Nirmohi Akhara (meaning "Group without Attachment") is a Hindu religious denomination. It is one of the 14 akharas recognized by the Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad and belongs to the Vaishnava sampradaya. It is headed by Mahant Bhaskar Das.
Nirmohi Akhara was established in 1720 by Ramanandacharya. It is a wealthy sect that owns many temples and mathas in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Bihar. Members are expected to lead simple and austere lives of celibacy and to accept Rama as their God. They have renounced the material world for the company of God. They are sadhus, Hindu holy men often given to asceticism. New recruits are mainly in their teens and can be from any Hindu caste. They are put through a grueling schedule to master the Hindu scriptures (Vedas and Upanishads) and martial arts. In former times, members of the sect had a mandate to provide protection to the followers of Rama and were given rigorous training in archery, swordsmanship, and wrestling. Some of this curriculum still exists, but it is more moderate.
This group has been in the spotlight in connection with the Ayodhya debate since 1949, when it filed a suit to take over the disputed site of Babri Mosque. They have claimed in court that there is no mosque called Babri Masjid at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
Nirmohi Akhara filed a suit in 1885[clarification needed (see talk page)] with the sub-judge of Faizabad, seeking consent to construct a temple to Rama in the Ram Chabutra, the area adjacent to the Babri Mosque. The sub-judge held that two large religious structures in close proximity could potentially be a threat to public order. Permission was denied by the court, though the Nirmohi Akhara has since kept up its effort to reclaim the land and construct the temple.
In 1989, the Nirmohi Akhara filed a lawsuit against the Uttar Pradesh State government, claiming that they had been worshiping the deities installed at a temple at the then disputed site since ancient times, and requesting the Court to hand the management of the temple over to them.
On September 30, 2010, a Lucknow panel of three judges of the Allahabad High Court pronounced the verdict on the case deciding to give a third part of the land to each party, namely the Sunni Waqf Board, Ram-Lalla Deity, and Nirmohi Akhara. The Ram-Lalla Deity retained its present position and the Nirmohi Akhara got the areas named Sita Rasoi and Ram Chabutara.
- Who Are the Nirmohi Akhara? Wall Street Journal - September 30, 2010
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