April 2007: Guruvayur and Yesudas
by Elizabeth Menon

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My views on the latest topic: 'Guruvayur and Yesudas' !

It's the 21st century and about time people had free access to places of worship. People of different castes go to their respective places, temples, churches, Mosques etc, but if anyone decides to visit the other's place of worship, it should be taken as an honour and acceptance of other religions. Can one determine 'pure at heart and body status' of all the Hindus who visit Guruvayur or any other temples?! There are thousands of non-Hindus who have visited these places and therefore, one has to have the ability to blend with the rest of the crowd and totally unknown, to gain access to these places, whether one is a Christian or Muslim!

The question here, is not whether Yesudas is given an entry card, but about access being given to anyone who wishes to visit places of worship, either to pay respect to the deity or pray to the divine power. Yusafali Kecheri has written poems worshipping Lord Krishna and other 'Hindu Gods' in 'Aalila' and Ormaykku Thalolikkan, to mention a few. There are other writers and dancers ' of non-Hindu origin' who come under this category and of course, I don't forget those who genuinely would love to visit such places; I am sure there would be thousands who would not like to visit other places of worship but their own, even if they are permitted to do so!

Ever since Yesudas's famous song '... Guruvayoor Ampala nadayil orudivasam njan pokum' reached the air waves, it has been a point of discussion that surfaces at random intervals, that Ganagandharvan Yesudas wishes to worship at the Temple. Vayalar wrote those beautiful lines and Yesudas, the only singer gifted with a voice tuned by God Himself, made it celestial and the rest is history! He is a singer and he was just doing his job, only too well, as he always does; if the words came to life when he gave his magic touch , it only shows his greatness as a singer! I am sure he has never pleaded with anyone to gain entry to Guruvayur Temple. He has sung many religious songs which can be heard in various temples and churches and he does not need an 'admission card', to continue to do so!!

I had a very humiliating experience years ago when I went to Guruvayur temple to attend my sister-in-law's wedding and I had to sit outside the temple, missing the wedding. I am a Christian married to a Hindu and therefore my entry would have warranted a 'punyaham' , before they could conduct the wedding ceremony! It was very humiliating and I felt like a second class citizen or an outcast . I sincerely wish that nobody has a similar experience!

I only hope that the magic word, 'YESUDAS' opens the doors for all, like he opened the doors of Classical music to the common people!"

© E Menon



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