A controversy has erupted in Gujarat over a mural depicting Hanuman as a disciple of Sahajanand Swami, a 19th-century Hindu saint. The mural is located at the Salangpur Hanuman Temple, a popular pilgrimage site in the Botad district.
The mural shows Hanuman kneeling before Sahajanand Swami and offering him a flower. This has angered some devotees, who believe that it is disrespectful to depict Hanuman as a disciple. They argue that Hanuman is a supreme being who is not subservient to anyone.
The controversy has also sparked a debate about the relationship between Hanuman and Sahajanand Swami. Some people believe that the two were contemporaries and that Sahajanand Swami was a devotee of Hanuman. Others believe that Sahajanand Swami was a reincarnation of Hanuman.
The temple authorities have defended the mural, saying that it is a matter of faith and that it should not be misinterpreted. They have also said that they are open to dialogue with the devotees who are protesting the mural.
The controversy has drawn the attention of religious leaders across India. The Sharda Peetha Shankaracharya, Morari Bapu, and other saints have expressed their anguish against depicting Hanuman as a servant of Swaminarayan. They have called for the mural to be removed.
The controversy is likely to continue for some time. It is a reminder of the sensitivities around religious matters in India. It is also a reminder of the importance of dialogue and understanding in resolving such controversies.
Here are some of the reactions from religious leaders:
Sharda Peetha Shankaracharya: “It is an insult to Hanuman to depict him as a servant of Swaminarayan. Hanuman is a supreme being and should not be shown in a subservient position.”
Morari Bapu: “I am deeply pained by the mural. It is a disrespect to Hanuman and his devotees. I urge the temple authorities to remove the mural immediately.”
Swami Agnivesh: “The mural is a clear case of religious intolerance. It is an attempt to belittle Hanuman and his importance in Hinduism.”
Swami Paritoshananda: “The mural is a deliberate attempt to hurt the sentiments of Hindus. It should be removed immediately.”
The controversy is a reminder of the importance of religious tolerance in India. It is also a reminder of the need to respect the sentiments of all religious communities
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