Tantric University in Kerala – Why the fuss?

G Sudhakaran, Minister for Temple Affairs in Kerala, hinted at establishing a Tantric University to arrest the falling standards of rituals performed in the temples. The minister for quite sometime has been lashing out at the spiritually ignorant and corrupt priests in the state. He expressed his views before the Justice K S Paripoornam Commission, which is probing the alleged corruption in the Devaswom Board – the temple governing body in Kerala.

Indian Express reports

The minister said top Hindutva scholars, Vedic exponents, and spiritual gurus will be roped in as faculty. The university will run courses for aspiring priests, besides running continuing education programs for those already working in temples. However, the government doesn’t plan to insist that all priests be required to pass the courses.

“The idea is to properly educate them on important spiritual areas and ritual practices, and bring them up to the required standards.” Teachers at the university will also be authorised as spirituality inspectors. “They will inspect temples, make sure spiritual practices are up to standards,” says Sudhakaran.

But many of the newspapers found it highly amusing mainly because G Sudhakaran is a Marxist and a non-believer.

Who cares about the belief of the Minister? It is his action that counts. It is a well known fact that the many of the priests in major temples in Kerala are corrupt and have amazed wealth beyond their capacity. Some of them have been exposed by the local media and have from time to time proved their ignorance in conducting pujas.

Priesthood should not be the prerogative of a particular community or family. Any practicing Hindu, including women, who has the necessary credentials to perform ‘pujas’ in temples should be allowed to do so.

Neighboring government in Tamil Nadu has started courses for conducting pujas in temples under its administration. In fact, the courses are open to all believers of Sanatana Dharma irrespective of caste and are attracting large number of students. Degree in Vedas and temple rituals is being offered by Dwarka Mahavidyalaya in Gujarat and is open to all irrespective of caste or creed.

A Tantric university will provide the right opportunity to all those people who wish to learn temple rituals. It will also release Hindu temples from the clutches of certain families who have been embarrassing the Hindu community in Kerala.

The minister’s suggestion is a welcome move provided it is kept above party politics.