Rules laid down for Gandhiji’s memorial cannot be used for Srimandir: Shankaracharya

Puri: Even as the Supreme Court’s suggestion on allowing entry of non-Hindus into Puri Srimandir continues to create flutter across the state, , Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati today took an indirect dig at the issue stating that the Jagannath temple is not a secular place and the rules laid down for Gandhiji’s memorial cannot be used  for the 12th century temple.

“Be it Puri SrimMandir or any other temple, rules made for Gandhiji’s peeth cannot be used for the abode of Gods as per the Sanatan Dharm. This is the only way to conserve such places of religious and spiritual significance,” he said.

“The court has always made it clear that temple management has to be carried out as per the system of Sanatan Dharm and we need to observe the nitis as per the Sasthras,” he said.

Narrating an incident, Shankaracharya said that once when a US President went to visit Gandhiji’s memorial, a police dog was brought in to sniff out any danger. If similar  rules are implemented here, one can well imagine the kind of dilution this would bring in to our traditions.

He further stated that Justice Goel, one of the panel members who passed the interim orders on the temple reforms on July 5 was a Orissa High Court judge in the past. “While hearing on a case filed against me, he had ruled that Shankaracharya is the highest judiciary on issues of religion and spirituality and neither the court nor the government had any right to oppose it,” he said.

Speaking on his next course of action in the issue, Shankaracharya said, once the Rath Yatra which is scheduled to begin from July 14 is over; the temple management committee will sit down with me to discuss the suggestions by the apex court. The suggestions are being closely looked at by my lawyers and other experts associated with the temple, he said.

Meanwhile, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that sensitive issues connected to sentiments of large section of society shouldn’t be dealt with hurriedly and rather left to Shankaracharya & Gajapati Maharaja.

Earlier in the day, a delegation of Chhatisa Nijog met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik stating that the servitors will oppose entry of people of other faith inside the temple at all costs.