04:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th May 2017 04:51 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Melkote’s Cheluvanarayanaswamy Temple follows a ritual of worship that turns a 1,000 years old this year. To mark this occasion, a book written by Dr. Choodamani Nandagopal in association with Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts was released recently.

Titled ‘Ritual Enactment in Temple Tradition’ it elaborates on the different rituals and traditions followed even today in this temple where three empires -- Hoysala, Vijayanagar and Wodeyar -- worshipped.

The author, a art historian, says that she has been interested in this subject for the last 30 years. This former Academic Head of IGNCA Southern Regional Centre adds that she has been researching in different areas and one of them was temple culture and tradition. “IGNCA has given me a lot of support,” she says. “It furthers art and culture by focussing on research and documentation.”

The millenium-old tradition in Cheluvanarayanasvami Temple was started by Sri Ramanujacharya, the 11th C philosopher and exponent of Vishishtadvaita.

A large part of Choodamani’s research was done over three years, 2005 to 2007. The book details on the ritual that lasts for a year and it took her two more years -- between 2015 and 2017 -- to complete this. It is complete with a DVD that runs for one-hour showing the different rituals in the temple.

The origin of this ritual system can be traced back to Pancharatra Agama, a central text to Sri Ramanujacharya’s philosophy.

The ritual has 64 variations and each has its own objective and chants. To name a few there are Vedic chants, Alvar chanting and Sangeeta Ramayana (in the form of music).

Choodamani believes that rituals must be preserved as intangible heritage. “Heritage is tangible and intangible,” she says. “Tangible includes architectural structures and intangible includes rituals and chanting. If there are no rituals, then temples themselves start to lose their meaning. They are reduced to a structure.”

Stay up to date on all the latest Bengaluru news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.