Bhadrachalam: The continuous change of the rituals and conventions performed during Sri Rama Navami celebrations at Bhadrachalam temple has forced the devotees and citizens of the holy town to launch a signature campaign opposing them. Vedic scholars were the first to sign on the memorandum.
Explaining the different changes adopted in the rituals since 2013, spiritual activists including Tejaswi Sarma, B.S.S. Sarma, B. Sankar Reddy, R. Ravikumar, Subramanyam, Radhakrishna Sastry and D.V. Sankara Rao said that Lord Rama was never called ‘Ramanarayana’ either by Bhakta Ramadas, who founded the temple, or by Thumu Narasimhadas, who gave shape to the rituals, nearly 300 years ago.
Bhakta Ramadas, while detailing the virtues and goodness of Lord Rama in Dasarathi Sathaka, referred him as Ramachandra Swamy while Thumu Narasimhadas called him Sri Ramachandrudu.
However, the priests at the temple have coined the name ‘Ramanarayana’ and chanting the same during Edurukolu, Kalyanam and Pattabhishekam, various rituals performed during the celestial wedding every year.
Earlier, Lord Rama was called as Sri Ramachandrudu on all the above occasions. The activists question the temple priests the need to change the name of Lord Rama.
Many devotees feel that the temple town was facing water crisis and other troublesome situations due to changing the old practices during the wedding of Lord Rama.
“During Edurukolu, there used to be a mention of father of Ramachandraswamy, King Dasaratha. For the last few years, they stopped taking the name of King Dasaratha during the Kalyanam.
During Pattabhishekam, the same Lord Rama is being referred to as Sri Ramachandra Swamy, belonging to Ishwaku vamsa of Kshatriya dynasty.”
The spiritual activists also questioned the temple priests about the need to recite the pravara twice during the celestial wedding. G. Muralikrishnamacharyulu, pundit in Adharvana Veda, has given a clarification that the priests were referring the processional deities as Ramanarayana but not the presiding deities (main idols in the sanctum sanctorum). The priests are referring to main idol of Lord Rama as Ramachandraswamy only, he added.
However, many devotees are hurt at the way the priests have been changing the rituals as per their wish. Brahmasri Chagani Koteswara Rao too referred Lord Rama at Bhadradri as Ramachandra Prabu and not Ramanarayana.
Mr Sankar Reddy said that they will meet all the officials, judges, Governor and TS Chief Minister and explained to them about the deviations from the normal practice and try their best to re-introduce the traditional ways into the temple activities....