UJJAIN: Despite the Supreme Court approving new worshipping norms for the renowned Ujjain's Mahakaleshwar temple, the administration of the temple is said to openly flouting the court's order while performing the 'puja' rituals.
In a latest video, one of the priests at the temple is seen performing the 'Bhasma Aarti' on the 'Shivling' without it being covered by any cloth, thus violating the apex court's ruling.
Taking into account the safety of the Shivling at the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain, the Supreme Court recently directed the authorities to only use RO water, instead of Gangajal for the 'Jal Abhishek' there.
At present during the famous 'Bhasm Aarti' (special prayer with sacred ash), half of the lingam is covered with cloth. However, as per the new notification, the lingam should be fully covered with a dry cotton cloth during the prayers.
Restrictions have also been placed for 'Jal Abhishek' and only up to 1.25 litres of milk or 'Panchamrut' (mixture of honey, liquid jaggery, milk, yogurt and ghee) per devotee shall be allowed.
After the 'Jal Abhishek' which concludes at 5 pm every day, the lingam will be cleaned and dried to minimise the water content.
The court's order came following reports of shrinking of the 'Shiv lingam' located in the inner sanctum at the temple.
As per another development, the devotees have also been barred from carrying out any kind of utensil to the sanctum sanctorum of Mahakal temple so as to prevent them from carrying water excess to the prescribed limit for making offerings to the deity.
The decision was taken by the management on Saturday to strictly implement the court directives on the steps to be taken to prevent the erosion of the 'Shivling'.
Ujjaini Vidwat Parishad – a body of intellectuals – had triggered a debate over the 'Shiv Lingam', saying it has shrunk due to excessive 'Bhaang Shringaar' (offering of Bhaang) and 'Panchamrit' (milk, curd, honey, sugar and ghee).
The members of the Ujjaini Vidwat Parishad also reportedly asked for restricting the quantity of the 'Panchamrit' being offered to the 'Shiv Lingam' at the Mahakal temple in Ujjain.
In view of their concerns, the court constituted a committee of experts that visited the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain to take stock of the situation.
Although the expert committee differed with the Ujjaini Vidwat Parishad's view, it recommended restricting certain offerings by devotees to save the sacred 'Shiv Lingam'.
The expert committee, consisting of officials of Archaeological Survey of India and Geological Survey of India, said that 'Bhaang' offering is not the sole reason behind shrinking of the 'Shiv Lingam'.
The committee also recommended that the offerings be restricted to only those made by the priests.
The committee also called for reducing the quantity of 'Gangajal' and 'Panchamrit' offered to the deity at the temple here.