Bhubaneswar: With discussions going on whether to conduct the Rath Yatra at Puri this year amid COVID-19 pandemic, the Mukti Mandap of Srimandir has suggested that there will be no harm if the Rath Yatra is not conducted this year. The suggestion was given seeing the overall situation due to the outbreak of COVID-19 outbreak. If this is done it will be for the first time in the history.
“There is no harm if the 327-year-old tradition of Ratha Yatra is broken considering the present situation. If the devotees and servitors remain safe, the rituals of deities will continue in future,” Srimandir Mukti Mandap said in a three-point suggestion letter.
In the letter, Working President of Srimandir Mukti Mandap Biswanath Mishra and Secretary Ajit Mishra said that world famous nine-day sojourn of Lord Jagannath is an age-old tradition being practiced every year. The devotees can have holy darshan of deities atop the chariots through Doordarshan by sitting at home without visiting Puri.
Mukti Mandap, one of the pedestals at Srimandir, suggested the Odisha Government and Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) to conduct Ratha Jatra with limited number of servitors and police personnel without crowd and restrict influx of people by sealing all the entry points to Puri to avoid spread of the virus.
However, the decision of Shankaracharya of Govardhan Peeth, Puri, over organising Ratha Yatra should be accepted by all, it stated.
Worth mentioning, Mukti Mandap situated on premises of the Jagannath Temple, Puri, is an important institution that approves the almanac of Srimandir.