Police case against visiting Hindu Guru dismissed

A New South Wales court has dismissed a case against a Hindu spiritual and Yoga guru Anand Giri Maharaj and termed him as Innocent in its judgement. The case was brought against him by two women devotees who alleged that he had touched them inappropriately. NSW Police investigated the case and decided that there is no substance in the case and dropped all charges.

Priests and teachers often have to touch others. When a Teeka is applied on the devotee’s forehead as a mark of welcome and respect or God’s blessings, it does involve touching the frontal third eye part of the forehead by a finger. Some rituals of baptism involve touching the head crown of the devotee by the priest. Another priest has told me that during funerals when family members of the departed are breaking down with sorrow, it is not uncommon for a priest to hold them in their arm to console them.

The strict rule that should be adhered to by all religious people is no touching without explicit permission. In practice, this permission may be implicit and a touch may be considered acceptable depending on the circumstances.

Many religious leaders believe that it is very difficult to define when is a touch without explicit permission appropriate and when it is not.

May be the best rule to follow is to inform the devotee about the physical touch that is intended. The priest may then wait for devotee’s oral permission and should proceed only after the devotee has agreed verbally and has given a go ahead.

You can read about the case at :