Video of Shankaracharya endorsing Rahul Gandhi’s “Hindus and violence” goes viral

Swami Avimukteshwaranand, the 46th Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math in the northern state of Uttarakhand, seemed to support Gandhi on Sunday (July 7).

Here’s a revised version of the sentence with the keyword incorporated:

“India’s Opposition Leader Rahul Gandhi has received support from an unexpected source for his contentious statement referring to certain Hindus as ‘violent’: the Shankaracharya of Uttarakhand Swami Avimukteshwarananda, a renowned Hindu priest, amidst discussions surrounding ‘Hindus and violence’.”

On July 1, in his maiden statement as Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the lower chamber of parliament, Gandhi stated that “those who call themselves Hindus indulge in hate and violence round the clock.” He conveyed his argument by presenting photographs of religious icons and deities such as Lord Shiva and Sikhism’s Guru Nanak.

Hindus and violence
Image Source: Isha Foundation

The words sparked a quick response from Narendra Modi, an unusual gesture by the Indian prime leader. According to PM Modi: “The issue is a serious one, to call the entire Hindu community violent is serious.”

To this, Gandhi said that “Narendra Modi ji is not the entire Hindu community, the BJP [the ruling party] is not the entire Hindu community, the RSS [the ideological of BJP] is not the entire Hindu community” .

Swami Avimukteshwaranand, the 46th Shankaracharya of Jyotir Math in the northern state of Uttarakhand, seemed to support Gandhi on Sunday (July 7). “We carefully listened to Rahul Gandhi’s complete speech. “He unequivocally states that Hinduism opposes violence,” the Shankaracharya added. He added people who selectively share sections of Gandhi’s speech while misrepresenting facts should be held accountable. “Presenting only fragments of Gandhi’s statement is misleading and unethical,” he stated in a video that quickly went viral.

Following the uproar caused by his statements in parliament, Speaker Om Birla requested that the relevant remarks be removed from parliament records.

According to reports, the administration is also considering taking action against Gandhi in response to his statements. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju accused Gandhi of violating House rules and insulting the speaker. “Action will follow as per the rule under which the notice or appeal has been made,” he stated the previous week.

This is not the first time that Shankaracharyas, the four primary clerics regarded as guardians and leaders of Hindu faith and customs, have voiced their viewpoints.

Swami Avimukteshwaranand’s Endorsement of Gandhi’s Stance Against Misrepresentation on ‘Hindus and Violence’

The most recent one occurred during the Ayodhya Ram Mandir’s opening earlier this year.

Swami Avimukteshwaranand stated at the time that the ‘pran pratishtha’ of the Ram Temple was taking place even though the temple’s construction was not complete.

He condemned the ceremony, which was witnessed by Prime Minister Modi in January, as a breach of holy teachings.

Who is a Shankaracharya?
Shankaracharyas were religious leaders established by Adi Shankara, the 8th century saint from the southern state of Kerala, to spread Hindusim and the philosophy of Advaita (non-duality). To spread the Hindu teachings, he set up four ‘peethams’ or religious monasteries in different regions of India.

Jyotir Math in Uttarakhand is one of them.

Shankaracharyas are the spiritual heads of these monasteries.

The other three peeths are located in Odisha, Karnataka and Gujarat.

Besides Shankaracharya Swami Avimukteshwaranand, the other leaders of these monasteries are: Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati (Odisha), Shankaracharya Swami Sadanand Saraswati (Gujarat), and Shankaracharya Bharati Teerth (Karnataka).

You might also be interested in – Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticizes Rahul Gandhi in Lok Sabha speech

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