The Save Sharda Committee initiated a programme to collect and deliver the soil and flowers of the Sharda shrine across the country
The ‘Save Sharda Committee’ was formed by Ravinder Pandita and other concerned people to further the cause of re-opening the pilgrimage route and restoration of the shrine. The committee has been working to both in J&K and POJK with participants from both the regions actively involved. The committee has taken up issues with all concerned ministries, and government heads in New Delhi and things have started progressing. The Committee is demanding ratification of LOC permit rules for facilitating travel of J&K Hindus for an annual pilgrimage. Recently Save Sharda Committee has obtained a judgement from Supreme Court of POJK on the preservation of Sharda site like other historical sites in POJK.
A moment in the Save Sharda Campaign programme organised in Bengaluru
The Save Sharda Committee initiated a programme to collect and deliver the soil and flowers of the Sharda shrine across the country. The soil & flowers have been taken to Shankracharya mutts in Kanchi, Dwarka, Joshi Mutt, Kashi mutt, Gokarna Mutt and other religious shrines of Adi Shankaracharya throughout India by the committee. The Save Sharda committee has also been organising awareness campaigns to educate people about the importance of the Sharda Peeth, its history, ancient links all Indians have with it and the need to restore the Peeth.
Awareness Campaign Launched
On September 22, 2018, a unique awareness campaign was organised in the precincts of the Shankara Matha in Bengaluru by the Save Sharda Committee and Navdurga Trust for Indological studies. Shri Ravinder Pandita of the Save Sharda Committee, renowned orator and writer Sa hri Chakravarthy Sulibele, Dr BR Bharati of Navdurga Trust were present on the occasion.
File Image-Sharda Peeth
Speaking at the event, Chakravarti Sulibele opined that time is not far when PoK will be merged again with the mainland. We recall Sharda Devi every day in our daily recitation of prayers which shows the links we have with the holy site. We are dreaming big, and this will only grow in the times to come. With the backing of the Shringeri Matha, the project to revive Sharda Peeth is sure to be a success. We need to revive the Sharda Peeth not just because of Shankaracharya or Shringeri Matha but for the sake of India too. The process of revival may take years but if the fight for Ram Janmabhoomi has come to the final stages, the same will happen in this case too, and we need not lose hope. We need to collect all the needed historical proofs and facts to buttress our claims. Each of us should support the cause both physically and monetarily and not be mere bystander. The campaign for Sharda Peeth is also a fight for reclaiming PoK. We need to join hands just as Israel reclaimed their lands against all the odds and prevailed. The conditions are also conducive for the same as the residents in PoJK are rising in rebellion against Pakistan. Hence the day is not far when we will have a similar event under Sharda Devi herself provided we all work together, he concluded.
Invitation card of Save Sharda Campaign written in Sharda script
Ravindra Pandit of President of Save Sharda Samiti spoke about the importance of Sharda Peeth and the historical references of the shrine. The Sharda script needs to be revived as it is the important link to our cultural past. He also said that people in POK are also interested in reviving the Sharada Peeth. People in J&K cannot visit POK for the pilgrimage, but they can come here to visit their relatives. The access to Sharada Peetha is in bad condition and difficult to approach. People have to go and trek atop the hill which is difficult. Ground reality there is shared by people there who are interested in reviving the Peetha. These include Muslims too who are civil society volunteers who work with us. We demand that Hindus should be allowed to visit the shrine by altering the LOC permit rules. With the blessings of our Shankaracharyas and everyone’s support we will be able to revive the pilgrimage, he said.
With the backing of the Shringeri Matha, the project to revive Sharda Peeth is sure to be a success. We need to revive the Sharda Peeth not just because of Shankaracharya or Shringeri Matha but for the sake of Bharat tooDr BR Bharati of the Navdurga Trust of Indology talked about the challenges and solutions in reclaiming Sharda Peeth. The sources we have from historical records are few and sparse. They are in different languages, and scripts and many references are in Buddhist literature. Huen Tsang’s travels in Kashmir in 631 CE and Al-Beruni in the 11th century also provide a few pointers. We have many lingering questions which if answered can provide the missing links concerning Sharda Peeth. The Sarvagna Peetha which existed here used to have four doors facing four directions.
Scholars from each direction used to come and debate. If Shankaracharya came from the southern door, who were the other Acharyas who came from the other three doors? What happened to the Shishya Parampara of these other acharyas who came from other directions? Historical dating of the present structure of Sharada temple is also to be ascertained. To make matters difficult, many historical references are present in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Tibet and their native languages. Translating from these languages pose’s a challenge to us. But I hope the Sharada university will be revived just as the Nalanda university is being revived. It will be possible if we work together and with co-operation from all Acharyas, scholars and like-minded people, she said.
The Sharda Peeth awareness programme ended with the showing of a documentary of the importance, present condition of Sharda Peetha in POJK and the efforts to revive it. Chronicler and historian Suresh Moona was the master of ceremony of this event held at Shankar Matha.