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Dhikshitars of Chidambaram are also Tamil Brahmins too

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I suspect that the members of Tamilbrahmins.com are more 'secular' than being Tamil Brahmins. If it was not, they would have raised their voice against the 'ayogyathanam' of the DMK, PMK and other atheists outfits desecrating Chitrambalam around Sivarathri day. After Kanchi Acharya's persecution on Deepavali day and after the EVR's statue and the subsequent bombing of Sankara Matams in Salem and Mylapore this Dhikshitar's persecution on Mahasivarathri day is a continuum in the persecution of Hindus particularly the Brahmins in Tamilnadu. Just want to let fellow Tamil Brahmins know of this!
Chidambaram Temple Recent Incident

This is with reference to the imbroglio over "worshipping" in Chidambaram Temple. The 'Dikshithars' of Chidambaram have traditional rights over the customs and rituals for centuries since time immemorial, similar to that of the traditional priests of Puri Jagannath Temple, and only a few such Temples are there in India and Thiruchendhur Senthil Andavar (Murugan) Temple is also one among them. Singing of Tamil Hymns has been going on in all the Temples of Tamil Nadu, and the 'Dikshithars' have been doing that themselves inside the Chidambaram Temple, even from the special "Chitrambalam Stage" regularly. For other singers, they allow from anywhere else except from inside the Sanctum Sanctorum and the special stage, fearing that they might lose their other traditional rights one by one, if once compromised. Their fear is justified when the mentality of the 'Atheist Dravidian Rulers' and other Dravidian politicians and their perennial interference in Temple affairs, showing scant regard to culture, history & tradition, is taken into consideration.

Centuries old historic traditions have to be respected and they cannot be compromised just for the sake of a few individuals. Even the Kings of Sangam period and medieval period have respected the Chidambaram Temple's traditions and accepted the rights of the Dikshithars, which have been sanctioned by none other than the Lord Shiva himself. The History tells us that the composers of Thevaram, the Prime Nayanmars (Trinity of Appar, Sundarar & Sambandar) have also respected the Temple traditions showing utmost regards to the Dikshithars. Once, when Raja Raja Chola went to Chidambaram Temple in search of the original manuscripts (Palm Leaf inscriptions) of "Thevaram" as per the findings of "Nambiandar Nambi" through none other than Lord Ganesha, he wisely arranged for the procession of the idols of the three Nayanmars, when the Dikshithars demanded their presence to open the stock room where the manuscripts were stored. This made the 'Dikshithars' to yield to his Bakthi, devotion and his interests on giving this world the timeless treasure of Thevarams. That being the case, the adamancy of Arumuga Odhuvar is unwarranted and uncalled for.

As the administration is traditionally run by the Dikshithars for ages, the HR & CE department has no authority to interfere in it and it is very unfortunate that the Madras High Court without proper application of mind directed the HR & CE to set right the issue. While the Court had erred inadvertently, the atheist Dravidian government, which always finds sadistic pleasure in interfering in Temple affairs, issued the order binding the Dikshithars, without even attempting to solve the issue through dialogue.

Arumuga Odhuvar should have exhibited his true devotion by singing the hymns from 'Artha Mandapam' for which the Dikshithars have not objected. Instead he yielded to the nefarious designs of DK & VCK thugs and brought disgrace upon himself through the politicization of the issue. It is also totally unfair on the part of the police to allow the atheists like DK and VCK cadres to enter the temple. Utilizing this opportunity, the Dravidian Politicians will come out hammer & tongues with their divisive agenda of anti-Sanskrit and anti-Brahmin Aryan-Dravidian nonsense. It would be wise and prudent on the part of the people of Tamil Nadu to ignore such divisive forces with utmost contempt and stay united in the service of God. Language should be used to unite the people, but not to divide them. The DK / DMK, which do not have the courage to enforce Tamil Prayers in Mosques, have been using Tamil Chauvinism to spoil the culture, peace & unity of Tamill Hindus..

courtesy from:

Chdambaram Temple.

