TTD Sannidhi Golla issue resolved
Putting an end to the controversy that arose from the decision of the TTD to retire Venkatramaiah working as Sannidhi Golla in Tirumala temple, the TTD has finally decided to continue the service of Venkatramaiah for one more year. He was to retire on June 30 this year.
Tirupati: Putting an end to the controversy that arose from the decision of the TTD to retire Venkatramaiah working as Sannidhi Golla in Tirumala temple, the TTD has finally decided to continue the service of Venkatramaiah for one more year. He was to retire on June 30 this year.
Announcing this, TTD executive officer D Sambasiva Rao told a delegation of various Yadava Association leaders led by local MLA M Suguna who met him here on Monday that the TTD would issue orders to enable Venkatramaiah to continue his service but on honorary basis. He clarified that he has to retire as per his present service condition on June 30, 2016 after which only the TTD will appoint him as honorary Sannidhi Golla for one more year.
Besides, TTD will also write to the government, recommending bringing the Sannidhi Golla under hereditary Mirasi system for continuation of the services of the two families which have been working as Sannidhi Golla in Tirumala temple.
He told the delegation to talk to the government and see that it issues a GO to this effect. It may be mentioned here that the controversy arose when a letter was issued by the office of Tirumala temple Peshikar five days ago relieving Venkatramaiah from his duties on his superanuation upon his completion of 65 years on June 30.
This sparked off protests from various political parties and Yadava associations which rallied behind Venkatramaiah demanding that the TTD management take immediate steps to declare the two Sannadihi Gollas - Venkatramaiah and Ramesh and also Padmanabhaiah (son of Venkatramaiah) who is working as Sambhavana Golla as Kaimkaryam- service (not salary based) in the shrine.
Sannidhi Golla is a unique practice being followed at Venkateswara temple on Tirumala hills, Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple and Sri Kodanda Ramaswamy temple in Tirupati. The Golla has the enviable job of opening the Mahadwaram, daily in the early hours.
As per the age old custom being followed the Golla accompanied by the priests and temple staff opens the Mahadwaram (main entrance) and leads the priests holding a diiti (torch) to the sanctum sanctorum (garbhalayam) where he lights the lamp with his burning torch.
The pre-dawn rituals, including the Suprabhatam commence thereafter. Their role does not end with opening of the temple doors and heralding the commencement of temple rituals but continues throughout the day till the closure of the shrine. His participation is must in Naivedyam being offered thrice in a day and daily rituals and festivals.
As per the records of 1839, the British also recognised the Mirasi right of the Gollas and later the Hathiramji Mutt which administered the Tirumala and other temple as Vicharana Karthas (custodian) appointed by the British, from 1840 to 1933, till the Endowment Act came into effect replacing the Mutt.
Sanidhi Golla also maintain pious life and also follow some of the Brahminical practices like wearing Thirunamam, attire in traditional dress and also remain away from the duty in the temple whenever there is death in their families till the rituals are over (myla).
The Sannidhi Golla position is more enhanced with the mythology, including Sri Venkateswara Charitham. The Lord in his previous avatar was in deep penance and was covered fully by an ant hill. A cow daily used to come to the anthill and shower its milk to sustain the Lord.
A cowherd who noticed this, in a fit of anger threw his stick at it but it escaped and hit the Lord injuring him on the chin. The Lord first cursed him but when he prayed pardoned him and gave a boon to worship him first in Kaliyuga when he would emerge in Venkateswara Avatar.