NEW DELHI:Travancore Devaswom Board on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it is because of the nature of presiding deity at the temple, women in the menstruating age are not allowed inside.This comes day after the land’s highest court had observed that women have the right to enter and pray like men at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for the temple board said that the basis of the Sabarimala Temple’s practice is related to the celibate form of the deity who is a Naishtika Brahmachari.
“This is the only temple in the world that had this custom. It is the collective belief of the believers and pilgrims that this is necessary for the purity of the idol and not women,” Singhvi told the five-judge constitution bench that’s headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
For this, Chief Justice Dipak Misra, replied, “They (women) believe in Sabarimala and observed that there are many Jagannath temples but thousands of people throng Puri.”Singhvi responded by saying that if they indeed believe in the deity in Sabarimala, they must respect the traditions of the temple and observe its practices. “It is a devotion that makes a devotee visit a temple. So the onus is on those to justify who have restricted the entry of women, “ observes the CJI while slating the hearing for July 24.
Board further said, “These women can enter 99% of other Ayyappa temple. Why is it that they want to enter Sabrimala?” CJI remarked, “Because they (women) believe in it.”Advocate P V Surendranath, appearing for the All India Democratic Women’s Association, said discrimination based on sex is against dignity.Amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran said the protection against untouchability should be interpreted to include any exclusion based on impurity or pollution.
“If excluding women is based on menarche, its basis is impurity. Then the effect is same as in the case of Dalits,” he said.Senior advocate Jaideep Gupta appearing for Kerala government supported the petitioners in the case and said, “Ultimately, what this court should consider is only the custom is and strike it down.”
The court is hearing the contentious issue relating to the ban on entry of menstruating women between 10 and 50 years of age inside the 800-year-old temple.
Kalabhabhishekam performed for deity at the ayyappa temple
Sabarimala: On the third day of the Malayalam month of Karkidakom on Thursday, Kalabhabhishekam was offered at the Lord Ayyappa temple here. Thantri Mahesh Mohanaru performed Brahmakalsa pooja in the presence of melsanthi Unnikrishnan Nampoothiri at the mandapam at 10 am.
Kalabhabhishekam was performed during Uchcha pooja after the procession carrying the Brahmakalsam led by the thantri circumambulating the sreekovil. Laksharchana will be performed on Friday.As part of the ritual, the thantri will perform Brahmakalsa pooja in the presence of the melsanthi at the mandapam at 6 am after Ganapathi homam. On conclusion of the pooja, the thantri will lead the team of scholars in chanting Vedic mantras. The ritual will conclude with Kalasabhishekam during Uchcha pooja. Udayasthamana pooja, Padi pooja and Pushpabhishekam will be conducted.
The hill shrine will be closed on July 21, marking the conclusion of the five-day monthly poojas, after Athazha pooja and Harivarasanam. Sahasrakalasam, Kalabhabhishekam and Laksharchana will be performed on the concluding day.