Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati

The Shankaracharya of Dwaraka-Sharda Peeth Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati said that the entry of women into a famous temple devoted to Lord Shani or Saturn in Maharashtra will drive more rapes.

He also said that drought-like situation in Maharashtra was caused by the worship of the ‘unworthy god-man’, Sai Baba of Shirdi.

Calling Sai Baba a ‘fakir’, the Shankaracharya said that worshipping Sai Baba was ‘unauspicious’ and brought drought in Maharashtra.

The Shirdi Sai Baba is worshipped by lakhs of people across the country, especially in Maharashtra, and could lead to a big controversy.

“Calamity strikes where those unworthy of worship are worshipped. Such places suffer drought, flood, death or fear. Maharashtra is facing all of these,” said Shankaracharya quoting scriptures to back his claims. In 2014, Shankaracharya disapproved the worship of Sai Baba asking Hindus to removes his photographs and idols from temples.

Sai Baba of Shirdi, also known as Shirdi Sai Baba, was an Indian spiritual master who was regarded by his devotees as a saint. He was revered by both his Hindu and Muslim devotees. But most of the devotees treat him as a god and worship him.