Haridwar ascetics protest Shankaracharya status to NRI woman

January 15th, 2008 - 10:28 pm ICT by admin  

By Ashish Goel
Haridwar (Uttarakhand) Jan.15 (ANI): Police in Haridwar had to intervene after a huge group of hermits staged a massive protest here on Tuesday against an NRI woman from the U.S being conferred status at par with that of five Shankaracharyas including the pontiff of Kanchi.
Protestors were agitated over conferring of the title of Parvatyacharya to Sri Sri Maha Mandleshwar Guru Maa Jyotishanand Saraswati. It was done at Sri Ma Yogashakti Divyadham Trust at Haridwar during a ceremony on Monday.
In 1998, the award of Parvatyacharya was instituted to be conferred on a lady during Kumbh Mela, the biggest bathing festival, in Haridwar. However, there was widespread opposition and the award was not given.
This year protestors comprised of seers and monks representing 13 Akharas, who said such an act is irreligious.
Maa Yog Shakti, the woman ascetic, is stated to have given up social life to become a Sadhvi (woman ascetic).
According to B.S. Dhani, the Additional District Magistrate, Haridwar, the controversy over the granting of such a status is being investigated.
“This is the demand of all Sadhus here and now we will look into this matter, though I wonder what we can do. Is there anything illegal? If we see something illegal, we will take action,” said B.S. Dhani, Additional District Magistrate, Haridwar.
The Dashnam Sanyasis (or, the monks belonging to Dashnam order) contended that the status of Shankracharya is the apex and highly pious, and above all, only men can be granted such a status in Hinduism.
“Whatever they are doing is against the tradition. It is not acceptable to any Order of monks or their sect or Akhara Parishad (union of monasteries) or any saint. We will protest against it. We will have defamation suits filed against them,” said Swami Shivshasnkar, General Secretary, Awana Akhara.
Protesting monks and hermits said that there is no description of Parvatycharya in scriptures. According to the scriptural beliefs, a monk cannot create a new Order and further Maa Yog Shakti is not entitled for this.
Meanwhile, Maa Yog Shakti has sought police security and protection at her hermitage in Haridwar.
“If this is the condition of their Akhara, we respect it. We are doing some new work, so their annoyance is natural. They all are our children. We know when a new work starts, people protest against it at the outset. I have studied Albert Shoidser when I was a kid. The first line was this only that whenever a new truth appears to the world, everybody protests against it, and later on, accept it,” said Maa Yog Shakti of Mahamandleshwar.
“There is no description of any Shankracharya in Sanatana Dharma (universal religion). . They opened a new chapter and now Maa is opening a new chapter, so there should not be any protest against it. They should rather welcome her decision,” said Guru Maa Jyotisyanand belonging to Maa Yog Shakti’s faction.
Police, apprehending trouble, have sent Maa Yog Shakti and Guru Maa Jyotisyanand out of Haridwar. (ANI)

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