June 16, 2014
Jyeshtha Krushna Paksha Chaturthi, Kaliyug Varsha 5116
Bhubaneshwar : Puri Govardhan Peetha seer Nischalananda Saraswati has expressed ‘disappointment’ over the State Government’s decision for a veiled partial ban on devotees mounting the chariots and touching the deities during Rath Yatra.
Three days after Law Minister Arun Sahu announced that devotees can not mount the chariots on the days of Rath Yatra, Bahuda and Suna Besha – leaving the scope for the practice during rest of the period – the Sankaracharya issued a statement which said the Government should implement his recommendations “and not ignore and twist it”.
Seeking a blanket ban on the practice, the seer appealed to the devotees to reject the decision of the Government and file PILs before the Orissa High Court seeking a correction.
“Ideally, the Government has no role in such religious matters. It has even made a law in this regard in which Puri Shankaracharya’s recommendations are considered final. By not respecting the seer’s recommendations, the Government is violating it,” spokesperson of the peetha Manoj Rath said at a media conference here on Saturday.
The managing committee of the Jagannath Temple Administration (JTA) had formed a three-member panel to oversee the implementation of the seer’s recommendation last year. Why the matter was referred to the Government which sat on it for so long begs an answer, he said.
Rath said the Snana Purnima exemplified how the devotees were allowed to crowd and touch the deities in a blatant manner. “Mounting the chariots and touching the deities is a sin. The traditions, which are cited to allow such practice, are recent ones which disfigure the religious text endorsed norms,” he said.
The Govardhan Peetha also took objection to the fact the State Government chose to consult only one servitors’ body before taking a decision while the temple has 36 such fora. “The Daitapatis are servitors and should refrain from stepping into matters which deal with religious texts and scriptures,” Rath said. Pandit Biswambar Dash of Mukti Mandap also echoed the sentiments.
The representatives of the religious seat urged the Orissa High Court to intervene in the matter and asked the public to lodge its protests.
Source: Indian Express