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New leaf for MP temples: vedic schools, ayurvedic clinics and cow shelters

Some of major temples in Madhya Pradesh may now have new activities in sync with the Indian tradition such as teaching of vedas, treatment of patients through Ayurveda, offering food to the needy and rearing of cows in shelters

bhopal Updated: Jun 11, 2019 22:16 IST
Shruti Tomar
Shruti Tomar
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Mahakal,Ujjain,temples
(HT File photo)

In addition to religious ceremonies, some of the major temples in Madhya Pradesh may now have new activities in sync with the Indian tradition such as teaching of vedas, treatment of patients through Ayurveda, offering food to the needy and rearing of cows in shelters, said state government officials.

This is the plan of the state’s spiritual department for government owned temples for their better utilization and creation of new job avenues for local youth. According to the plan, each of the major temples will have a Vedshala (school for teaching Vedas and Sanskrit), a Vaidyashala (Ayurvedic clinic), an Annkshetra (where free food is available), a Sarovar (pond) and a Gaushala (cow shelter).

“As per the plan, a pilot project will be started in three districts - Indore, Ujjain and Gwalior where there are more than 1,500 government controlled temples to choose from. The project will be implemented under public-private-partnership (PPP) scheme and funded through the temple’s own fund, the district Devsthan Kosh and Rajya Devsthan Kosh, said a department official on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to media.

“The government will provide the temples’ land to various organisations to restructure it. The halls will also be developed for sermons and seminars. Some temples having historical importance like Mahakal Temple in Ujjain, Khajrana in Indore and others will developed in a way that national level cultural programmes could be organised on the premises,” he said.

“The step is also being taken to protect the temple land. In Madhya Pradesh, most of the land of temples, which are unoccupied, are being encroached upon by musclemen in rural areas or land mafia in urban area.” said another official familiar with the matter.

Minister of spiritual department, PC Sharma, confirmed that the plan was under “serious” consideration of the state government.

“There was a time when apart from worship, temples used to be an important place where people came to learn, discuss their problems etc, but now temples’ role in people’s life is limited to ‘pooja-paath’ (worship) only. That’s why we have decided to develop the temples according to Sanatan dharma,” Sharma said.

Swami Omanand of Udasin Ashram in Indore, said, “It is a very good initiative and we are also trying to be a part of this proposal because it would change the whole concept of temple.”

Mahakal Temple priest, Ashish, who is known by his first name, said, “Mahakal temple is already being run according to sanatan dharma. It is a good concept if other temples too have such activities but the government should plan the activities keeping our tradition in its mind.”

First Published: Jun 11, 2019 22:16 IST