It’s OK if Ratha Jatra is not held this year due to COVID-19: Mukti Mandap

Puri: Amid debates to explore the best way for conducting annual Ratha Jatra of Lord Jagannath during COVID-19 pandemic, Srimandir Mukti Mandap sees no harm over possible breakage of the age-old practice due to the deadly virus this year.

“There is no harm if the 327-year-old tradition of Ratha Jatra is broken considering the present situation. If the devotees and servitors remain safe, the rituals of deities will continue in future,” Srimandir Mukti Mandap said in a three-point suggestion letter.

In the letter, Working President of Srimandir Mukti Mandap Biswanath Mishra and Secretary Ajit Mishra said that world famous nine-day sojourn of Lord Jagannath is an age-old tradition being practiced every year. The devotees can have holy darshan of deities atop the chariots through Doordarshan by sitting at home without rushing to Puri.

Mukti Mandap, one of the pedestals at Srimandir, suggested the State Government and Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) to conduct Ratha Jatra with limited number of servitors and police personnel without crowd and restrict influx of people by sealing all the entry points to Puri to avoid spread of coronavirus.

However, the decision of Shankaracharya of Govardhan Peeth, Puri, over organising Ratha Jatra should be accepted by all, it stated.

Worth mentioning, Mukti Mandap situated on premises of the Jagannath Temple, Puri, is an important institution that approves the almanac of Srimandir.

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