Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has said Sunday that both men and women should take the blessings of the deity in Shani Shingnapur from a distance and that nobody should be allowed to enter the platform which gets slippery due to the excess oil poured by the devotees. Ravi Shankar, who was in Pune for Art of Living’s Pearls of Wisdom event, met the agitating organisation Bhumata Brigade’s leader Trupti Desai on the occasion. Desai, who was detained by Ahmednagar police on January 26, sought the intervention of Ravi Shankar and urged him to break the deadlock.
Talking on the occasion, Ravi Shankar said, “The blessings can be taken from a distance as well. The temple should follow the models of Kashi Vishwanath or Tirupati Balaji temple where no one is allowed to enter the core area and they have to take darshan from some distance. Plus, on the platform on the temple, the oil makes the surface slippery which can be dangerous for the devotees. However, there should be no discrimination based on gender as everyone has equal right to worship.”
However, Trupti Desai didn’t appear satisfied with the solution.
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“If the temple disallows both men and women, there should be women priests to do the worship of the deity along with men priests.” Ravi Shankar agreed with Desai’s view. Trupti said that before everyone is banned from from entering the core area, women should offer last worship.