Pune : The Assam government has aired an advertisement on February 14, 2023, claiming that Shri Bhimashankar in Pune is not the sixth Jyotirlinga but the real Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga in Guwahati, Assam. This has led to the usual political mudslinging. In fact, it is unfortunate to have politics interfere in religious matters like pilgrimages, religious places etc. Experts in the religious field i.e. Shankaracharya, Dharmacharya, Sant-Mahant etc. have the right to speak about God, Dharma, scriptures, traditions, pilgrimages, religious places, temples etc. Politicians should not talk about religious matters.
The Dwadasha Jyotirling stotra (verses on 12 jyotirlingas) composed by Adi Shankaracharya, as well as in many other scriptures such as Shivlilamrita, Shivpuran etc., make it clear that that Srikshetra Bhimashankar in Pune district is the sixth Swayambhu Jyotirlinga of Deity Shiva. Shri Bhimashankar is the oldest and the sixth Jyotirlinga temple located in the dense forests of the Sahyadri mountain range, where the Bhima river originates in Khed taluka of Pune district said Sunil Ghanwat.
The Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangh has appealed to Chief Minister of Maharashtra Eknath Shinde to obtain the guidance of Shankaracharya-Dharmacharya and substantiate that Shri Bhimashankar is the sixth Jyotirlinga of Pune district.