Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 17:
The Mukti Mandap Pandit Sabha today said touching deities on the chariots during Rath Yatra in Odisha was against the Shastras.
The views Mukti Mandap Pandit Sabha- the highest erudite body of Hindu scholars in Puri- on issues relatng to Sri Jagannath Temple’s rituals and religious affairs are generally taken to be the final word.
The Daitapatis of the Sri Jagannath temple have been up in arms against the Shankaracharya of Gobardhanpeeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati for terming the act of climbing the chariots and touching the idols by the devotees as mahapaap, or the greatest sin. They say this has been a traditonal practice over centuries and that any move to stop it would result in creating a distance between devotees and the Lords.
While the debate appears to be snowballing into a major confrontation between the Daitapatis and the Shankaracharya ahead of the Rath Yatra, the ambivalent stand taken by the state government in the imbroglio has further complicated matters.