Puri seer asks Odisha govt not to poke nose in temple rituals

Puri: Irked over not being consulted by the administration for the ongoing Nabakalebar festival, Shankaracharya of Govardhan Peeth Nischalananda Saraswati today asked the State government to stop interfering in the religious matter, particularly the rituals of the 12th Century shrine.

“I have not being consulted by the administration. As Lord Jagannath is the deity of Govardhan Peeth, it is duty of the administration to consult me. But, they have not done so,” Saraswati told reporters here.

Though members of the Mukti Mandap (the highest decision making body in Jagannath temple) and Gajapati Maharaja, have consulted the seer, the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) was yet to seek his suggestions on the mega festival.

Stating that it was a clear violation of rights of the Peeth, founded by Adi Guru Shankaracharya, Saraswati sought clarification from the state government within 10 days.

“Let the State government clarify its role in the temple rituals,” Saraswati said adding that he was unhappy in the manner in which the seat of Govardhan Peeth is being neglected by the administration.

“Had it been the case of any other religious head, things would have been different. Though the people are not saying anything, they do not support the administration’s action in regard to its dealing with Govardhan Peeth,” Saraswati said.

Referring to last year’s Rath Yatra, 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.