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Re: Fwd: [sv-rituals] terms relating to temple offices

From: Sadagopan (
Date: Thu Jun 27 2002 - 20:11:45 PDT

Dear Ute:

At 09:29 PM 6/26/02 +0200, you wrote:

>1) What does the term "Dharmakarta/DharmakartR" indicate? It seems to me 
>that it is used for a person who took part as a sponsor in the erection 
>and consecration of a temple, and whose duty is to "manage" the temple 
>in respect to its secular affairs.

DharmakartA is a  term no longer in vogue compared to
40-50 years ago. It means Honorable Trustee of the temple,
who helps to oversee the temple affairs. Usually they were prominent
(well to do) people of the Village or city and made sure that
the worship was maintained according to SaasthrAs, the income from 
the temple lands were recieved and the needs of visitors were
taken care of . At the famous temple of Thiruppathi (Seven Hills
Temple ) in Andhra pradEsh, a Mahanthu was the Dharmakarta. 
In 1933 , the power was handed over to the Government.
Today , the Hindu Endowment Department of the Government supervises
the affairs of the temple.There are Executive officers in
big temples and staff. Archakas' work is supervised them .
There are still temples in private hands ( Heads of Monasteries). 

>2) What does the "right of reciting Mantrapushpa" indicate? Is 
>"Mantrapushpa" a certain ritual? If so - what verses/sUktas/mantras are 
>recited during this ritual and who is generally entitled to to so?

In Acharya RaamAnujA CD ROM , in the section on AarAdhanam ,
the Manthra Pushpa recitation can be heard.I have also written about
them in Bhakthi List , if my memory serves me right.One conversant with
the Veda Manthrams and who is a respoected scholar recites together
with other knowledgable people in front of  the Lord. In some temples,
there is a hierarchy born out of many generation of services to the Temple.
>3) What does the term "Teerthagar" indicate? Is it an office within the 

Again , long term links  and long term service by specific families
as well as scholarship earn them the right for the member of the family 
to recieve the Theertham ised in Bhagavad AarAdhanam first as a matter of
respect by the community. There is pecking order here and people
have gone to courts (:-) to protect that right. 
>4) What does Taptasamasrayana mean?

This is part of the initiation rites for becoming
qualified to practise Vaishnava dharmAs . Imprinting 
of the upper shoulders with the marks of the Lord's disc and 
conch as VaishNava lakshaNam is involved.

There is an excellent and detailed article by Sri K.K.Anand
of Chennai which will give you a good amount of details beyond what I
mention here breifly. I have copied SrI Anand to give you
the URL for that article.If you are at Chennai, Please plan on
meeting him for valuable information on this and other topics
realted to ViashNava doctrines and practises.  

With Best Wishes,
>Thanks a lot in advance
>Yours sincerely

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