Entire trouble in Chidambaram Temple looks instigated for some reason by vested interests. Because this temple follows unique system of chanting Vedic and Saivaite Tamil Hymns. Perhaps this is the only known Siva Temple which does not follow Siva Agama system of Temple rituals that all other Siva Temples follow. Here the Pooja involves a combination of abhishekas to the crystal Lingam and Deeparadana to Lord Nataraja and Devi Sivakami amidst the chanting of Vedic and Tamil Hymns. It is believed that this unique Puja procedure was initiated none other than Sage Patanjali himself and being followed till date by the Podu Dikshadars. It is believed that the Tamil word "Koil" refers to this Temple only.

Now that the differences are amicably settled by the Dikshadars and Oduvar, I hope there is no place for others to cause further trouble.

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1. The Chidambaram issue is an old one which was not resolved earlier. The Bhakthas are happy if it has been resolved.

2. This has nothing to do with the Brahmin community as a whole. The political parties of Tamil Nadu have hijacked an issue which is one of belief.

3. The question of whether the courts can hear or arbitrate on such complaints has been under discussion for a long time now.

I would like to bring to the attention of our members certain legal issues and developments which are pertinent to this.

The ownership of the temples was a big issue at the time of accession of the states. The former kings claimed ownership of all the temples. It was decided that the public temples will be treated as Public property. Some of the kings were given private ownership of some temples. The Padmanabhaswamy temple was considered the private property of the Maharaja of Travancore.

About other temples the general opinion was that all temples are Public property.

After independence a number of cases have been filed before the courts regarding the ownership of the temples and their property. Most of these cases were files by Brahmins and maths for control of the temples. Many cases have reached the supreme court especially where there was a dispute over the ownership.

Some of the notable cases involving famous temples are:

1.Vaishno Devi: This was under the control of the Brahmin Pandas. The Bhakthas were facing hardship in worshipping. When Sri. Jagmohan was the governor of the state, the entire administration was reorganized and put in charge of a committee. The temple has grown by leap and bounds. You will not find a single devotee who sheds any tears for the old Brahmin Pandas.

2. Panduranga temple at Pandharpur: A couple of decades back, devotees used to wonder when the temple will be freed from the clutches of the Badves ( the Brahmin Priests). After a protracted legal tangle, the temple administration has been reconstituted and now the devotee can have Dharshan peacefully. The Badves get a share of the income under this arrangement.

3. Kalighat Kali temple: Still under the control of the Haldars. But there is a committee constituted by the High court to supervise the activities of the temple. Still devotees wonder when Maa Kali will be freed from the clutches of the commercial interests which control the temple. Very badly maintained and the devotees are exploited.

4. Lalita Tirupurasundari temple in Tripura; this Sakthi Peeth after which the State is named had fallen into bad times. The income was being misappropriated and regular pujas were not done. The government took over the temple from the Brahmin priests and now the Pujas are conducted regularly.

All the temples were constructed with public money by the Kings. The Brahmins/maths were entrusted with the management of the temple. They were TRUSTEES and not owners. Over the years the trust has been betrayed by many groups. What we have to remember is the temple which has been constructed with Public money exists for the welfare of the Public and not the families/maths controlling them.

This definition of public temples has created problems for Trusts which have erected temples. If it is a public trust the HR&CE in Tamil Nadu claims that it is a Public temple and they are always ready to take over if the temple has good income. Many temples who have faced this problem have gone to the court and retained ownership by different strategies. Even when these temples were controlled by Brahmins, noone has approached the community for support.

In the temple owned by my family, we have stopped admitting members of the general public and removed the Hundi long time back.

My idea of writing this was to emphasize that such incidents should not be interpreted as an attack against the community. When Public funds are involved the courts have an automatic jurisdiction.

These are struggles for power. Temples are sources of Power/Money.
Yes, I agree. Temples are source of money and money always attrack more nefarious elements than the honest one. It is one of the reason in those days the sanyasi never had a detail mutt or administration.

Shiva was considered as the great giver. He had given to any devotee irrespective of good or bad element [ devathas or demons ].

God had asked for the devotion and not the words. If my perception, devotion is measured by bhakti and not by erudation. That is the reason of bhaja govindam by the saint who was a great proponent of gnana yoga.

What is wrong in the devotees sing the praise of lord in tamil when shiva is considered the god who gave the tamil to ahastiya.

