Firebrand leader and BJP MP Yogi Adityanath was Sunday anointed the Peethadheeshwar (head seer) of Gorakshnath Peeth in Gorakhpur as sants from different parts of the country, including Haryana and Rajasthan, performed rituals.
As per the tradition, the anointment took place just before the body of Mahant Avaidyanath, the former Peethadheeshwar and chief priest of the Gorakshnath temple, was buried. Avaidyanath, who had been at the forefront of the movement for Ram Temple in Ayodhya, had died on Friday after prolonged illness.
The BJP MP’s elevation as “Peethadheeshwar Mahant Yogi Adityanath” is set to spread his political clout from the eastern UP to other parts of the country as the Gorakshnath Peeth has followers cutting across caste and community lines in several states.
Gorakshnath temple (also known as Gorakhnath temple) has a large following in Nepal too and several sants from the country were present during the “abhishek” (anointment) of Adityanath. Head of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas Nritya Gopal Das, BJP state president Laxmikant Bajpai, senior BJP leader Vinay Katiyar, RSS’s Kshetra Pracharak Shiv Narain, VHP organisation secretary Dinesh Chandra and various other BJP MPs and sants were also present during the anointment and the subsequent burial of his guru Avaidyanath.
“Now, Adityanathji is free to take decisions on religious as well as political issues. He will move across the country to meet senior seers and sants who had been following Avaidyanath and have faith in Gorakashnath temple. This will certainly elevate Adityanath politically too as a BJP leader in other parts of the country,” a senior BJP leader said.
Another BJP leader said that the party should take benefit of this newly-got clout of Adityanath because he is a young face and has bold views on the important pro-Hindutva issues. “BJP has got a feedback that aggressive campaigning by Adityanath for the bypollshas given an additional mileage to the prospects of BJP candidates,” the BJP leader said.
BJP for the first time had used Adityanath for campaigning outside eastern UP for September 13 bypolls, results of which will be declared on Tuesday.
BJP spokesperson Chandra Mohan said, “Adityanthji is young and aggressive leader. As Gorakshnath temple has following in all caste communities in all the states, he has potential to rise as a national leader with acceptability in all sections of society.”
“BJP currently lacks a leadership in UP and Adityanathji has the potential to become face of the BJP in the state. The way he has worked for welfare of people in Gorakhpur by opening hospitals and educational institutions, he could certainly rise as national leader,” said Swami Chinmayanand, member of Vishwa Hindu Parishad Margdarshak Mandal.
Adityanath, 42, is a science graduate from Garhwal University, Uttarakhand. He had turned sanyasi at the age of 19. Three years later he took deekhsha (become disciple) from Avaidyanath at age of 22. The same year, in 1994, he was declared as successor for Gorakshnath Mandir by Avaidyanath.