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July 6, 2000
Puri Shankaracharya to expose fake godmen
M I Khan in Puri
Alarmed by an imposter Shankaracharya's attempt to mediate in Kashmir, the Shankaracharya of Puri Swami Nischalanand Saraswati has decided to launch a nation-wide campaign to expose fake godmen.
Disclosing this at the Govardhan Math in Puri, where the Shankaracharya resides, his deputy Swami Gopalanand today said the Shankaracharya would interact with all the acharyas and sants to clamp down on activities of self-claimed Sankracharyas.
"We are also not ruling out the possibility of legal action. At the moment, however, religious interaction appears to be the best way to deal with the situation," he said.
Last week, several national dailies reported that the Shankaracharya of Puri held talks with Hurriyat leaders in Jammu and Kashmir. Swami Nischalanand Saraswati was quick to dissociate himself from any attempt to mediate in Kashmir and said that the seer holding parleys in the Valley was an imposter.
This story was first broken by rediff.com.
Subsequently, in a statement issued on behalf of the Shankaracharya of Puri, the Govardhan Math claimed that some powerful people, including politicians, were backing the fake Shankaracharya.
"The Shankaracharya of Puri is already in talks with the other three Shankaracharyas. Also, he will try to bring all the Madhavacharyas, Nimbarkacharyas, Ramanujancharyas and Ramanandacharyas together on this issue," Swami Gopalanand said.
Gopalanand said there were at least 50 fake Shankaracharyas roaming around in the country claiming to head one or the other math or peeth.
"Surprisingly some of them have created their own peeths like Prayag. The fact is that only four peeths exist in the country and they were founded by Adi Shankaracharya long, long ago," he said.
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