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“Temple Management Entrusted to Janasena Protesting” 

Temple Management Entrusted to Janasena Protesting

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 The affairs of the monasteries are shaking Tirumala. There is intense discussion about the illegal construction and management issues of the monasteries. Jana Sena’s struggle, claiming that the monasteries have turned into centers for gangs, is creating a political storm. The issue of the monasteries on the hill has escalated, with some Swamiji directly protesting against the construction of the monasteries that are being carried out in violation of regulations.

Tirumala is a major religious center. The TTD has granted permission for the construction of several monasteries in Vaikuntha, where Tirumalesha is enshrined. Currently, 33 monasteries are operational. According to the Vaishnava tradition, the tradition of monasteries in Tirumala has existed since the time of Sri Krishnadevaraya. During his reign, Vyasarayaru from Karnataka supervised the Tirumala temple, and from 1522 AD, Vyasaraya administered Tirumala for 12 years, establishing the Vyasaraja Matha. The purpose of these monasteries was to provide free food to the devotees visiting Tirumala and to serve as resting places for the monastery heads when they visited Tirumala.

Thus, monastery heads from the southern states constructed monasteries in Tirumala to carry out their activities. When the heads of these monasteries visited Tirumala, TTD continued the tradition of honoring them with both grand and small ceremonies. TTD already performs the traditional morning and evening ceremonies for these monasteries. These monasteries were brought into existence to ensure that devotees and the monastery heads had no accommodation issues during their stay in Tirumala. Consequently, the importance of monasteries in Tirumala grew over time. The number of monasteries increased as monastery heads from various parts of the country sought to establish their influence in Tirumala. By 2004, there were 18 monasteries in Tirumala, and now the number has reached 33.

The management of the monasteries in Tirumala has been increasingly criticized over the past few years due to modern renovations and the construction of advanced facilities. The construction of new monasteries and the reconstruction of existing ones, using their influence with government officials, has become a matter of controversy. The expansion work of the Visakha Sharada Peetham monastery, which was undertaken without proper permits and in violation of regulations, has become a subject of legal dispute. Another monastery approached the court against the expansion, leading TTD to intervene and halt the work in April.

Recently, Jana Sena has started a direct protest questioning the illegal constructions of the Visakha Sharada Peetham monastery. They are criticizing the management of the monasteries in Tirumala. A couple of days ago, Jana Sena leaders inspected the construction of the Visakha Sharada Peetham and accused TTD officials of ignoring the violations. They claimed that the previous government had indiscriminately granted permits for illegal constructions, and Jana Sena Tirupati in charge of Kiran Royal requested the NDA government to immediately demolish the illegal structures.

On the other hand, some Swamiji are also protesting against the expansion work of the Visakha Sharada Peetham monastery. Swamiji, along with Hindu organizations, are demanding the immediate demolition of the illegal constructions of the Visakha Sharada Peetham monastery near the Gogarbham dam. With Jana Sena leaders and Swamiji’s protesting, the TTD revenue and police departments have become vigilant. TTD states that the construction issue is currently in court. Jana Sena leaders allege that the monasteries in Tirumala are not promoting religious propagation but are focused on financial gain. It remains to be seen how TTD will resolve the escalating issue of the monasteries amidst the Swamiji’s protests.

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