Gun-toting woman monk cynosure at Kumbh
Amid the large number of soft-spoken, saffron-clad women monks at the ongoing Mahakumbh on the banks of the sangam at Allahabad there also is a woman “sadhu,” who just loves guns along with the gods.
Mahant Daya Bharti, a woman monk associated with India’s biggest Juna Akhara, always carries a double barrel gun when she is out of her “ashram” (mutt). She also possesses a valid arms licence.
The mahant, who has a permanent “ashram” in Dholpur district in Rajasthan, says that she had been trained in handling the gun by her guru Mahant Digambar Ram Bharti, who is also from Juna Akhara.
“I started receiving arms training when I was barely ten,” she says with pride as she shows her gun.
Daya Bharti had been baptised into the world of the monks at the age of nine. She claims to be an authority on vedic literature. “I am an expert with the gun as well”, she claims further. Though she has brought her double barrel gun with her at the Mahakumbh, she does not carry it here when she moves about.
“My guru has asked me not to carry the gun at the Kumbh,” Bharti said.
She also loves luxury cars and owns two swanky SUVs. She said that she had driven all the way from Dholpur to Allahabad herself. The mahant, however, says that she never “misused” her weapon.
On whether the “sadhus”, who swore by “ahimsa” (non-violence) and have renounced the world, should be carrying weapons, Bharti says that she keeps it for two purposes.