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Malayalis and Guruvayur Temple: Isn't it Time to Change Ridiculous Norms?

For me, a visit to Kerala is never complete without a visit to its most popular and revered temple, the Guruvayur Temple. Right from the time I was a kid, my parents visited this temple at least twice a year. So many legends continue to sweeten the experience of devotional ecstasy that one feels at this holy place, where the little Lord Krishna is worshipped and pampered as the deity named "Guruvayoorappan."

The famous playback singer Dr. K.J.Yeshudas is an ardent believer of Guruvayoorappan but the temple has stringent rules about permitting only Hindus to enter. That reminds me of the famous devotional song that Yeshudas sang because it resonates in the hearts of every Malayali,:

"Guruvayoor ambala nadayil oru divasam njaan pokum, gopura vaathil thurakam, njaan gopakumaraney kaanum."

Sorry for the poor translation but this means, "One day, I will go to the Guruvayoor Temple, the door leading to the sanctum sanctorum shall open someday and I will see the young cow herd prince."

Sadly, many famous people were prohibited from offering their prayers at the temple because they were not "pure Hindus." I see this as a ridiculous and narrowed interpretation of what Hinduism stands for. 

It had been reported that Rajiv Gandhi and later, Sonia Gandhi were not allowed to enter the temple because they were not considered 'pure Hindus.' The famous and now the late Mrs. Mercy Ravi (wife of top Congress Party leader, Vayalar Ravi) had to undergo considerabe discrimination because she attended her son's marriage conducted inside the temple and the authorities realized that she is a Christian by birth much later and they wanted her to pay for the 'punyaaham' or the 'purification' rites to cleanse the whole temple that she had polluted with her presence.

The funny thing is that I personally know of people from different religions who visit and pray at this temple but they are not 'caught' because they are not famous people. However, they say they can't openly let others in their community know that they worship at this temple because they would be ridiculed and isolated for doing so. We have such ridiculous social norms in the name of faith and I wish this could be changed. 

I believe temples such as the one at Guruvayur should be open to all those who want to have a darshan of the presiding deity there.

What's your take on this?

♥♥  I thank you with all my heart for reading my post. I dedicate this post with love and gratitude to all those who believe in changing outdated norms for a better, happier society. REQUEST: Please SHARE this article on your favorite social networks. Every share, like or tweet makes me reach out to more people who love reading books by Indian writers. I am grateful and I appreciate you for doing so. ♥♥

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