Haridwar: Dwaraka-Sharda Peeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati has held the worship of the "unworthy" Shirdi Sai Baba by his followers responsible for a drought-like situation in Maharashtra.
The seer, who is known for his bitter opposition to Hindus worshipping Shirdi's Sai Baba, has made this remark on Sunday during a fortnight-long visit to Haridwar.
According to the Dwaraka seer, worshipping Sai Baba, a 'fakir', as if he were a god was 'inauspicious'.
"Calamity strikes where those unworthy of worship are worshipped," the Shankaracharya was quoted as saying in a report by Times of India.
In support of his claim, the Dwaraka-Sharda Peeth Shankaracharya also quoted scriptures to emphasise that "such places suffer drought, flood, death or fear"
Maharashtra is facing all of these, he concluded.
The 94-year-old seer also expressed his opinion on the Shani temple row and said that women should not have entered the sanctum sanctorum of the Shani Shingnapur temple as "it will bring bad luck to them".
"Shani is a planet of sins. Worshipping him will lead to a rise in crime against women," he added.
Women entered Shani temple inner sanctum, due to this, incidents of rapes will increase further, Shankaracharya Swaroopanand was quoted as saying by ANI.
The Dwaraka seer had on many occasions in past disapproved worshipping Sai Baba.
In 2014, he had said the "mystic who was no god" should not be worshipped, and asked his devotees to remove his photographs and idols from temples where "Sai Baba gets pride of place with Hindu deities".
Sai Baba of Shirdi, also known as Shirdi Sai Baba, was an Indian spiritual master who is regarded by his devotees as a saint.
He is revered by both his Hindu and Muslim devotees. But most of the devotees treat him as an incarnation of God and worship him.