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Varanasi
Saturday, May 21, 2022

Jail prisoners learning Hindu priesthood in MP, can we stop demonizing traditional priestly families?

Hindu priesthood lessons are being imparted to a selected few prisoners of the Bhopal Central Jail. The move has been initiated by the youth wing of Gayatri Shaktipeeth in association with the central jail authorities. The selected prisoners are being given a month-long training in Gayatri Mantra writing, Gayatri Mahayagna, and additionally, they are being given special books to write the Mantra that will be used during the upcoming Navratri festival celebrations at Mathura.

50 prisoners have been selected for and initiated into the program who will be writing as well as continuously chanting the Mantra through all the nine days of Navaratri. The Gayatri Mahayagna will also be conducted every day during this time. Explaining the importance of Gayatri Mantra, Raghunath Prasad Hazari of the Shaktipeeth said that the Mantra was wish-fulfilling and one could obtain anything he wishes for. Members of the organization are getting Gayatri Mantra boxes installed at prisons across Madhya Pradesh. Besides, they are also encouraging prisoners to give up at least one bad habit.

“Everyone must meditate on Bhagwan if one wants to lead a blessed life. Whether you have many desires or are totally free of them, you should pray to Sri Hari because we have been given this human form for Bhakti of the divine”, explained Shashank Shekar during his discourse on Srimad Bhagvad at Habibganj.

This step also busts the propaganda that any class of Hindu society is stopped from practicing priesthood as an occupation. The fact is that apart from families that have traditionally managed temples (and this includes both Brahmins and non-Brahmin families), most youths are just not interested as Dharma has been painted as ‘regressive and useless’ in today’s modern world. 

Hindu society should celebrate each person who wants to devote their lives to keeping the flame of Dharma alive, and ignore the social justice warrior (SJW) propagandists who just want to destroy Dharma by killing its practice and teaching. Any Veda pathshala or other organization dedicated to preserving Dharmic traditions in their original form, and the rich heritage of rites and rituals which bind communities together, deserves our full support.

In a world where most people are focused on material advancement, any traditional community or family that teaches priesthood to future generations is making a sacrifice that we should applaud and support. When our government and social activists are making efforts to preserve traditional arts and crafts by incentivizing families and communities involved in those, how is traditional priesthood any different?

If there is any aspect of rituals that we feel needs to change with the times, then we should respectfully engage with the traditionalists for a genuine dialogue, instead of blindly falling for propaganda of anti-Hindu forces. And instead of being stuck in negative criticism, we are always free to start our own Dharmic initiatives like the Gayatri Shaktipeeth is doing in MP.

(Featured Image Source: Nai Dunia)

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