Meeting With Jagadguru Shankarcharya Swami Onkaranand Saraswati of Prayagpeeth

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New Delhi,September 24-Two days after the alleged suicide of Acharya Mahendragiri of Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad, questions about the shoddy method of investigations are being raised.
Talking to this writer at a freewheeling interview yesterday, the Shankaracharya of ‘Pragyapeeth’Swami Onkaranand Saraswati attacked the BJP for taking the matter lightly.
“There are several questions about the authenticity of the suicide note where the late Acharya Narendrgiri talks so disparagingly about himself. Anyone who is going to die will not write a note saying that someone was blackmailing him about his relations with a woman. As far as we know he never had any relations with women and this note will damage his reputation.”
He said that the person who brought down the body of the late Mahant says he found the note near the body and kept it in his pocket. How is that accepted as normal?The longish which has so many cuttings and ink marks should have gone for forensic examination but the matter was handled so causally by the investigating team,he charged.
He revealed that there had been a precedent about suicides in the Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad. There was a suicide about 27 years ago.In 2013 again one of the sants of the Parishad had committed suicide by shooting himself.
Asked about the various property disputes that have been raised Acharya Saraswati said,”That is quite normal. Property disputes are common which keep popping up  but a Sant writing in his note that his relationship with a woman was is questions and hence he was being blackmailed and committing suicide is very shocking and looks like a conspiracy to misguide the investigations.”
Asked if the image of saints was being damaged with such events he said philosophically,”You should not call anyone a saint unless he has completed his life. You see temptations like greed,anger, desire for luxuries etc exist in every human being. A Sant is one because he has managed to suppress these emotions to live a life of sainthood. After all even Vishwamitra was tempted by Menaka though he later paid a penance for it.”
On this occasion he also unveiled a book of poems Kuch Idhar Kuch Udhar Ki’ by journalist Amitabh Srivastava which could not be released officially so far because of the pandemic.
Reading out a poem from the book on the suicide of Sushaht Singh Rajput who died last June, he said that any one who was committing suicide should be given respect whether a saint or a film star.
“The way everyone went after Sushant Singh suicide in the name of getting him justice should be a warning because ultimately it brought out so many ugly elements from his life that his parents don’t know where to hide.”

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