Religious leaders slam ‘politicisation’ of Ram temple consecration

Nischalananda Saraswati expressed resentment over Modi doing the consecration pooja at the temple and said he would not go to Ayodhya in that case

January 09, 2024 09:49 pm | Updated January 10, 2024 12:52 am IST - New Delhi:

Construction works are underway at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple, in Ayodhya.

Construction works are underway at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Temple, in Ayodhya. | Photo Credit: ANI

Top religious leaders came out in public criticising the way the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is taking over the ‘Pran Pratistha’ (consecration) of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to inaugurate the ‘semi-constructed’ temple for ‘political gains’.

Nischalananda Saraswati, the 145th Jagadguru Shankaracharya of the Purvamnaya Govardhana Peetham of Puri (Odisha), expressed resentment over Mr. Modi doing the consecration pooja at the Ram Temple and said he would not go to Ayodhya in that case.

Modi ji Lokarpan Karenge, Moorti Ka sparsh Karenge or fir mai waha kya tali bajaunga, [when Modi ji will do the consecration at the temple and will touch the idol, will I be going there to clap],” Nischalananda Saraswati told the media.

He said people need to think that what remained for the ‘dharmacharya’ (religious teacher) to do in Ayodhya if the Prime Minister was doing everything.

However, the seer praised Mr. Modi for not portraying himself as a secular leader and showing full respect to ‘Sanatan Dharma’.

“The Prime Minister is doing everything, be it teaching yoga and now doing ‘pran pratistha’, which is done by seers and saints,” he added.

Talking on the similar lines, Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati, the 1008 Shankaracharya of Jyotish Peeth in Uttarakhand, on Tuesday claimed that inauguration of the partially constructed temple was being done only for political gains.

‘Against tradition’

“Traditions are not being followed in the consecration ceremony of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. In India, the king [political leaders] and the religious leaders have always been separate, but now the political leader is being made the religious leader. This is against traditions and is being done for political gains,” said Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati.

He said that in any temple there was no entry or consecration could happen before the construction work was completed.

“At present in Ayodhya, the floor of the sanctum sanctorum has been made and pillars have been erected on it. The temple has not been completely constructed. In such a situation, the Pran Pratishtha is not up to the traditions in Hinduism,” the seer added.

Reacting to the statement made by Champat Rai, general secretary of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra (Ram Temple Trust) and a senior leader of the VHP, who in a media interaction said the Ram Mandir belonged to the people of the Ramanand sect and not to Shankaracharya ‘Shaivas’ and ‘Shaktas’, Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati said then Mr. Rai must resign and hand over the temple to Ramanand sect.

“If the Ram temple belongs to the people associated with the Ramanand sect, then this temple should be given to the people associated with the Ramanand sect before consecration. No one will have any objection to this,” the seer said, adding that he is not against Prime Minister Modi but just want to warn him to not participate in anything which is ‘anti-dharma’.

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