Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Oct 23:
Holding of Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, the presiding deity of Odisha on a self-appointed date in North Carolina in the United States has led to severe resentment among the sevayats (servitors) of Shree Mandir-the abode of Lord Jagannath and has as well hurt the feelings of the followers and believers of Jagannath cult.
According to sources International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) organized a Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra on October 17 (Saturday) at Morrisville in North Carolina City in the US, which is in clear deviation of the Lord’s calendar of events. The scriptures prescribe for holding Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra on dwitiya sukla paksha of Asadha month in the Hindu calendar.
Devotees and believers of Jagannath cult and culture from across the world including Odias, pulled the chariot on which were mounted the three deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra all along a two mile route from the main temple to the Mausima temple to the sound of gongs and mridangam.
Holding of Rath Yatra on a self appointed date been severely criticized by servitors of the Lord and believers of His cult.
Holding of the Rath Yatra on a different date is equal to blasphemy commented a peeved Binayak Das Mohapatra, joint secretary of the Daitapati Nijog.
“This is against Jagannath culture. In events of delay in conduct of Mahaprabhu’s rituals, consecration is done. Spread of Jagannath’s cult is welcome but holding of the Lord’s Rath Yatra after three to four months of the event in Puri in my opinion is inappropriate. I on behalf of the Daitapati Nijog will raise the issue with the chief administrator of the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration. We will request him to ask our ambassador in US to protest against the violation. We will definitely protest against the deviation,” said Das Mohapatra talking to the media on the issue.
“They have no rights to tinker with the rules. They should be punished for breaking rules. Fail to understand why Gajapati Maharaj, Shankaracharya of Gobardhan peeth and Chief Minister are mum over the issue. Lord Jagananth is the heart and soul of every Odia. He is being insulted. So every Odia in particular and Hindus at large should raise their voice against such violations. Their claim that they are promoting Jagannath cult is all lies and wrong, this is an insult of Jagannath culture,” stated Priyadarshi Patnaik president of Jagannath Sena, a cultural outfit dedicated to protect Jagannath culture.