The ancient city of Varanasi, renowned as the spiritual heart of India, is embroiled in a longstanding dispute concerning the Gyanvapi mosque’s location. It is situated near the sacred Vishwanath temple. Recently, the Varanasi Court granted approval to the Hindu side’s request for a “scientific survey” of the entire Gyanvapi mosque premises by the esteemed Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). This survey aims to shed light on the historical and religious significance of the site. It will resolve the conflicting claims that have persisted for centuries.
The dispute centers around a structure that experts discovered on the mosque premises when five women from the Hindu side petitioned for permission to pray at the “Shringar Gauri Sthal” within the shrine complex. The structure is believed to bear significance to both Hindu and Muslim communities, with the Hindu side claiming it as a “Shivling” while the Muslim side refers to it as a “fountain.”
History And Claims
Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side, states that the site housed a Swayambhu Jyotirlinga, a self-manifested lingam representing Lord Shiva, for thousands of years. He asserts that Muslim invaders damaged and destroyed the temple multiple times, starting with Mahmud Ghazni’s attack in 1017 AD. He also claims that the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb issued a Farman (decree) in 1669 to demolish the temple, which Rani Ahilyabai Holkar later replaced with the Kashi Vishwanath Temple constructed between 1777-1780.
In their pursuit of truth and resolution, the Hindu side seeks a comprehensive scientific survey by the ASI, utilizing advanced techniques such as Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey, excavation, and carbon dating. They firmly believe that the ASI, a reputable and expert agency in historical investigations, can impartially uncover the reality behind their claims.
The Court’s Role
On July 14, the court ordered a survey of the complex by ASI. On July 6, the Hindu petitioners approached the Supreme Court to expedite their appeal against the Allahabad High Court’s order for the scientific survey. The High Court had permitted the survey under the supervision of the Varanasi District Judge.
However, the Supreme Court deferred the implementation of the High Court’s directions until the next hearing.
It issued notices to the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government in response to the appeal from the Gyanvapi mosque management committee against the ASI’s scientific investigation.
On Monday, the Supreme Court directed that the Varanasi district court should not enforce the order for the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey of the contentious Gyanvapi mosque complex until 5 pm on July 26. This decision allows the Muslim parties involved sufficient time to approach the Allahabad High Court. The survey of the mosque complex commenced at approximately 8 am on Monday. The court’s intervention aims to provide a fair opportunity for all parties to present their arguments. They can seek proper legal recourse in the ongoing matter.
The Archaeological Survey of India is well-respected for its meticulous approach to historical research. Their involvement in the survey holds the potential to bring clarity to the historical significance of the Gyanvapi mosque site. The utilization of modern techniques and scientific methods will undoubtedly aid in unearthing vital evidence from the past.
Nandi Awaits His Bholenath
Varanasi anticipates the results of the “scientific survey,” and the entire nation watches closely. Nandi has awaited his Bholenath for centuries. Nandi adores Lord Shiva boundlessly, and his deep connection with the divine surpasses the material world. This makes him a divine embodiment of faith and surrender. Due to his boundless devotion, Nandi serves as a celestial intermediary between Lord Shiva and his devotees. He transmits prayers and wishes to his master.
Legends say that Nandi’s unwavering dedication earned him the esteemed position of Lord Shiva’s primary advisor and gatekeeper. In times of distress and joy, Nandi remains a steadfast companion, providing solace and support to the enigmatic deity.
Nandi continues to await the presence of his beloved Lord Bholenath, reminding all who witness this sacred bond that true devotion transcends time and space, and the heart that stays steadfast in pursuing the divine shall also find eternal union with the supreme.