Friday, October 21, 2011

Temple Raj Citations

Vivekananda: Origin of Temple | Vivekananda condemns priests for making temples trade centre  |
Romila thapar: Temple - commerce- priests

Hindu Temples influenced by Greeks |
Earliest Religious building

No Recitation of Vedic literature in temples  |
Temples and Maithuna Figures

Gandhi Condemns priests  |
Devadasi are the priestly gift to Hindu culture

Temples Even Today are spreading Inequality among fellow human beings, a black mark on my nation

Inequality practiced in Dakshina Kannada temples Even Today  |
Vibrant Gujarat a Myth, 1655 villages practice Inequality source tracked to temple
TN Priests happy allowing discrimination |
Even now untouchability rampant in Orissa temples

<Vivekananda on origin of Temples in India>

There have been three things in Buddhism: the Buddha himself, his law, his church. At first it was so simple. When the Master died, before his death, they said: "What shall we do with you?" "Nothing." "What monuments shall we make over you?" He said: "Just make a little heap if you want, or just do not do anything." By and by, there arose huge temples and all the paraphernalia. The use of images was unknown before then. I say they were the first to use images. There are images of Buddha and all the saints, sitting about and praying. ~Swami Vivekananda

<Vivekananda condemns priests for making temples trade centre>

Of course, the idea of the impersonal [1] is very destructive: it takes away all trade from the priests, churches, and temples.
In India there is a famine now, but there are temples in each one of which there are jewels worth a king’s ransom.
If the priests taught this idea of the impersonal to the people, their occupation would be gone. Yet we have to teach it unselfishly, without priest craft. You are God and so am I.
Who obeys whom? Who worships whom? You are the highest temple of God; I would rather worship you than any temple, image, or Bible.

<Vivekananda condemns priest craft a social tyranny>

Pooh! India is to be raised, the poor are to be fed, education is to be spread, and the evil of priest craft is to be removed. No priest craft, no social tyranny!

<Romila thapar: Temple - commerce- priests>

The temple was by now fulfilling many roles. Where a matha was attached to a temple, this complex was the counter part to the stupa and monastery of the earlier period where it received grants of lands or villages; it too became a land lord with accompanying powers. The temple was the institution of the puranic sect and as such it played a civic role; as a symbol of royal or local power depending on who was its patron; investing in commerce and credit; as an employer; and if it became a centre of pilgrimage it would also acquire a market. Those who managed temple property provided a nucleus for agrarian or urban corporations where the temple invested in commerce; its priests had close associations with administrative and commercial organization. [478, Early India, Romila thapar]

<Romila thapar: Temple a financial centre>

Because the temple received offerings and donations it was also a treasury and a financial centre. The giving of gifts – data- to Brahmins and to the temple was an appeal to the deity through an intermediary. As a institution with managerial functions the reach of the temple included extensive areas surrounding it. [479, Romila]

<Bhasham: Temple post Vedic and a Greek Influence>

Puranic Hinduism required a location where the deity could be established permanently in an appropriate building for worship. Even though the worship was devotional and awaited the grace of the deity, an icon could be the focus for devotion and the giving of gifts.
An icon was not necessary but gradually became common. The centrality of the icon further distanced purnaic Hinduism from the Vedic religion.
Basic rites of Vedic religion were sacrifice that of Hinduism is worship. The temple originated as a small wooden but enshrining a rough icon or fetish. Temples played no part in Vedic religion and none has been traced in archaeological sites from before the Christian era.
It is possible that they were introduced as a result of the wave of foreign influence following Greek and saka invasions. [338 wonder that was India]

<Bhasham: not fundamentally different from the ancient Greeks >

The standard type of the Hindu temple which has persisted from the 6th century AD to the present day was not fundamentally different from the ancient Greeks. The heart of the temple was a small dark shrine –room [garbhagriha], containing chief icon. Then hall [mantapa] etc … [358, wonder that was India, basham]

<Bhasham: Earliest Religious building>

The earliest free standing religious building of which traces remain is a small round tall, probably originally containing a Buddhist stupa, at bairat near jaipur; this dates from 3rd BC and was made up of brick and wood.
The next land mark in temple architecture is the temple generally known, from the modern name of the site, as that of jandial excavated from one of the moulds which covered the city of takshashila. [357 wonder that was India, basham]

<Bhasham: Temples did not recite Vedic literature>

In any case by Gupta times India was probably as much a land of temples as she is present. Often a tank or a flight of steps leading down to a river adjoining the temple, for ritual ablution, important at all times had by now become as essential part of religious observance. The temple might also contain a meeting hall, where epics, puranas and other non Vedic sacred literature were recited.

