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Seers lauded for clubbing education and health care with spirituality

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AN AUSPICIOUS START: Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani inaugurating a religious function at Suttur on Thursday. Deputy Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa, Shivaratri Deshikendra Swamiji, Shivakumar Mahaswamiji and Ananth Kumar, MP, ar e seen. PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM
AN AUSPICIOUS START: Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani inaugurating a religious function at Suttur on Thursday. Deputy Chief Minister B.S.Yediyurappa, Shivaratri Deshikendra Swamiji, Shivakumar Mahaswamiji and Ananth Kumar, MP, ar e seen. PHOTO: M.A. SRIRAM

Special Correspondent

`We see in the maths of Karnataka a confluence of knowledge, science and philosophy'

MYSORE: Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani has sought China's cooperation to facilitate pilgrims from India on Kailash Mansarovar yatra to take an alternative route in the disputed territory.

Mr. Advani, who was speaking at a religious function organised at Suttur on Thursday, said the present route was cumbersome and dangerous and there was an alternative route for the yatra from Dhamchok in Leh. This route was connected to the Kailash region and was motorable, but it passed through the disputed territory.

Mr. Advani said that he raised the issue during his talks with senior Chinese leaders when they visited India recently and impressed upon them the importance attached by Indians to pilgrimages. Though the visiting delegation remarked that the route was in the disputed territory, Mr. Advani said one should, while discussing the border issue, facilitate the pilgrims to undertake the yatra through the safe route. Mr. Advani lauded the services of religious and spiritual leaders from the State and noted that most of the pontiffs had clubbed education and health care with spirituality. "While Suttur Math has established over 400 educational centres all over India and a few abroad, there are other maths in the State, including those at Siddaganga and Adi Chunchunagiri, which too have combined spirituality with social service by establishing educational institutions and hospitals. We see in the maths of Karnataka a confluence of knowledge, science and philosophy, and it is highly impressive," he said.

He referred to his visit to Lahore and said an ancient Shiva temple that found a mention in the Mahabharatha was in a dilapidated state. Following his appeal to the Pakistan Government to help restore the temple, a delegation from that country recently visited India to seek suggestions on restoration work. "I have spoken to the Ministry of External Affairs and suggested that the visiting delegation be shown Tirupati, Aksharadham and Vaishnodevi temples," he added. Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa released a souvenir and said the coming years would see the country making rapid progress in various fields. But he listed terrorism, environmental pollution and religious conversion as the "three major challenges plaguing the country". He reiterated his Government's resolve to ban arrack and said there was pressure to do so. "We will consider all views and take a decision though the Government may lose Rs. 1,900 crore by way of revenue from excise tax," he added.

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