In a statement that could hurt sentiments of the followers of Sai Baba, Dwarakapeeth Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand said that worshipping the saint was a conspiracy to divide Hindus.
Sai Baba should not be worshipped as he was a human being and not a God, said Swaroopanand, adding his temples should not be built.
“It is a conspiracy of some foreign organisations which are making money. They don’t want Hindu community to unite,” news websites quoted him as saying.
Shankaracharya also refused to regard Sai Baba as the epitome of Hindu-Muslim unity, saying if it were the case, the spiritual man would have been revered by Muslims with as much devotion as Hindus.
In Sanatan Dharma, there are said to be 24 avataars (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu, In Kalyug, there is no mention of other avataars than Kalki and Buddha. Hence, Sai Baba can certainly be not an avataar, Shankaracharya opined.
He added that Sai Baba should not be considered a guru and an ideal because he was a non-vegetarian and advocated the practice of circumcision.
Shankaracharya also claimed that a number of temples devoted to Sai Baba are built across the country to deviate attention from Ram Temple movement in Ayodhya.