THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Singer K J Yesudas has approached the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple authorities seeking permission to offer prayers at the temple. Yesudas’ request along with a declaration stating he is a believer of Hindu faith was handed to temple executive officer V Ratheesan by a special messenger the other day.
The letter has not mentioned the specific date on which the singer wants to visit the temple. Nonetheless, the messenger has said Yesudas will like to offer prayers on September 30 Vijayadashami day.
The temple authorities said the singer will be granted permission as he has fulfilled the criterion for non-Hindus, ie, to submit the declaration. A final decision on Yesudas’ plea will be taken at the meeting of temple administration committee scheduled for this week.
It is mandatory for non-Hindu devotees to submit a signed declaration stating they believe in Hindu faith and will abide by the temple customs. This restriction is mostly enforced in the case of non-Hindu foreign nationals who want to visit the temple. Though native non-Hindus too are obliged to do this, the temple authorities said they rarely received such applications.
Yesudas is well known for his affinity towards Hindu shrines. Every year, he visits the Kollur Mookambika temple in neighbouring Karnataka on January 10 - his birthday - and attends a concert in his honour.
He also makes annual visit to the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple after observing the customary 41-day penance. Yesudas’ rendition of the divine lullaby ‘Harivarasanam’ is played at the Sabarimala temple every night.
Yesudas’ soulful rendering of songs praising Lord Krishna of Guruvayur is immensely popular and the temple management’s denial of permission to the singer to visit the temple had kicked up a row on numerous occasions. The first instance of the singer being barred entry into Guruvayur occurred in the 1960s when Yesudas was denied permission to accompany his mentor, the late, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar to offer a concert at the temple. Angered by the ill-treatment meted out to his protege, Chembai took Yesudas to the nearby Parthasarathi temple where the duo sang together.
Earlier, G Sudhakaran during his tenure as Devaswom Minister had called for enacting a legislation to facilitate Yesudas’s entry into Guruvayur temple. Yesudas is also a regular visitor to the famed Pazhavangady Sree Maha Ganapathi temple in the capital.