Facts on Chidambaram Temple

Many of my friends and some email acquaintances called me on the Chidambaram Nataraja Mandir issue. A few of them simply got carried away by reports in the mainstream media, which as always, is far removed from the truth.
"What is Kanakasabhai? What is its significance in Chidambaram Mandir"?
"Why are Dikshitars anti-Tamil"?
"Why can't they allow a non-Brahmin, Arumugaswamy to render Thevaram?"
“Why are only Brahmins allowed to render Devsaram at the Kanakasabhai?
"Does this not reflect caste-discrimination of the Brahmins?"
"Why is the Tamil Thevaram not sung at the Kanagasabai and Pujas done only in Samskritam?"  
Should not the Government step in and correct the anomaly in the rendering of the pujas? a score of similar questions, shot at me with the tirelessness of Arjuna.
While I answered each of my caller and visitor patiently, it has also prompted me to write a piece on this if only to help clear the misconceptions of all people including some of my Brahmin friends.
The purpose of this write-up is not to go into any sordid details of what happened inside the Mandir on the fateful day before the Maha Shivaratri.
HR&CE and Chidambaram Nataraja Mandir:
The Chidambaram Nataraja Mandir does not come under the control of the Hindu Religious Charitable and Endowment Department (HR&CE) of the Govt of Tamil Nadu. The Madras High Court very clearly had given an order that this Mandir is a "Denominated Temple" and is independent of the Government's HR&CE. Successive Dravidian Party lead Governments have always tried in vain to bring this under the HR&CE.
A few years back, an Executive Officer was appointed by the Govt of TN. The Dikshitars went to court and after the Madras High Court pronounced it as illegal, the Government order was revoked. The recent statement of the Minister for HR&CE reflects the Government's intention to take-over this Mandir. The secular and very "Hindu-friendly" media started spreading canards demonizing the Dikshitars, portraying them as anti-Tamil and adding fuel to the favorite full-time avocation of the Dravidian parties – Brahmin bashing. The whole event has been painted as Brahmin Vs Non-Brahmin, Aryan Vs Dravidian, Samskritam Vs Tamil issue.  Nothing can be more malicious, as you will see from the following:
What is Kanakasabhai? What is its significance in Chidambaram Mandir?
In every Mandir, the Sanctum Sanctorum where the Prana-Pratishta of the Moola Vigraha is made is called the "Garbha Griha". The Garbha Griha in Chidambaram is called as "Chitsabhai". This is where the Vigraha of Bhagawan Nataraja is housed. The Arthamandapam normally is the place from where the Bhaktas have their darshan in Mandirs. In Chidambaram, the Arthamandapam is called as "Kanakasabhai". In many Mandirs, the Arthamandapam is devoid of any Vigrahas that need to be rendered daily Pujas as per the Aagamic traditions. However, the Kanakasabhai which is the Arthamandapam in Chidambaram Mandir, houses the Spatika Lingam of Chandramouleeswarar as also the Nandi Bhagawan and Ratna Sabhapathi.
The Mandir follows the 6 KAla Pujas, traditionally. The Dikshitars render the 6 KAla Pujas inside the Garbha Griha. At the end of each of these 6 KAla Puja, an OduvAr Murthy RENDERS the Tamil Hymns like the Thevaram. Just as a traditional priest is trained in all Samskrit Pujas, Shastras in a PAtashAla under a guru, the Oduvar Murthys are also trained in a PAtasAla in Tamil Hymns of prayer from a very young age and become experts in the rendering of these Soulful Hymns.
Do the Oduvars sing from the Kanakasabhai? Why should only Brahmins sing from the Kanakasabhai?
This is a mischievous propaganda of the atheists and the government headed by a self-proclaimed, yellow-shawl-wearing-atheist, Karunanidhi. Kanakasabhai is the Arthamandapam in Chidambaram Mandir. Kanakasabhai houses the Spatika Lingam of Chandramouleeswara along with Nandi Bhagawan and Rathna Sabhapathi. This place is revered with the same sanctity reserved normally for the Garbha Griha. That only Brahmins are permitted to sing Thevaram from Kanakasabhai or that Non-Brahmins are prohibited from singing Thevaram from Kanakasabhai is a deliberate lie to show the Dikshitars in poor light. The fact is that NOBODY, NOT BRAHMINS, NOT NON- BRAHMINS are permitted to sing Thevaram or for that matter any Slokas and in any language in the Kanakasabhai. The rights rest only with the Dikshitars to offer the traditional Pujas to the Bhagawan, including singing of the Thevaram from Kanakasabhai.
Bhaktas, irrespective of their caste can sing any Tamil hymn from anywhere other than the Arthamandapam, the Kanakasabhai, which is the exclusive domain of the Dikshitars. Just because I have learnt all the mantras from the CD, I cannot claim it my right to recite the Abhisheka mantras from the Garbha Griha at the Bhagawan Balaji Mandir, Tirupati, even if I am a Brahmin by birth and that it was my late Grandfather who gave from the Mandir, the world famous Tirupati Laddu.
