The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) on Sunday formally invited Jagadguru Sankaracharya of Puri Govardhan Peeth, Swami Nischalananda Saraswati to attend the Rath Yatra beginning tomorrow.
The Chief Administrator of SJTA Dr. Krishan Kumar along with the temple officials and servitors visited the Govardhan Math while the three chariots of Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath are being stationed in front of the Singhadwara of Srimandir today.
The SJTA officials and servitors offered the sacred Nirmalya, Mahaprasad, thread, tulsi leaves, fruits and flowers and invited the sheer and six of his disciples to visit the Holy Trinity atop their gigantic chariots tomorrow. The team also briefed the Shankaracharya about the ongoing preparations and arrangements for the massive event.
"The Sankaracharya has accepted the invitation and he will come to Rath Yatra tomorrow with his six of his disciples," informed the SJTA Chief.
Taking to twitter, SJTA Chief Krishan Kumar wrote, "Blessed to meet Pujyapada Shrimad Jagadguru Sri Sri Shankaracharya Maharaj Govardhan Math. Invited him to Ratha Jatra 2021 and also briefed Guruji on the preparations & arrangements made for same," he said.
The Sankaracharya has directed the SJTA to ensure smooth conduct of the nine-day long festival and appealed people to have Darshan of the Holy Trinity from home over television and other social media platforms due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation.
The Sankaracharya alleged that the SJTA was not giving him due importance and the managing committee did not provide him complete facts.
Jagadguru Sankaracharya and six of his disciples are allowed to climb atop the chariots during Ratha Yatra and Bahuda Yatra to offer prayers to the Holy Trinity.
On the other hand, tight security arrangements have been put in place to ensure the smooth conduct of Rath Yatra.
"With the cooperation of the residents of Puri and blessing of Lord Jagannath, all the rituals are underway smoothly so far. We hope the massive festival will be undertaken tomorrow peacefully in compliance with all SOPs," stated Puri SP Kanwar Vishal Singh.
"The curfew will come into force from 8 pm today. All the lanes which are to be barricaded have been done and adequate police forces will be deployed in and around the town by 5.30 pm today. Seventy platoons of forces will be engaged in Puri," added the Puri SP.
Earlier in the day, the three gigantic chariots were pulled to the Liongate (Singhadwara) of Srimandir after the ‘Agyan Mala’ reached Ratha Khala.
The servitors of Srimandir carried the customary Agyan Mala from Lord Jagannath as a permission from him to begin the process of Rath Yatra by stationing the Chariots in front of the Singhadwara, so that the Trinity can undertake their journey to their aunt, Devi Gundicha.