I feel the dikshitars have given opportunity for the dk and dmk to play more politics. As a lay man my understanding is that more than the mantras, concentration and devotion of the mind is more important.
The statement "This has nothing to do with the Brahmin community as a whole." is a cop out. This is a backhanded denial of the status of Dhikshitars as a Tamil Brahmin Community just to serve one's pseudo-secular non-caste outlook. Pity!

Now let's take the following statement. "The ownership of the temples was a big issue at the time of accession of the states. The former kings claimed ownership of all the temples. It was decided that the public temples will be treated as Public property." I wonder on what basis this statement is made. Without clear quote this statement would be unacceptable. Especially when one understands that the "Public Property" would be a property of all irrespective of their religion.

It is true that prior to the British occupation of India the kings were nominal owners of the temples by virtue of the fact that they or their ancestors have built them.

If the British had taken over the temples it is with a view to plunder its wealth and resources and not as the bhakthas that the Hindu kings were.

On the transfer of power from the British colonialists to the Indian politicians, if anyone is claiming that the plunder and loot of the temples should be inherited by the potiticians, then I would say that is an obvious twisting of the principles of accession. The pseudo-secular politicians and their apologists instead of allowing the Hindus to organize themselves atleast for the purpose of common worship, are simply exploiting the vaccuum of organizational head of the Hindus created by the Brtish colonialists to loot and plunder. They have found it as a useful cash cow and also use it to it to drive a wedge or many wedges among the Hindu community on caste lines and other hypeboles. The State has no role and business in the religious beliefs of man. This is secularism. (If I understand correctly I think Sri KRSji is with me on this.For me Secularism is preferable to pseudo-secularism. However Sanathana Dharma is the best for its motto is "Sarve jana sukhino bhavanthu") Trying to poke hole and say that Hindus practise human right violations and use it as a lever and plank to stir and sow confusion in an otherwise peaceful people is psuedo-secularism. Look around and see who are the champions of these pseudo-secularism from EVR, Kamaraj, Nehru to all of today's politicians of every hue and shade with Karunanidhi as the jewel among them and then judge as to what this pseudo-secularism means for us.

Today the Acharya Sabha is organizing itself to gather the Hindus behind and speak on their behalf. A true patriotic politician would help them organize so the State can get out of religion. But Of course the the pseudo-secularists would brand the Sabha as Hindu fundamentalists and try to put it down. Why? Because that would help them to continue to divide and exploit the Hindus.

Judiciary is an apparatus of the State that arbitrates disputes. The pseudo-secularists would ignore it at their convenience or twist its verdict if it would suit them.

Take the case of Chidambaram Temple. The court has given a verdict and so we do not have to confuse ourselves with the accession of India or lump the Dhikshitars as part of the power struggle and alienate them from Tamil Brahmins. Let me quote from a petition that is being submitted to the Honourable Chief Justice of India.

"Consequent to the order dated 15th of February 2008 of the Single Judge Justice V.Ramasubramaniam, concerning the non-Agamic Temples, on a petition filed by Mr. Thirugnanasambandam of Thirunelveli against the HR & CE Department of Tamil Nadu Government with regards to the compulsory usage of Tamil Hymns for rituals and functions in Temples, the Government of Tamil Nadu issued an order dated 28th of February 2008 binding the Dikshidars of Chidambaram Natarajar Temple to allow one Mr.Arumugasamy to sing the Tamil Hymns from the ‘Chitrambalam Medai’ close to the Sanctum Sanctorum.

The state government knowing pretty well that it doesn’t’ have any jurisdiction over the Chidambaram Natarajar Temple, which has ‘Agamic’ and ‘Denominated’ status, had deliberately misinterpreted the order of the Honourable High Court of Chennai and issued the order, which has resulted in chaos and melee inside the Temple and very close to the Sanctum Sanctorum. Cases have been filed against the Dikshithars, who have defended their fundamental rights and twelve of them have been charged with ‘attempt to murder’ charges. Cases have also been filed against the other group, who attempted to enter the sanctum sanctorum in the guise of singing Tamil Hymns.

The apathetic order issued by HR & CE department of Tamil Nadu Government and the manner by which it was implemented by the Chidambaram Police have resulted in the following:-

1. Violation of the Supreme Court’s verdict that Chidambaram Temple is a Denominated Temple and that Dikshidars are the sole traditional authority of the Temple and they have the fundamental rights to administer and run the Temple and that the HR & CE department doesn’t have any jurisdiction over it and hence it cannot interfere in the traditional practices of the Temple.

