A meeting of people, whose roots are in the Delta districts of the east and central Tamil Nadu, was recently held in Chennai under the auspices of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Pitam. Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswati, 70th head of the Pitam, who has chosen to observe Chatur Masya vratam at Asthika Samajam, Venus Colony, Alwarpet, Chennai, presided. The meeting, periodically convened to update and exchange notes among participants, was started under the guidance of the Pitam with the aim of rejuvenating the villages by reviving pujas in ancient temples and restoring those in a dilapidated condition.
It is a fact that due to neglect, hundreds of temples, which once formed the live wire of rural life and Hindu culture, have been languishing without even a single puja and offering (Naivedyam). In the absence of patrons, who migrated to cities, most of them did not have priests. The situation is slowly being reversed with the Pitam acting as the bridge between the villages and benefactors. Families, which once made rural milieu vibrant, are now scattered across the country and overseas.
Under the Pitam’s initiative, they are now uniting under one umbrella — Thanjavur Parampara — to identify places, which need attention, and reach out to those who can help in the revival process. In fact, www.thanjavurparampara.com created for the purpose is a website already throbbing with news, updates and first-person accounts. Information regarding temples, including Sthalapurana. The vision of Sri Vijayendra Saraswati is to make the website a treasure trove of heritage and culture for today’s youth and the generations to come in the future.
Steps have been taken by core groups to construct guest houses for pilgrims visiting villages, where temples of Kuladeivam are generally located. At the meeting, which took place on Saturday last, prominent citizens, including S. Ramadorai, former Vice-Chairman of TCS, Vaidyasubramaniam, Dean of SASTRA University, and Revathi Ramachandran, Director of Kalakshetra, were present. It was decided to strengthen the move by creating more groups of people living in the villages and elsewhere. A time-bound plan was evolved to implement temple-based welfare activities in the villages. Wherever needed, priests will be trained in rituals. A system is now in place to connect natives residing offshore with those in the villages and the role of social media tools in this mission was highlighted.