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Sabarimala traditions must stay: Mata Amritanandamayi

Publication: Deccan Chronicle
Date: January 21, 2019
URL:      https://www.deccanchronicle.com/amp/nation/current-affairs/210119/sabarimala-traditions-must-stay-mata-amritanandamayi.html?__twitter_impression=true

A message by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living Foundation was read out at the event.

Hugging saint Mata Amritanandamayi has backed Sabarimala protesters saying each temple has its traditions and beliefs to keep.
She described the controversies during the Makaravilakku Festival season as "unfortunate".

She was inaugurating a massive congregation of Ayyappa devotees attended by an array of sanyasis at Putharikandam grounds here on Sunday.

The crowd received the head of the Amritanandamayi Mutt sounding conchs during her cautious speech without criticising the government in her first public reaction to the Sabarimala issue.

Ayyappa devotees from Kottayam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts attended the confluence. Scores of NSS activists also joined the protest even though its leadership made no open call.

"It is the ignorance about the temple traditions and rituals the reason for the ongoing issues. We keep seeing gender differences in various sectors. But in temples, there are a different set of traditions," the Mata said.

She also urged the Ayyappa devotees to maintain traditions and beliefs. In her short speech, she also said that the temples require priests where they are bound to perform its rituals.

"Ayyappan was celibate. There shouldn't be any compromise on undertaking temple rituals. Temples are pillars of culture," she added.
"Changes are required, but they should not be without understanding the prominence of the temple."

A message by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living Foundation was read out at the event.

He urged authorities to consider feelings of crores of Ayyappa devotee. He said he is for the gender equality, but it should not happen at the expense of the constitution of the society.
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