Mahant Somgiri, passed away on 11th January, from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident near Dudu town on the Jaipur-Ajmer highway. He was a venerated Mahant of Maha Nirvani Akhada.

Following the death of the Brahma Temple priest, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje expressed her condolences in tweet. “Deeply saddened by the news of passing away of Poojya Somgiri Ji Maharaj in a road mishap,” she stated.

The entire team at Hinduism Now, express our deep condolences and sadness at this sudden demise.

After this untimely demise of Mahant Somgiri, anti-Hindu elements within certain parts of the government reared their ugly heads once again as they attempted to take control of the temple.

Akhadas of Sanatana Hindu Dharma are no strangers to this ploy of anti-Hindu forces to lobby for government control of the temple.

Certain anti-Hindu media elements have also joined the fray, starting a smear campaign that accuses the Pushkar Brahma temple of fraudulence. The purported claim is that amounts totalling up to rupees 26 lacs have been seized by the government which is unaccounted for.

Such huge sums of unaccounted money would be alarming to the Hindu fraternity, if not for the glaring fact that a single days income at the illustrious temple exceeds rupees 30 lacs.

What could have been a delay in accounting for a day’s income at the temple due to the untimely demise of its leader, has been portrayed as corruption and mismanagement. By blowing up such incidences out of proportion, and citing mismanagement and irregularity in the temple administration, these same elements have been successful in the past in making temple officials cede control of their venerated temples to the government.

The government in turn, receives funds from the temple in the name of ‘administration fees’. There have been many more instances where the government has not accounted for income that rightly belongs to the temple treasury. The Hindu reported the following findings:

“For example, temple properties: Tamil Nadu temples, under Hindu Religious & Charitable Endowments Department, has control over more than 4.7 lakh acres of agricultural land, 2.6 crore square feet of buildings and 29 crore square feet of urban sites of temples. By any reasonable measure, the income from these properties should be in thousand of crores of rupees. The government, however, collects a mere Rs.36 crore in rent against a ‘demand’ of mere Rs.304 crore — around 12 per cent realisation.

The Srirangam Ranganathar Temple paid the government a (yearly) fee of Rs. 18.56 crore (2010-11) for ‘administering the temple’; for employees rendering religious services, like reciting Vedas, Pasurams during the deity procession, no salary is paid’. There are 36 priests in Srirangam who perform the daily poojas — they are not paid a monthly fixed salary. They are entitled to offerings made by devotees and a share in the sale of archana tickets. Yet the temple pays a monthly salary ranging from Rs.8,000 to Rs.20,000 for the temple’s government-appointed employees, like watchman, car drivers etc. who perform no religious duties.”

Government is trying to swindle  money of Hindu temple. Why should a government control only Hindu places of worship, but not Muslim and Christian religious institution.