Shankaracharya says Sai Baba devotees should stop worshipping Lord Rama
The followers of Sai Baba should stop worshipping Lord Rama and not take holy bath in river Ganga, said Dwarakapeeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand.
Zee Media Bureau
Haridwar: Troubles are mounting for Dwarakapeeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand, who was booked on Tuesday for “hurting religious sentiments”.
The case against him was filed in Shirdi.
But this did not stop Swami Swaroopanand from making another controversial statement. A news channel has quoted him as saying that the followers of Sai Baba should stop worshipping Lord Rama, taking holy bath in river Ganga, and chanting Har Har Mahadev.
Earlier in the day, he had declined giving any statement which could flare up tensions, a day after threatening the followers of Sai Baba of Shirdi.
In a turnabout, Swami Swaroopanand had this morning told Zee Media that there should be an amicable and logical debate over the issue.
In the meantime, protesters burnt Swaroopanand`s effigy in Varanasi.
The Shankaracharya had earlier incited controversy by saying that worshipping Sai Baba was a conspiracy to divide Hindus. He had also said that Sai Baba should not be worshipped as he was a human being and not a God, and his temples should not be built. His statement was condemned by the followers of the saint.
Later, Swaroopanand threatened Sai Baba devotees, warning that his followers could flare up tensions.
Those who are against my statement will be given befitting reply by my devotees, Swaroopanand had said. He, however, tried to water down his statement today.
Despite a number of controversies and debates, the popularity of Sai Baba has seemingly increased by the time.
Swami Swaroopanand had earlier said: “It is a conspiracy of some foreign organisations which are making money. They don’t want Hindu community to unite.”
Shankaracharya had also refused to regard Sai Baba as the epitome of Hindu-Muslim unity, saying if it were the case, the spiritual man would have been revered by Muslims with as much devotion as Hindus.
In Sanatan Dharma, there are said to be 24 avataars (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu, In Kalyug, there is no mention of other avataars than Kalki and Buddha. Hence, Sai Baba can certainly be not an avataar, Shankaracharya had opined.
He further added that Sai Baba should not be considered a guru and an ideal because he was a non-vegetarian and advocated the practice of circumcision.
Shankaracharya had also claimed that a number of temples devoted to Sai Baba are built across the country to deviate attention from Ram Temple movement in Ayodhya.