TIRUPATI: Tirumala JEO KS Srinivasa Raju on Friday dismissed all allegations made against him by former chief priest of Venkateswara temple AV Ramana Deekshitulu as baseless. Speaking to the media at Tirumala, the JEO said by Lord’s grace, he has been working on the hill shrine for long and he is duty-bound to clear the air regarding allegations levelled against him. He said the renovation of Prasadam Potu was carried out only after taking the consent from Agama Advisor NAK Sunderavaradan and Tirumala Pedda Jeeyar Swamy.
“This was done keeping in view the safety of temple structure and Potu workers. After consulting the Agama stalwarts only, we had shifted Prasadam Potu to Padi Potu. During the period from December 9, 2017 to January 5, 2018 when the repairs were undertaken in Prasadam Potu, Annaprasadams were prepared in Padi Potu and Naivedyam was offered to the Lord as in 2001 and 2008 when similar renovation was carried out,” he explained.
The JEO said that even some works were not taken up, honouring the opinion of Ramana Deekshitulu. “No deviation has taken place in offering Naivedyam to the Lord as alleged by Ramana Deekshitulu. Even the Kainkaryam like Thomala and other sevas are being performed at the temple as per the tenets of Vaikhanasa Agama only,” he said.
‘No interference in religious matters’
Srinivasa Raju said they have never interfered in religious matters nor behaved with nonchalant attitude towards the priests and other staff engaged in temple rituals. “While taking up any development or renovation work related to the temple, we have approached Agama Advisors. We have five of them, including Sunderavaradan, Mohanarangacharyulu, Desikacharyulu, Jagannadhacharyulu apart from Ramana Deekshitulu,” he said.
With regard to the allegations about lack of safety for jewellery of Lord Venkateswara, the JEO said that every year TTD carries out verification of jewels for 20 days in Tirumala temple (in Vaikunta Dwaram). The verified jewels are entered in Thiruvabharanam register and the process in Agama jargon is called Jetti. “When the temple remains open for nearly 22-and-a-half-hours a day, with not less than 65,000 pilgrims having darshan of the Lord, the allegations on safety of jewels do not arise and are totally baseless,” the JEO said.
Plea to Deekshitulu
Appealing to former TTD priest Ramana Deekshitulu, the JEO urged him to put an end to the ruckus. “Respected Sri Ramana Deekshitulu Garu, you have served the Lord for so many decades. You have earned a lot of virtuous merit (Punya) through your service to Lord Venkateswara. Please avoid mudslinging and enjoy your retired life with peace and prosperity,” the JEO stated.He said everyone irrespective of their cadre and status are devotees of the Lord and playing with the sentiments of millions of people across the world is not correct.
“Just because you name or involve bigwigs in baseless allegations, they will not come true. I am once again appealing to you to stop this hullabaloo and avoid creating unnecessary panic or confusion among pilgrims,” he said.The JEO also appealed to the devotees of Lord Venkateswara across the world to stop paying attention to the issues which are not true.TTD Chief Engineer Chandrasekhar Reddy and other officials were also present at the news conference.