The second wave of COVID-19 has hit several parts of India. Amidst the surging cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today took to Twitter to inform that he spoke to the Juna Akhara Mahamandleshwar, Swami Avdheshanand and requested for the ‘Shahi Snan’ (Royal Bath) at the Kumbh Mela to be kept symbolic.
मैंने प्रार्थना की है कि दो शाही स्नान हो चुके हैं और अब कुंभ को कोरोना के संकट के चलते प्रतीकात्मक ही रखा जाए। इससे इस संकट से लड़ाई को एक ताकत मिलेगी। @AvdheshanandG— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 17, 2021
PM Modi said that he spoke to Swami Avsheshanand over the telephone and inquired about the health of all Sadhus attending the Kumbh Mela. He further informed that all saints were given the administration their full cooperation and PM Modi thanked them for this.
He further informed that while speaking to the Juna Akhara Mahamandleshwar, he urged that in the midst of rising COVID-19 cases, the royal bath at Kumbh Mela be kept symbolic this year.
The Juna Akhara Mahamandleshwar, Swami Avdheshanand responded to the call of Prime Minister Modi. Taking to Twitter, Swami Avdheshanand said Juna Akhara respects the call of the Prime Minister.
माननीय प्रधानमंत्री जी के आह्वान का हम सम्मान करते हैं ! जीवन की रक्षा महत पुण्य है।मेरा धर्म परायण जनता से आग्रह है कि कोविड की परिस्थितियों को देखते हुए भारी संख्या में स्नान के लिए न आएँ एवं नियमों का निर्वहन करें ! @narendramodi @AmitShah @TIRATHSRAWAT #KumbhMela2021 #कुम्भ https://t.co/dNjPPnDztQ— Swami Avdheshanand (@AvdheshanandG) April 17, 2021
Urging Hindus, Swami Avdheshanand appealed to Hindus to keep the bath symbolic and not gather in large numbers at the Kumbh Mela for it. He further said that the protection of life amidst rising COVID-19 pandemic is of paramount concern.
On Thursday (April 15), the Panchayati Niranjani Akhada had announced that the Kumbh Mela will be concluded by April 17. The decision came at the backdrop of rising cases of Coronavirus in Haridwar.
While speaking to News 24, Ravindra Puri Maharaj of the Panchayati Niranjani Akhada informed, “This is the time of the pandemic. We have taken a decision and has asked the Sadhus from Gujarat, Maharashtra and other parts of India, who had come here, to return to their respective villages. The condition of Haridwar is worsening. Only a handful of Sadhus will take part in the April 27 snan. We have requested everyone to go back.”
He further added, “The decision has been taken due to the drastic rise of Coronavirus cases. We want all of us to be safe. This will help us to adhere to the social distancing guidelines.” On being asked whether this is a personal decision or fuelled by any external pressure, Ravindra Puri Maharaj clarified, “We are under no pressure. This is also not a personal matter. This is a societal issue, for the people at large. We have taken the decision for the well-being of people.” He however emphasised that about 50 sadhus, belonging to the Panchayati Niranjani Akhada, will participate in the April 27 snan”.
It must be mentioned that the itinerary of Kumbh Mela includes 4 ‘shahi snan’ and 9 ‘Ganga snan.’ The fourth ‘shahi snan’ will be conducted on April 27.