DURBAN – Hindu leaders have described as “sacrilegious” and “a sin against God” the removal of 79 stone idols of saints who were venerated for having devoted their lives to Lord Shiva.
In February, for the first time in South Africa, the idols (murthis) of the 63 Nyanmar saints and 16 other saints were installed in a temple, the Siva Manram, in Havenside, Chatsworth, following a period of sanctification and consecration rites overseen by spiritual leaders from India and locally.
The Nayanmars – a group of 63 male and female saints who lived in South India between the 6th and 8th century – became the vehicle of popular devotion through their songs, stories, poems and miraculous deeds.
On Saturday, hammers and chisels were used to remove the 79 idols following disagreement between two factions vying for control of the temple, which eventually saw the dispute going to court.
The president and spiritual head of the temple, Archie Hirasen, also known as Somasundram Adigal, applied to the Durban High Court to intervene after Elvis Padayachee, a former president who is now chairman of the temple’s interim committee, and a large group of devotees objected to the temple being “captured”, and a religious programme that had been established over 50 years coming under threat of being discarded in favour of new practices.
To read the full story by Yogin Devan click here
Source: Post Newspaper