This is in continuation of our blog post No.267 (Click to study blogpost No.267 . It was on 24th June 2014, i.e. nearly two years back. During these two years, there is no change in the position in India, about people blindly worshipping Shirdi Sai Baba, treating him as God, capable of bestowing boons on devotees, attributing him miracles. At that time, the trigger was Swami Swaroopanandenda Saraswati, of Dvaraka Monastery's advice to people not to worship Shidri Sai Baba as he was not a God. Today, again Telugu TV Channel TV9, re-opened the issue, by means of a discussion with Swami Paripoornananda. Click to go to Youtube TV9 interview dated 11.05.2016. . The title of the interview is "Is Shiridi Sai Baba not God ?".
The Lady interviewer of the Channel, has tried to ask some penetrating questions to Swami Paripoornanda- the monk from Kakinada, and obtain answers for them. Like Shri Chaganti Koteswara Rao, titles "SAradA gnAna putra శారదా జ్ఞానపుత్ర", "sanAtana dharma ratnAkara సనాతన ధర్మ రత్నాకర" , "pravacana cakravarti ప్రవచన చక్రవర్తి " , and now Shri Paripoornanda Saraswati, openly accepted that they pray to Shirdi Sai Baba, and that they are his devotees.
The Lady interviewer, quite intelligently raised the view of Shri Ramana nanda Maharshi, (who calls himself Siddha guru and Maharshi) who challenged the Visakhapatnam Head of the Sarada Pitham for an open debate. He has also released a book titled 'nAto vAdana - daiva Sakti pradarSana ku siddhamA?' (Meaning of this Telugu title: Debate with me - (Are you) ready for the demonstration of the Divine Power? http://www.andhrajyothy.com/Artical?SID=239849 .
Shri Ramananda Maharshi runs a pITham (a sort of prayer-house dedicated to a particular God) by name 'Shirdi Sai anugraha pItham' (English: The Base of Shirdi Sai's Grace'). He has challenged both the Dwaraka Monastery Head 'Swami SwaroopAnandendra Saraswati', and the Visakhapatnam Sarada Monastery Head 'Swami SwaroopAnandendra Saraswati' (same name to both the monks), for an open debate. It seems that he has also offered to bet his Shirdi Sai anugraha pITham, with the condition that if he loses the bet he will give away his Shirdi Sai pITham, and that if Dwaraka Monk loses the debate, he should surrender to him his Dwaraka Monastery.
Meaning of the Sanskrit name SwaroopAnandendra Saraswati, for the benefit of those who do not know: Swaroopa = One's own form. Ananda = deriving pleasure, from seeing one's own form. Indra = Chief or Head of those who derive joy by looking into one's own form.
Back to TV9's interview with Swami Paripoornanda Saraswati
ybrao-a-donkey's humble comments. वैबीराव एक गधे के विनम्र राय . వైబీరావ్ గాడిద వినమ్ర వాణి. You have every right to differ with me. I respect your right. आपको मेरे मत से भिन्न राय रखने के संपूर्ण हक है। मै उस अधिकार को परिपूर्ण रूप से गौरव देता हुँ. మీకు, మీ భిన్నమైన అభిప్రాయాన్ని కలిగిఉండే సంపూర్ణ హక్కు ఉంది. దానిని ఎంతో నేను గౌరవిస్తాను. However, pl. examine this donkey's views also. परन्तु एस गधे के दृष्टिकोण को भी अनुशीलन कीजिये. కానీ ఈ గాడిద దృష్టికోణాన్ని కూడ ఓర చూపుతో కంటజూడుమీ, క్రీగంట జూడమీ..
At one point of time Shri ParipoornAnanda temporarily lost control over himself , and used the English phrase "Every Tom, Dick and Harry cannot call himself a pIThAdhipati". Later, he shifted to the phrase "every XYZ cannot call himself a pITHAdhipati". His reference may be to: Shri Ramananda Maharshi, who claims himself to be the Head of Shirdi Sai Anugraha pITHam.
Shri Paripoornanda also wanted that Govt. should place restrictions on 'freedom of speech' of individuals.
FACTs about pITHadhipatis and PITHams: The wooden platform on which the idols of Gods and Goddesses are placed, is called 'pITHam' in Sanskrit. Telugu: pITa. In Telugu pITa is a flat low-heighted wooden seat, often used for dining on floor upto 20th Century India, when people used to eat on Floor, before Indians aped Europeans eating on dining tables. (Refer our blog post about Pranab Mukherjee, President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee eating on floor, when he was a less-known ordinary politician.
It is also a practice that idols of Gods and Goddesses are placed on wooden platforms, and worshipped. This is one method. Later on even when idols are embedded onto the ground, by shifting them from the wooden platforms, the places are still called pITHams.
It is a practice that the person who starts the pIThams started calling himself 'pITHAdhipati'. (Master of the pITham). He, before his death, appoints one of his disciples as successor to his pITham. Thus, there will be a series of successors to pIThams over some Centuries in history. Adi Shankaracharya of the 8th Century A.D. (Adi = 1st) is believed to have started the famous pIThams Badari (Uttarakhand State, India), Puri (Odissa State, India), Sringeri (Karnataka State, India), dwAraka (Gujarat State, India). kanchi pITham in Tamil Nadu also claims to have been founded by Adi Shankaracharya. Adi Shankaracharya appointed his disciples Sureswara, PadmapAda, tOTakacharya, Hastamalaka as the Heads of the Pithams started by him. The successor Heads of the PIThams also have started calling themselves "Shankaracharyas". In addition, they have started prefixing their names with the title Jagadguru (Preceptor of the World).
It must be remembered that Hinduism is not a religion at all. Just as Anona Squimoza is a compound fruit, or grapes are a bunch of fruits, Hinduism is just a culture of multiple religions, some of which belonged to cults which invaded India, and some of which are native to India. Consequently, Hinduism does not have a spiritual Head, or hierarchies of administration. Every person is independent ! In the name of caste system (called cAtur varNyam), priests started to exercise control over gullible people.
The Sri pItham which Swami Paripoornanada Saraswati heads, the Sarada Pitham which Swami SwaroopAnandendra Saraswati Head, the Shiridi Sai Anugraha pITHam which Ramananda Maharshi heads, etc. etc. are all creations of individuals of the 20th and 21st Centuries.
If we have to apply the 'Tom-Dick-and-Harry' idiom calling themselves 'pIThADhipatis' ( commented by paripOOrNanda Saraswati) to the Heads, we should apply the Tom-Dick-and Harry Maxism to all the PITHAMs started in 20th and 21st Centuries, including Swami paripOORNAnda. Fortunately, in the interview itself, Paripoornanda seemed to have declared that he is not a 'pITHAdhipati'. His idea seems to be only the ancestral Shankaracharya pIThas Badari, Poori, Sringeri, Dwaraka, Kanchi are to be treated as pITHAs and pITHAdhipatis.
Subject to corrections and deletions. A lot more is to be added. To continue. सशेष. ఇంకా ఉంది.