The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Mahakaleshwar Temple committee to refrain any visitor or devotee from rubbing the Shivalingam at any cost. Concerned with the erosion of the lingam, to ensure its pH value and to protect it from further deterioration, the Supreme Court observed, “If it is done by any devotee, accompanying Poojari or Purohit shall be responsible for not stopping the rubbing. No rubbing of Shivalingam to be done by anyone except during traditional puja and archana performed on behalf of the temple…”
A three judges’ bench of Justices B R Gavai, Krishna Murari and led by Justice Arun Mishra gave directions for improvement and repairment of the temple and to prevent any encroachment within 500 metres circumference of the Temple. The temple committee has also been directed to cover the Shivalingam with a cloth during the Bhasma Aarti and that only RO filtered water should be used to clean the lingam.
The Court has also directed the committee to do a yearly survey and submit it a report. The following directions have been given by the court in the order:
“To preserve the Shivalingam, we direct that :
(a) any devotee should do no rubbing of the Shivalingam.
(b) The Temple Committee to ensure that the pH value of Bhasma during the Bhasma Aarti is improved and Shivalingam is preserved from further deterioration and to implement the best methodology to prevent further damage to the Lingam.
(c) The Temple Committee ensures that weight of Mund Mala and Serpakarnahas is further reduced to preserve the Shivalingam from mechanical abrasion. The Temple Committee to find out a way and consider whether it is necessary to use the Metal Mund Mala on theShivalingam, or there can be a way out to use Mund Mala and Serpakarnahas without touching the Shivalingam. Possibility of further reducing weight may also be found out to prevent mechanical abrasion.
(d) The rubbing of curd, ghee, honey on the Shivalingam by the devotees is also a cause of erosion. It would be appropriate that only pouring of a limited quantity of pure milk is allowed by the Committee. Whereas in the traditional puja to be done on behalf of the temple, all pure materials can be used.
(e) Poojaries, Janeupati, Khutpati, Purohits, and their authorized representatives to strictly ensure that no visitor or devotee rub the Shivalingam at any cost. If it is done by any devotee, accompanying Poojari or Purohit shall be responsible for not stopping the rubbing. No rubbing of Shivalingam to be done by anyone except during traditional Puja and Archana performed on behalf of the temple.
(f) The entire proceedings of Puja and Archana in Garbh Griha to be video recorded 24 hours and be preserved at least for six months. If any violation is found by any Poojari, Purohit, let the Temple Committee take suitable action against that Poojari or Purohit, as considered appropriate.
(g) As agreed to on behalf of the Temple Committee, no Panchamrita to be poured on Shivalingam by any devotee. It may be used only during traditional Puja and Archana of the Shivlingam.
(h) The Temple Committee shall provide pure milk from its resources to the visitors and devotees for offering and make arrangements for that. The Committee should ensure that no impure or adulterated milk is offered to Shivalingam and concerned Poojari/ Purohit to ensure compliance.”