Traditions should be preserved at Sabarimala: Heggade

Mangaluru: Traditions and practices governing religious places, including Sabarimala, should be preserved for all times, Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari (hereditary administrator) D Veerendra Heggade said Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters at Dharmasthala, a popular pilgrim centre in Dhakshina Kannada district, he said the society should understand the intentions with which the traditions at temples have been formulated, and it should not be confused with devotion, which can be performed at home.

About the ban on entry of women in 10-50 age group at Sabarimala which was recently lifted by the Supreme Court, he said some such restrictions add to the overall divinity of the religious places and help preserve local customs and traditions governing the conduct of devotees going there.

Heggade said he was aware of such restrictions in force in some places of worship abroad. More than a question of womens entry into temples, it was more of upholding time-tested beliefs, he said adding some of the local customs and traditions govern the sanctity of the sanctum.

Ban on entry of women in 10-50 age group was also to help the men folk going to the temple to observe self-control, he said adding it should not be seen as a move to deny equality to women.

His comments come amid protests in Kerala over the apex court order lifting the ban on entry of women in menstrual age into the Sabarimala shrine.