2. Contempt of Madras High Court, as its judgment dated 15th February 2008 has been deliberately misinterpreted and a wrong order has been issued by the state’s HR & CE department causing immense hardship to the Dikshidars and general devotees of the Temple.

3. The action of the HR & CE department and the Police force amounts to abuse of power and dereliction of duty.

4. The actions of the HR & CE departments and the police force, resulting in the sacrilege of the world famous and ancient Shiva Temple especially three days before the sacred and important festival of Shivrathri, have hurt the religious sentiments of millions of Hindus worldwide.

5. The concerned offenders namely Mr.Arumugasamy, his supporters (atheist political cadres) and the police force have trespassed the divine, sacred and traditionally important areas of the ancient temple, which is traditionally under the control of Dikshidars for centuries."

After reading the above petition, if it is still not possible for us as Tamil Brahmins to voice our support to the Dhikshitars, I would be at a loss to know who we actually are who call ourselves Tamil Brahmins.
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pseudo Hindus and pseudo Brahmins

First of all I think it is high time we called the bluff of the pseudo Hindus and pseudo Brahmins.

Hinduism is known for its tolerance and acceptance of all religious practices within Hinduism. Of late a political party coined a word "pseudo secularism" which is being used by some people to malign any Hindu who speaks out.

Who are these pseudo Hindus and pseudo Brahmins?

1. The first thing is their total intolerance of any views other than their own.

2. They represent sectarian and very narrow minded views of Hinduism and Brahminism.

3. They tend to blame everyone except themselves for al the ills of the world. They blame the Muslims, Westerners( especially those who did yeomen work for Hinduism) and all other Hindus except their own ilk.

4. They are not the Orthodox Hindus. Orthodox Hindus practice their religion and advise others of their views. They do not go around condemning everyone.

5. A couple of examples of the Pseudo Hindus is that anything in history which is not favourable to their own views of Hinduism/India is the work of the western/secular historians.

6. The pseudo Brahmins quote the name of the Vedas. They have neither read it nor do they understand the Vedas. If you point out that Maharishi Veda Vyasa and maharishi Valmiki were not Brahmins, you become pseudo secular. Upanishadic Hinduism which stresses on the equality of human beings has no relevance to them. They talk about karma kanda , but their knowledge is limited at the most to a couple of Dharma Sasthras.

7. This group of pseudo Hindus and pesudo Brahmins have indulged in activities which have brought nothing but shame to Hinduism and Brahminism.

8. Unfortunately these are the rabble rousers who are very active because they are driven by hate and malice. Malice towards one and all.

9. The majority of the Hindus and Brahmins keep quiet to avoid any confrontation with these power hungry groups. It is because they know that changing these people is as difficult as trying to change the spots of a leopard.

I will write in detail about other points raised later.

This thread started with accusations! Just because people are silent, it does not mean that they have not done anything about the Chidambaram incident (there are a couple of petitions to the SC out there). In my experience, support from someone is not usually acheived for a cause by excoriating them first!

We do not need a 'litmus' test for measuring up a Tamil Brahmin. We unite as a community, understanding that amongst us are folks who hold different views on different subjects that address us all as Brahmins.

By the way, HR&CE was originally created by the British to administer the Hindu temples, mainly because the community could not agree on an administrative method and so a committe of prominent Hindus had to be convened, WHO RECOMMENDED THE CREATION OF HR&CE!

Forming the Acharya Sabha is a good first step towards wrestling control of the temples in TN from HR&CE. Hopefully, courts will recognize this and more importantly all Hindu stake holders promote this body to do this.

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Just because people are silent, it does not mean that they have not done anything about the Chidambaram incident (there are a couple of petitions to the SC out there).
I would like to know if Sri KRSji or any other members of this forum have been involved with the petition to the Supreme Court. As far as I know there is only one and that too by a very close friend of mine.
Yes - there is one by Sri Haran Ji that is original on Petitions Online. There is also a Tamil version - at least for signing and comments in a different site, referring to this one.

There is also a contrarian article, asking for support.

