Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Chief Administrator of Jagannatha Temple Suresh Mahapatra, under whose management Navakalevar became a fiasco, has taken advantage of a High Court ruling to use SriJagannatha as a medium of misogyny.

A female devotee of SriJagannatha is found from CCTV footage to have climbed up to the floor of Nandighosha chariot on July 20. The District Collector and Police are pressed to find out the lady and subject her to prosecution.

Mahapatra has suspended a servitor namely Artatrana Pratihari for his alleged failure to obstruct the female devotee when she climbed up to the floor and has called for explanation from the Badagrahi of Nandighosha, Jagannath Swain Mahapatra as to why action should not be taken against him for the offense the lady committed by mounting the chariot. The Badagrahi has rejected the allegation as his only duty it was to see to the stability of the image on his seat in the chariot, and not guarding the entrance.

The High Court ruling, which is being used as the stick to beat the woman with, should be reviewed by a greater bench  in public interest. Puri Sankaracharya has been trying to reduce SriJagannatha to an instrument of Brahmanya Dharma. The said ruling has given him the boost. Had the state government been pro-people, it should have challenged the said ruling.

But why the stress is now on the said ruling against a woman climbing the chariot, when the state government and its officers are marked for habitual contravention of court orders?

The CCTV footage repeatedly shown in television channels makes it clear that many people were on the floor of the chariot along with the female devotee. Why only she is being singled out by the officer? On the other hand, how the TV channels got the CCTV footage, unless the officer who is privy to the same has deliberately given copies thereof to media? And, why has he given the CCTV footage to media?

Is it designed to use SriJagannatha as a medium of misogyny?
Perhaps, yes.
This must be condemned by whosoever has any respect for the cult of Jagannatha.

And, the State, though already very late, should seek review or nullification of the High Court ruling that is now being misused by the officer, whose deficiency or conspiracy destroyed the sanctity of Navakalevar, for vitiating Jagannatha system with misogyny.

The High Court of Orissa being the superintending Court of the State should be prevailed upon by the Government to ensure that no Judge of Brahmin caste hears any case concerning SriJagannatha, as the Sankaracharya and his stooges are trying to impose Brahmanya Dharma on his cult, to the total detriment of what the deity of SriMandira really stands for.

Kuhu on the occasion of Orissa’s most famous Folk Festival of Agro-Magic: Ratha Yatra

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Ratha Yatra is Orissa’s most famous folk festival of agro-magic.

I greet you friends with a picture of SriJagannatha drawn instantly by my elder granddaughter Adwiteeya Mohapatra (Kuhu), born to my daughter Suchismita.

She reads in Class III at DPS-Kalinga.

SriJagannatha by Adwiteeya Mohapatra, Class III, DPS-Kalinga

Sankaracharya should be arrested to ensure smooth performance of Ratha Yatra

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Sasnkaracharya Nishchalananda Saraswati has again spewed venom at the State administration in a press conference at Bhubaneswar.

He has been insisting that management of SriJagannatha should vest in him and the Temple must run under his direction. He claims to be the supreme authority on Temple administration and by not consulting him, the chief administrator of the Temple has generated all the chaos.

He has tried to create panic in public mind by predicting severe disaster, as Daru selection to Brahma Paribarttan having generated wrath of the God Almighty, the Ratha Yatra would bring in catastrophe.

He has come down heavily on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over his silence on popular demand to punish the Daitas for irregularities in Brahma transfer. He has been demanding that the law of Jagannatha Temple Administration be amended obviously to quash the primacy of the Daitas in the Lord’s most important function spanning from Snana Yatra to Ratha Yatra including Navakalebar.

We have exposed in these pages the modus operandi of Nishchalanand and how for fulfilling his ambition, agent provocateurs were engaged to mar the sanctity of Brahma transfer. But Nishchalananda is silent about the agent provocateurs.

Daitas have been subjected to humiliation and motivated media reprimands so that environment to hand over SriMandira to Sankaracharya could be easier.

Religious revivalists’ demand for handing over the responsibility of SriMandira to Sankaracharya makes the matter clear. Wordy arsenals used against the Daitas in television and social media, read with Sankaracharya’s statements so far, provokes us to fear that Nischchalananda is the main designer of the Navakalebara fiasco. He can go to any extent in his design to grab SriMandira in order to promulgate rabid Brahminism to oblige religious revivalists.

