The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Voices of support for seer

Chennai, July 2: The heads of two important monastic orders in the south are not against Swami Jayendra Saraswati’s initiative to resolve the Ayodhya dispute.

Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal, head of the Sringeri Sarada Peetam in Karnataka, and Sri Rangaramanuja Mahadesigan Swamigal, who heads the Sri Andavan Ashram in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, broadly agreed with the efforts of the Kanchi Sankaracharya when contacted over phone.

Both these religious heads, who represent very orthodox Shaivite and Vaishnavite traditions, respectively, have a sizeable following in all parts of India.

Even Sri Vishwatheertha Swami, of the Pejawar Mutt in Udupi, Karnataka, who was the first to strike a dissenting note after the Kanchi seer’s formula reached the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, has softened his stand. The swami said the Kanchi seer has assured him that everyone would be taken into confidence before any agreement is inked.

The chief administrator of the Sringeri mutt sought to dispel the notion that the monastic order is opposed to the Kanchi seer’s efforts. “If some compromise” could be arrived at between the parties concerned and an “agreement reached to end the Ayodhya issue, nothing like it”, he said. “Or else, we will have to wait for the court order.”

Jayendra Saraswati was a “respected senior acharya” he added, asked whether the seer should have consulted all the other religious heads before sending his proposal.

The head of the Andavan ashram, in Srirangam, said he “welcomed Sri Jayendra Saraswati’s latest peace efforts as it is for a common good”. The acharya conveyed through an aide that irrespective of whether the Kanchi seer had consulted other religious heads or not, “he is doing a good thing”.

The acharya is also of the view that since Ram, who is believed to have been born in Ayodhya, existed hundreds of years before Babar, it would be a good gesture if Muslims voluntarily came forward to “pave the way” for construction of the temple in Ayodhya.

However, the Kanchi seer has taken both support and criticism in his stride and has remained unruffled. “In a democracy, people are free to express their views,” he told reporters. “This is only my initiative and we are hoping for the best.”

Equally significant was his observation after Union culture and tourism minister Jagmohan called on him at Kancheepuram last night. The seer said that more than the feedback of Hindus, “it is the acceptability by the Muslims that is very crucial at this stage”.

As for the criticism from the Puri Sankaracharya, sources in the Kanchi mutt said that the seer was unconcerned about it because the person who is claiming to have succeeded to the pontifical seat is himself involved in legal tangles.

Email This Page