Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jul 13:
Aware of the faux pas it had committed during the last year’s Rath Yatra in Puri town and the subsequent uproar throughout Odisha, the Shri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) has invited the Shankaracharya of Gobardhan Peeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati to mount the three chariots to have a darshan of the Lords during the Nabakalebara Rath Yatra this year scheduled on July 18.
Sources said the Shrimandir Niti Prashasak Pradip Das and Public Relations Officer (PRO) Sudipta Chatterjee went to the Gobardhan Peeth on Sunday and invited the seer by handing over the invitation letter of the SJTA.
In the letter, the SJTA has requested the Shankaracharya to board the three chariots with six members of the Gobardhan Peeth including two sadhaks, two secretaries and two disciples.
“The Shankaracharya has accepted the invitation of the temple administration,” said Manoj Rath, spokesman of Gobardhan Peeth.
It may be mentioned that the Shankaracharya had refused to mount the chariots during the Rath Yatra last year as the temple administration had put restrictions on the number of disciples who can accompany him, limiting it to just two.
Following a statewide uproar, the Temple Managing Committee had a meeting in this regard this year. On May 26 this year, the chairman of the Temple Managing Committee and Puri Gajapati King Divyasingh Deb had invited the Shankaracharya to attend the Deba Snana Purnima ritual of the Lords this year. The latter accepted the invitation and attended the ritual of the Lords at the Snana Mandap.