The temple of Jagannatha has remained till date a citadel of applied Buddhism where the Brahmins have secondary role and Sankaracharya has no role to play. But eliminating Jagannatha’s Buddhist relevance is the only purpose of Sankaracharya.

Sri Kedarnath Mohapatra in his Khurudha Itihasa has clearly noted that the sole purpose of Sankara in establishing Gobardhana Matha at Puri and appointing his chela order in the said Matha is revival of Brahminism. To quote him: SE BRAHMANYA DHARMARA PRATIPATTI O PRASARA BRUDDHI NIMITTA PURIRE GOBARDDHAN PITHA PRATISTHA KARI TANKARA PRIYA SHISHYA PADMAPADACHARYANKU EHARA PRATHAMA PITHADHISHA RUPE NIJUKTA KARITHILE. (Page 287 of Khurudha Itihasa, 1969, published with the funds granted by Government of Orissa). Roughly it means: Adi Sankara had established Gobarddhana Pitha at Puri and appointed his dear disciple Padmapadacharya as the first chief of this center of his order in order only to revive the supremacy of Brahmanism and spread it in Orissa.

The only work of this Matha was to train the Brahmins in how to vitiate Jagannatha’s worship with Vedic method to eliminate the original method of his worship in Sabari Tantra or Bouddha Tantra.

In recording this evil design, Prof. K. C. Mishra has noted, “The priests of Jagannatha Temple learn the art of ritualistic worship from the (Sankaracharya) Matha”.

Needless to say that, the priests are the Brahmins appointed by patron kings of Brahminism, whose training was vested in Sankaracharya. One of these kings had even cooperated with the Brahmins to establish the statues of Adi Sankara and his first chela Padmapada on the Ratna Singhasana of Jagannatha. Those two statues were being worshiped along with the Lord in naked assertion of the authority of the caste-supremacists. People of Orissa had revolted against this mischief and had dragged those statues out of the Ratna Singhasana and had thrown them to the street for people to pulverize them to dust under their feet.

Though Khurudha Itihasa attributes this to Chaitanya’s movement (page 288), the fact that, under autocratic rule of the then Gajapati king, this deracination of Sankaracharya-statues from Jagannatha’s Ratna Singhasana had happened, is no small admission of history that people of Orissa had freed the Jagannatha Temple from the evil design of Sankaracharya in a heroic fight against their own king.

Since then, Sankaracharya has been kept out of Srimandira.

In recording this, Prof. Mishra writes, “The system (of training priests by Sankaracharya) is no longer in vogue in the temple” (K.C. Miashra, The Cult of Jagannatha, page 125)

This being the reality, Nishchalananda’s claim of authority on Jagannatha system is nothing but impudence.

He and the Brahmin officials in nexus with him have cunningly created chaos in this Navakalebar. Gajapati has acted a patron of Brahminism by being hand-in-glove with Nishalananda.

As there is every logical reason to apprehend that he may use any further tricks to derail the smooth performance of the Car Festival, so that the religious revivalists would get new grounds to demand for handing over the SriMandira to Sankaracharya in order to extinguish applied Buddhism in vogue in the Temple system, it is necessary that the Crime Branch be asked to study all his statements – print and visual – on records so far,  and to take necessary precautionary steps to ensure the Ratha Yatra completing the cycle peacefully.

He should be arrested if his tongue is not tamed. Jagannatha culture is to be preserved at any cost.

Parasites activate their design: Sankaracharya invited to Bath and Rath festivals of SriJagannatha

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Government of Orissa has again danced to the tune of the Caste-supremacists in matter of SriJagannatha.

Navakalevara is a great chance to tell the world that Buddha was a son of the Oriya soil whom the founder of Vajrayan Acharya Indrabhuti had consecrated as Sri Jagannatha.

This could have helped innumerable Buddhists of the world to locate the real birthplace of Buddha and Orissa could have got back her unique position as fountainhead of Buddhism.