Whether I have signed any petition is a personal affair (like voting, like giving to charity) and I do not need to see my name on a donated tube light! I am sure there are other fellow forumites who feel the same, even though many of them may be among the three hundred and fifty and odd.

The Deekshidhars have been given only administrative rights and not ownership. It is not their private temple. The Chidambaram temple is not the private property of the Deekshidhars. The temple was constructed by the Kings and not Deekshidhars. Since it has been constructed out of public funds it is public property.

No one was seeking to change the Puja rituals of the temple.

The action of the Deekshidhars is an insult to Tamil and Thevaram which is older than most of the Sanskrit Puranas.

To top it all someone posts

The DK / DMK, which do not have the courage to enforce Tamil Prayers in Mosques, have been using Tamil Chauvinism to spoil the culture, peace & unity of Tamill Hindus.
Why do you bring the Muslims into this? Is this not Sanskrit Chauvinism which was prevalent for thousands of years? Who are chauvinists here? Deekshidhars who refuse to allow singing of an age old prayer because it is not in Sanskrit or the others?

The greatest contribution to Hinduism by Tamil Nadu is the Bhakthi movement which was started by the Nayanmars. They were great realized souls who for the first time wrote their hymns in Tamil. As a Tamilian I am proud of this. But are the Tamil Brahmins proud of this achievement?

These kind of action clearly shows the reasons for the Tamil Brahmins being accused of being anti Tamil.
Dear Sri Nacchinarkiniyan Ji,

I for one though condemn the way the police went about this. There was no need for any scuffle and drama inside the temple and as the police was there and as they are clearly accountable and responsible to maintain order, they could have handled the situation totally in a different way.

On a different subject, who is responsible for the upkeep of the temple? Last time I visited (about 7 years ago), the temple was crumpling and Sivaganga sported a greenish brown look, with people defecaqting all around. Who gets the money to upkeep the temple?

There is absolute freedom of worship in Hindu Religion. If you do not like a particular form of worship, you are free to worship the way you like as long as it does not affect others unduly. If they really want to recite thevaram only, they can do it in the same temple in the corridors and not insist on a particular spot. Hinduism survivied through the sacrifices of many Brahmins. What they boast as Tamil Culture has been contributed by Tamil Brahmins. If they drive the Tamil Brahmins to the end, well the loser will be Tamil Nadu and Tamil and not the Brahmins.
Following is the Press Statement released by Dr Subramanian Swamy today:

It has been decided to send a fact finding team of eminent persons to Chidambaram Nataraja temple to determine who is behind the anti-Hindu violence and debasement of the Dikshitar in the temple, and recommend appropriate follow up action to bring the miscreants to book and account.

Besides myself, the team will consist of international Working President of VHP Mr. S. Vedantam, former Cuddalore Collector and TN JP President Ms.V.S.Chandralekha, IAS (Retd) and Mr. V. Sundaram, IAS Retd.) and two others .

(Subramanian Swamy)
Chidambaram temple and the Deekshidhar Community need Help

Dear Sri Nacchinarkiniyan Ji,

I for one though condemn the way the police went about this. There was no need for any scuffle and drama inside the temple and as the police was there and as they are clearly accountable and responsible to maintain order, they could have handled the situation totally in a different way.

On a different subject, who is responsible for the upkeep of the temple? Last time I visited (about 7 years ago), the temple was crumpling and Sivaganga sported a greenish brown look, with people defecating all around. Who gets the money to upkeep the temple?


Talking about the upkeep of the temple raises some basic questions. Families and communities who have owned temples have faced this problem of maintaining the temples. Even maths have faced this problem.

That is the main reason for the intervention of the state. But for the intervention of the state many old temples especially in Tamil Nadu would have fallen into ruins. As it is we have a number of very old temples which are in ruins.

Temples are maintained and run with the income from endowments. The kings and other patrons had given endowments for this purpose. The older endowments mostly consist of landed property. These lands were given to the tenants for cultivation. The temples also had uncultivated urban lands. Over the years most of the uncultivated lands have been usurped by others. This was made easier by the lack of proper records in most of the temples.

Recently it was discovered that the Simhachalam temple owns almost the entire Vizhakapatnam city. Meenakshi temple used to own most parts of Madurai.

