KOTTAYAM: Debunking their claim over the Sabarimala temple historian Rajan Gurukkal says that the Thazhamon family doesn't have any claim over the Sabarimala temple as they do not belong to the Vedic tradition.
"They were migrants from Andhra Pradesh three to four generations back, and they are not trained in the Agamic rites (Vedic tradition)," he told DC.
"The family doesn't have any Tanthri (one who does karma) tradition and are equal in status to that of any ordinary temple priest. Ideally, the authority of a temple should be a person trained in Agamic rites, and he must be well versed in the Thantri's rituals."
Dr Gurukkal's reaction came in the context of the claim of the family that they inherited the Thathri right of Sabarimala from Parashurama in BC 100.
But Dr Gurukkal says that there was no temple at all in India then and the earliest Brahmanical temple existed was during the Gupta age of 3rd century AD.
Previously there were only Jain Buddhist monasteries and prayer halls, and the real right over the Sabarimala temple now rests with the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB).
"The Vedic brahmins are the real custodians of the Agamic rites, and those belonging to the Thazhamon family did not belong to that genre," he said."For the last two to three generations, the Thazhamon family used to conduct the Shudhi Kalasham (purification ritual after the exit of pilgrims) and the Pandalam royal family entrusted them with this. They are not Namboothiris but Pottis who are inferior,"he said.
"Traditionally a qualified Tanthri family would not undertake the responsibility of conducting the purification of the temple because it is not possible to keep the purity of the Poonkavanam (holy forests) encircled by 18 hills. No Tanthri can ensure the Prasada Shuddhi of Sabarimala which is very extensive and hence no qualified Tanthri will undertake the responsibility....