Haridwar, April 11: Hurting the sentiments of lakhs of devotees of Sai Baba, Shankaracharya of Dwaraka-Sharda Peeth Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati said that drought-like situation in Maharashtra was caused by the worship of the ‘unworthy’ god-man. Calling Sai Baba a ‘fakir’ (beggar), Shankaracharya said that worshipping Sai Baba was ‘unauspicious’ and  brought drought in Maharashtra. The statement made by Shankaracharya could lead to a big controversy as Sai Baba is worshipped by lakhs on people across the country, especially in Maharashtra.

“Calamity strikes where those unworthy of worship are worshipped. Such places suffer drought, flood, death or fear. Maharashtra is facing all of these,” said Shankaracharya quoting scriptures to back his claims. In 2014, Shankaracharya disapproved the worship of Sai Baba asking Hindus to removes his photographs and idols from temples. (ALSO READ: Had Islam been a religion of terrorism, Hindus would not have been existed in India today, says Shankaracharya)

The 94-year old seer also took strong objection over women’s entry into Shani Shingnapur Temple in Maharashtra. He said women should not have entered the sanctum sanctorum of the Shani temple as it will bring bad luck to them. “Shani is paap grah (planet of sins). Worshipping him will lead to rise in crime against women,” he was quoted as saying by Times of India.

Sai Baba of Shirdi, also known as Shirdi Sai Baba, was an Indian spiritual master who was regarded by his devotees as a saint. He was revered by both his Hindu and Muslim devotees. But most of the devotees treat him as a god and worship him.