PURI: After Nanguli, Emar and Bada Akhada, next in the line of demolition is the Sana Chhata Mutt. But, the administration is up against stiff opposition from the Mutt Mahant and sadhus.
Mahant Rambhusan Das said he was yet to receive the letter for demolition of the Mutt and neither the Commissioner of Endowment nor the Law department has responded to the concerns of the inhabitants.
The Mutt is the permanent residence of sadhus, who have renounced the mundane world, and will be their home till death. How can they be driven out, he questioned.
“The administration told me that the temple, deities, kitchen and the gaadi and room of the Mahant would not be demolished to enable the Mutt to perform its religious services as usual. It will be impossible to perform rituals if the sadhus are not in residence there,” Rambhusan said.
He clarified that the mutt is not a temple. “It is a place where sadhus reside and perform rituals and survive on prasad. The process goes on till their ‘nirvana. The administration must consider these issues before demolishing the Mutt and displacing the sadhus,“ he said.
Located in front of the Dolabedi, the Ramanandi sect Digambar mutt, was founded in the late 17th century AD by Mahant Santh Ram Das during the rule of Gajapati Mukund Deb. The gates of Sri Jagannath temple were guarded round-the-clock by Naga Sadhus and for this ‘Akhand Keertan’ used to be performed in the mutt temple.
This apart, the Naga Sadhus of the Mutt provided security to Madan Mohan and accompanying deities when they came out of the main temple to celebrate Holi on Dolabedi. The Mutt, acted as the custodian of Dolabedi till 1970. These services are no longer performed by the Mutt as temple administration looks after it.
Rambhusan said the Mutt sadhus now perform ‘Aalat chamar seva’ on the chariots of the Trinity during the annual Rath Yatra and also offer ‘panti bhog’ to the deities in and outside the temple during ceremonies.
The idols of Sri Ram, Hanuman, Sita Devi, Laxman and Lord Jagannath are worshipped at the Mutt inhabited by 25 sadhus. Around half of the Mutt building was also given out to a businessman who used to run a hotel.