It is not for a court to decide how worship is to be performed in a temple, the Supreme Court said today stressing that its concern was only about the protection of the ‘lingam’ at the ancient Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit observed that it would not go into the issue of what religious rituals should be followed and how worship should be performed there. It was for the temple management and the concerned stakeholders to discuss and decide.
“We are only concerned about the ‘lingam’,” the bench observed and reserved it order on the issue of protection of the deteriorating condition of the ‘Jyotirlingam’, a phallus symbolising Shiva.
The apex court has been dealing with the issue of protecting the ‘lingam’. It had earlier taken strong exception over some display boards set up at the temple which had attributed new worshipping norms as directions of the top court.
It had said the court had never given any direction to implement the new norms of worship, which were actually submitted by Mahakaleshwar Mandir Management Committee in consultation with an expert committee set up by the court.
It had directed the temple management committee to immediately remove these display boards and even asked the media to report the issue with caution.
As per the new norms, the devotees were permitted a fixed amount of water measuring 500 ml in an appropriate small pot per person for ‘Jalabhishek’ (worshipping by offering water).
The water for ‘Jalabhishek’ should be taken from the Reverse Osmosis (RO) machine installed during the religious congregation of Simhastha in 2016, for which a connection was to be provided near the sanctum sanctorum.
On August 25 last year, the apex court had constituted an expert committee to survey and analyse the Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlingam and prepare a report stating the rate at which the deterioration in its size was taking place and the measures to prevent it.
The committee was also directed to study other structures and the temple and submit recommendations on steps for overall improvement of entire premises and its preservation.