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Odisha mum on Puri seer`s proposal of banning chariot-climbing

PTI | Last Updated: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 23:43

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government remained silent on its decision to ban devotees` climbing on the chariot and touching Lord Jagannath`s idol during the Rath Yatra as suggested by Jagannath Temple managing committee yesterday.

"We will implement the decision of the state government on the issue. However, we want cooperation and support of all stake holders," Jagannath Temple`s chief administrator Arabinda Padhee said on Tuesday.

While Puri Shankaracharya Nischalananda Saraswati, Puri`s Gajapati King Divyasingha Deb, Mukti Mandap Sabha (the highest decision making body of the temple) and pundits of different sects and matts have yesterday suggested a ban on the climbing on the chariots and touching the Lord during the car festival.

"We have already informed the state government about the decision of the managing committee since November, 2013. It is upto the state government to take a decision and implement the order of Shankaracharya," Puri King Deb said.
Puri King Gajapati King Divyasingha Deb, who headed the committee, described that climbing atop chariots and touching the Lord as `sin` as per the Hindu scriptures.

However, the `Daitapati Nijog`, an association of priests who play significant role during the Rath Yatra, have strongly opposed the Shankaracharya`s view.

"We feel that there is a conspiracy to deprive people of Odisha from their genuine religious rights. There is a bid to create indiscipline in the conduct of the Rath Yatra," a senior Daitapati leader Jagannath Swain Mohapatra said.
"We will seek the opinion of the people of Odisha in this matter. If the people in general support Shankaracharya`s views we have no objection," another senior Daitapati priest said Premenanda Dasmohapatra said.

First Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2014 - 23:43

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