COLOMBO: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has invited the Sankaracharya of Kanchi, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, to visit Lanka to advice the government on Hindu religious affairs and the training of Hindu priests.
The invitation was conveyed to the Sankaracharya by Saman Athaudahetti, Additional Secretary to the Prime Minister, when he met the Seer at the Kanchi mutt earlier in the week.
“At the meeting we sought his advice on ways and means of protecting Hindu religious customs and places of worship in Sri Lanka, especially the training of priests in the correct agama tradition,“ Athaudahetti told Express here on Sunday.
Asked if the Sankaracharya had accepted the PM’s invitation to visit Lanka, Athaudahetti said: “He told us that he would let us know.”
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, a Buddhist, is now a believer in Hindu Gods also. Recently, he visited the Sri Krishna temple at Guruvayur accompanied by his wife, to offer 77 kilos of sandalwood. Earlier, when he was Leader of Opposition, he had had an audience with Sathya Sai Baba.
While Wickremesinghe is visiting Hindu temples in India and seeking the advice of the Kanchi Seer, the defeated Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has stopped visiting Hindu temples and consulting astrologers after the January 8 election. Prior to the elections, Rajapaksa had worshiped at the Venkateswara temple at Tirupathi and at the Krishna temple in Guruvayur. Now, he is only visiting only Buddhist shrines. His political headquarters in Colombo is actually Buddhist temple. Rajapaksa told a Pakistani journalist that he has stopped consulting astrologers. He is said to have fixed January 8 as the polling day for the Presidential election after consulting a trusted astrologer, only to come to grief.