India is a diverse country and we all know that. But sometimes with diversity comes differences, and we are aware about that as well. While, some credit goes to Cricket and Bollywood for keeping the whole country unified, a village in Udyavara, Kerala is fighting all odds and setting a great example, which the whole nation should learn from.
How often do we get to see Muslims participating in a Hindu ritual and vice-versa? Very rarely, but in this village rare things happen more than often, thus bringing about a positive change that we all need right now.
According to a report in The Times Of India, Sri Udyavara Arasumanjushnath temple tries to ensure participation of the Muslim community in the annual 'Rath Yatra'. The temple invites the members of 1000 Jama'ath Mosque to its annual festival, which is marked by taking out a chariot procession. What's more, in a warm gesture, the mosque representatives too invite the temple custodians to its festival that is held once in five years.
Reportedly, for the past three generations, the religious institutions have been following this custom and the inviting part is carried out ceremoniously, where the custodians of the temple led by three velichappad (oracles) visit the mosque on the on the first Friday after Vishu. This year the four-day-long temple festival will held from May 9 to 12. As far as invitations for the Hindus are concerned, the responsibility is given to the elders of the Muslim community, led by the Imam of the mosque.
Sukumar Shetty, the present manju bhandari (senior-most person of the family of the temple's custodians) said, "This has been followed from the times of our great gradfathers."
T S Sayyed, who represents the mosque at the temple said, "We are active participants of the temple festival. The temple authorities offer us a truckload of vegetables, ghee and rice during the mosque festival."
Apppreciating the efforts of these religious institutions, district collector K Jeevan Babu said, "The temple and mosque are examples of not just peaceful religious coexistence, but also uphold the unity of humandkind beyond parochial religious considerations. The district administration appreciates and also extends them all possible help."
In fact, reportedly the seniors from both communities share a common platform built around a Banyan tree during the festival days.
According to the legend of this custom, when the temple's deities crossed the sea and travelled to the land, they were first welcomed by the the mosque's custodians. Since then it was decided that this tradition should be observed everyday and that it is also be known to the public. In fact, if the village's belief is anything to go by, then it's also said that whoever tried to break this bond between the two religious institutions, met with mysterious ends.
Honestly, if this doesn't prove as a great example of unity, then we wonder what does.
(All images are for representational purpose.)
Source: The Times Of India