But, unfortunately Orissa is running under a person, who has no affinity for the people of Orissa. He is a chance Chief Minister whose only passport to power has remained his ability to show himself as the son of his father. He is running Orissa by his father’s name with the help of a sturdy gang of sycophants and self-seekers, who, through their collective exploitation have pushed the people into such pusillanimity that they do not dare to go against him in the polling booths. Orissa is now a laboratory of nullification of democracy where there is a chief minister who is convinced that as long as official welfare projects are named and renamed after his father, the inane people dependent on opiates like one-rupeean-rice shall continue to vote for him and his raj as the son of his father, not as the leader of the people, shall stay strong. This man is alway ready to stay with the fellows that have the ability to misguide the people in any manner, so that exploiters and parasites should be satisfied and pleased. In the grip of this man Orissa has become such a confused place that the world’s sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists and political scientists would have to works hard to know how a majestic people became rotten within a period of one and a half decades.

Taking full advantage of this sordid situation, the caste-supremacists have activated their design to keep SriJagannatha under their cover so that the world cannot know him as Buddha and Orissa as the fountainhead of Buddhism.

There are parasites galore in present day Orissa who live gorgeous life without doing any labor to justify their living. Caste-supremacist culture authenticated by Sanatan Hindu Dharma, which Sankaracharya propounds, suits them the most. So, they are eager to see that Sankaracharya, whom people of Orissa, when they were heroic, had finally ousted from Jagannatha system by deracinating Adi Sankara’s statue from the RatnaSinghasana of SriMandira during the time of Gajapati Divya Singh Dev in 1790s along with the statue of his first chela Padmapada – the first predecessor in the Math of the present Sankaracharya, is allowed to have his hegemony in the affairs of SrJagannatha.

Thus, when the chief administrator of the temple is a man of the caste-supremacist caste, the present Gajapati Dibya Singh Dev led a team of fellows who do not sweat in earning their livelihood, to invite the Sankaracharya to the Snana Mandap and the chariot of SriJagannatha during the car festival, even though, as we have discussed earlier, he is an anathema to cult of Jagannatha.

There was no necessity of inviting him. Nobody invites the innumerable devotees to the car festival of Jagannatha. If he has any real affinity for SriJagannatha, he could have attended the car festival like the other devotees, and stayed away from touching the body of the deity as true devotees who dare the scorching sun and tormenting weather to have the deity’s darshan on the car, stay away from riding the Rath and touching the body of the deity.

But that is not to be. The parasites want to project him as the authority over SriJagannatha, in order to show the world that SriJagannatha is not Buddha of Oriya origin, but Vishnu of the caste-supremacist Hindus.

Sri Jagannatha is to be saved from parasites, if uniqueness of the Oriyas is to be saved.

Good News: Reactionary Shankaracharya stays away from Rath Yatra

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Shankaracharya of Puri knows that he has no place in Jagannatha system. Yet, he had almost succeeded to enter into the system through the backdoor under cover of a High Court verdict and in nexus with the present Gajapati Divyasingh Dev.

The good news is that, after we strongly exposed his position and the Daitapati leadership also pointed out how he has no right to ride over the Rath, he has stayed away from the most progressive event centering a deity of the masses in the world.

Daitapati leadership clearly stated that it is only they that were magnanimously inviting the Shankarachary to climb on the Chariot to pay his respects to the Lord. That cannot be construed as a right. And, rightly so.
Sri Jagannatha is Buddha, propitiated as such in Indrabhuti’s Gnanasiddhi where has been described as Sarva Buddhamaya (Buddha in entirety), (Two Vajrayana Works, p.31).

In ancient Oriya literature too, he is described as Buddha.

Orissa’s Vyasa Muni – the great Sarala Das – in Sabha Parva of his unique epic Mahabharata, which has incorporated relevant events of Orissa in his epic contextualizing them with Vyasa’s writing, has made it clear that Sri Jagannatha himself is the merciful Buddha. One of many of his verses in this regard says, “Samsara Jananku tariva nimante, Buddha rupare bije accha Jagannathe” .

In the language of Sunya Samhita, he is described as Buddha worshiped on the shore of Mahodadhi (Buddha rupe Mahodadhi Kule), The Mahodadhi of Sunya Samhita is wrongfully named by the British as Bay of Bengal.

