On Tuesday, Pandit Manoj Shukla, priest at the Mahamaya Mandir in Raipur, was stunned at the sight of Shiva lingams strewn all over the temple premises. His shock was momentary. It soon dawned upon Shukla that the lingam deluge was courtesy controversial godman Nirmaljit Singh Narula, known as Nirmal Baba.
The godman, who is under the scanner for his immense wealth, has reportedly asked his followers to remove the Shiva lingams from their homes and shift them to temples as this would “bring blessings in life and redress worries”. As a result, various temples across the state capital are flooded with Shiva lingams and priests are wondering how and where to suitably relocate them.
Shiva lingams and idols are also lying scattered at the Mahadev Ghat situated on the banks of the Kharun river.
“Shiva lingams and idols continue to pour in as we haven’t been able to convince believers to take them back,” said Priya Sharan Tripathi, priest of another temple. “It is shocking to find people blindly following the deceptive advice of this self-proclaimed baba,” Shukla said.
Repeated requests by priests to ignore such “irrational” advice have not deterred the believers, who consider Nirmal Baba a “miracle saint”.
“We are hoping to get rid of hurdles that are blocking our family’s progress,” said Shakuntala Devi, a housewife.
“Babaji offers solutions with his enormous transcendental process. Good luck will soon follow,” said Bansi Lal, another Baba devotee.
Meanwhile, Yogendra Shukla, a civil contractor and disciple of Lord Shiva, has lodged a police complaint against Nirmal Baba. “He is hurting our sentiments by advising something so objectionable,” he said.