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Fake godmen: Akhada Parishad to ‘verify’ antecedents of babas

HARIDWARThe Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, the apex organisation of Hindu sants (saints) and sadhus (ascetics), issued an advisory to all its members in the wake of controversial cases involving self-styled god men and women

dehradun Updated: Aug 31, 2017 20:27 IST
Sandeep Rawat
Sandeep Rawat
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand News,Akhada Parishad,godmen
Sadhus observe 523rd birth anniversary of Shri Chand Bhagwan in Haridwar.(RAMESHWAR GAUR/HT)

The Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, the apex organisation of Hindu sants (saints) and sadhus (ascetics), issued an advisory to all its members in the wake of controversial cases involving self-styled god men and women.

In its advisory to all 13 Akhadas on Thursday, the Parishad cautioned them from bestowing the ‘Mahamandaleshwar tag’ to any seer unless an Akhada committee gives recommendation to the proposal after verifying background of the individual. “In recent times, a large number of incidents of fake or self appointed god men, Mahamandaleshwar, Jagadguru and Shankaracharya have come into light for hurting the religious significance of these coveted posts as well as Sanatan Dharma,” the Parishad said.

Such people are in no way following the age old Sanatan Dharma tradition nor that of Akhadas, it noted.”They are harming the credential of saints-seers-spiritual guru and Hinduism. It’s high time, Akhada Parishad being the sole in-charge of all the Akhadas take steps to rein in such fake god men and restore confidence in religion,” Parishad president Mahant Narendra Giri Maharaj said.

He added that a list of such fake and controversial individuals with no link with the Akhada tradition or Hindu religion was being compiled.

Sadhus, in general, welcomed the Parishad initiative and advisory terming it as a major step in reining such fake self-styled god men. “Several instances of fake god men have come into light in recent years, who have betrayed the faith of thousands of their devotees.During the Mahakumbh in 2010 ,a dozen odd fake Shankaracharyas had arrived to attend the mega fair. They had nothing to do with Vedic knowledge,sanyasi tradition and spirituality. Certainly, steps need to be taken by the Parishad so that image of saints and seers doesn’t suffer,” Mahamandaleshwar Harichetnanand Maharaj said.

“We are observing the 523 birth anniversary of Shri Chand Bhagwan, the founder of Udasin sect, who throughout his life worked for poor and downtrodden and against social malpractices. These are real saints whose ideals need to be followed instead of self-styled god men,” said Mahant Bhagat Ram,spiritual head of Shri Naya Panchayati Udasin Akhada.

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 20:27 IST