If one uses social media, it is difficult to miss the videos of the charismatic young godman of the Bageshwar Dham. And, it has been trending on Twitter for several days now. But, there is appropriate information about the same. Here, I am trying to compile what is all the information available on the controversy surrounding the magic or fraud at the Bageshwar Dham.
Firstly, Bageswhar Dham is situated in the Chattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. Bageshwar Dham Sarkar is a religious destination. Bageshwar Dham sarkar is a place of worship of Swayambhu Shri Balaji Sarkar i.e. Hauman ji.
When an anti-superstition organization challenged the claims of the godman, all hell broke loose. There was a lot of pushback on social media, and more. People wanted to know if Krishna Shashtri can actually do magic.
Then, came the viral moment. In a video floating on the internet, when journalist covering his ‘Katha’ was told information that the preacher couldn’t have known. The journalist affirmed that the information was indeed right. But, people still don’t believe in his magic. There are always skeptics.
The organization which challenged Baba Bageshwar’s magic is Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti.
Who is Dhirendra Krishna Shashtri?
At the center of the controversy is the young 26-year-old boy, temple head, and religious preacher: Dhirendra Krishna Shashtri. He travels across the country for his preachers, which according to NDTV are called ‘Katha’.
Baba Bageshwar was born in the Chattarpur district of Madhya Pradesh only. He studied in the same district itself. Beyond this, it is said that he lived his childhood in an economically poor environment.
He considers his grandfather as his ideal and looks up to them. His father also used to recite sermons to the believers, and his mother used to sell milk. That is where he got into preaching and religious teachings.
His preachers have lakhs, and lakhs of devotees, and some of them are very prominent and powerful political leaders.
What is Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti?
This anti-superstition organization was founded in Maharashtra by Dr. Narendra Dabholkar in 1989. The organization is also known as Committee for Eradication of Blind Faith, CEBF. He has been a vocal critic of the superstitions across the country, and how it impacts the poorer section of society.
Dr. Dabholkar was infamously murdered in the daylight. He was shot by two motorcyclists in August 2013. People have accused the radical Hindu organization Sanatan Sanstha, of planning the assassination. Documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan devoted a part of his documentary ‘Reason/Vivek’ to the works of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar.
For me, there is no real controversy. India has seen so many godmen throughout our cultural history. These godmen have claimed numerous magical powers. Remember, the famous Nirmal baba? That is beside the point anyway. Osho, the self-styled godman, was one of the biggest preachers in the world.
The question is how does one get past this? Honestly, there is no answer. One needs to uphold rational and critical thinking foremost, then sentimental beliefs. Even, if they do have their sentimental at the forefront, it shouldn’t be preached as fact. But, how thinks like that anyway.
The anti-superstition organization is important as they debunk the myths, and speculations around the ‘magic’ of his godmen. There is a line in English-spy movie called James Bond, it goes like
“History is not kind to men who play God”, and yet we will learn nothing from history.
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