BHUBANESWAR: Even as the State Government has gone into damage control mode following the uproar over imposing restrictions on Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati’s ritualistic climbing of chariots during Rath Yatra this year, the impasse is yet to be over.
The Puri seer has summarily rejected the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA)’s overtures to placate him. The SJTA on Wednesday reiterated its deepest respect and regards for the Jagadguru and his authority over the rituals in the Jagannath temple. Any indiscretion on the part of the administration will be discussed in the next meeting and be resolved, the SJTA said in a release here.
The Shankaracharya, however, was far from satisfied with the move and sought a written order from the Chief Administrator on reinstating his authority to access the chariots along with disciples during Rath Yatra. This should be followed for all times and for all future Shankaracharyas, he demanded.
The move of the temple administration not to allow any disciple to accompany the Shankaracharya on his ritualistic climbing of chariots during Rath Yatra has drawn flak from all quarters. While the seer had boycotted this year’s Rath Yatra after receiving the administration diktat on climbing the chariots alone, Puri King Dibyasingha Deb had condemned the move.
Voices of dissent within the Government have also got louder with Excise Minister Damodar Rout stating that the administration had no authority to issue any such order to the Shankaracharya. The temple administration cannot dictate terms to the seer. It is the Seer’s discretion how many people should accompany him and the Government should be concerned only about proper management of the Rath Yatra and look after security, law and order aspects, he said.