SALANGPUR, GUJARAT, INDIA, September 5, 2023 (Republic World): A Swaminarayan sect on Monday said it will remove controversial wall murals installed on the pedestal of a giant statue of Lord Hanuman at a temple in Salangpur town of Gujarat’s Botad district. In some of the murals at the famous Hanuman temple in Botad, the revered God is shown as a devotee of Sahjanand Swami. Notably, the Swaminarayan sect, which is divided in several factions, refers to Sahajanand Swami (1781-1830) as Lord Swaminarayan. The sect developed around him. The Hanuman temple in Salangpur is managed by the sect’s Vadtal Gadi faction having its headquarter in Vadtal village in Kheda district. A few months ago, the temple management installed a 54-foot statue of Lord Hanuman on the premises. The wall of its pedestal is covered with murals. In one mural, Lord Hanuman is shown kneeling before Sahajanand Swami. In another mural, the Deity can be seen standing with folded hands before the parents of Sahjanand Swami.

Hindu religious leaders have been demanding the removal of these murals for over a week and some had threatened action if it was not done quickly. On Monday, sources said some key leaders of the sect met Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel to resolve the issue. The Vishva Hindu Parishad organized a meeting on Monday evening at Shivananda Ashram, which was attended by various Hindu seers and key leaders of the sect, including Chaitanya Shambhu Maharaj. After the meeting, Swami Parmatmananda Saraswati of the Shivananda Ashram said the controversial murals will be removed before sunrise on Tuesday. “During the meeting, it has been agreed that murals which hurt people’s feelings will be removed by the temple management before Tuesday sunrise. To resolve all other issues, a meeting between the saints of Sanatan Hindu dharma and of various Swaminarayan sects will be held in the near future,” he told reporters.

More on the issue at source.