Former Head Priest Of TTD Questions Govt

Hyderabad: Former Head Priest of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Ramana Deekshitulu lambasted the Andhra Pradesh government and questioned why the Tirumala temple kitchen (potu) was closed for 25 days. He clearly pointed out that it was against the Aagama Shashtras to close the kitchen for such a long period. He termed this act as sin against the presiding God.

Talking to the media here on Sunday, Ramana Deekshitulu questioned the intention behind closing the kitchen and asked was it only for repairs. "If it was only for repairing, did they consult anybody having proper knowledge of Aagama Shashtra. It was a sin committed against the presiding deity. Offering unholy prasadam prepared outside the kitchen was a greater sin," he said.

The former Head Priest said that the temple kitchen was constructed around 1150 AD and it was in perfect condition. "But the kitchen was closed for 25 days to remove some stones from the wall and also some boulders from the floor in the name of repairs," he pointed out. He questioned what was beneath the boulders.

He brushed aside the state of TTD Board that the pink diamond adorned by the presiding deity had broken due to coins thrown from a distance by the devotees and said that the diamond was not so fragile. To say that a diamond can broken to bits by coins thrown by devotees was a clear stretch, say several observers.

In a controversial reply about the diamond, he said "A similar kind of diamond came up for auction held by Sotheby's in Geneva recently and there are allegations that it was from the Tirumala temple." He demanded probe into the different corrupt and disruptive practices in the temple.

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