Women trained in Agama Sastra to be allowed as priests in Tamil Nadu

To be appointed as temple priests, women those who are trained in ‘Agama Sastra’ which is a manual dedicated for worship and rituals at temples, shall be considered as said by Sekar Babu, Tamil minister in charge of Hindu temples administration said on Sunday, after debates triggered in the state on his remarks on opening temple doors to women priests.

No prior discussion on this was done at the government level but consideration would be made thereby making arrangements if women are trained in Agama Sastra and are willing to take up the role of temple priests as told to The Indian Express by the Hindu Religious Charitable Endowments Minister.

Including a five day leave for women to stay away from rituals during menstruation, Babu said that all those aspects and other practical aspects would be considered when asked about social acceptance. A woman priest was allowed to conduct pujas in a temple after her father, a priest had passed away as the Madras High Court had passed for the same in 2008.

Pujas including other rituals from 2004 had been performed by the above female, Pinniyakkal, although her father died in 2008. After the death, she stopped functioning as the priest by the villagers following an objection from an individual who staked his claim to be the hereditary priest. Saying that there is no ban for women in non-Agama temples, it would not be a difficult task to allow women priests in Tamil Nadu as said by Justice Chandru, now retired.

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