Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jul 28:
Pulling of Lord Jagannath’s chariot Nandighosha after sunset during Bahuda Yatra of the Lords on Sunday has been termed as a breach of tradition by Badagrahi (body protector) of Lord Jagannath’s idol Jagannath Swain Mohapatra.
“It was not proper to pull the chariots after sunset. It is against tradition. It’s against the scriptures. Leave alone any subha (auspicious) work, even war is not undertaken after sunset,” Swain Mohapatra told reporters on Monday.
“No I was not consulted about it. They did not speak to me. They (temple administration) have done it on their own,” he added.
However, chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Suresh Chandra Mohapatra has maintained that there was no breach of tradition.
“It’s done every year. Whenever Suna Vesha of the Lords falls the day after Bahuda Yatra, it’s done. The chariots are pulled to their destination using electric lights so that barricades etc. are completed in the night. There has been no breach of tradition in this case. The chariots were not pulled in the night in the past since there was no electricity earlier,” said Mohapatra in his reaction to the Swain Mohapatra’s remarks.
The exchange of words between the two is being seen as the widening of differences between the temple administration and the servitors.
Earlier, two Daitapati servitors were suspended for the Brahma Parivartan mess and a Pratihari sevayat suspended by the SJTA for allegedly escorting a woman devotee atop Nandighosha when it was parked in front of Sri Gundicha temple on July 20.
Swain Mohapatra too was served with a show cause notice for not preventing the woman devotee from climbing the chariot.
While SJTA had claimed that it took the action on the basis of the CCTV footage installed to keep a vigil on the chariots, Swain Mohapatra had strongly reacted to being served with the show cause notice for the incident.
Swain Mohapatra had then said: “It is not my job to stop anyone from mounting the chariot. My duty is to protect the body of the Lord and not police the chariot. What were the police and SJTA blamed doing?
In a frontal attack on the SJTA chief administrator then, Swain Mohapatra had directly blamed him for the disturbances insinuating that he was doing this because he was peeved at being sidelined after Soumendra Priyadarshi was made the OSD for Nabakalebara. He had said that the chief administrator was attempting to create a mess to defame the Naveen Patnaik government.