08 August 2011

‘Devaprasnam' at Padmanabhaswamy temple from today

A three-day “Devaprasnam,” an astrological process said to “discern the will of the god or a deity,” will begin on Monday at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple, inside whose vaults riches unofficially estimated to be worth hundreds of crores of rupees were found recently.

Though no agenda for the exercise has been revealed, sources in the temple said the exercise would seek to find the astrological implications of the recent opening of the vaults and may also seek to find out whether it would be astrologically permissible to open Vault B, the only one which has not yet been opened by the Supreme Court-appointed committee so far.

The ‘Devaprasnam' would be done in the presence of temple ‘Thantri' Tharanallur Parameswaran Namboodiri by a team of five or six astrologers, which include Narayana Ranga Bhatt and Padmanabha Sharma. A senior temple official told The Hindu that the exercise would be held inside the ‘Natakasala.'

“I understand that a limited number of devotees, including local astrologers, may be permitted to witness the event. This does not mean that a large crowd would be permitted near the venue. The ‘prasnam' will begin at 8.30 a.m. with a ‘Raasi pooja'. As per the general practice, the lead astrologer would, in the end, sum up the findings and then answer doubts or queries,” the official said. The Devaprasnam was initiated by the erstwhile royal family of Travancore, he said.

Meanwhile, the work of the five-member committee — set up by the Supreme Court to decide on the security, inventory and preservation of the articles inside the vaults — continues apace.

The representative of the RBI on the committee is assessing the vaults from a preservation perspective. It is understood that the work of the committee would not be suspended on account of the ‘Devaprasnam'.

The next meeting of the committee is scheduled for August 10, when a review would be carried out. A decision on commencing the work of assessing the value of the riches found so far would be taken up later.