Thursday, April 3, 2008

Where Gods sell Goods….

I had a chance to visit Thirupporur Murugan Temple recently. For those who don’t know, Thirupporur is the holy place where Lord Muruga waged a war against the demon king Soorapadhman and killed him.

In Thamizh, ‘Thiru’ means sacred, ‘Por’ means war and ‘Oor’ means a place and thus the name Thirupporur formed. It is a very holy place and one can see pilgrims visiting this place from all parts of the country.

This temple also has a very vast pond called ‘Saravana Poigai’ adjacent to it. This is a very huge and also an ancient temple. The temple is built on a very vast area with huge pillars and ancient sculptures and carvings all over. Lord Muruga gives dharshan and blesses the devotees here.

One will take at least 45 minutes to go around the temples to have dharshan of various deities and to admire the architectural brilliance completely.

There is a magnificent Mandapam which has about 16 pillars, in front of the temple. There are lot of sculptures and images of Gods carved on all sides of the pillars.

It is our tradition (!?) to have lots of petty shops selling flowers, coconuts and fruits for the devotees to buy and offer to the Gods. Abiding by the tradition, one can see many such shops near the temple.

Most importantly, in such tourism spots one can see lots of platform shops selling balloons, sticker bindhis, plastic cricket bats and cheap goggles for kids, junk jewels and many other plastic items. Many such shops are available in plenty near this temple.

Next time when you visit the temple, even if you forget to visit the God, please don’t forget to visit these shops where you get such wonderful goods.

Need to know where to locate them????

It’s all right in front of the temple, inside this 16 pillared stone Mandapam. I think no authorities have stopped them from putting up shops there.

You know why? The shopkeepers seem to be more powerful than any other authorities. They have even tied the Gods on pillars, punishing them by making them display stands for their goods.

Where else you can find such an historic market where Lord Muruga is being tied up (arrested rather) in front of His own temple.

They didn’t leave the parents of Lord Muruga. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi are seen arrested that too during their Godly wedding ceremony itself.

In one of the pillars, Lord Muruga appears with his peacock (His carrier) and 4 hands holding His Godly weapons. May be He thought they will stop their act on seeing Him with weapons. He was in no way powerful than those shopkeepers. He too was tied on the pillar along with his peacock.

Again, this time, Lord Muruga had appeared with 6 faces (Sri Shanmugar) and 12 hands with weapons in all of them, trying to stop them from arresting Gods and making Gods as their slaves to sell junk goods. And Sri Shanmugar got it from them. He had been made the main display stand there.

I had to request the shopkeepers to remove a few items so that I can take a photograph of the poor Lord Shanmugar. They removed a few which helped me take a snap after which the items were hung covering Lord Shanmugar immediately. I thanked them for allowing me to have a special dharshan for a moment.

Forget the religious importance of the place. Isn’t it a historic monument? In today’s scenario, having all these so called technological advancements, constructing even a small house for ourselves has become so difficult and tedious.

Can any of these temple authorities at least think as to how long it will take to construct such a huge temple or what kind of time; efforts and money are required for it?

We are not kings of those days to build number of temples and monuments. And we can't do that too. When we can’t build up such treasure houses, is it not our responsibility to at least preserve those monuments, which stand testimony to our culture, tradition and heritage?

I know by pointing this out I may even be called as religious fundamentalist by those so called secularists. Why because I am trying to spoil the business (??) of many petty shop keepers who are dependant on their small income.

But is it fair that what we see?? Will any one allow any other such monument to be spoiled like this? Do the temple authorities really justify allowing such shops there?? Or is there no other space in Thirupporur for allotting to the petty shops??

Or have they left it to Lord Muruga to protect His own self?

Kaakka Kaakka Kanagavel Kaakka !