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Dalit Sadhu to be Mahamandaleshwar at Kumbh 2019

The newly named ‘Mahamandaleshwar’ Kanhaiya Prabhunand Giri, a Dalit, hails from Aazamgarh district and earned his degree of ‘Jyotishacharya’ from Bhartiya Jyotish Vigyan Kendra in Chandigarh.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:April 25, 2018, 12:57 PM IST
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Dalit Sadhu to be Mahamandaleshwar at Kumbh 2019
File photo of Kanhaiya Prabhunand Giri, a Dalit religious scholar, who will be given the title of ‘Mahamandaleshwar’ at Kumbh 2019.
Lucknow: In a break from tradition, a Dalit religious scholar will be given the title of ‘Mahamandaleshwar’ at Kumbh 2019 by the Juna Akahada, which is part of All India Akhada Parishad and is considered by many to be the largest and oldest order of sadhus in India.

The newly named ‘Mahamandaleshwar’ Kanhaiya Prabhunand Giri, a Dalit, hails from Aazamgarh district and earned his degree of ‘Jyotishacharya’ from Bhartiya Jyotish Vigyan Kendra in Chandigarh.

Speaking to News18, Mahamadaleshwar Kanhaiya Prabhunand Giri said, “My first and foremost duty is to work towards unity of all the religions. There is no caste in Sanatan Dharm and people from all the religions are equally respected.”

Kanhaiya Prabhunand Giri was always inclined towards religion and spirituality since he was a kid. After completing his education from Bhartiya Jyotish Vigyan Kendra in the year 2013, Kanhaiya Prabhunand Giri plunged himself in social work and reached out to different parts of the country to spread the message of religion and spirituality.

“As, Kanhaiya Prabhunand Giri, I was always attached to the Juna Akhada and that is why I went to Sant Panchanan Giri of Juna Akhada to take shiksha from him. In the year 2016 during the Kumbh, Sant Panchanan Giri of Juna Akhada gave me the Diksha of Sanyasi. Earlier, my name was Kanhaiya Kumar Kashyap, but post taking Diksha my name was changed to Kanhaiya Prabhunand Giri,” said the 32-year-old seer.

Speaking on the issue of Dalit politics, Kanhaiya Prabhunand Giri said, “Today, the political parties are dismantling the Dalit community and are dividing the community as well. My message to Dalit community is that they should focus more on Veda and Puranas, by doing that they can also rise to a higher position in the society, which can eventually help in uplifting the society.”

“As a kid I never thought that a person from Dalit community can rise to such a prestigious position one day, but I was determined since there were not many saints or seers from my community,” said Kanhaiya Prabhunand Giri, who has also completed his post graduation in Sanskrit language.

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| Edited by: Ashutosh Tripathi
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