Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, July 3:
Ama Odisha Party (AOP) president and Sambad editor Soumya Ranjan Patnaik today urged the Odisha government to resolve the impasse over the refusal of Jagadguru Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati to climb the chariots, as mandated by centuries old tradition, during the Rath Yatra this year.
“Shankaracharya is a centuries old institution and it is not an individual. The honour, status and authority of Sankaracharya should be held in the highest esteem and no attempt should be made to make dents to the institutions. The government needs to resolve the issue without dishonouring the Shankaracharya,” Patnaik told media persons after meeting the Puri seer.
Notably, the Shankaracharya, who had boycotted Rath Yatra, had alleged that there was a “well-planned conspiracy” behind Sri Jagannath Temple Administration asking him to visit the chariots alone, unaccompanied by aides.
“Was there not a conspiracy behind the move to put restrictions on Shankaracharya climbing the chariots?” the seer had asked in a statement, claiming that his decision not to attend the Rath Yatra had 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 pragmatic decision saved the lives of thousands,” he had said raising the possibility of a stampede like situation.