Puri: President Ram Nath Kovind released Rs 10 and Rs 1000 commemorative coins on Lord Jagannath’s Nabakalebara festival during an event here today.
Attending centenary celebration of Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan at Shree Sadashiva Campus at Talabania, President Kovind described the pilgrim town Puri as the ‘Vidya Nagri’ (education hub) for its connection with knowledge and science during ancient period.
He remembered the glory of Jagannath temple and the place, one of the dhams for Hindus, where the saints and spiritual leaders like Adi Shankaracharya, Ramanuj, Chaitanya and Guru Nanak visited here and established their mutts to be in services of Lord Jagannath.
“Puri is also called the ‘Kashi’ of eastern region in India. Adi Shankaracharya chose Puri to establish his peeth. This is the place where Ramanujacharya, Madhvacharya and Nimbarkacharya had visited. It is told that Guru Nanak, Santh Kabir and Chaityanya Mahaprabhu also made their visit to here. Puri is the integrated place of various thoughts and schools of religion,” Kovind said.
“Lord Jagannath temple is also the prime centre for art and culture. The Rath Yatra of Puri has a significant place in hearts of Indian people. I am impressed with the tradition of Rath Yatra when Lord Jagannath comes out of temple for devotees. All the devotees irrespective of castes and religion witness and participate in the event. This festival strengthens equality, peace, goodwill, progress and values of universal brotherhood. It also describes the value of labour and significance of creator as Gajapati Maharaja used to sweep the chariots during the festival,” he said.
He acknowledged the significance of Sanskrit, the primary language of Hinduism, which was the only means of communication during Vedic period in India.
Even, Adi Shankaracharya, who belonged to Kerala and whose mother tongue was Malayalam, learned Sanskirt and established four peeths in Uttarakhand, Puri, Dwarka and Rameswaram at four dhams in the country, he said.
Recalling his past, he said that his father had visited Puri Srimandir on Oct 9, 1947, when he was around 8-9 years old.
“I am fortunate to visit here and had darshan of Lord Jagannath in Puri where my father had visited in 1947,” he said.
Kovind also spoke about the contribution of Jayee Rajguru, who was martyred for country fighting against British rule, and the legendary figures including Pandit Gopabandhu Das and Nilakantha Das.
Governor SC Jamir, Puri Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb, Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Jual Oram were present during the ceremony.
Earlier in the morning, the President along with his wife Savita Kovind had visited Srimandir where they offered prayer to deities.