Cloud over ‘sarpa samskara’ at Kukke Subramanya

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(Ronald Anil Fernandes, Mangalore)  August 4;Kukke Sri Subramanya temple, located about 105 km from Mangalore, is famous for ‘Sarpa Samskara’ and people from all walks of life, not only from India, but abroad too visit the temple to get rid of sarpa dosha (the serpent curse).

Cricketers such as Sachin Tendulkar, Venkatesh Prasad and Srinath, Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty, Juhi Chawla, members of Raj Kapoor family, industrialists Vijay Mallya and the Birlas and many High Court judges are only a few to mention, who have performed ‘sarpa samskara’ in Subramanya.

An interesting and a little known fact about Subramanya, which houses the richest Muzrai temple in the State, is that there is a Subramanya temple run by the government and the Subramanya Mutt headed by Sri Vidyaprasanna Swami, located next to the temple.

While Lord Subramanya is the presiding deity at the Subramanya temple, Lord Samputa Narasimha is the presiding deity at the Subramanya mutt. Similarly, while the temple charges Rs 2,500 for the ‘sarpa samskara,’ the mutt charges Rs 4,500 per ritual.

If sources are to be believed, then, the ‘sarpa samskara’ performed in Subramanya temple only is “real sarpa samskara” and the ritual done anywhere else, including the mutt, is “not complete.” Sources said that as per the ritual, after performing the sarpa samskara for two days, finally the ‘prasada’ is offered to Lord Subramanya (lord of serpents) so that ‘sarpa dosha’ is warded off. In case of the mutt, the prasada after the ritual is offered to Lord Samputa Narasimha (who is not the lord of serpents) and hence the ritual is not complete, sources explained.

When contacted, Temple Managing Committee president Krishna Prasad Madthila and executive officer Prasanna said that the ritual of ‘sarpa samskara’ is complete only when it is done in the temple. However, they did not comment on whether the ritual done in mutt is right or wrong.

When contacted, Sri Vidyaprasanna Swami said there is nothing wrong in the mutt performing the ritual.

“Unlike the temple, wherein a single priest performs ‘sarpa samskara;’ in case of the mutt, a separate priest performs rituals for every individual,” the seer clarified and added that there is nothing wrong in performing the ritual in mutt or temple as both are in “Subramanya Kshetra.”

Heavy rush

Citing another example, he said that there is a heavy rush in the temple and devotees have to wait for months. “In case if the devotee is unable to turn up on the said date, he will have to wait for another few months,” he said. Many a times, devotees cannot wait as they would have come from a foreign country or for a particular event, say marriage, and the ritual cannot be postponed just because there is no slot for them in the temple.

However, countering the argument, sources said: “Just because you don’t have time or can’t wait for a particular period, you cannot do the ritual wherever you want, as it has some sanctity.”

While the seer claimed that “it does not matter where you perform the ritual as long as you get the benefit,” a devotee said “it is left for the devotees as long as they know the facts.”

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