For the last few days, Sabarimala is again in the thick of news as two women- Bindu Ammini (42) and Kanakdurga (44) of menstruating age sneaked into the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord Ayyappa Temple. Entry of a third woman of almost the same age from Sri Lanka, although she showed a certificate of her removed uterus, has also been reported very prominently in the media. Those who are opposing the entry of the women of the particular age group have become the laughing stock for their retrogressive mindset. They are bringing a bad name to the Hinduism, which is considered to be the most unregimented, flexible and accommodative religion of the world.
It is difficult to say whether these women are the true devotees of Lord Ayyappa or they simply played hide and seek game to dodge the temple administration. If these women are really the true devotees of Lord Ayyappa then their courage and conviction to defy the stupid convention must be appreciated. Traditions are changed to suit the new ideas and the necessities. A frozen faith is very dangerous to the development of any society. The temple administration must, therefore, eschew the idiotic and superstitious tradition of discriminating against the women between 10-50.
Lord Hanuman has been the all-time greatest celibate, but no woman of any age is prevented from entering the Hanuman Temple and praying before Him. So how come Lord Ayappa’s celibacy is endangered by the mere entry of the women of 10-50 in His temple? If He is weak and vulnerable, then how can He help and protect other devotees?
In Hindu religion, the female deities are revered and worshipped for their boon giving magnanimities. People pray before Goddess Lakshmi for wealth, Durga for power and energy and Saraswati for learning and wisdom. It may be noted here that all female deities are always depicted in their young age and in the best of attires. Women are the bedrock of the Hindu religion. Without their participation in any festival or any pilgrimage is considered to be incomplete. Then why this anachronism in the temple of Lord Ayyappa?
Instead of going into the technicalities of the constitution and the ruling of the Supreme Court, it will be in the best interests of the Hindu society that the conservative temple administration eschews the illogical tradition and allow the women to enter the temple. Hindu society must sincerely work to change the obnoxious tradition. It is very intriguing that it is happening at the place, which is known for being the matriarchal society and where Shankarachaya was born, who declared Eko aham dwitiyo nasti. Hence, the sooner this practice is abandoned, the better it is for the larger Hindu society.