Odisha: Puri Shankaracharya criticises Naveen Patnaik Govt

Bhubaneswar, Apr 24: The Shankaracharya of Govardhan peeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati has expressed his anguish for not being "consulted" by the Odisha Government for the ongoing preparation for the famous Nabalakebara festival of Lord Jagannath.

"No one from the administration has consulted me or sought any suggestion (margdarshan) from me so far. Members of the Mukti Mandap (the highest decision making body in Jagannath temple) and Gajapati Maharaja, however, pay courtesy visits to me," Saraswati told reporters at the sideline of a function in Jajpur district recently.

Shankaracharya criticises Odisha Govt

Stating that the trinity in the 12th century shrine are deities of Govardhan Peeth, the Puri seer said it was clear violation of rights of the Peeth, founded by Adi Guru Shankaracharya.

"He (Adi Shankaracharya) had set all the rituals of the Sri Jagannath Temple," he said.

However, the Shankaracharya said he was not consulted by the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) headed by a senior IAS officer.

"It appears that the state government is run by the secretaries," Shankaracharya added.

Referring to last year's Rath Jatra, Shankaracharya said that he was restricted by the administration while going to perform a ritual before pulling of the chariots.

He had refrained from performing the ritual in protest, sparking a statewide resentment over the SJTA's action.

Ramakrushna Das Mohapatra, President of the Daitapati Nijog (Association of Priests) said,"Nabakalebara takes place when 'joda ashadha' occurs as per Hindu calendar. As far as I know, no decision is taken on the advice of the Shankaracharya. If at all he needs to be consulted, Gajapati Maharaja, temple administration or managing committee will take a call on it."


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