In Deula Tola, Sri Jagannatha has revealed that he is none but Buddha. (Thakure boile Raja hoilu ki bai, Kali yuge basibun Buddha rupa hoi).

In explaining why Jagannatha has neither the hands nor feet, Daru Brahma Gita says, “Sastha divasa antarena, Pada je Pani hela kshina; Bauddha rupa heba jani, Pada Pani chhadile Gosani”.

Sunya samhita further says, “Boile Achyuta tembhe shuna ambha vani, Kaliyuge Buddha rupe prakashibu puni”.

Sasi Sena makes the declaration more specific: “Sri Nilagiri kandare Hari, Buddha rupare chhanti bije kari”.

So, Sri Jagannatha is Buddha; and, hence, is the greatest religious obstacle to conservative Hindutwa that divides the society on caste line, condemning the working class as Mlechha (untouchable) with scriptural provisions for their exploitation.

Sri Jagannatha is Oriya’s epitome of matriarchy and resultant Universal outlook that propounds peaceful co-existence sans any geographical, caste or creed prejudice.

Therefore, for centuries, the Shankaracharian design propelled by caste-supremacists has tried to destroy this uniqueness of Jagannatha.

We have shown in earlier discussions that Shankaracharya is a sectarian Hindu chauvinist belonging to Adwaita Vedanta school of thought which is de facto a sub-thought of the orthodox philosophy called Vedanta, thriving on caste-supremacist mentality of upper caste Hindus. He has formed a private militia styled Aditya Bahini, when Orissa is the place, where, to wipe out her Buddhist identity, Keshari kings were rewarding Pashupat Saiva brand of Brahmin hooligans with gold coins for annihilation of Buddhist monks. When Jayati Kesari had imported 10,000 militant Brahmins from Kanauj to destroy Buddhist monasteries in Orissa, particularly in present day Jajpur district, according to Iswara Das in Chaitanya Bhagavata, at Ch.148, a king of Keshari dynasty had beheaded 668 Buddhist monks on the banks of river Prachi, forcing Bauddhacharyas of Chaurashi monastery to go underground. Some of the Chaurashi Siddhacharyas had fled to Nepal where a bunch of their philosophical poems known as Charyagitis were stumbled upon by a Bengali scholar who, sans qualm, had tried to misappropriate the same for his mother tongue. Philological analysis has shown them as proto-Oriya.

Rev. J. Long, had tried to reach the root of Buddhism. As, Nepal was projected as birthplace of Buddha, he had made extensive research there to find out if that was the fountainhead of Buddhism. He got no proof. China being a land where Buddhism was massively followed, he had tried to find out the root of Buddhism there also. He could not. Ceylon being the other place famously known for Buddhist practices, he made his research there too. No evidence was available to him to arrive at the root of Buddhism. . But, on “antiquarian analysis”, he was convinced that if any place could be linked to origin of Buddhism, that is Orissa. In his ‘Notes and Queries suggested by a visit to Orissa in January 1859’ he has put it on records that, “though Orissa be now the garden of the Hinduism and Jagannatha its jerujalem”, “antiquarian enquiries in Nepal, Ceylon and China show that the Buddhism so noted in its regards for enlightening the masses and opposing caste, was for ages predominant all through Orissa both among the rulers and the people”.

“The whole temple (of Jagannatha) was built on the principles of Kamavajrayani Buddhists” wrote P. Bandopadhya in Rachanavali. Analyzing the statues of copulation spangled all over the temple, he had seen how effectively Tantra was its driving force. “It was in this SriMandira”, he noted, “the harmony was achieved between cosmic creation and the creation of human body. In all these obscene sculptures, every male is a Buddhist Monk of the Kamavajrayana school and every female is a Devadasi or a female votary” (Quoted from translation by D.P.Chatopadyaya).

Rev. Jung in his paper cited supra has shown how Brahmins were using brutal force to destroy Jagannatha’s real identity and how to save Buddha’s tooth from them, a daughter of a king of Orissa had fled to Ceylon concealing the holy relics in her hair. Mentioning that the celebrated tooth of Buddha, which Jagannatha contained till 4th century AD, he has said, after a short periodic shift to Patna, “the ancient Palibothra then the capital of North India”, the tooth was soon after brought back to Puri. “But, on an invasion of the country, it was conveyed in AD 311 by a king’s daughter concealed in her hair to Ceylon, which was then becoming a place of refuge to the Buddhists from the Brahmins’ rage”.

