The Mahaghanta (Huge bell) hanging at the main door of Shri Shanaishchar temple in Shrikshetra Shanishinganapur has been kept tied and made un-operational for the past 3-4 years under the pretext that it obstructs the office of the temple. Basically, ringing a bell is an important ritual in a temple. Ringing the bell in a temple awakens the Divine Principle as well as emits the spiritual purity into the environment – so say the Scriptures. Under such circumstances, it is totally inappropriate to keep the bell locked just because it causes disturbance to the office. Therefore, considering the constitutional religious rights of Hindus, the tradition of ringing the Mahaghanta in Shri Shani temple should be resumed. An appeal with this demand was made on behalf of ‘Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangha’ with the President of Shri Shanaishchar Devasthan, Mr Bhagwat Baanker and Vice President Mr Vikas Baankar and Shri. Vishwas (Mama) Gadakh. Taking immediate notice of this demand, Mr Baankar untied the Mahaghanta at the main door of the temple and made it available for the devotees for ringing. Thereafter, the devotees rang the bell hailing Har Har Mahadev. The coordinator of Maharashtra Mandir Mahasangha Mr Sunil Ghanwat has thanked the temple committee.
Mr Yogesh Sonawane of Vighnaharta Pratishthan, Mr Bapu Thange of Shri Shivpratisthan Hindustan, Mr Rameshwar Bhukan of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, so also Mr Dyaneshwar Jamdade, Mr Sagar Khamkar, Mr Satish Bawre, Mr Amol Tambe, Mr Ashok Maid, Mr Amol Wandhekar and Mr Suraj Gagare were present at the time of making the appeal.
Ringing of bells, blowing of conch or performing Arti are all an integral part of sacred rituals in Hindu temples. The tied (to make it non-operational) Mahaghanta in Shri Shani Temple, raised the issue of Hindu customs, traditions and religious sentiments of the devotees. In a statement issued on behalf of the Mandir Mahasangha, it was demanded that the ringing of bells in the temple should be commenced with immediate effect. Earlier too the bell of Shri Bhagyalakshmi Devi temple, a famous place of worship for Hindus in Bhagyanagar (Hyderabad) was stopped in a similar manner as it caused trouble to fanatics. Devotees of Bhagyanagar had fought in the High Court in this regard. In its verdict, the Honourable Court had held that the ringing of bells in temples is an integral part of the customary tradition of devotees and a fundamental right under Article 25 of the Constitution of India. If restrictions are imposed on the customs and traditions of temples, then the Mandir Mahasangha will continue to fight for it, said Mr Ghanwat at that time.