Shirdi: Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan today turned down Dwarkapeeth Shankaracharya Swaroopananda Saraswati`s invitation asking them to send a representative to attend a `dharma parishad` in Chhattisgarh, beginning Sunday, in the backdrop of a controversy stoked by the seer questioning the "deification" of Sai Baba.
"The Sansthan held thorough deliberations on the invitation given earlier this month to its Deputy Executive Officer Appasaheb Shinde to attend the `Bruhad Dharma Sansad` at Kawardha in Kabirdham district of Chhatisgarh on August 24-25. We have decided against sending any representative to attend the event," Mohan Yadav, PRO of Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan, said today.
However, he did not assign any reason for the Sansthan`s decision. A delegation, representing the Shankaracharya, had visited Shirdi on August 10 and requested Shinde to present the views of the Sansthan at the event against the backdrop of the seer`s reported comments that Saibaba was not god and should not be worshipped.
Swaroopananda`s remarks had caused a flutter among devotees of Sai Baba, who reacted by slamming the seer and taking out rallies against him at various places.
Vidyanand, a member of the delegation had said that they visited Shirdi in a bid to defuse the controversy generated by the seer`s remarks.
"Swaroopananda himself sent us to end the dispute and asked the Shirdi Sansthan to attend a two-day sansad to present its views. Besides Swarupananda, Shankaracharyas of the Shringeri peeth and the Puri peeth will attend the sansad," Vidyanand had said.