Vadagalai members can sing in Kanchi temple: Madras HC – The New Indian Express

Chennai News

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  Stressing that the religious right guaranteed by the Constitution shall be extended to all without discrimination or denial, the Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department to allow the Vadagalai sect to chant Ramanuja Dayapathram just after the Thengalai sect commences its initial recital at the Varadarajaperumal temple in Kancheepuram.

Justice SM Subramaniam passed the interim order on a petition filed by S Narayanan, of Kancheepuram. The Thengalai sect can take the first two or three rows in the temple, and behind them, the Vadagalai sect and ordinary devotees shall be permitted, the judge said in the order.

“The Thengalai sect shall be permitted to commence their initial recital namely Srisaila Dayapathram, and thereafter, Vadagalai sect shall be permitted to chant initial recital namely Sri Ramanuja Dayapathram within 10 to 12 seconds each,” the judge said.

Temple official to give court video footage of proceedings

Once the initial recital is completed, both the sects and ordinary devotees shall be permitted to jointly chant Naalayira Divya Prabandham, after which both sects shall render Vazhithirunamam and Manavalamamunigal Vazhithirunamam one after another, and thereafter, Vadagalai sect shall be allowed to recite its concluding mantra — Desikan Vazhithirunamam.

Directing the assistant commissioner of the temple to videograph the proceedings and produce the footage in court, along with a compliance report, the judge posted the matter to May 25. Heaping praise on Naalayira Divya Prabandham, Justice Subramaniam noted that it has been described as ‘Tamil Marai’, ‘Dravida Vedam’, or ‘Dravida Prabandham’.

Though the Prabandham is available in Tamil, it is chanted by Kannadigas and Telugu people too. The petitioner had contended that the assistant commissioner, who issued an order on May 14 for regulating the recitals on the occasion of Brahmotsavam, prohibited the Vadagalai sect from reciting Naalayira Divya Prabandham and prevented chanting of the initial recital of Sri Ramanuja Dayapathram.

However, the respondents’ counsels said as per a 1910 decree, the Thengalai sect alone is to recite Srisaila Dayapathram and Naalayira Divya Prabandham. Advocate General R Shunmugasundaram represented the HR&CE department, while senior counsels G Rajagopalan, Sathish Parasaran, S Parthasarathy, and V Ragavachari appeared for the petitioner, and P Wilson represented TA Ranganathan, the fourth respondent, belonging to the Thengalai sect.

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