In the ongoing hearing before the Allahabad High Court in connection with the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque dispute, the next friend of Lord Vishweshwar, one of the contesting respondents in the case today argued that the Linga which is situated in the Gyanvapi Mosque is actually Swayambhu (Self manifested) and also a Jyotirlinga.
It may be noted that Jyotirlinga, is a devotional representation of the Hindu god Shiva. As per the Shiva Purana, the Jyotirlinga situated in present time Varanasi is among 12 Maha Jyotirlingas, where the deity Shri Vishwanath/Vishweshwara (Lord of the Universe) presides.
Now, today, it was argued by Lord's next friend Advocate Vijay Shankar Rastogi before the Allahabad High Court that the Linga, which is situated in this Temple, is Swayambhu, and also Vishveshwara Jyotirlinga and the Jyotirlinga has a long religious history which has also been mentioned in Puranas.
It may be noted that the linga which was referred to today by the Lord's next friend is NOT the Shiva linga which was reportedly found inside the Mosque, pursuant to which, the spot where it was found, was sealed.
Speaking to Live Law, Lord's Next friend maintained that the Shiva linga found inside the Mosque is of Tarkeshwar Mahadev, however, nothing was argued in that regard before the Court today.
The Linga being referred to by the Lord's next friend, it is claimed, is situated 100 feet below the earth's surface and it could be located right under the Central dome of the Masjid. It was also argued by him that the Linga is Self Manifested (Swayambhu).
Here it may be noted that the word Swayambhu is used to describe a self-manifested image of a deity, which is not man-made but instead, arose naturally. These murtis or idols appeared on their own to bless devotees.
The 12 Maha Jyotirlingas are considered Swayambhu as it denotes the fact that linga claimed to be situated right below the central dome of the Mosque was not installed by any person, but it begin to exist on its own.
In light of the Supreme Court's decision in the case of Sri Adi Visheshwara of Kashi Vishwanath Temple Varanasi & others Vs. State of U.P. and others 1997 4 SCC 606, even the Lord's next friend argued that the idol of Lord Shiva at Varanasi on the bank holy river the Ganges is one of the five Jyotirlingas in India believed to be self-incarnated (Swayam Bhuva).
Another important point was raised before the bench of Justice Prakash Padia, wherein it was argued that as per Section 5 of the Uttar Pradesh Sri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983 passed by the U.P. Legislative Assembly (upheld by the Supreme Court), the State is only a caretaker of the management of the Temple, and the actual owner of the temple property is the Deity himself, i.e., Lord Vishwanath or Vishweshar.
Due to paucity of time, the arguments could not be concluded and therefore, the case has now been listed again for further hearing on July 6, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. The Court also made it clear that the hearing of this case will continue on day to day basis till the arguments are not concluded.
The background of the case
Essentially, the Anjuman Intazamia Masazid, Varanasi has challenged (before the HC) the suit filed before the Varanasi Court by the Ancient Idol Of Swayambhu Lord Vishweshwar And 5 Others in the year 1991 claiming the restoration of the land on which the Gyanvapi Mosque stands to Hindus.
The respondents have argued before the Court that the petitioner [Anjuman Intazamia Masazid, Varanasi] had initially filed an application under Order VII Rule 11(d) CPC for rejecting the plaint (of the Ancient Idol Of Swayambhu Lord Vishweshwar) however, they did not press the same for a considerable time and instead of pressing the aforesaid application, they chose to file written statement in the plaint.
It is the further stand of the respondent that on the basis of pleadings in the suit, the issues were framed by the Varanasi Court. They also maintain that the property in question, i.e. the temple of Lord Visheshwar has been in existence from ancient times, i.e., Satyug up till now and that the Swayambhu Lord Visheshwar is situated in the disputed structure, and therefore, the land in dispute is itself an integral part of Lord Visheshwar.
Another suit was filed in 2021 by female devotees and worshippers of Lord Shiva, practicing the Vedic Sanatan Hindu dharma before Civil Senior Judge, Varanasi seeking "restoration of performance of rituals at principal seat of an Ancient Temple" at the Gyanvapi mosque area"
The dispute has now reached the Apex Court after multiple orders having been passed by both the Civil Court in Varanasi and the Allahabad High Court since 1991 on pleas by both the Hindi devotees and Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Varanasi and others.
Today, the Supreme Court transferred the suit filed by Hindu devotees in connection with the Gyanvapi Mosque-Kashi Vishwanath Temple dispute, to the District Court in Varanasi.
S.F.A. Naqvi, Senior Counsel assisted by Syed Ahmad Faizan and Punit Kumar Gupta, assisted by Devendra Kumar Mishra, learned counsel appeared for the petitioner. Ajay Kumar Singh, Vijay Shankar Rastogi, Sunil Rastogi, Tejas Singh and Vineet Sankalp, counsels appeared for the contesting respondents. Shashi Prakash Singh, Senior Counsel/Assistant Solicitor General of India assisted by Manoj Kumar Singh, counsel appeared for respondent No.7 and M.C. Chaturvedi, Additional Advocate General/Senior Advocate assisted by Vineet Pandey, Chief Standing Counsel, Vijay Sharnkar Prasad and Ved Mani Pandey Standing Counsel appeared for the respondent No.8.
Case Title- Anjuman Intazamia Masazid Varanasi v. Ist A.D.J. Varanasi And Others