Demand to Re-Induct Sri Ramana Deekshitulu as Tirumala Chief Priest!
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On May 15 2018, Pujya Sri Ramana Deekshitulu, the Chief Priest of Richest temple and Most Visited temple in the World, held a press meet and made an appeal to devotees to protect their temple. This is an unprecedented event of epic proportions considering the scale and popularity of Tirumala temple.
Here are the events that led to the currents state of affairs happening in Tirumala,
1. Tirumala Kitchen was closed citing some maintenance works. This has never happened in over 1000 plus years of the history of temple. There were allegations of temple authorities digging Kitchen to look for hidden treasure.
2. While the temple kitchen was closed, holy offering (Naivedyam) was brought from elsewhere which is against the Agama Sastra and Sthala Purana.
3. Chief Priest Ramana Deekshitulu sought an appointment with CM Chandra Babu Naidu immediately to complain about the Kitchen situation.
4. CM Chandra Babu Naidu office confirmed appointment and asked Chief Priest to come to Amaravati. He then went to Amaravati to update CM on the situation. He was told to wait as CM was in a meeting. After waiting a whole day, he was told CM was busy and cannot meet him that day.
5. Later he went back to Tirupati and tried to contact CM with no luck.
6. 25 days passed while Chief Priest was trying to get the kitchen open for Lord Balaji Prasad (Naivedyam).
7. After all options to open the Kitchen exhausted, Chief Priest had to come out to let devotees know about the happenings in the temple in a press meet on May 15th 2018. Hyderabad Chilukuri Balaji temple priest suggested to hold the press meet in Chennai because AP media would not cover it.
8. Within 24 hrs, TTD board held a meeting and took a decision to retire priests who are above 65 years of age. A notice was put on the wall of Chief Priest house instead of a TTD authority personally updating him on the orders.
9. The hurried sacking of Chief Priest leads to several suspicions. Typically governing authority should address the grievance. They were well aware that Chief Priest went to Amaravati to complain to CM about the Kitchen situation. In spite of knowing the efforts put forth by Chief Priest to handle the situation within the purview of temple governing body, TTD seems to have apparently colluded with State Govt in taking a unilateral decision to sack the Chief Priest.
10. Chief Priest was questioning irregularities in the temple since past several years. There were several news items over the years in newspapers and web media. Last year he gave a comprehensive interview to a web channel and mentioned about irregularities. Some links below,
11. There was an allegation that he went to an industrialist son to offer special prayers. Chief Priest himself admitted about this and he mentioned that the son was not in a physical condition to move and so he had to go to their residence at that time. This is not against Agama Sastra and this is not the first time he visited someone’s residence. Link below,
12. Until 1996 Chief Priest family was the custodian of Lord Balaji jewelry. After that it was taken over by Govt and there has been no annual audit for last 22 years. He has questioned several times about this which can be found in TTD Board meeting minutes over the years. Situation reached a TIPPING POINT when temple kitchen was closed, allegedly to dig for hidden treasure.
13. Apart from financial irregularities, when offering to God itself was compromised, he was forced to come out in an open press meet after exhausting all possible options of getting Kitchen situation resolved through the Temple authorities.
14. THE DEVOTEES OF LORD VENKATESHWARA SEE NO FAULT IN HOLDING AN OPEN PRESS MEET BY SRI RAMANA DEEKSHITULU. WHILE THE ALLEGATIONS BY CHIEF PRIEST NEED TO BE INVESTIGATED,
15. WE THE DEVOTEES OF LORD BALAJI DEMAND IMMEDIATE INDUCTION OF SRI RAMANA DEEKSHITULU AS CHIEF PRIEST OF TIRUMALA.
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