Puri seer agrees to attend car festival

Bhubaneswar: Shankaracharya of Govardhan Peeth Nischalananda Saraswati has given his consent to attend this year’s car festival. This was informed by Puri Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb who called on the seer today.

Talking to media the Puri king said, “Sankaracharya has accepted our invitation to attend the ensuing car festival. He has agreed to have darshan of the deities atop the chariot along with six of his disciples.”

The seer’s consent assumes significance as he had broken the time-honoured practice of paying obeisance to the Trinity atop the chariots last year due to the restrictions imposed by the temple administration. The restriction was fallout of alleged misconduct by the savayats atop the chariots with the devotees.

Last year in its invitation to the Shankaracharya, the temple administration had asked him to have darshan of the deities atop the chariots accompanied either by two disciples or two followers. Later, another formal invitation was sent to the seer inviting him alone.

Insulted by the administration’s action, the Shankaracharya had refrained from having darshan of the deities atop the chariots.

Yesterday SJTA chief administrator Suresh Chandra Mohapatra however said that the Shankaracharya will have darshan of the Lords at the Snana Mandap.

“We don’t have any objection to the seer attending the grand occasion. Along with six disciples, he can have ‘darshan’ of the deities on the Snan Mandap which is not allowed to others,” Mohapatra said.