Telangana priest carries a Dalit on his shoulder into the temple, enacts a 2700 year old ritual

A Hindu priest in Hyderabad carried a Dalit devotee into Ranganatha Swamy temple’s sanctum sanctorum on Monday to disseminate equality of human beings. Amidst the traditional nadaswaram and mridangam music and Vedic chantings by priests, Chilkur Balaji Temple Archaka CS Rangarajan carried Aditya Parasri, a fervid devotee from the scheduled caste and a resident of Jiyaguda on his shoulders into the temple. Parasri was wearing a turban and was garlanded with flowers.

This act was highly appreciated and applauded by the massive crowd that had gathered to witness the significant event. Later, the duo along with other priests and residents circumambulated the path in the temple.

The past event which propelled him to do the Seva, Rangarajan said he wanted to do the Muni Vahanai Seva to reinstate the Sanathana Dharma which treated everyone equally. “The prime objective of this gesture is to propagate equality. The ritual coincided with the 1,000th birth anniversary celebrations of Vaishavaite saint Ramanucharya, who preached equality of human beings. So we did the activity like an utsavam (festival),” he said. According to the priest, “this is the re-enactment of a 2,700-year old incident.

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A visibly excited Aditya, who is a Brahmachari and a devotee of Goddess Devi, said that he was honoured to receive such a warm welcome. He added that it could be the beginning of breaking the barriers of social evils like untouchability and caste discrimination which is dividing the country.

“Being a Dalit, my family was oppressed and was humiliated when I was denied entry into Lord Hanuman temple in my native Mahbubnagar. This practice is still existent in several temples. It is very sad that although our Constitution provides for the protection of the downtrodden sections, we are still being looked down upon,” he explains, hoping that this is just the beginning of the change.

This gesture by the priest will also go a long way in dispelling the myths and also tackling casteism within the Hindu society.

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