Similarly, nobody other than the priests is permitted inside the Garbha Griha, in any Hindu Mandir in South India. This includes even Brahmins, who are not priests of the Mandir. They have to just stand along with all the others in the Arthamandapam and have darshan of the Bhagawan, the presiding deity. While in all Mandirs the Pujas end within the Garbha Griha, in Chidambaram, the Dikshitars render certain Pujas from the Arthamandapam called as the Kanakasabhai. Therefore, the Kanakasabhai attains significance.
Why are Dikshitars Anti-Tamil?
 Nothing can be farther from the truth than this. While the Vaishnava priests who are well-versed in all the Agamic Samskrit pujas, be it Vaikhanasa or Pancharatra, are also well trained by the Guru ParamparA, in rendering the soul-stirring PAsurams of the AzhvArs, NAlayara Divya Prabandham etc., which are in exquisite Tamil; the Dikshitars spend years to get trained under their Gurus in both the Agamic and the Tamil Hymns of the Shaiva NAyanmArs etc., They are trained to render them in perfect diction. Many people are not aware that the Pujas in the Nataraja Mandir is not complete with just the traditional rendering of Sankrit Slokas in the Garbha Griha. The Pujas are complete only after the rendering of the Thevaram etc., in mellifluous voice by the Oduvar Murthys and the Dikshitars.
Why can't they allow a non-Brahmin, Arumugaswamy to render Thevaram from the Kanakasabhai?
The Dravidian Parties are at it again, Brahmin-bashing. They always resort to this as a breather in between their all time favourite, Hindu-bashing. This is a typical Brahmin Vs Non-Brahmin twist the Media portrays to please its political masters. Many people are not aware that the Bhaktas including the Brahmin Bhaktas are barred from rendering Thevaram or any Samskrit Sloka at the Kanakasabhai. Arumugaswamy is not a classic Oduvar out of the Gurukula of trained Oduvar mould. Besides, one has to understand the unique status of the Arthamandapam, the Kanakasabhai. Brahmins other than the traditional priests of the Mandir, the Dikshitars, are not allowed to render Pujas inside the Sanctum (Garbha Griha). Similarly, Brahmins are not allowed to render that part of the Nithya Puja, rendering of the Thevaram from the Kanakasabhai also. So the mischief of the Minister and the Media becomes evident that the issue is NOT Brahmin Vs Non-Brahmin, but one of sticking to Age-old Traditions, Shastras followed by the Mandir. So the argument that there is gross caste discrimination in this issue falls flat on its face.
What does the Madras High Court say about the Chidambaram Mandir and its Dikshitars?
The Chidambaram Natarajar Temple is a denominated temple and its "Denomination" status had been originally conferred by the Court of Law during the British Period in the year 1891 and the same had been confirmed by the Supreme Court of India in the year 1958, asserting that, the micro-minority community of Dikshidars only have the traditional rights over the administration, customs and rituals of the Temple and that the HR & CE department doesn't have the legal sanction to interfere in the affairs of this Temple.
The Madras High Court in its earlier order had clearly stated that the Dikshitars belong to a "religious denomination" and have the sole right to perform the Religious Pujas in the Nataraja Mandir of Chidambaram.
Does the HR&CE have the right to interfere?
The HR&CE has no right to interfere in the affairs of the Chidambaram Mandir.
Even in Mandirs under its control, the HR&CE has NO right to interfere in the Religious affairs, Pujas, Puja Vidhanas as per the Aagamic Shastras rendered by the priests of the respective Mandirs. HR&CE is only the administrator of the Mandir and have no right whatsoever to determine or alter the religious functions of the Mandir under their control.
However, to its credit, the HR&CE, has appropriated the right to loot Hindu Mandirs and its properties.
Who are the constituents of the group that went with Arumugaswamy to raise the ruckus inside the Kanakasabhai?

A contingent of E V Ramaswamy Naicker's Dravida Kazhagam Athiests, who I doubt have any idea of what Thevaram is. Indian Commies, whose stand as anti-Hindus (not the minorities or their religion) is well known. Human Rights activists, who fish in troubled waters for their 2 min fame under the arc-lights and escape when the minorities are proved to commit atrocities on the majority. Tamil Chauvinists, who had no idea that the Tamil Hymns are indeed rendered everyday by the Dikshitars from the Kanakasabhai and that anyone can render Tamil hymns in any part of the Mandir except the Garbha Griha and the Kanakasabhai. Linguistic chauvinist parties, who had never entered this Mandir in their lifetime and in all likelihood, will enter only to create disturbance of peace in a Hindu Mandir again, under the pretext of protecting Tamil language. Many of you may not be aware that the people who were with Arumugaswamy faltered innumerable times during their trial rendering of the Thevaram, when they entered the Kanakasabhai  waving the copy of the illegal order of the HR&CE.
