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'It is time to repent for turning Uttarakhand into honeymoon spot'

June 22, 2013 17:27 IST

'It is time to repent for turning Uttarakhand into honeymoon spot'

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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi

In a twist to people’s understanding of Uttarakhand’s monsoon mayhem, Dwarka peeth Shankaracharya Swami Shree Swaroopananda Saraswati has blamed the sex-food-fun oriented consumerism propagated by tour operators in the land otherwise known as “dev bhoomi” for the plight of thousands of pilgrims. 

In a telephonic interview from his ashram near Haridwar, the Shankaracharya told rediff.com, “Uttarakhand is the land of gods and goddesses. Here Lord Shiva holds Ganga in his jata (hair). It is the highest tapsaya (penance) possible. Shiva bore the force of the Ganga all alone so that she can flow seamlessly. How can you have honeymoon tourism in Uttarakhand instead of pilgrimage to cleanse the soul and attain nirvana?” 

Asserting that these mountains were not for the newly-married to enjoy their honeymoon, the religious leader suggested that the disaster was also brought upon due to the dams that have been built on rivers of Uttarakhand.

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Image: Dwarka peeth Shankaracharya Swami Shree Swaroopananda Saraswati


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'Government must cleanse the Kedarnath temple with panchamrut'

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He said, “I want government to find out the sphatik statue of Shankaracharya’s samadhi near Kedarnath temple. It is part of our heritage. I am deeply pained to see so many deaths. I want the government to act now and stop promoting dubious tourism. There should be complete ban on building of dams as well.”

Hailing the Kedarnath temple as a national monument, he said: “The rest of India should help Uttarakhand maintain its environment. The lack of development will create shortage of electricity, but the rest of India should supply electricity in this divinely natural region. We must protect our ancient rivers at all cost. Seventy percent of the water from Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers will deplete if we build dams recklessly.”

The Shankaracharya also said that the government should clean the temple complex as soon as possible.

“The government must cleanse the Kedarnath temple with panchamrut (A mixture of milk, curd, clarified butter, honey and sugar). It is time to repent for our wrong deeds.”

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Image: Dwarka peeth Shankaracharya Swami Shree Swaroopananda Saraswati


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