Pattu Dikshithar, the priest who is said to have given permission for the wedding celebration of a family member of an industrialist from Sivakasi at the famed Rajasabai (the 1,000-pillar mandapam) in the Sri Natarajar temple in Chidambaram, has been suspended from work, News Today reported.
Devotees of Chidambaram Natarajar Temple were shocked on Friday (13 September) to see the sacred 1,000-pillar mandapam being turned akin to a wedding hall for the marriage function of an industrialist’s family who runs a cracker unit in Sivakasi and a Chennai shop involved in consumer durables.
Only festivals like Arudra Darshan and Aani Thirumanjanam associated with the Lord Natarajar are celebrated in the Rajasabhai.
The industrialist family celebrated the wedding in an ostentatious manner sparking widespread outrage as many devotees felt that it had violated the sanctity of the temple.
As part of the wedding arrangement, a red carpet was rolled out at the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum, the 1,000 pillar mandapam and was decorated with plantain trees, flower garlands. Hanging lights for the wedding were also set up.
This sacred mandapam is also said to have been turned into a commercial place like a wedding hall where everyone attended the marriage ceremony with their footwear.
Many devotees pointed out that it was unprecedented that a wedding was held at the Rajasabai though a separate place is available for such functions near the north tower.
Following widespread condemnation over the permission accorded to the marriage, the Podhu Dikshitars of the temple arranged for a general body meeting which was headed by Chandrasekhar Dikshithar.
Many other Dikshitars from various temples attended the meeting and a suspension was handed out to Pattu Dikshithar, who was responsible for arranging the wedding in the Rajasabai.
The temple was once controlled by the HR&CE and after a Supreme Court ruling, its control was transferred back to the Podhu Deekshithar Committee.