NEW DELHI: Aiming to preserve the Shiva lingam at Jyotirlinga Mahakaleshwara temple in Ujjain, the Supreme Court on Friday set new norms for devotees to worship there. The idol at the Mahakal temple is one of the twelve Jyotirlings in the country.
Under the new norms, devotees would now be allowed to offer only half a litre of RO (reverse osmosis) water as ‘jalabhishek’ and only 1.25 litres of panchamrit (a mixture of milk, curd, honey, sugar and ghee to be allowed per devotee). The idol would have to be completely covered with dry cotton cloth during ‘Bhisma Aarti’, exhaust fans should be installed inside the sanctum sanctorum and it should be kept dry when jalabhishek is not being done. Jalabhishek should not be allowed throughout the day, according to the new rules. Other rules include flower offerings to be made only on the top part of the idol, the sanctum to be cleaned after 5 pm everyday and permitting only dry offerings after 5 pm.
The order came after a committee of experts consisting of officials from the Archaeological Survey of India and Geological Survey of India had looked into the causes that were leading to the shrinking of the Shiva lingam in the temple. The committee was formed by the apex court after the court was petitioned by the Ujjani Vidwat Parishad that claimed that the Shiva lingam was shrinking because of excessive bhang offerings. The temple which was rebuilt in the 18th century, in Ujjain, was corroding due to pollution, moisture and the offerings, the committee had told the apex court.