Climbing chariots, touching trinity ‘great sin’: Gajapati Maharaj

Urges Govt to approve ban move 
Bhubaneswar: Stating that climbing the chariots and
touching the deities atop the chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and
Devi Subhadra during the annual car festival by devotees and servitors other than
the prescribed persons as Maha papa ‘great sin’ Odisha’s Gajapati King and
Jagannath Temple Managing Committee chairman Divyasingh Dev on Monday urged the
Odisha government to accept the Puri Sankaracharya Swami Nischalananda
Saraswati’s viewpoint and managing committee’s decision banning devotees
climbing the chariots.
The Gajapati King was speaking on the sidelines of
religious ceremony which was attended by Sankaracharya Swami Nischalananda
Saraswati among many scholars and intlectuals.
Sankarcharya in his report submitted to the Temple Managing
Committee which was later forwarded to the Odisha government for its approval
on November 7, 2013, has categorically suggested that devotees should not be
allowed to climb the chariots.
“The Sankarcharya cited in the report that there are
no mentions in any scriptures prescribing that the devotees should touch or
climb the chariots to earn blessings. He has, instead, said it is against the
spirit of the scriptures to climb the chariots. Hence, it is not prescribed in
any Hindu religious scriptures to climb the chariots,” the Gajapati King said.
He added that Sankaracharya had consulted a number
of eminent seers of the country before arriving at his final say on climbing
the chariots by the devotees.
The Gajapati King, while advocating for doing away
with the special provisions for senior Government officials, Ministers and
other VIPs, stated that the car festival was open to people of all faith and
“Our scriptures do not allow anyone except the
servitors, Gajapati King and Sankarachayra to climb the chariots and touch the deities
during the car festival,” said Sankarachayra.
Devotees literally fight to climb on the chariots
during the car festival. Many of them pay hefty sums to a section of priests to
get the opportunity. This has led to many unpleasant situations, including
stampede and conflicts with the priests, in the past.
Many intellectuals, seers, academicians, retired
justices like Swami Sachidananda Saraswati Maharaj of Dibya Jiban Sangha
Odisha, Chief of Jhanjhapita Math, Puri Sachidananda Das Maharaj, Rashtriya
Sanskrit Vidyapeeth Vice Chancellor Prof harekrushna Sarpathy, former DGP Gopal
Nanda, retired High Court judges like Justice Debapriya Mahapatra and Justice
SN Naidu speaking on the occasion too unanimously justified the viewpoint of
Sankarcharya and Gajapati King and requested the Government to accept the
proposal soon.

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