धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः। Dharmo Raksati Raksitah.

Dharma protects those who protect it.

– Veda Vyas, Mahabharat

Sabarimala: Court Recognizes Consecration | Anand Prasad

There is an important element that they could be an adverse effect, if you do not follow the rhythm and you visit the deity, adverse effect on the pilgrim. It could also have an adverse effect on the energy of the deity. The court, not in this particular ruling, but in various other rulings, also recognizes the concept that deities in a temple are required, you are required to keep them energized to following a certain set of rituals. Now these rituals are coming from whenever the deity was consecrated, but the guys that consecrate the deity, very often know what kind of rituals are meant to be followed and concentration is a separate discussion, if you do not follow the rituals that deity, the energy in that deity will get dissipated. Initially it will, it will go down in strength and ultimately it will, you will only be left with a rock or a piece of Idol over there and that’s a meaningless piece of Idol because that in our tradition and our manner of approaching a certain deity and deity being different from the Almighty God, certain deity, the energy might no longer exist. So really, you end up worshiping a piece of rock which is useless. So when you talk in terms of desecration of a deity by non-following or non-compliance of rituals, it is a notion that has also been accepted by the supreme court and as a function of law in our country, for a good, since the 1960s or 70s whenever those rulings were there, but that that’s actually been recognized.

Now here are things that might have vied, in some of the discussions and at least when you read the Supreme Court ruling, it doesn’t sort of clearly pointed, but it seems to suggest that these have had impacts. So we say it’s an temple since time immemorial, but the temple was rebuilt in the 1950s because there were acts of arson and vandalism, the idol was broken, etc. So, there was a new idol that was consecrated. So something really in a rational sense, the question that pops up in your mind is that, this is really a 1950s deity. Why are you saying that this is an ancient tradition? There is no old consecration over here. So what are you talking about… What this misses out is that and I think, you find it in certain parts of northern India, but it’s very common in southern India and peninsular India, is the notion of re-consecration of a deity. So you do it once every 12 years, because why the question is, why is it done and there’s a certain very specified strict process needed to be followed. It’s not just the process, the people that do the consecration need to, also, do some penance before they come to do it. There is a certain energy play that happens in our tradition that is involved with a certain concentration process.

So, a deity, the recognition is that there are various energies post consecration over a period of times, all sorts of energies and distortions creep in and there’s a need to revitalize that energy and therefore the tradition of re-consecration. So really the fact that this particular deity was re-consecrated in 1950s, doesn’t really hold so much water because in almost all temples if there is a process of re consideration that happens, so every temple over old as being very consecrated there is a re-consecrated process that happens every 12 years.