A Shankaracharya has stirred controversy by contending that August 5, the date selected for ‘bhoomi pujan’ for the construction of a temple at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya, is inauspicious for the same.
The ‘bhoomi pujan’ ceremony will start from August 3 but the foundation for the temple will be laid on August 5 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Incidentally, August 5 happens to be the first anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of J&K into two Union Territories.
Shankracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati said in Varanasi that the time chosen for the ‘bhoomi pujan’ and laying the foundation of the Ram Temple is 'inauspicious’. He said that August 5 falls in the Dakshinayan Bhadrapad month and is the second day of Krishna Paksha. “In the Hindu scriptures, construction for home or temple is prohibited during the Bhadrapad month,” he said, and gave an example of Vishnu Dharma Shastra and the Naivagna Ballabh Granth to support his claim.
"We are Ram devotees, we will be happy if anyone builds the temple of Ram, but the construction should be carried out as per the Hindu calendar. The work should start on an auspicious time and date,” he said.
The Shankaracharya also said that since the temple is being constructed with public money by taking donations, people’s opinion should be sought as well.
However, the Kashi Vidhyat Parishad termed Shankaracharya's claims as baseless, saying that Lord Rama is an universal hero and questions should not be raised on construction of the temple.
Ram Janmabhumi temple chief priest Acharya Satyendra Das has challenged the claim of Shankaracharya that Bhadrapada month is not auspicious for the Bhoomi Pujan of the Ram temple.
"The month of Chaitra is auspicious as it is the birth month of Lord Ram and Bhadrapad is also auspicious as it is the birth month of Lord Krishna. Hence any religious works can commenced in both the months," Satyendra Das claimed.
Similar views were presented by Mahant Parhamans Das of Tapasvi Chavni of Ayodhya, who said that the entire Bhadrapad month is auspicious for any religious work. "I challenge Shankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswati to go for a religious debate on the matter with me," the Mahant said, adding that the Shankaracharya was trying to obstruct the construction of the Ram temple.
Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, the successor of Mahant Nritya Gopal Das and President of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra Trust informed that the Ram Temple Bhumi Pujan event will last for three days. The programme will begin on August 3 with 'Ganesh Pujan', followed by 'Ramcharna puja ' on August 4.
On August 5 at 12:15 pm, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the Ram Temple. The ‘bhumi pujan’ will be done by Vedic scholars and Acharya Pandits of Kashi, Prayagraj and Ayodhya.
The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra Trust, formed after the Supreme Court's November 9, 2019 decision on the Ayodhya dispute, had expedited the preparations for the temple construction in the premises of Ram Janmabhoomi.