Pejawar seer proposes ‘bhakti deeksha’ for Dalits


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‘Such a practice was followed by Basaveshwara’

Vishwesha Tirtha Swami of Pejwar Mutt, who will ascend the Paryaya Peetha this month, said on Thursday that he was keen on administering ‘bhakti deeksha’ to Dalits during his two-year term. The seer claimed that such a practice was also followed by social reformer Basavanna and it would instil religious discipline.

Interacting with presspersons here on Thursday, he said that as part of ‘bhakti deeksha’, Dalits would be given ‘naama deeksha’ and ‘mantra deeksha’. “‘Naama deeksha’ will be administered after a person takes a vow not to consume alcohol and eat non-vegetarian food. Those who have quit drinking alcohol and non-vegetarian food for months will be administered ‘mantra deeksha’,” the seer said. He said that this had been the way Basavanna gave ‘linga deeksha’.

Under ‘naama deeksha’, Dalits would learn songs on Vishnu and Shiva. As part of ‘mantra deeksha’, they would learn some simple mantras. “These are necessary to infuse religious values and religious discipline. This will prevent religious conversion.” The seer said that social reformer Narayana Guru did the same for Billavas and prevented their conversion.

The practice of ‘saha pankti bhojana’ would continue in Udupi where Dalits would consume food along with other Hindus and people from other communities. “I believe in tolerance. There is no scope for intolerance. I believe in taking both minority and majority communities together. There will be no cause for hurting sentiments of any community,” he said.

The seer said that he would introduce ‘ede snana’ at the Subramanya temple on the Udupi Krishna Mutt premises. “We cannot take the argument [of a section of activists] that allowing it will be akin to disrespect to the prasadam.”

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