Juna Akhara Bans Entry of Foreigners

The foreigners who were eagerly waiting for 2013 Kumbh Mela in Allahabad would be discouraged from entering an Akhara, the place where the Hindu renunciates live. This strange decision has been taken by Juna Akhara, one of the oldest mutts of Naga sadhus.

"This verdict was passed by a majority of sadhus of Juna Akhara because we have noticed in recent years that the foreigners were trying to pollute the atmosphere of our mutts. They bring drugs and liquor to lure our sadhus. This gives a bad name to the mutts. So we have expelled three sadhus from our Akhara and took a decision in a meeting in Haridwar on Thursday that the foreigners would be prohibited from entering our akhara in Kumbh Mela," said Mahant Prem Giri, general secretary of Juna Akhara.

"It also happens that some sadhus who don't value Hindu morals, lure the western women and exploit them. This is the reason that we decided to prevent their frequent contacts in the Akhara," said Mahant Parshuram Giri, another sadhu of Juna Akhara.      

He recalled that a Naga sadhu Narayan Giri of Juna Akhara had cheated many foreign women. He had married two Italian women in 2001 without telling them that he was already married.

"He used to live at Kedar Ghat in Varanasi and cheat foreign women who used to visit the place in search of peace and salvation. He even went to Italy with one of the women. But she deserted him after knowing that he had earlier duped other women by marrying them. There are many other sadhus also in the akharas who are hardly involved in religious work but they keep trapping foreigners. So we believe that the ban on foreigners in our Akhara is an apt decision," said Mahant Prem Giri.

Mahant Mahendra Giri, a sadhu of Nirwani Akhara, said, "We welcome the decision of Juna Akhara because they are facing problems due to foreigners. But it doesn't mean that we don't want the foreigners in Kumbh Mela. They are free to visit the congregation and explore their religious curiosities. They are our guests and we respect their sentiment. I also believe that the other Akharas don't need to take a similar decision if their sadhus are disciplined renunciates and follow religious and social ethics."

Foreigners not allowed in Haridwar's akharas during 2013 Kumbh Mela

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