Travancore Devaswom Board to start religious classes

The teachers at the 'Mathapatasala' will be volunteers who offer their services for free.

Thiruvananthapuram: The Travancore Devaswom Board plans to start 'Mathapatasala,' institutions where children from Hindu families will be taught Hindu rituals and puranas. These will be set up at every temple to provide lessons every weekend.

Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan said this at a workshop on temple rituals called 'Padana Sibiram,' held for temple advisory committee representatives on Saturday. Later, speaking to DC, he said that the initiative was primarily aimed at children between six and 12 years. Even grownups can attend it if they want to, he added.

Addressing the workshop, State Institute of Language director M. R. Thampan said that the initiative will help spread the idea that secularism is not about despising religions, but accepting that the aim of all religions is the same.

Such a proposal will prevent value erosion, which leads youth to alcoholism and anti-social activities, or to become separatists or anti-nationals.

The State Institute of Language has agreed to make various spiritual books available at half the price, Mr Gopalakrishnan said. He asked the advisory committee representatives to set up a small library of such books in every temple.

The board will form a committee of experts to decide on the syllabus. "They will be taught stories from the puranans, mantras like gayatri mantra and customs followed in Hinduism," said Mr Gopalakrishnan.

It would benefit children from nuclear families, who do not have grandparents around to tell them stories from Puranas, he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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