Bhubaneswar | Upset over violation of the prohibition on touching the idol of Lord Jagannth, Gajapati Maharaj Divyasingha Deb today urged the Odisha government to strictly implement the ban and adhere to the centuries-old tradition at the shrine in Puri.
It is unfortunate that many devotees rushed to the deities and touched Lord Jagannth despite a probition on touching the ‘Daru Brahma’ (wooden idol) on ‘Snan Mandap’ (bathing pandal) on Monday night, Deb told reporters here. It is a great sin to touch the idols of Lord Jagannth, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra, Deb, considered the first ‘sevak’ of Lord Jagannth said.
He said though the Lord’s bathing festival passed off smoothly, the disturbance had started just before the ‘Pahandi’ (procession) at about 10:30 PM on Monday.
Next day, I saw on TV that a large number of people rushed to the idols, touched and even embraced them violating the prohibition, he said, adding it was the responsibility of the administration to ensure that nobody touched the idols at the 12th century shrine. Asked whether the temple’s Records of Rights (RoR) ban devotees touching the idols, Deb said The RoR clearly says that public cannot touch the Daru Brahma (wooden idol) inside the temple.
The Shankaracharya after a year long consultation with scores of Hindu pundits and scholars and referring to scriptures have concluded that none should touch Lord Jagannth. It is a sin to touch the idols. Only authorised priets engaged in performing rituals can touch the idols, the Gajapati king said.
Shankaracharya of Govardhan Peeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati had in November, 2013 said that devotees have the right to have ‘darshan’ but should not touch the idol of Lord Jaganath. Shankaracharya’s position on the issue was upheld by Orissa High Court. Therefore, the state government must implement the ban order in regard to the issue of devotees touching the Lord, Deb said.