Sanatan Sanstha participates in the first State-level meeting of the Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh, formed to protect temples!

  • It was unanimously decided to fight legally and unitedly against any attacks on temples
  • Representatives of more than 50 temples participated in this event
Members chanting ‘Har Har Mahadev’

Pune ( Maharashtra)  – The trustees and representatives of various temples of the State have decided to unite and fight against the attacks on temples. The first state-level meeting of the ‘Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh’ was organised on 16th April 2023 at the famous Jyotirlinga Shrikshetra Bhimashankar Temple in Pune. The trustees of various major temples of the State including the Jyotirlinga and Ashtavinayak temples and representatives of over 50 State-level temples were present.

Some demands such as – The Government of Maharashtra should issue a notification and recognise the ‘Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh’ as an ‘authorised body’ regarding any matter related to temples. Along with this in future when taking any decision about any temple, then it should be discussed with the ‘Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh’.

The ‘Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh’ was established at the ‘Maharashtra Mandir Nyas Parishad’ held at Jalgaon on the 4th and 5th of February 2023.

Mr Sunil Ghanwat

This meeting organised by the Shrikshetra Bhimashankar Devasthan was started by lighting the lamp as per Hindu customs, followed by blowing the conch and chanting the Veda mantras. After this, the various temple trustees and representatives present were honoured by the Shrikshetra Bhimashankar Devasthan President Advocate Suresh Kaudre and trustee Mr Madhukar Anna Gawande. After that, the Coordinator of the Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’s State Coordinator for Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh Mr Sunil Ghanwat addressed the meeting. He informed everyone about the activities and the success of the protests held in the past 3 months by the Mandir Mahasangh. The trustees of the temples also presented a review of the activities taken concerning the temples in the past 3 months. After this, the association decided on the structure of its work and its future direction. Everyone present gave their approval by chanting ‘Har Har Mahadev’.


As per the Dharmshastras, the Shrikshetra Bhimashankar in Pune is a Jyotirlinga ! – Advocate Suresh Kaudre, President, Shrikshetra Bhimashankar Devasthan

As per the Dharmashastras, the Shrikshetra Bhimashankar in Pune is a Jyotirlinga since times immemorial. Hence creating a conspiracy around it is incorrect. Nowadays there are many problems concerning the payment of salaries to the priests in many temples. We are making continuous efforts to make sure that the Government should take an initiative in trying to solve this situation.


The condition of the Idol of Shri Mahalakshmi Devi in Kolhapur is very bad and it has become fragile ! – Mr Chetan Rajhans, Spokesperson, Sanatan Sanstha

Shri. Chetan Rajhans

The condition of the Shri Mahalakshmi Devi’s Idol at Shrikshetra Kolhapur is very critical and this requires immediate attention. There are many opinions regarding the Idol of Shri Mahalakshmi Devi. A suitable decision should be taken after discussing the matter with the Shankaracharya of Sringeri Peeth.


Just like in Maharashtra, we will also establish a federation of Temples in Karnataka, Goa, Dehli and Tamil Nadu ! – Mr Ramesh Shinde, National Spokesperson, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti

Mr Ramesh Shinde

The present condition of the temples in Karnataka, Goa, Delhi and Tamil Nadu is also very bad. Just like the ‘Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh’ has been established to protect and preserve the temples in Maharashtra, we will establish a ‘Mandir Mahasangh’ for the protection and conservation of temples in these 4 States as well.


A change in the existing Act is necessary for the development of temples ! – Mr Anup Jaiswal, President, Vidarbha Devasthan Committee

The ‘Bombay Public Trust’ Act does not consider the conservation and protection of temples. This law is outdated. Hence, necessary changes should be made in this Act to benefit temples. Also, the Archaeological Survey of India is creating many difficulties in the development of temples in remote areas. It is necessary to remove this obstacle. The development of any temple requires the support of the local trustees and the local population.

