BHUBANESWAR: The unique customs and festivities of Jagannath __ ‘Lord of the Universe’ __ is all set for universalisation.
Thousands of Jagannath temples in Odisha and outside may soon follow a set of uniform rituals in accordance with the Puri Temple.
The Jagannath Temple Administration (JTA) will bring together chiefs of more than 1,000 temples from across India, scholars and Jagannath cult propagators to deliberate on the issue in February, Puri Gajapati Dibyasingh Deb told the media here on Saturday.
There are about 3,421 Jagannath temples in India, including 1,638 in Odisha. However, the temples follow their set of daily rituals and customs while observing the annual festivals on their own.
Five years back the Puri shrine embarked on a quest for threading all the temples by a common and uniform set of rituals and norms followed at the principal seat of Lord Jagannath. The endeavour will see a major achievement on February 9 when over 200 scholars and 1,000 representatives will converge.
‘’It is different in all the temples and our attempt is to instil a set of uniformity as followed in the Sri Jagannath Temple basing on the centuries-old rituals and customs. We don’t hope that all the practices will be adopted but we expect the temples adhere to certain basics,” said the Puri King, also chairman of temple management committee.
As part of the attempt, the JTA in consultation with Mukti Mandap will also hold Jagannath Paancharatra __ a five-day spiritual activities.
The meet also aims at making “Jagannath Paancharatra” a fixture in the calendar of all the Jagannath temples of the country. “Like Ramacharitamanas and Bhagavat Katha, Purushottama Kshetra Mahatmya, a section of the Skandha Purana which comprises 3,600 slokas will be popularised,” Deb told mediapersons. Iskcon temples, which have Lord Jagannath consecrated as deity, will also be invited to the conference.