Move to call for applicants for Jeeyar post opposed

HR & CE shouldn’t interfere, says a devotee

Devotees and sthalathaars (families given various duties in the temple by Saint Ramanuja) of Sri Ranganatha Perumal of Srirangam have objected to the temple administration calling for applicants for the post of the 51st Srirangam Narayana Jeeyar.

Badri Bhattar, a sthalathaar, said the Jeeyar is a spiritual and religious leader who has several sacrosanct duties, including holding the keys to the temple and the jewellery belonging to the deities. He also ensures that various traditions are carried out properly. “The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department has no business poking its nose into the religious affairs of the temple. The officials are only custodians of its various properties,” he said. The temple has had a line of Jeeyars chosen by the sthalathaars collectively.

The post of the Jeeyar of the Sri Ranga Narayana Jeeyar Mutt is currently vacant since the 50th pontiff passed away a couple of years ago. The sthalathaars said that a successor was yet to be appointed since he had to be an elderly person and due to COVID-19 restrictions they were unable to bring someone in. Also there were various issues in the temple that needed to be sorted out before someone could be chosen and anointed.

The Jeeyar usually is a senior person who is well-read, is knowledgeable about the traditions and customs of the temple that were established by Saint Ramanuja and has taken deeksha from an Acharya. The first Jeeyar was a disciple of the Saint and brought over by Koorathu Andal, the wife of Koorathalwan after his time, a temple sthalathaar explained.

Sources in the department said that following the objections, for now the notice calling for applicants had been cancelled.

“We have the right to appoint a person to the post of the Jeeyar. There are enough records pointing to that. Since it is empty, it is our duty to fill it up,” said a source.

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