Members of the Mahasangh participating in the meeting


Fighting for the sake of temples and the protection of its traditions in a legal manner is the only way to follow Dharma as per the present times ! – Advocate Abhishek Bhagat, Shri Bhavanimata Mandir, Nagar

Fighting for the preservation of temples and their traditions legitimately is the required dharmacharana as per the present times. It is important that we give our time and effort to this Mandir Mahasangh to preserve the Hindu religion and its traditions. In many places, it has been noted that the land owned by temples is being sold to each other. Hence, there is a need to raise our voices in this regard.


Devotees are getting looted on a large scale in Government-run temples ! – Mr Kishore Gangane, Former President, Shri Tuljabhavani Pujari Mandal

Thousands of devotees visit many Government-run temples every day. But there is a lack of facilities. Devotees are being looted on a large scale in such temples. Many financial scams are coming to light. Hence, the Mandir Mahasangh needs to take quick steps in this regard.


It is necessary to maintain the culture of our temples ! – Mr Ram Narayan Mishra, Shri Sankatmochan Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple, Nagpur

Our culture has survived to this date because of our temples. Hence, we have to put in efforts to preserve the culture of our temples. The Government gives salaries to the mullahs hence why cant the temple priests be paid ? Such a decision would be very helpful in the development and management of our temples. The Government’s negligence towards our temples is a major problem.


The appointment of a Hindu board for the management of temples is necessary ! – Mr Virendrasinh Prodhak, the hereditary priest of Mata Rukmini at Pandharpur

More than 1,000 families of temple priests were affected when it was decided to remove the priests of the Shri Vitthal-Rukmini Temple in Pandharpur. Hence, just like other religions which have boards to protect their interests, Hindu temples must also have their own boards to safeguard their interests.


Arbitrary governance increases due to the Government takeover of temples ! – Mr Ganesh Lanka, Secretary, Pandharpur Devasthan Anti-Corruption Action Committee

After the temples are taken over by the Government arbitrariness starts to take place. Earlier the timings of the temples were as per the convenience of the devotees. But now the Government closes the temple whenever it feels like it. Lakhs of rupees were spent to arrange or decorate a large number of grapes around Shri Vitthala. Was this necessary ? It is important to spend only when it is necessary.


Temples taken over by the Government should struggle to get their devotees back ! – H.H. (Adv.) Suresh Kulkarni, Founder Member, Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad

H.H. (Adv.) Suresh Kulkarni

It has become imperative for Government temples to fight to bring back their devotees into their fold. Scams take place in Government run temples. Trustees of all temples need to work together to fight legally against them.


Dignitaries present

Advocate Suresh Kaudre, President of the Shrikshetra Bhimashankar Sansthan, Associate Trustee Mr Madhukar Gawande, Chairman of ‘Shri Lenyadri Ganapati Devasthan Trust’ Mr Jitendra Bidwai, G.S.B. Chief Executive Officer of the Temple Trust Mr Ritvik Aurangabadkar, Advocate and Trustee of the ‘Shri Varadvinayak Mandir Mahad’ Mr Vivek Pethe, President of the ‘Shri Kshetra Trimbakeshwar Purohit Mahasangha’ Mr Manoj Thete, Advocate Abhishek Bhagat of the ‘Shri Bhavanimata Mandir’ in Nagar, former president of the ‘Shri Tuljabhavani Pujari Mandal’ Mr Kishore Gangane, Secretary of the ‘Pandharpur Devasthan Anti-Corruption Action Committee’ Mr Ganesh Lanka, the Trustee of ‘Shri Lakshminarayan Sansthan’ at Amravati Mr Ashok Kumarji Khandelwal, National Spokesperson of ‘Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’ Mr Ramesh Shinde, National Spokesperson of ‘Sanatan Sanstha’ Mr Chethan Rajhans, the Coordinator of the Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’s State Coordinator for Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh Mr Sunil Ghanwat and many other temple representatives were present.

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