Tirupati Temple Chief Priest Charges Administration with Interference in Rituals

INDIA, November 21, 2017 (Swarajyamag): Dr. A.V. Ramana Dikshitulu, head priest of the Lord Venkateswara Temple at Tirumala, has stacked scathing charges against the management of the country’s richest temple, accusing them of blatant interference that is violating the sanctity of the temple. A report in Firstpost said what started as a clash between the priests and the temple management manned by Indian Administrative Service officers, has now degenerated into trading insults by the officers in charge of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) and the head priest.

Dikshitulu, who is also one of the four agama advisors of TTD, has been at the centre of controversies for taking on the administration over issues like VIP darshans, shortening of rituals and alleged commercialization of the temple. The latest row is over Dikshitulu taking his grandson into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple for which he was issued a show cause notice by the TTD. Though Dikshitulu did not give an official clarification, he asked Firstpost unofficially that when the relatives of TTD officials can go anywhere at any time, what is wrong with children of priests, who are also practicing archakas (priests), to visit the abode of Lord Venkateswara? The Firstpost report said the TTD is now entertaining Andhra Pradesh MLAs and MPs by sending their voters on a pilgrimage to Tirumala — with food, entertainment, travel and darshan, all free of cost.

Source: World Hindu News (WHN)