Odisha: Puri Shankaracharya Feels ‘Sidelined’ In Jagannath Temple’s Grand Scheme Of Things

Puri: Shankaracharya of Puri Gobardhan Peetha Neeschalananda Saraswati has expressed his anguish over being ‘sidelined’ by the Odisha government, Jagannath Temple managing committee, and the servitors.

During a religious programme in Surat, Gujarat, the Puri seer responded to a query on inauguration of the heritage corridor project next year and said he was not consulted by the administration, temple management committee, which along with the servitors, maintain a distance from him. “This has been happening despite a Supreme Court’s directive to seek my suggestions and advice in the matters of temple administration and religion. They hardly hold discussions with me and I also don’t interfere in these issues since my need is not being felt,” he said.

The seer further said that he only visit the chariots of the sibling deities during Rath Yatra. “Apart from this, I have no links with the temple,” he added.

He also refused comment on the controversy over opening of all four gates of the 12th-century shrine. “There is a rule for opening the Dakshina Dwar (south gate of the temple) whenever I visit. Since I have little knowledge over the controversy, I would not like to make any statement on it,” he added.

The temple authorities are yet to respond to the seer’s statement.

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