A ‘Sanyasi’ Swami Vishwanand has been permitted by the Supreme Court to perform the morning and evening rituals in the Kaleshwar Kalinath Mahadev Temple in Himachal Pradesh.
By Dimple Kaushalya
The petitioner, Swami Vishwanand had approached the top court to appeal against the judgment of the Himachal Pradesh High Court seeking maintenance/renovation of “Shri Kalinath Kaleshwar Mahadev” Temple.
The contentions in his application were to seek permission from the court for allowing him to perform the morning and evening rituals in the temple with the assistance of Sevarthis (Sanyasis and Vidyarthies of KaleshwarAkhara and Vedic School) as per past practice and also to utilize the remittance from temple donation to meet the Mahant expenses, puja, Goshala, Vedic pathshala, langar, smashan ghat expenses and the expenses for living quarters of priests in the temple complex.
The Kaleshwar Mahadev Temple located in the ranges of the Himalayas, on the banks of river Beas is one of the oldest temples in the area. The devotees believe it to be constructed by Pandavas who visited the sacred place during their exile.
The bench comprising of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna, and V. Ramasubramaniannoted stated that in a disposed of SLP, Swami Vishwanand had been already allowed to perform pooja as a Mahant, until further orders, as per past practice, which is reported to be continuing for around 150 years.
Allowing his application, the Court observed “The only contention that a notification has been issued under the Himachal Pradesh Hindu Public Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1984 in respect of the KaleshwarKalinathMahadev Temple, cannot come in the way of permitting the applicant to perform pooja particularly since it is admitted that the appointment of the Mohatmim to this temple is hereditary. Mr. Amritanshu, learned counsel for the respondent-State, also contends that the applicant is a Mohatmim but not a Mahant. We see no material on record to support the above contention.”