<Bhasham: Temples and Maithuna Figures>

Maithuna figures of couples closely embracing or actually in coity, are common enough as decorative features of many Indian temples, but those of konark are exceptionally vivid.
Many suggestions have been made as to true significance of these figures. It has been suggested that they merely served mundane purpose of advertising charms of the devadasis or temple prostitutes. Or that they were indented to represent the world of the flesh in contrast to the bare and austere interior which symbolized the spirit or it may be that they represent delights of heaven, on its lower planes or they were connected; in the minds of the designers, with sexual mysticism which played so great a part in medieval Indian religious thoughts. [364 wonder that was India, basham]

Temple women and Prostitutes

Gandhiji was very disturbed by the plight of this low caste untouchable section of the society, namely the Devadasis. (see also: The Temple Women) He was hurt by the miserable way the children of brothels were treated. He had made elaborate plans for their rehabilitation. He declared that protecting women's honor was important and as holy as protecting cows. His book "Women and Social Injustice" contains discussions of very deep thoughts and solutions on the topic. He felt that after India became free, the system of temple women and brothels must be abolished. Even though on paper we have abolished the system of Devadasis, rampant exploitation of women as sex servants has continued.

<Priests of temples used young girls for carnal pleasures... >

Devadasis & Prostitutes: As said earlier, Gandhi considered a situation in all its aspects and so when he was keen to raise the status of women in India to its rightful place, he took into. account the question of the prostitutes and Devadasis. He felt very pained at the problem of Devadasis, because he felt that it was deceiving God to use young girls for the priests' carnal pleasures under the guise of service to God. Similarly, he considered the existence of the institution of prostitutes a shame on society and more so a shame on men. In connection with the problem of Devadasis, Gandhi considered the name 'Devadasi' a euphemism for prostitutes. He considered it in the same light as that of prostitution. And to him this crime of man against woman was much more serious than that of a hungry man stealing a banana or that of a needy youngster picking a pocket. Gandhi believed that this vice was prevalent in cities and the majority of villages were more or less free of it.

He felt that after India became free, the system of temple women and brothels must be abolished. Even though on paper we have abolished the system of Devadasis, rampant exploitation of women as sex servants has continued.

What Ever historians and People like Basavanna,Vivekananda and Gandhi commented on Temples and their power misuse by priests... even today exits.
Below link and citations

<Inequality practiced in Dakshina Kannada temples Even Today>

The below links [ in kannada] explain how people seated for lunch in the temple [ kunjaru-Giri Temple] were asked to get up even before the lunched was served to them just because they belgong to a different caste...§ion=31&menuid=14§ion=31&menuid=14

<Devadasi are the priestly gift to Hindu culture>

The below links does not talk about predated devadasi's but they explain the plight of the women who are forced to become prostitutes in the name of Hindu religion. current day updates and atrocities on women are detailed here

<Vibrant Gujarat a Myth, 1655 villages practice Inequality source tracked to temple >

Vijaysinh Parmar, TNN Dec 7, 2009, 04.21am IST
AHMEDABAD: Sunday was Dr B R Ambedkar's death anniversary, 'Nirwan Diwas' as Dalits call it. And we hate to be doing this. But the bubble of a Vibrant Gujarat needs a prick in the bottom. At the lowest level of the society, Gujarat is not happy. Untouchability still exists in various forms in Gujarat. In a first-of-its-kind study on a large scale, representing 98,000 Dalits across 1,655 villages in Gujarat. it comes out that 97 % respondent’s feel they have 'no entry' at certain places in their own villages, including a temple or where a religious ceremony is taking place.

< TN Priests happy allowing discrimination>

MADURAI: Villur, set in a typical agrarian backdrop with about 1,200 households was once a peaceful village that was until the dalits challenged the diktats of the upper caste' Thevars.For dalits of Villur, about 50km from Madurai and the scene of violence on Saturday night, buying a motorcycle was a sign of extreme luxury just few years back. But only after they managed to buy one they realized that the bigger challenge was riding it down the neatly laid Kaliamman street in the village that leads to their colony.

< Even now untouchability rampant in Orissa temples>

In its bid to end the age-old practice of untouchability and ban on entry into temples in certain pockets of the state, Orissa government has prepared a strategy to deal with such situation


What are priests doing, can’t they educate people. What part of Hindu culture says this purification has to be done and whom are these priests safeguarding.