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Largest Akhada Leaves Kumbh After Prime Minister Calls For “Symbolic” Observance | India News

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HARIDWAR / NEW DELHI / PRAYAGRAJ: Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to his boss Avadheshanand Giri to liquidate the remainder of the Maha Kumbh Mela in Haridwar, Juna Akhada, the largest of the 13 sects of seers in the country, was withdrew from the religious holiday.
Juna is the third akhada, after Niranjani and Anand, to withdraw from the event, scheduled to continue until April 30, citing concerns about Covid-19, and his decision was quickly followed by withdrawal calls by two other fellow Shaivite akhadas: Avahan and Agni. .
The decision to conclude the Kumbh by the Akhadas involved came in a context of fear of the spread of the coronavirus among devotees.

Largest Akhada Leaves Kumbh After Prime Minister Calls For "Symbolic" Observance | India News

The death of Mahanirvani Akhada’s boss, Mahamandaleshwar Kapil dev Das, earlier this week had heightened concerns that the event was turning into a super spreader.
Although some of the akhadas, especially the Vaishnavaites, are reluctant to suspend the celebrations prematurely, the step taken by Juna akhada is likely to be an encouragement to reduce the festivities. “The three akhadas of Bairagi appreciate the advice of Prime Minister Modi, but it is not possible to symbolically take a bath in the last shahi snan. We ask our fans not to arrive in large numbers. Only the seers will be able to take a dip in the latest shahi snan, ”said Nirmohi akhada chief mahant Rajendra Das.
Faith is important, but life is more, says seer
Avadheshanand Giri said a consensus was emerging among other Akhadas and seers to conclude the celebrations shortly or, failing that, to prune their scope.
In any case, the akhadas’ decision is likely to also ensure that devotees abandon the idea of ​​taking the holy bath in Haridwar, thus relieving authorities of concern that thousands of people will become infected and become carriers of the virus.
“All the members and seers of Juna akhada gathered today at 3 pm (Saturday). After deliberations, taking into account the pandemic and the well-being of the people, we have decided to immerse the deities we invoke and conclude the Kumbh Mela Haridwar 2021 ”, a statement jointly issued by Juna akhada acharya mahamandaleshwar Avdheshanand Giri and Secretary Hari Giri Saturday night. saying. “About 400 of our seers have left the camp on Saturday,” Hari Giri, who is also Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad’s secretary general, told TOI.
The Maha Kumbh is scheduled to continue until April 30, but the presence of large groups of seers and devotees in shahi snans without masks and social distancing has caused great concern. Earlier in the day, Modi had tweeted about a phone conversation with Avdheshanand Giri: “I appealed, now that the two shahi snans have been carried out, the remaining Kumbh will be symbolically observed as it will help in the fight against the pandemic.”
After the conversation, Giri told TOI: “On behalf of the sadhus, I assured the prime minister that the Kumbh rituals would be performed symbolically. Sadhus in the Kumbh have welcomed the prime minister’s call. “Later in Haridwar, he said:” From now on, things will be largely symbolic … Faith is important, but life is. more”.
Meanwhile, after Juna akhada’s decision to conclude the Kumbh, other sanyasi akhadas followed his example. “We support the call of Juna akhada and we are withdrawing from the Mela,” Mahant Satya Giri, general secretary of Ahavan akhada, told TOI. So did Agni Akhada. “Saving human lives is the greatest concern for us,” Brahmachari Sadhnanand, mela chief of the akhada, told TOI.
Meanwhile, the Mahanirvani akhada has decided to leave after the next snan. “After attending the three shahi snans, the akhada decided that most of us would leave after April 19,” said the secretary general of the akhada, Jamuna Puri. Kinnar akhada, who is part of Juna akhada, also closed the doors of their camp on Saturday. “Some members tested positive and were quarantined. We have decided not to allow any visitors to enter our camp, ”said Mahamandaleshwar Pavitra Maharaj.
Whether the seers should stay or go has been a contentious issue. Those of the Shaivita sect have already completed the three shahi snans that are important to them. For the Vaishnavite, or Bairagi, sect of Nirmohi, Nirvani and Digambar, the most important shahi snan is the last one, on April 27.

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