This is how since so many centuries the Vedic chauvinists, to which gang the Puri Shankaracharya belongs, have been acting against Sri Jagannatha, the Buddha.

People of Orissa, had, therefore, thrown the statues of Adi Shankara and his disciple Padmapada – the first Sankaracharya of Puri – to the dustbin, by dragging them out from the podium of Jagannatha, where the Brahmins had managed Gajapati Purusottam Dev to put those images for worship. Since then, Shankaracharya has no place in SriMandira system.

But, as the people are increasingly growing ignorant of their glorious cultural heritage under fascist flood of Hindu fanaticism, mistaking the same as new definition of nationalism; and as law courts are having judges that are not reluctant to act as launching pads of social acceptability of sectarian religious bigots like the Shankaracharya, the greatest epitome of Oriya culture, Sri Jagannatha is threatened with extinguishment of his uniqueness.

Thanks to the Daitapati leadership, his self-help tricks to impose himself on Sri Jagannatha under the cover of a high court ruling have been foiled this time.

Cases in Orissa High Court after we dwelt on Shankaracharya’s design against Jagannathism: Adjudication better be done by non-Brahmin Judges

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The good news is that a Public Interest Litigation has been filed before the Orissa High Court after we dwelt on Shankaracharya’s nasty design to destroy Jagannatha Culture.

The PIL has challenged the Shankaracharya’s self-help fatwa banning devotees of Sri Jagannatha climbing the chariot while declaring himself to do the same. He has neither any duty to perform on the chariot nor any entitlement to do so under the Records of Rights, the PIL has stated.

Shankaracharya is a sectarian Hindu leader belonging to Adwaita sect of Vedanta and his basic work is to, as and when necessary, interpret what the Adi Shankaracharya had said Vedanta, which again is one of the six rival philosophies like Nyaya, Vaisesika, Samkshya, Yoga, Purva Mimamsa and Vedanta. These six rival schools have their common challengers in philosophies like Jainism and Buddhism which are Dharmas distinctly different from the Hindu Dharma.

So, even if Sri Jagannatha is, for the sake of argument only, considered a Hindu deity, Shankaracharya cannot be the sole authority in the matter of Jagannatha.

Hindu religion is saturated with many modern philosophies, even as Vidyaranya has identified as many as sixteen rival philosophies that affect Hinduism. Adwaita Vedanta is a part thereof. So, Shankaracharya is a mere Mathadhisha only of a quarreling sect of Hindu philosophy, not the leader of the whole gamut of Hindu philosophic schools.

As and when necessary, he may help the followers of his sect with interpretation of Adwaita Vedants; but he has no right to pose as the leader of all the Hindus.

Specifically, Sri Jagannatha being Buddha, the Shankaracharya has no role at all in his matter.

The Orissa High Court was misled by the caste-supremecists to accept Shankarachary as the final adviser of Hindus, and has erred in mandating that any action that goes against the opinion of Shankaracharya “will obviously be inoperative”.

Shankaracharya being a sectarian caste-supremacist leader, it is absolutely wrong to enforce him on all the Hindus in general and in particular, on the Jagannatha devotees, the deity being basically Buddha and extensively anti-casteism.

Jagannath the Shakta deity

On the other hand, Sri Jagannatha is the deity of the Shakta sect. In Puri, which is Niladri, Sri Jagannatha is the discernible form of Dakshina Kalika, the supreme Devi of Tantra (Niladrau Sri Jagannatha Sakshat Dakshina Kalika). Puri is Srikshetra, the best of the soil that represents the female factor, where male identity is lost to female superiority, because the entire Srikshetra is based on the concept of Kali (Sri Kalika Yantrarupam Kshetram Sri Purusottamam / Tatratya Yoginirupah Pumanshcha Parikirttitah). Even the males are considered as female form of Bhairavas, because Srikshetra is Kali’s soil of romance (Strirupah Bhairavah Sarve Purushah Purusottame / Jambudwipe Birajante Kalika Keli Bhumayah).

