Thiruvananthapuram: The Vithura temple authorities have agreed to abide by the government order not to conduct the controversial ritual of bathing the idol with blood. “We will not defy the orders of a democratically elected government. However, the government should study the scientific base of the ritual before stopping it. Only a drop of blood mixed with water was used for the ritual at a time,” the functionaries of the Deviyod Sree Vidwayari Vaidyanandha temple told reporters here on Thursday.
Temple thantri A. Manikandan said that a team consisting of doctors from the three streams of medicine should be formed to inspect the scientific nature of the ritual. “This was being performed as per the texts of Adharva Veda. It has also medical applications. The ritual has healing effects as per the principles of indigenous medicine,” said Mr Manikandan. “We are not forcing anyone to offer blood and the devotees were giving it willingly. Till last year, a drop of the blood of only the priest who performed the ceremony was being used. However, some devotees wanted a role in the rituals. This was why they were also asked to donate blood. The decision to use sterilised syringe was to ensure the safety of those who donated blood,” he said.
The temple authorities will not defy the order of the government. Moreover, they could save up to `50,000 if the ritual was not conducted. They did not collect a single paisa as donation for the festival being held from March 12 to 23. If the devotees needed the continuation of the ritual, they should pressure the government. The temple authorities will not take up the task, said the thantri. The temple is not associated with any community and it does not segregate devotees in the name of caste, creed or religion. In fact, the temple trust had Christian and Muslim members also. Temple Niyogi Krishna Pillai also attended the press conference.