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Akhadas differ on conclusion of Kumbh Mela in view of Covid-19

Saturday, 17 April 2021 | PNS | Haridwar/Dehradun

Two Akhadas opining that the Kumbh Mela should conclude now considering the rising cases of Covid-19 has resulted in difference of opinion among the Akhadas. A day after the Niranjani Akhada announced that it had asked its Sadhus to return from Haridwar considering the Covid-19 situation, other Akhadas and seers have stressed that the Kumbh Mela is not an event decided by some organisation, adding that the Mela will continue till its scheduled conclusion.

The Niranjani Akhada had on Thursday announced that considering the deteriorating situation in Haridwar due to Covid, it had asked its members to return to their respective destinations from April 17 onward, stating that the coming Shahi Snan should be observed in a symbolic manner with only a limited number of Sadhus from various Akhadas taking the holy dip in the Ganga. The Anand Akhada had extended support to this decision.

However, on Friday, the Vaishnav Akhadas strongly criticised this and sought an apology from the Akhadas concerned for the same. Addressing media persons at the camp of the Akhil Bharatiya Sripanch Nirvani Ani Akhada, Sri Mahant Dharma Das said that only the chief minister, Mela administration and the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad have the authority to declare the conclusion of the Kumbh Mela. The seers of the Niranjani Akhada do not have the authority to declare the closure of the Kumbh. Akhil Bharatiya Sripanch Digamber Ani Akhada’s Sri Mahant Krishna Das said that seers of the Niranjani Akhada should explain the authority using which they declared the conclusion of the Kumbh Mela. Head of the Akhil Bharatiya Sripanch Nirmohi Ani Akhada, Sri Mahant Rajendra Das said that the announcement made by the Niranjani Akhada had created considerable confusion among devotees across the nation at a time when one Snan of the Vaishnav Akhadas is yet to take place on April 27.

The Kumbh Mela is not the event of one particular sect, he added. Meanwhile, the Kumbh Mela officer Deepak Rawat while attending a Yagya at Sri Panch Nirvani Ani Akhada, said that the government has made arrangements for the Kumbh till April 30. Swami Avimukteshwaranand, the disciple of the Shankaracharya of Dwarika and Jyotir Peeths, Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati also expressed displeasure at some Akhadas announcing the closure of the Kumbh Mela and said that the Mela will continue as scheduled. He said that the Kumbh is a festival of the community and that no organisation or individual has the authority to declare its closure.

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