svAdhyAya Profile picture
8 Apr, 8 tweets, 2 min read
The temple management debate:

Reading people's take on this matter reveals that they do not have much info about the sociology of rituals or history of temples in general. Temples are not mere social spaces for mass congregation, they are also banks, granaries, oracles, 1/n
record keepers, informal legal systems, culture hubs, art repositories, and schools. As complex multi-use spaces, where they were built, when, for which deity, and by whom are not disregardable facts. They matter as temples can only function in these multiple forms 2/n
as long as they derive their legitimacy, which rests on these 4 facts.
Of these 4, the person setting up the temple as well as the titular deity are most important. The consecrator can "activate" a local instantiation of the divine force by dint of their accumulated penance. 3/n
This part of consecration, for those who know it, is a contract signed with the divine. In return for the numerous benefits a temple offers a community, the community is bound by this contract. Based on the time and geography of the land, the consecrator asks the 4/n
local populace to ensure that particular rituals continue as offerings to the activated spark to keep drawing the benefits. Cessation or interruption of these acts are only permitted under the direst of circumstances (environmental, socio-political, or economic calamities). 5/n
When they are interrupted, or (worse) "reinterpreted" then the contract is null and void, meaning the spark is no longer bound to illuminate the location. Think of setting up a particular nuclear plant. Various technical requirements have to be met to exacting standards 6/n
to ensure smooth run. What happens after interruption is unpredictable - either a Chernobyl or a defunct lifeless structure.

Absolutely no one other than the ones well versed in each temple's particular Agama rituals and history can take any decision on temple matters. 7/n
Govt officials/bureaucrats are least qualified, intellectually, politically, legitimately or even spiritually speaking. The risk is for everyone to bear. /end

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