Only branded milk for Lord Shiva at Kashi Vishwanath

Increasing use of adulterated milk has forced the management of the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi to take measures to prevent offering of the same on Lord Shiva.

Temple authorities said the management has decided that only branded milk would be allowed to be offered on the ‘Shivlinga’.

“We have decided not to allow milk procured from elsewhere to used for the purpose of offerings,” said a senior official associated with the temple management.

He said that the non-branded milk sold in the open market was often adulterated.
“There have been reports that chemicals and other things are mixed with the milk,” he added.

The temple management has entered into an agreement with a state sector dairy firm for sale of branded milk outside the temple. “Milk packets will be available for Rs 5 and Rs 10, the official said.

The temple officials said that lakhs of litres of milk was offered to Lord Shiva during the month of ‘Shravana’, when the devotees perform ‘rudrabhishek’ (a special puja during which a large quantity of milk is offered on the Shivalinga).

The milk, which is offered at the temple, is considered to be sacred and is also distributed as ‘prasada’. “Adulterated milk given as prasada may also have an adverse effect on the health of the devotees,” the official said.

The temple management had earlier decided to use the offered milk for drinking purpose to prevent its wastage. The offered milk was distributed among the poor and needy people and also at the hospitals for the patients.

The Kashi Vishwanath temple, which stands on the western bank of the Ganges, is the centre of faith for millions of Hindus who throng it from across the world. The ‘Jyotirlinga’ of Shiva,

‘Vishweshwara’ or ‘Vishwanatha’ – enshrined in the Kashi Vishwanath temple – is considered as one of the holiest temples in the country.

In Hindu religion it is believed that a simple glimpse of the Jyotirlinga is a soul-cleansing experience that transforms life and puts it on the path of knowledge and bhakti (devotion).

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