The income of the temples till about 50 years back was mostly from cultivated lands. The land reforms which rightly favored the tenant cultivator affected the income from the cultivated lands. This has been discussed in many forums and articles.

When the income dried up the families and maths found it difficult to maintain the temples. The maths were in a better position because they had income from other sources and they had better organization. But the families were in a very bad state.

A standing example is the temple in Dakshineswar Bhavatharini Maa temple associated with Sri Ramakrishna. Rani Rashmoni the founder had left a lot of agricultural land for the temple. Unfortunately all these lands were in East Bengal now Bangla Desh. The temple was in a bad shape. But in the last few decades they have received contributions from rich Bengalis and westerners who are devotees and now the temple is in an excellent shape and is run well.

It may shock the Krishna devotees to know that in the seventies the Maharashtra government had issued a ration card in the name of Panduranga of Pandharpur. He was the head of the household with Rukmani the dependent wife. The government used to give a monthly quota of rice under the card for preparing daily prasad. The government could not do anything more as the temple was under the control of a particular family.

Please do understand the position of the families. I know personally some of the members of the family who were running the Pandharpur temple. I also know the family which is running the Kalighat temple.

Problems faced:

1. Increase in the number of members of the family/community. More people dependent of temple income.

2. Dwindling income because of the reasons mentioned above.

3. Increased expenditure on maintenance as the temple structure is very old.

I will stop here. In my next post I will show

1. How these factors have led to the present situation in Chidambaram temple.

2. Why we should help the Deekshidhar community ( who are unique and part of our culture and tradition).

3. How we can help the temple and the Deekshidhar community.

Let the power mongers continue with their agenda.
Dear Nacchinarkiniyan Ji,

To tell you the truth, I have somehow connected the dilapidated state of the temple to the avarice of the Dikshidhars.

Till I lived in India about nine years ago for a couple of years on behalf of my American company, I did not understand certain things about our temples (perhaps I still do not). I visited the temple for the second time in my life (I was taken there when I was 10 years old by my uncle) and I was totally put off by the money grabbing act of some junior Dikshidhars. This was no different than what I encountered at the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangam, but somehow it galled me that a 'Shiva' temple was made in to a money making enterprise (I apologize to my Vaishnavaite friends here for me holding such a sentiment).

Here is probably the most premiere of all the Shiva temples in the entire Universe (I think that the form of Nataraja is perhaps the ultimate contribution of a religious symbol to the human kind), and I was so disappointed to see the origination of the Bharat Natyam mudras fading away and the most reputed tank in our lore which cured leprosy now may contribute to the cause of leprosy!

I have ever since been thinking about the temple. When I visited again in 2002, the conditions were the same.

I am so glad that you will address the 3 points I am anxious to hear in your next posting. It amazes me how much you know about these things.

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Older threads on the same subject

This issue and the Dikshidhars have been discussed in detail here in this forum.

state of the dikshitas in chidambaram


An online article about the Dikshthars.


Opposition for Tamil in Temples


A small clarification. Surnames like Dikshit, Bhatt or Sharma does not indicate the origin of any Brahmin. These are titles given to Brahmins. Dikshidhar being allied to Diksha and Bhatt meaning a scholar. There are many Dikshidhars like Appiah Dikshidhar who were not from the Dikshidhar community.
As I had stated earlier in my posts in the Temple category temples are sources of Power. Not the power of God, but power for the group controlling the temples. Since time immemorial the groups which controlled the temples have wielded considerable power in the community.

Though many of our historians and others have accused only the Brahmins of controlling the temples, the fact is that the temples were/are controlled by all the forward castes.

All our old temples have histories full of conflicts between different groups for control. To quote some examples;

1. There was a bitter struggle (including violence) between the followers of Vallabhacharya and Chaitanya for control of the temples in Brindavan.

2. In 1839 AD, the head of the Kumbhakonam math applied for permission to the English Collector to perform the kumbhabhishekam of the Kamakshi temple in Kanchipuram. In 1842 AD, he was appointed sole trustee of the Kamakshi temple by the English East India Company Government.The original priests ( Kamakoti family) of the Kamakshi temple, who were thereby deprived of their rights, complained to whomever they could possibly complain to by submitting numerous petitions.

3. Ramanujacharya took possession of the Devi temple in Thirupathi and converted it into a Vishnu shrine which helped him in propagating the Vaishnava faith.

