Puri king urges ISKCON not to hold Rath Yatra on non-specified days- The New Indian Express www.newindianexpress.com


By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The Gajapati king of Puri and Chairman of Sri Jagannath Temple Managing Committee Dibyasingha Deb has advised the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) not to hold Rath Yatra on days other than the specified day.

Speaking to media persons on Tuesday, the Puri king said according to scriptures, long-standing tradition and statutory provision, Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath at Puri commences from the second day of the bright fortnight of Asadha month and concludes with the reinstallation of the deities on the Ratnasinghasana on the twelfth/thirteenth day of the bright fortnight.

“Organising Rath Yatra on days other than the auspicious tithis (days) is against the scriptural injunction and established tradition. Sri Jagannath Temple Managing Committee had earlier passed a resolution on the matter and objected holding of Rath Yatra by ISKCON at Ludhiana and Delhi in 2007,” he said.

The Gajapati Maharaja said he had written to the Chairman of Governing Body Commission, ISKCON, Mayapur (West Bengal) in 2008 urging them to hold Rath Yatra on the specific date as observed in Puri.

According to tradition and custom of Sanatana Vedic Dharma, he said the presiding deities do not leave the throne in the sanctum sanctorium of the temple. It is the ‘chalanti pratima’ representing the presiding deities are taken out of the temple on various festive occasions.

However, as per an exception made in in the tradition of Lord Jagannath, the presiding deities, in order to bless everyone with their sacred darshan, come out of the temple on two auspicious occasion ‘snan yatra’ (Bath Festival) on Jyestha Purnima and Rath Yatra, he said.

“There is no sanction either in the scriptures or tradition for the performance of the festivals of the Lord on any other day like many other sacred festivals including Sri Krishna Janmashtami, Mahashivaratri, Sri Ram Navami and Durga Puja, which are observed on the days specified across the globe,” the king pointed out.

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