In this Shakta system on which the cult of Jagannatha has evolved, Shankaracharya has no place. Therefore, when Gajapati Purusottam Dev had consecrated a statue of the Adi Shankaracharya on the podium of Jagannatha, the people of Orissa had revolted against him and had forced him to amend his ways and had uprooted the statue of Adi Shankar from the Ratna Vedi of Jagannatha and had thrown that statue to the dustbin. Since then, Shankaracharya had no say in the matter of Sri Jagannatha. People of Orissa had completely ejected him out of the Jagannatha system.

But the caste-supremacists, who have been using the present Gajapati and top functionaries belonging to the Brahmin caste to revive their hegemony, have, somewhat managed to project Shankaracharya as an authority over the entire Hindu community through the court verdict referred to supra in absence of any informed opposition.

This has given birth to a situation where the purely liberal, secular, caste-less car festival of Sri Jagannatha may be vitiated with a Hindu sectarian fundamentalism.

Sri Jagannatha is epitome of social unity of Oriya people and of their unique world outlook based on universal brotherhood as propounded originally by the greatest son of Orissa soil, Gurudev Buddha, whom the world knows as Lord Buddha. A short sojourn in evolution of Sri Jagannatha may be of immense help.

Evolution of Sri Jagannatha

Founder of the Vajrayan school of Buddhism Indrabhuti had tried to give a shape to Gurudev Buddha, in whose demise, the Buddhists were trying to save their system from the deity-centric Vedic imperialism by promoting Shunyavada on the assumption that, after demise, Buddha had become one with the Shunya, omnipresent.

By then the matriarch tribes of Orissa had been worshiping a torso shaped wooden log as Jaganta in the belief that, the female factor is behind creation. And, as shown in my book ‘SriJaya Devanka Baisi Pahacha’ (Bharata Bharati, Cuttack), in course of time, to make their concept more specific, they had added the picture of a pair of female breasts to this Jaganta and the torso had evolved into Jaganta-tha with the suffix ‘tha’ representing ‘thana’ the breasts. To them, when womb of the mother gives birth, the breasts of the mother gives the growth. So, the breasts depicted in the wooden log representing the torso of the mother were made most prominent. The same breasts on the torso of the creator-female (Madalaa) have come to be projected as the round eyes (Chaka Akhi) of SriJagannatha. (Ibid).

Gurudev Buddha being the supreme leader of Orissa’s matriarch tribes, and because of him the tribal democracies having been saved from Vedic imperialism, which he had done by rushing from Tosala (his birthplace Orissa) to Magadha to obstruct the spread of empire building in the very heartland of Vedic-imperialism, the tribes of Orissa, specifically the Shavara tribe, had been seeing Buddha in the body of that Jananta-tha. Therefore, when Indrabhuti wanted to promote a visible shape for the omnipresent Buddha, to counter the impact of deity-centric Brahminism, his concept being the matriarch component of applied Buddhism, he negotiated with the Shavara tribes that gave eminent Shioddhacharyas to Orissa, to project their ‘Jaganta-tha’ as Jagannatha and thus founded Jagannatha, propitiating the omnipresent (Gaganopama) Gurudev Buddha as Jagannatha for the first time. Gnanasiddhi, the canon he gave to Vajrayan, begun with the verse: “Pranipatya Jagannatham Sarvajina Vararcchitam / Sarva Buddhamayam Siddhavyapinam Gaganopamam / Sarvadam Sarvasattwevyah Sarvagnam Baravajrinam / Bhaktyoham Sarvavabena Bakshe Tatsadhanam Param”.

So, Sri Jagannatha is entirely Buddha as founded by Indrabhuti.

Indrabhuti had been bestowed upon with all cooperation in establishing Sri Buddha Jagannatha by the dedicated followers of Buddha in the Kurma Pataka (literary working class) on the banks of Prachi spanning from his birthplace Kapilavastu (red-soil village) in the Rangamatia region of Chandaka-Dhauligiri range to Puri via Kakatapur and Konarka and the said Kurma Pataka, whom caste-supremacists hate as untouchable, had their writ of Tantra on theology of Jagannatha, in recognition of which the inner campus of Srimandira is named Kurma Bedha where caste factor has no existence. The caste-supremacists, in order to misappropriate Jagannatha for themselves, have transformed Indrabhuti to Indradyumna and the Kurma Pataka to Kurma (turtles) through concocted legends, but the inner campus of Srimandira where caste-less Jagannathism still prevails, is known as yet as the Kurma Bedha.

