A Christian family in a Kerala village has donated its 50-year-old teak tree to a Hindu temple for being used in a religious ceremony. The tree was needed for the past seven years to build Lord's flag mast by temple authorities.
The special teak tree was needed at Sri Mahadevar Temple at Ettumanur near Kerala's Kottayam District for an ideal flag mast that started just after the "Devaprasnam" ceremony at the temple in the year 2000.
Temple authorities had already visited nearby States in search of the appropriate tree. Eventually, they found it at Maniyangattu House owned by M.K.Joseph, near Pala.
"I felt happy and somehow I could help the temple for its flag mast. Earlier, I had 40 teak trees and had to cut all of that, but I could never touch this one. When the temple authorities asked for it, I just donated it happily," said M.K Joseph, Teak Tree Owner
The tree stands 68-foot tall with a girth of 76 inches at the bottom. It is believed to be worth rupees 2.5 lakhs in the market.
For Joseph, the tree was the only one left after he had cut down all other teak saplings in the vicinity, it was at the time when the government included teak among the list of royal trees that could not be cut down by the owner.
Joseph remembers how once he cut down a few of the teak saplings that were planted along with this one on a single day but when he came near this teak tree, his axe was broken. He just left it like that.
But this time, the tree was cut with the help of men and machines in such a way that it would not touch the ground. Later, it was taken to Sri Mahadevar Temple in a procession, witnessed by all the community in the village.
After initial processing, the tree will be kept in a specially prepared mixture containing medicinal herbs and oils for a year. It is only after that it would be used for the Lord's flag mast.
Meanwhile, thousands of people gathered to watch the ceremony for cutting the teak tree for the proposed flag mast at Sri Mahadevar Temple at Ettumanur near Kottayam District in Kerala.
"We, at Sri Mahadevar Temple, Ettumanur are on the process of preserving a teak tree to be used as a flag mast for our temple which will be installed by January 2009. This tree has been donated by a Christian family from their property. The village's Christians always help the temple for various purposes," said U.N. Thambi, convenor of the Temple committee.
For the entire village and devotees from the Hindu and Christian communities, it was a rare and auspicious occasion to watch priests chanting hymns and praying to get the permission to cut from the Mother Nature, the 50-year-old teak tree from the premises of a Christian family.
The astrologers had found that the deity was not happy with the present concrete mast, which had started of wear and tear around 30 years after it was constructed.
Teak tree products are known to resist the attacks of insects and the corrosive effects of weather for hundreds of years. (ANI)
© 2007 ANI