Controversy Surrounds Ambaji’s Mohanthal: Devotees Upset as Stone Touch Foundation, Known for Milk-Powder Mohanthal, Takes Charge Again

“Shakti, Bhakti, and Faith’s Triveni Sangam” is the world-renowned pilgrimage destination of Ambaji in Gujarat, situated on the border of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Ambaji Temple and the sacred identifier of Ambaji, known as Mohanthal, define the essence of this place. Mohanthal, a prasad (offering) that has been a tradition for years, is essential for the devotees who come to Ambaji. Recently, there has been controversy surrounding the Ambaji Temple and the Mohanthal prasad. There have been disputes over the distribution of Mohanthal prasad at the Ambaji Temple. The controversy escalated when another conflict arose over Mohanthal prasad. Previously, due to the use of milk powder in the prasad, the temple trust had terminated a contract with a company, leading to discontent among devotees.

The Mohanthal prasad controversy at Ambaji Temple has led to the creation of a new organization called the “Touchstone Foundation.”

Ambaji Temple has been embroiled in controversies over the distribution of Mohanthal prasad for quite some time. The latest dispute has sparked a new wave of controversies. From 2014 to 2019, the Mohanthal prasad was being produced by the Touchstone Foundation, but due to the use of milk powder in Mohanthal, the temple trust terminated the contract with the foundation, resulting in dissatisfaction among devotees. Consequently, the foundation was fined ₹60,000.

In response to the earlier blacklisting of Mohanlal caterers due to ghee adulteration, Ambaji Temple initiated the production of Mohanthal prasad. However, due to the ongoing controversies, the temple trust has now handed over the responsibility of Mohanthal prasad production to the Stone Touch Foundation. This move has not been well-received by the devotees, leading to increased discontent.

Prasad is prepared at two locations in the temple.

At the Ambaji Temple, millions of rupees worth of Mohanthal prasad is distributed to devotees every year. The Mohanthal prasad is prepared at two locations within the Ambaji Temple premises. One is prepared on the Mother Goddess’s throne, crafted by Prasad Bhattji Maharaj and Brahmins. The second Mohanthal prasad is prepared at Ambika Vishram Gruh. The tendering process for the preparation of this prasad is carried out through a tender process, and the responsibility was previously given to Mohini Caterers. However, due to controversies regarding adulteration with fake ghee, Mohini Caterers were blacklisted some time ago. Currently, the responsibility of making prasad has been given to the Prasad Temple Trust, and the process is managed by the Stone Touch Foundation.

‘Make Prasad only in the temple’ – Devotees.

The Stone Touch Foundation had previously faced legal action for its controversial practice of replacing milk with milk powder in Mohanthal prasad. Since then, the Stone Touch Foundation has completed the legal proceedings. However, the recent decision by the temple trust to assign the controversial organization the task of making prasad again has sparked dissatisfaction among devotees. The prasad at the temple holds significant importance for millions of devotees. Devotees believe that the prasad should be made only in the temple and that the quality of prasad must be maintained. Providing pure and sattvic prasad is essential for the faith and satisfaction of pilgrims. Many people expressed the opinion that the work of making prasad should be done exclusively within the temple premises.

Niyati Rao

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