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Free Tirumala temple from muggers and black sheep

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Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam

Highlights

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, the board that manages the affairs of the richest god, Lord Venkateshwara has been under cloud of plethora of controversies for long irrespective of the party in power

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, the board that manages the affairs of the richest god, Lord Venkateshwara has been under cloud of plethora of controversies for long irrespective of the party in power. The controversies range from the appointment of board members to the number of hills that belong to the Lord of Seven Hills, to propagating other religion in Tirumala, missing jewellery of the Lord, the move by the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government to regularise the lands ''additionally occupied'' by two mutts on the sacred hill, demolition of "veyi kaalla mandapam" (thousand-pillar auditorium), the case of missing gold dollars and alleged "disappearance" of gold ornaments presented to the Lord by Emperor Srikrishna Devaraaya over 500 years ago, the controversies are too many. The latest controversy is whether or not one should sign a declaration before entering the temple if he belongs to some other faith. The measures taken by the successive governments have only succeeded in putting the issues on backburner and new controversies continue to surface. It is time a serious thought is given by the people, the political parties, the seers and Hindu religious organisations on delinking the functioning of the TTD from government control. We have some best examples like Swaminarayan Trust in Gujarat with roots in the Vedas which strives to care for the world by caring for societies, families and individuals.

This is done by mass motivation and individual attention, through elevating projects for all, irrespective of class, creed, colour or country. Its universal work through a worldwide network of over 3,300 centres has received many national and international awards and affiliation with the United Nations. Today, over a million or more Swaminarayan followers begin their day with puja and meditation, lead upright lives and donate regular hours in serving others. No Alcohol, No Addictions, No Adultery, No Meat, No Impurity of Body and Mind are their five lifetime vows. They also reach out to millions of individuals through a network of mandirs and centres.

They are more than a place of worship and gathering. They are permanent source of peace and reformation for people of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs. We also have the example of ISKCON which systematically propagates spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all people in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world. With its roots in ancient Indian and Vaishnava culture, devotees find expression in vibrant colours, striking melodies and enlivening dramatic presentations. In order to recognise and nurture artistic talent, ISKCON has created a community for artists called VANDE (Vaishnava Arts for a New Devotional Era), with the aim to attract the public and patrons of arts through quality presentations. Members sometimes convey their devotion through Fine Arts, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cinema, Literature and Architecture. Similarly, we have other organisations like the Brahmakumaris and Isha Foundation.

When the governments are looking for more and more private partnership in every field, why not give up their hold on the TTD and create a Trust to manage the affairs of Lord Balaji strictly in accordance with Agama Sastra. This is something, the government, the political parties and the Jeeyar Swamijis and others should ponder over seriously. The Trust should be free from any political shade and none of the religious institutions or organisations or individuals having allegiance to any political party should be on the Trust Board. Are the politicians listening?

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