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Madras high court stays meditation camp at Thanjavur temple by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living Foundation

Fadu News 2018-12-07 16:36:35

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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MADURAI: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Friday stayed a two-day meditation camp by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living Foundation at the Brihadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur, which is a Unesco heritage site.

The court stayed the event after a public interest litigation sought cancellation of permission granted to a private event at a place of worship.

Petitioner N Venkatesh of Kumbakonam stated that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the state's Hindu religious and charitable endowments (HR&CE) department had granted permission to the event called “Unveiling Infinity” -- an immersive meditation programme -- to be held on Friday evening and on Saturday.

The petitioner pointed out that the temple is over 1,000 years old and is an Unesco heritage site.

"The authorities are allowing a private party to conduct meeting and have allowed installation of tents very close to the temple without showing any sense of preserving a monument," the petitioner stated.

He pointed out that the National Green Tribunal was critical of the Art of Living's earlier meeting in 2016 on the banks of Yamuna river and slapped a Rs 5crore fine on the foundation. The authorities had erred by granting permission to a person who had already been identified a violator, the petitioner said.

A division bench of Justice K K Sasidharan and Justice P D Audikesaavalu granted an interim stay on the impending event and directed the Thanjavur district administration to ensure all temporary structures set up on the temple premises are removed.