Jyotishanand Saraswati installed as first woman Parvatyacharya

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Hardwar, Jan 14 (UNI) MahaMandleshwar Maa Yoga Shakti of Hardwar today installed her disciple, Jyotishanand Saraswati, as the first woman Parvatyacharya, amid vociferous protests.

The sant community vehemently opposed the act of conferring the title on a woman as the heads of four 'peeths', set up by Adi Guru Shankaracharya, can only be men.

The sants and mahants of all the 13 akharas gathered in large numbers in front of the ashram of Maa Yog Shakti and shouted slogans against her when her disciple was being installed as Parvatyacharya.

After an emergency meeting of all the 13 akharas, representing the different sects of Hindu religion, held here, the General Secretary of the parishad, the apex body of all the saints of Hindu religion in the country, Swami Harigiri, said Maa Yoga Shakti had been expelled from the 'Akhara Parishad' for violating the established traditions of Hindu religion.

Talking to reporters here, Maa Yog Shakti said she wanted to eradicate gender discrimination. ''All the Shankracharyas, the supreme heads of Hindu religion, have so far been men. Women can also occupy the highest religious positions,'' Maa Yoga Shakti added.

In view of mounting tension, heavy security force was deployed outside the Ashram. The police had a tough time in preventing the sants and mahants from entering the Ashram. Timely intervention of the police averted an untoward incident.

UNI XC DS RP KP1634

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