Eight religious and spiritual leaders from Karnataka invited to Ayodhya, no representation from state govt – Times of India

Swami Nirmalananda from Adhichunchungiri at Allahabad, en route to Ayodhya.

BENGALULRU: The Ayodhya Ram Mandir bhoomi pujan on Wednesday will see a confluence of religious and spiritual leaders from across the country bearing witness to the end of a massive religious-political saga India has ever witnessed.
And from Karnataka, with the restriction on the number of attendees due to Covid-19 pandemic, only eight of them will be attending the event.
They include Nirmalananda Swamiji of the Adichunchungiri Mutt, Vishwaprasanna Tirtha seer of Pejwar Mutt, the Sringeri Mutt seer, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra swamiji from Suttur Mutt, Madhu Pandita Das from ISKCON, Madhara Channaiah from Chitradurga and Dharmadhikari Veerendra Hegde from Dharamsthala.
However, the BJP state government will have no representation at the Bhoomi Puja.
According to the Vishwa Hindu Parishat (VHP) Karnataka chapter, the Sangh parivar had sent only eight official invites and none other.
“However, there are several of our colleagues and from the RSS state unit who have already made their way to Ayodhya by flights or road to be present in that city for the occasion. In fact, we estimate that as many as 30 to 40 Kar Sevaks and office bearers have already reached Ayodhya,” said Muniraju, a VHP karyakarta.
Meanwhile, within the state, the Sangh parivar has decided to have a low key celebration tomorrow with small felicitation programmes of those Kar Sevaks who took part in the Ayodhya movement.
“The directives from our central leadership is to have small celebrations within our own families and vicinity by distributing sweets. We have also been asked to felicitate the Kar Sevaks who participated in the 1992 movement. These will be done by our local units,” said Kannada and Culture minister C T Ravi, who himself had participated in the movement.
Meanwhile, many in the government and outside have been disappointed with the decision to host the event during the Covid pandemic as it has restricted the number of people from attending the historic occasion.
One among the eight invitees, who will not be attending the event, Suttur Mutt seer cited the same reason and issued a release on Tuesday.
“While the invitation was extended to us, the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic and security issues are preventing our physical presence in the programme,” said the Mutt release.
In contrast, Adichunchungiri mutt seer left for Ayodhya in the wee hours of Tuesday morning to Allahabad and then on to Kashi and Ayodhya.
According to BJP sources, the swamiji took off on a flight at 4 am to Allahabad to meet a close associate and seer from Allahabad, Paramanand. Later, the two made their way to Ayodhya.
It is said Sri Sri Sri Ravishankar and Madhara Chennaiah are also scheduled to reach Ayodhya by Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Ravi said he and his fellow partymen will be going to Ayodhya at a later date to lay the foundation bricks for the temple as they were the original Kar Sevaks from 1992.
“We will all be going at a later date for the purpose,” he said.
Late in the evening it was confirmed that only two — Nirmalananda Swamiji and Madhara Chennaiah—will be attending the event. The other five have dropped out of the event.
Art of Living (AOL) spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar said he never received any invite to attend the event. “We have heard from some media that Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji has received an invite to the event. However Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji has not been invited to the program and we don’t know the reason why,” read a statement by AOL.
Water and soil from at least 12 locations to Ayodhya


With the intent of bringing the soil and water from all parts of the country to Ayodhya, Karnataka has sent the same from as many as 12 locations from the state. This includes water from Cauvery, Krishna, Bhadra, Tunga, Kapila and other rivers flowing in the state.
The stones and soil from Kalabhaireshwara temple in Mandya and Anjandhri hills (fabled to be Hanuman’s abode) were also ferried to Ayodhya.

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Sagar Biswas

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