SC norms for worship at Ujjain comes into effect

SC norms for worship at Ujjain comes into effect

Ujjain (MP), PTI: The sacred 'lingam' at the Mahakaleshwar temple was covered with a white cotton cloth during a key ritual for the first time in centuries, a day after the Supreme Court gave its nod to new norms for worship.

The 'lingam' was fully covered with a white cotton cloth during the 'Bhasma-Aarti' - special prayer with sacred ash - held on Saturday morning, a temple official said on Sunday.

On Friday, the apex court had given its nod to new norms for worshipping at the temple, including allowing only 500 ml of reverse osmosis (RO) water for the ceremony and covering the lingam fully with dry cotton cloth during the Bhasma-Aarti.

"We have implemented the Supreme Court directives with immediate effect. Since centuries, the jyotirlingam of Mahakaleshwar was being covered half with cloth during Bhasma- Aarti. From Saturday, the jyotirlingam is being fully covered in accordance with the apex court directives," Mahakaleshwar Temple administrator Pradeep Soni said.

Soni said: "All other restrictions directed by the apex court were put in place. Now each devotee is allowed to take only 500ml of RO water for 'jalabhishek' while only dry puja is allowed after 5 pm."

Hearing a petition seeking directives to prevent erosion of the Shivlingam, the apex court had constituted an expert committee on August 25.

The panel, comprising officials from the Archaeological Survey of India, the Geological Survey of India and others, submitted its report to the apex court after conducting a study of the Jyotirlingam.

The committee estimated the rate at which the deterioration in its size was taking place and suggested measures to prevent it.

On Friday, the SC approved eight points of the resolution passed by the temple management committee in consonance with recommendations of the expert panel.

A bench of justices Arun Mishra and L Nageswara Rao said the recommendations of the expert committee needed to be implemented to preserve the Shivlingam.

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