Shri Ballabhacharya flourished in the sixteenth century of the Common era, He was a devotee of Lord Krishna and was held in great esteem by the people. He had two sons, one of whom died issueless but the other had seven sons. To these seven grandsons Shri Ballabhacharya gave seven idols as representing Lord Krishna of whom he was a ‘Bhakta’. These seven idols which were given to each grandson were installed by them in various parts of northern and western India. To the grandson, Shri Gokul Nathji was given the idol which was installed in Gokul in the temple known under the same name, i. e., Gokul Nathji.
Grandson Gokul Nathji was himself a very pious man and a great devotee of Lord Krishna, so much so that some people started worshipping him as the incarnation of the Lord himself. Gokul Nathji, however, used to worship plaintiff 1 as the idol of Lord Krishna, and some followers, instead of worshipping Gokul Nathji the grandson of Shri Ballabhacharya, worshipped the idol and held that the idol as well as Gokul Nathji and his descendants were the representatives of God. These two sects that grew up were known as the ‘Bharuchis’ and the ‘Nimar Yas’. ‘Nimar Yas’ worshipped plaintiff 1, while the ‘Bharuchis’ worshipped Gokul Nathji in his lifetime and after his death they worshipped his clothes, sandals, and such other things as were used by him and enshrined these articles of personal use in a temple.
According to the traditions these idols that were handed over by Ballabhacharyaji to his seven grandsons were self-revealed idols of Lord Krishna and it is on that account that the learned Judge came to the conclusion that there could not have been due consecration according to law and it could not be said that the spirit of God ever came to reside in them. As it was pointed out by the learned Munsif in his very careful judgment that according to true Hindu belief the idol is not worshipped as such but it is the God behind the idol which is the object of worship.
GOKUL NATHJI MAHARAJ AND ANOTHER Vs. NATHJI BHOGI LAL [ (1953) IR(Allahabad) 552 ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT
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