Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati said.- SC should “reconsider” its decision to stay the Rath Jatra.
PURI: Govardhan Peeth Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati, along with the priests of the Shree Jagannath temple has stressed that the Supreme Court of India should “reconsider” its decision to stay the Rath Jatra.
And they have appealed to allow servitors to observe the festival with precautions in place.
Religious Heads have maintained that the Supreme Court had rightly halted the ‘Maga Parv’, amid the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic.
Sankarachrya said the decision to stall the Rath Jatra, however, could be re-evaluated, “allowing only a handful of servitors to conduct the ceremony”, adding “Devotees, this year, can witness the rituals on television”.
The nine-days long annual car festival is usually marked by a procession of chariots, in which three deities – Shree Jagannath, shree Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra — embark on an annual journey to Shree Gundicha temple and back.
Chattisa Nijog, the Apex Body of servitors of the Shree Jagannath Temple, has also urged the state government to approach the Supreme Court for reassessment of the verdict.
“It seems that the Supreme Court was not properly apprised of the preparations made by temple administration and the Odisha government for the June 23 Rath Jatra,” Chattisa Nijog said in a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
“The Centre had allowed chariot construction for the festival, and accordingly all arrangements were made, with carpenters and servitors made to undergo health screening from time to time. With just four days to go before the festival, the State Government should immediately move the Apex Court seeking a modification of its order”, the Apex Body of Servitors urged..
The apex court had on Thursday stayed Rath Yatra, which was scheduled to begin on June 23, and all activities related to the festival, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shortly after the verdict, the State Cabinet, during an emergency meeting, passed a resolution, asking Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee (SJTMC) to carry out rituals inside the Temple, in accordance with the direction of the Apex Court.