Former advocate T.P Sundararajan has been the spark of light to initiate a petition against any possible foul play at the temple of Sree Padmanabha Swamy in Kerala, South India. Generally, the Indian people are god-fearing and they do not like such actions against temples or people who serve god. They tend to think that god will punish those who do injustice and malpractices and nobody should rise against the religious. God-fearing mentality of most of the innocent Indians makes the politicians and evildoers dare to exploit situations to their selfish motives. In the name of god these exploiters are ready to come out with superstitions frightening people that god will punish those who act against religious places or people. Now, in the case of advocate T.P Sundararajan, who died naturally at the age of 70 after being ill for some time, some selfish people have begun to spread rumors that his death was a punishment from god. Is his death a punishment from heaven for his filing a case against the temple trustees to bring out the truth to stop malpractice?
Death of Advocate T P Sundararajan
Advocate T P Sundararajan, whose petition in the Supreme Court brought out to light facts about the secret wealth in the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple, passed away on Sunday 17 July, 2011, following his illness. He filed a case against misuse of the property of which he or anyone was aware. For the past one month, news was coming out about the discovery of enormous treasure, more valuable than any imagination, hidden in secret places underground. But unfortunately the one who took initiative for this venture passed away even before complete details come out.
A devotee of Sree Padmanabha Swamy
Being an IPS officer of the 1964 batch, Advocate Sundararajan was serving in the Intelligence Bureau of India for most of his service and had also served in the security team of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. After his retirement he was living near the famous Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram, working as an advocate.
Why did he file a case against the trustees?
Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram was one of the most famous temples in South India. It was the local temple of Trivancore or Thiruvananthapuram kingdom. The kings or maharajas donated plenty of gold and silver to the temple and also donated a part of the booty they acquired as a result of military operations to Lord Padmanabha. People also were contributing to the Lord as much as they could for centuries. The wealth acquired for centuries was kept in custody by the royal family that ruled the kingdom. Advocate Sundararajan had some idea that the temple should have great wealth under its custody and his devotion to Lord Padmanabha was so great that he wished the temple property should not be misused.
Question of ownership
After Independence the Trivancore kingdom was annexed to the Indian government and the people of royal family were given a large sum of remuneration. As long as it was under the king the wealth was safe since those people honored the Darmasastra literature (law of justice) that any misuse of devaswom property (god’s property) will be treated as equal to one of the five great sins (Pancha maha pataka). This must have prevented the appropriation of temple wealth by kings and officers of the temple as well as the people of the place.
But after the demise of the last king the property in the hands of the trustees was mishandled by some vested selfish people. This caused suspicion among the public. The devotees Lord Padmanabha Swamy wished that the properties of the temple should be safe and those who handled it should be accountable.
Recent incidents in Andhra Pradesh and some other incidents around religious places in the country made some good hearted men to come forward to safeguard such properties. This kind of venture only induced people like Advocate T P Sundararajan to move a file to take an account of the property at Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram so that they may not be mishandled by selfish people.
Recent discovery in the temple
Sundararajan’s move to the court led to the recent discovery of the enormous wealth of gold, silver, precious stones and ornaments from temple. The gold found there is not actual gold of temple but cash converted gold put in temple in form of antiques, coins, precious metal rods, necklaces, etc. The Supreme Court has given restrictions not to show them to people. The value of them could not even be calculated as it went beyond trillions of dollars. This has excited the curiosity of the whole world.
Does god want wealth?
The wealth acquired at the temple is just a significance of the devotion of the people who were ready to sacrifice anything to show their devotion. Temple has been, as found everywhere in India, the place where people kept their things and properties safe. The kings declared that their kingdom belonged to god and they live according to that faith.
Some people ask why god does not punish those who steal in religious places. God does not want any wealth of the human beings. But god prefers a shared life of harmony. Once Sri Ramakrishna, the Master of Swami Vivekananda, was asked why the goddess was not able to protect her jewels when there was theft in the temple, and his reply was “For you it is a treasure, but for her it is nothing when she is the owner of everything in the world.”
Does God punish those who fight for justice?
There are smugglers and underworld criminals who are enjoying the life in full. At the same time, there are god fearing holy people suffering umpteen numbers of tortures and cruelties. There are a lot of selfish god-men who swindle in the name of god. There are still a lot of religious places which are actually dens of thieves and criminals. Hence superstitious rumors and blind beliefs should never be encouraged.