These are controversies which are of no interest to anyone except academics since it does not help any one and only creates illwill between communities.

Our temples have so many rituals involving some honor or the other. Like the Mudal Mariyadai, first in the pulling of chariot and so on. In the pre independence days every temple festival led to clashes between communities. The clashes used to last for days. The Police had a tough time controlling these mobs. It continues in some places even today. Naga sadhus ( naked saints who are supposed to have renounced everything) demand the right to have the first bath during Kumbha Mela and would kill anyone who bathes before them.

Dikshidhars have the privilege of controlling the Chidhambaram temple. Any action by any person or group which is perceived as questioning their right will be met with resistance.

I wonder whether the Dikshidhars would allow even a Brahmin to recite the Shiva Mahimna Stotra if they perceive it as a threat to their privileges.

The action of the Sivanadiar was perceived as a threat and dealt with accordingly.

The perception could be because of the prevalent conditions in Tamil Nadu and the feeling of insecurity.

Some members of the Brahmin community also perceive it as a threat.

The threat perception has to be addressed to find a lasting solution. Interference of politicians, political parties, and groups will only worsen the matter.

This can be done only by a religious person who is acceptable to both the Dikshidars and the Saivites. Do we have such a person? Or has the problem been solved amicably?
Deekshidhar Community

The Deekshidhar community is fascinating because it gives us a glimpse of our past. I do not know the economic conditions of the community. But we should not judge a community based only on their level of English education or the so called modern standards.

I only wish someone would do a serious research on the socio-economic conditions of the community and bring out the positive aspects of the community. May be even a TV program. In the present conditions in India we can not expect anyone from India to do it. And we have one too many prejudices.

Someone with contacts in the academic community in U.S could suggest this as a subject. Generally people are more open to westerners again because our opinions are not clouded by our ideas about the researcher.

The Tamil Brahmin community owes this to the community as they have preserved a slice of our past.

Until and unless we know the exact conditions of the community we can not and should not offer help which would be considered as condescending. Such communities are proud of their heritage and we should respect them. Remember the Amish.

The Chidambaram temple is of vital importance to all the Hindus. We can explore how we can help in the maintenance of the temple in cooperation with the Deekshidars. BTW the temple was last renovated in 1982.

Chidhambaram Temple

Now I come to my last post on this subject.

But before I do that, a question was raised about the silence of this forum about this issue. The fact is that we have discussed it at length long time back because we were concerned.

Since we are not power hungry politicians/ex-administrators or people who fish in troubled waters, there was no post about this.

The problem with temples controlled by families ( there are many in India) is that the income generated is not sufficient to meet the expenses of all the dependents and the maintenance of the temple. The number of dependents would have gone up and also their family expenses. The income is never sufficient to met all the expenses. So the maintenance suffers.

Many private temples have been handed over to various maths/public temples for upkeep. There were a number of private temples in our village. But these were open to all the residents of the village. But their income was meagre. In the last fifty years one temple has been handed over to HR&CE and another handed over to a math. These were temples where the families were not dependent on the temple income.

Now let us examine the cases of two temples where the families enjoy the income from the temples and where the income is substantial.

1. Panduranga temple at Pandharpur: I have already quoted this case. The maintenance was lacking and Pujas were not conducted properly. The government has appointed a committee to look after the affairs of the temple. But the family priests continue and the income is shared with the family. In fact in this case the government has pumped in a lot of money. But this is in Maharashtra where the caste factor does not enter into the picture.

2. Kalighat temple, Kolkata: Here the income runs in crores. The family who control the temple are not the priests. The priests' position is hereditary. The system is meant to generate maximum income for the family. The family went to the supreme court for getting control. But the court appointed a committee. But this committee is toothless.

The temple is not maintained properly. Pujas were not conducted properly. Since all the governments in West Bengal have kept totally off the Hindu temples, the government will not interfere.

May be this is what was happening in all the temples in the past. People who call for total independence for temples should study the case of Kalighat temple. But this is not the point of this post.

