Akhara in Haridwar imposes ban on devotees wearing indecent clothes
Asking devotees to wear “appropriate” clothes before entering the precincts of temples in Haridwar, Rishikesh and Dehradun, temple authorities on Sunday (June 4) imposed a ban on the entry of devotees not wearing decent clothing in utter disregard of the sanctity of the temples.
Mahant Ravindra Puri, secretary of the Mahanirvani Panchayati Akhara, in Haridwar said a formal ban has been imposed on the entry of “scantily clad men and women” into the Daksh Prajapati Mandir in Haridwar), Tapkeshwar Mahadev Mandir in Dehradun and the Neelkanth Mahadev Mandir in Rishikesh. “Only women who have their bodies covered up to 80 per cent can enter these temples,” Puri, who is also president of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad, said.
The ban comes into effect immediately at these temples affiliated to the Mahanirvani Panchayati Akhara, he said. The Mahanirvani Panchayati Akhara consists of the Dashnam Naga seers. Puri said that the ban will soon be extended to akhara-affiliated temples across the country.
Asked about the necessity to impose the ban, Puri said, “Sometimes people entering the temples are so skimpily dressed that one feels ashamed to even look at them.” He further said, “The Daksheshwar Mahadev Mandir, also known as the Daksh Prajapati Mandir, at Kankhal in Haridwar is considered the home of Lord Shiva’s in-laws. People from all over the world visit the temple. Every Monday, the temple receives a stream of devotees. Today’s youths come to the temple wearing clothes that reflect their total disregard for its sanctity.”
Such clothing “hurts the religious sentiments of the devout”, who often come to the temple committee to lodge complaints, he added. The ban follows repeated complaints, he said, and warned that those who violate the ban will be dealt with sternly.
The imposition of the ban has also found support among seers in Haridwar. “The sanctity of the temples must be maintained and people inside their precincts should conduct themselves accordingly. The ban is in accordance with Sanatan Dharma,” Katha Vyas (professional narrator of mythological stories) Madhusudan Shastri said.
(With agency inputs)