Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 5:
With the self-proclaimed tainted godman Sarathi Baba behind the bars now, his Ashram wears a deserted look on the occasion of Janmashtami, the biggest festival of the Ashram.
Janmashtami used to be celebrated with great fanfare in years past with Sarathi Baba turning into Anthua Gopal (Baby Krishna) and performing the mother-son breastfeeding act with his female devotees. But with Lord Krishna himself in jail, the Yashodas are nowhere to be seen this year.
Each year, thousands gathered in the Barimula ashram of Sarathi Baba on the occasion to witness the Baba perform the Anthua Gopala act and then break the Dahi Handi. Sarathi was the reincarnation of Lord Krishna to them.
Janmashtami, the gates of the Ashram are locked while the pandal on which Sarathi used to sit has turned into a rest shade for the cops deployed there to maintain law and order.
As per locals, the last time the festival was celebrated at its height was back in 2012.
In 2013, the celebration at the ashram had to be called off as the controversy pertaining to the Satsang field peaked. Besides, the blockade of the Kendrapara-Indupur main road by the hundreds of vehicles thronging the ashram on the day was led to discontent among the locals who never approved of the fraud Baba.
That year, the Baba asked his devotees to celebrate the function at smaller ‘Sarathi Samitis’ across the state.
The celebration was carried out the same way in 2014. But this year, with the real Sarathi exposed, nothing remains to celebrate.