Devotees went to court repeatedly asking for Pujas to be conducted properly. The court issued a direction and the district judge was made the committee chairman. Again the maintenance was awful. The government sanctioned a grant of about 30 crores for the temple. Even this was not utilized because the committee declared in the court that they have no control over the temple. Again the devotees went to the court. The high court issued specific orders regarding the utilization of Government grant. After that some improvements have been done with govt. grant. But still most of the grant is not disbursed or utilized.

In 1998 the devotees of the temple from all over the world drew up a project for spending a staggering amount of Rs. 1000 crores for improving the temple and surroundings. They drew up beautiful plans and started collecting money. But after 10 years the plans remain only on paper. The West Bengal government has laid excellent roads and gives special attention to the area. But they leave the temple to the family. Nobody even thinks of Govt. takeover as it is just not done in West Bengal.

I have given the details of the Kalighat case to point out how difficult it is to maintain the temples without the cooperation of the family.

But the Deekshidhars have supported the renovation of the temple with outside help in 1982. The Chidambarm temple does not have the huge income of the Kalighat temple. Again the Deekshidhars are a whole community with larger numbers. Though Deekshidhars have started going for outside employment the numbers are not significant. Again they have been conducting daily pujas meticulously. However the temple does not generate enough income for the Pujas and maintenance.

The maintenance of Chidhambarm temple is the duty of all the Hindus especially Tamil Brahmins. The Brahmin community should form a formal organization which will collect money and carry out renovation and maintenance with the approval and cooperation of the Deekshidars.

This organization has to be necessarily started in U.S for two reasons.

1. Capacity of the Brahmins to donate.

2. Keep off Tamil Nadu politics and politicians and other self-serving people.
Yes, i go with KRS. My learning and understanding of hindu religion and god is that they are where you are. What matter more is bhakti ? Second is love for the fellow human being. I hope our people know that the krishna is still standing in a small stone for his devotee to come in pandaripur. Personally, i feel that the diksitar along with the fight for the rights must emphasis more on bhakti than karma kanda. I feel that tamil is the language given by shiva and anybody must be allowed to praise the lord in tamil. Offcourse, i donot agree with the politics that is being played by the dmk
Chidambaram Nataraja Temple is the only temple in Tamilnadu run by Tamil Brahmins and it has become eyesore for anti-Brahmin outfits such as DK, DMK, PMK, pseudo secularists etc and they are cooking up cock and bull stories to steal the temple from Dhikshitar Tamil Brahmins. Unfortunately some honest and well meaning Tamil Brahmins are being misled by these outfits. Pity!
temple issue

Pray fogive my ignorance about this, but why is there resentment from the Dhikshidhars for singing of thevaram from the inner sanctum? is there some religious and cultural reason behind it or do they feel that as threat to their authority over the temple? I dont know the reason and would like some of you knowledgeable once to enlighten me on this. Yes the police shouldnt have entered the temple and it is true how all these so called aethiest band together to work for a religious cause under the guise of language. funny but very pathetic situation. this is clearly a sign of them brining the battle to the doorstep of all religious hindu people.
Dear Sri Anand,

It all started or (shall I say it continued for it kept erupting every now and then) as the anti-Brahmin fight egged on by the powers that be and so when the 'invasion' into the sanctum santorum occured the Dhikshitars resisted. Even in Agamic temples the sanctum santorum is out of bounds for anyone other than the Archakas. This invasion is clearly to trample under foot the sanctity of our beliefs and practices.

After the first resistance the Govt. and its police lawlessly weilded its baton on the Dhikshitars and they not only beat them in their own temple but arrested them for resisting invasion. Lawfully it was the duty of the police to have resisted the invasion but we all know that the DMK govt mischievously issued the order based on the court's verdict on Agamic temples to this non-Agamic temple to let the non-preists to invade the sanctum in the name of chanting Thevaram. And the police reversed their role and encouraged the invaders.

After the arrest of fellow Dhikshitars it seems that they appealed to the pious minded non-Brahmins to come to their rescue and so with their help Thevaram was sung by real Bhakthas who kept clear of the sanctum santorum.

So it is not a case of the Dhikshitars not permitting Thevaram being sung as is made out by the pseudos but of the judicial rights of Dhikshitars and of the sanctity of the Hindu practices and worship. Of course for the pseudos and the 'sickular' media these are not important as speaking for the anti-Brahmins. So much lies they had put out had clouded the views of many of us of peaceful and law abiding Brahmins.

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