Bhubaneswar: After boycotting Sunday`s Rath Yatra, Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati today alleged that there was a "well-planned conspiracy" behind Sri Jagannath Temple Administration asking him to visit the chariots alone without being accompanied by aides.
"Is not there a conspiracy behind the move to put restriction on Shankaracharya climbing the chariots?" the seer said in a statement, claiming that his decision not to attend the Rath Yatra virtually foiled the conspiracy.
"My decision not to climb the chariot should not be considered as an anger or expression of ego. It was a decision," he said.
Citing scriptures where the Shankaracharya has been given absolute rights to perform puja, the seer claimed that the administration has no right to restrict the Shankaracharya to worship the Lord in the sanctum sanctorum.
"The Shankaracharya is authorised to perform the puja on chariots along with his associates and aides...As per tradition, this right will continue to be bestowed upon the Shankaracharyas in future," he said demanding a written authorisation letter in this regard from the chief administrator of the SJTA.
Earlier in the day, the SJTA in a statement said, "The temple Administration has the highest regards for the Jagadguru Shankaracharya and respects his authority. It will make sincere efforts to end the impasse by discussing the issue with him at the earliest possible."