02 December, 2020

A Priest’s Diary

"When I was 10, someone told me about it, and I remember saying that’s not possible: I won’t allow that," says Yedu Krishna, first Dalit to be appointed temple priest by the Travancore Devaswom Board.

A Priest’s Diary
outlookindia.com
2017-10-14T11:01:03+05:30
A Dalit Thanthri

Ten years ago, when I was 12, I was brought to Sree Guru Deva Vaidika Thantra Vidyapeedom at Madaplathuruthu for schooling in priesthood. Here, under K.K. Anirudhan Thantri, I was initiated into a disciplined lifestyle, Sanskrit and the priestly ritual texts—there’s a syllabus. I remember, back in my school, my Class 7 teacher Fonsi Miss had asked us what we wanted to do when we grow up. That’s the first time I said that I wanted to be a priest. She announced it in class; everyone was curious and interested. No one laughed at me. In fact, I got a lot of encouragement. Earlier, only the Brahmins could become priests. It takes years of rigorous learning to be a priest and I’ll have to continue learning all my life.

School and Gurukul

Initially, I could only come for weekend classes—I was at the PSHS Government School at Thirumadikunnu back home near Chalakudy, 30 km away. In Class 10,...

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