Now, no excuse

A change for sure has come to Pashupatinath Temple, a prime religious focal point for the Hindus not only in Nepal but all over the world, with the appointment of Dr. Bishnuprasad Dahal, as the priest. It came to this rather agreeable development after the resignations of the chief Bhatta and two others were accepted by the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT). PADT, entrusted with the task of managing and developing the Area, has run a lacklustre show so far, but this is worth noticing. That a Nepali priest, for the first time, will be running the show has broken the tradition, long under dispute. Earlier, only people meeting the established criteria from among the Bhatta family of India were appointed as chief and assistant priests since the times of the Malla kings.

This appointment comes as a trailblazer in the sense that all attempts by the PADT to manage in a transparent manner the offerings made to Lord Pashupatinath had failed because of the adamant non-cooperation from the earlier chief priest and his associates. The offerings by Pashupatinath devotees run into tens of millions of rupees every year but to date the accounts are shrouded in mystery. Now, it is hoped that the new priest Dr. Dahal will maintain dignity by working as per the Hindu religious tradition and spirit. The money in the form of offerings should be utilised for social work, too.