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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Nine foreigners set to take over as high priests of Nirmohi Akhada

This will be for the first time when any ‘akhada’ will confer the prestigious title of mahamandaleshwar on nine foreign seers in a single ceremony in Kumbh Mela.

lucknow Updated: Feb 07, 2019 08:41 IST
Smriti Malaviya
Smriti Malaviya
Hindustan Times, Prayagraj
Lalita Shreedasi (left) with another disciple of Sai Maa in Kumbh Mela. Lalita Shreedasi will be anointed as Mahamandaleshwar
Lalita Shreedasi (left) with another disciple of Sai Maa in Kumbh Mela. Lalita Shreedasi will be anointed as Mahamandaleshwar(HT Photo)
         

Shree Panch Nirmohi Ani Akhada, one of the 13 ‘akhadas’ (monastic orders) in the country, is set to anoint nine foreign nationals as mahamandaleshwars (high priests) in an ordination ceremony to be organised at its camp here on February 8.

This will be for the first time when any ‘akhada’ will confer the prestigious title of mahamandaleshwar on nine foreign seers in a single ceremony in Kumbh Mela.

Seers are known as ‘mahamandaleshwars’ when they are elevated by their peers to the highest level of traditional, Hindu spiritual guardianship.

According to the representatives of the ‘akhada’, these foreign nationals are being appointed as ‘mahamandaleshwars’ in view of their dedication towards spreading the principles of ‘Sanatan Dharm’ all over the world.

These foreign seers, three of them being young women, are from Japan, Chile, Israel and the United States.

The seers who will be anointed as mahamandaleshwars include Dayanand Das (Israel), Rajashree Dasi (Japan), Jayendra Das (France), Tyaganand, Shridevi Dasi, Parmeshwaranand, Lalita Shreedasi, Anantanand Das and Jeevanand Das (all from US).

All of them refused to divulge their original names and said they would prefer to be known by their present names.

Shreemahant Swami Rajendra Das of Ani Akhada said, “We are happy that foreigners are also getting attracted towards the eternal religion (Sanatam Dharm) of India. They want to get associated with us. We are anointing so many foreigners for the first time. They will spread the ideologies and principles of Sanatan Dharm.”

Lalita Shreedasi from the United States, who is among the seers to be ordained as mahamandaleshwar, said: “It’s a great honour. I got attracted towards Sanatan Dharm when I was just 21. My life got transformed after I came in contact with Sai Maa. It was a spiritual awakening for me. I started travelling around the world with Sai Maa and realised the beauty of spiritual life.”

She manages the ashram of Sai Maa in the United States.

“I love to read the Vedas. I am learning Vedic hymns and mantras to understand its true meaning. I am also learning Hindi. We have blended the best of both the East and the West to lead a fulfilling life under the guidance of Jagadguru Sai Maa,” she said.

Marie, a French disciple of Sai Maa, said was looking forward to attend the ordination ceremony in the audience. “I want to see the traditions and customs of akhadas,” she said.

Caption

Lalita Shreedasi (left) with another disciple of Sai Maa in Kumbh Mela. Lalita Shreedasi will be anointed as Mahamandaleshwar. (HT PHOTO)

First Published: Feb 07, 2019 08:41 IST