There were two Muslim Attorneys who accompanied Arumugaswamy and got arrested along with him and the Dikshitars. Will these Advocates join me if I want to take a small group of Tamil lovers to protect Tamil Thai (Mother Tamil) in Mosques?
Why do these people not agitate in Mosques and English Churches (There are Tamil Churches also), where Arabic and English prayers are rendered to their respective Gods?
Because, we Hindus are not given to violence, spontaneously. We have become docile, as we have lost all our 'Kshatriyatva'. We are Spineless and cannot assert our rights to our prescribed or chosen methods of prayer. We have become so powerless that we cannot even defend ourselves. And when we hit back with rare and well deserved ferocity as we did in Gujarat, we do not know how to defend ourselves, aggressively from the pack of journalist and human right wolves that pounce on us in the name of protecting the minorities.
Unfortunately no Tamil leader will volunteer to fight for the cause of Tamil when it cannot become the medium of prayer for the Tamil Musalman in a Mosque that lies on the Tamil Bhoomi of Tamil Nadu. "Engum Tamizh, Edilum Tamizh", meaning "Tamil Everywhere", "Tamil in Everything" is the dictum of these Tamil chauvinists.  And these Tamil protectors have no balls to barge into a Mosque and demand that Arabic be replaced by Tamil, by Tamils and in the land of Tamils. I wonder if the rulers in various States and in Delhi have already conceded that our country is becoming Dar-ul-Islam or that it is ready to welcome the coming back of the messiah through most fraudulent means. The linguistic chauvinists are all Hindu-bashers, hence by extension, secular and therefore this selective protection of Tamil is their patented right. Q.E.D.
They will not question why there should be a separate English and Tamil Church, like the two-tumbler system. Or why there should be a KApu Church, A Reddy Church etc., Or why should the "caste" Christists of Eraiyur kick the shit out of the converted "Dalit" Christists.  To them this is not discrimination. And they dare not make an agitation to include Tamil prayers in the so-called English Churches and Mosques. And the Christists will continue their separate church and burial ground for the Dalit converts. And none who went with Arumugaswamy will dare come out in demonstration against these acts of blatant discrimination and christist hooliganism.
The HR&CE Minister said "The Dikshitars are not managing the landed properties of the Mandir properly hence there is a need for the Government to take control of the Mandir and regulate it" What is the truth?
This is malicious falsehood. These Dravidian Party ministers go one up on Goebbels. Many people are not aware that the Chidambaram Mandir owns no landed property at all and it has always been run by the "Kattalais", meaning donations from devotees. Therefore, the allegation of mismanagement of Mandir assets by the Dikshitars is false and deserves to be consigned to governmental dustbins. The information on this Mandir Kattalai system  is available in a brilliant book titled – "The Economy of South Indian Temples" by GN Ramakrishna Iyer, published by the Annamalai University, year 1946, Page 50-51.
Therefore, the manufactured pretext of mismanagement of the property by the Dikshitars, only to take control of the Mandir, holds no water.
Karunanidhi said that "Those Gods who cannot understand Tamil can leave Tamil Nadu". What is your take?
Karunanidhi is one up on the Thackerays. Thackeray threatens the mortals. Karunanidhi is always special. He assumes the powers to banish non-Tamil-understanding- Gods from his Tamil Land.
Poor, Allah! When the Mosques do not even give him the opportunity to listen to the Suras in chaste Tamil instead of Arabic, where will he go to learn Tamil? Atleast, Jesus has a generous sprinkle of Tamil Churches to chisel the raw edges of his language. Will Karunanidhi ever nurse the idea to banish Allah, for his ignorance of the Tamil Language? Or will he send Jesus packing to his troubled land?
Karunanidhi should thank Samuel Rajasekhar. Because, Samuel will offer them subsidy to travel to their respective domains.
And for the benefit of Karunanidhi, in the biggest Hindu Mandir, the Tirupati Balaji Mandir, the Samskrit prayers are always augmented by the rendering of the Aazhwars PAsurams, NAlayira Divya Prabandham, Aandal Tiruppavai. During the daily Thomala Seva, one gets to hear the "MArgazhi Thingal" sung inside the Sanctum in its perfect diction. Bless our Stars! Rendering of prayers in Tamil is an age-old tradition in all the Shaiva and Vaishnava Mandirs.
The Hindu Gods are relieved.
The Hindu Gods do not have any language problem. They can accept prayers in any form and in any language. However, they may enjoy Samskrit better because it is after all the Deva BAsha, the language of the Gods and the mother of all languages, known and unknown.
Deva Basha – God's own.

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