Despite promulgation of Vedic Mantras and appointment of Puja Pandas by Brahminism’s patronizing kings, the people of Orissa have not only shown their aversion to Shankaracharyan chauvinism in throwing away Adi Shankara’s statue to the dustbin after uprooting the same from Buddha Jagannatha’s Ratna Vedi as mentioned supra, but also have retained the Tantric system in every ritual of Jagannatha, including Snana and Ratha Yatras.

As the Orissa High Court has already injured the Jagannatha culture by putting stamp of approval on Shankaracharya’s nasty design to reduce Jagannatha to a toy of caste-supremacist Hindus, it is now incumbent upon the real devotees of Sri Jagannatha adopt every possible method to save Sri Jagannatha from the antagonists of Jagannathism.

Now two cases are before the Orissa High Court. One, as referred to above, is seeking nullification of Shankaracharya’s self-help declaration to climb over the chariot and do whatever he wants with Sri Jagannath there; and Two, the case of Daitapatis seeking nullification of ban on devotees touching Sri Jagannath on his chariot.

Both the cases should be settled without any prejudice. And, for this, it would be better if judges belonging to Brahmin caste graciously stay away from adjudication; because, as discussed above, the caste-supremacists are active in engulfing Sri Jagannatha, whose Buddha identity is under severe threat.

Seeking Shankaracharya’s advice was a great conspiracy against Jagannath Culture; Unfortunately the High Court has approved it

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

SriJagannatha is the creation of Oriya’s social evolution, not of any Hindu dictum. So, seeking and obtaining advice of Shankaracharya, an epitome of Hindu fundamentalism, in matters relating to Rath Yatra, was fundamentally wrong.

Unfortunately, as “correctness” of the “opinion of HH Shankaracharya” was not the issue “before” it, the High Court of Orissa has issued an order on June 20, that has scope to be misused by the caste-supremacists to the total detriment of Jagannath Culture.

History of Sri Jagannath is the history of battle between Shankaracharyan chauvinism and the people of Orissa. History has witnessed how the people of Orissa, in an unprecedented revolution, had forced Gajapati Purusottam Dev to withdraw his nefarious design to transform SriJagannath from Buddha to Vishnu and had thrown into the dust the statues of Adi Shankarachary and his disciple the first Mahanta of Gobarddhan Pitha by pulling them out from the Ratna Singhasana of SriJagannatha, where Purusottam Dev had consecrated those statues, promulgating their worship along with Lord Jagannath. People of Orissa, in their wisdom, had ejected Shankaracharya out of SriMandira; and rightly so, as he represents caste-supremacism and Vedic chauvinism when Jagannath, created by Buddhist Vajrayan, epitomizes casteless solidarity of the people and tenets of Tantra. Till now, since the days of Prataprudra Dev, the people of Orissa have disallowed the Shankaracharya to have any say on management of the system of SriJagannath. Now, he has succeeded to enter into the system through the backdoor by the High Court judgement where why he was not yet having any authority over the Jagannath system was not deliberated upon.

We publish here below the judgement ( Order Dated 20.06.2014 in W.P. ( C ). No. 10457 of 2014) for immediate public perusal.

This petition by way of PIL seeks direction to implement the decision of the Jagannath Temple Managing Committee constituted under the provisions of Shri Jagannath Temple Act, 1955 (‘the Act’) on the issue of climbing the chariots during Car Festival, 2014.

2. The case set out in the petition is that as per the traditions of Lord Jagannath Temple at Puri, Rath Yatra (Car Festival) is held every year when the presiding deities leave the ‘Shrimandir’ premises and journey to the ‘Sri Gundicha’ temple on the ‘Bada Danda’ in chariots or ‘rathas’ specially constructed for the purpose which are pulled by devotees using ropes. The ritual culminates with the return of the deities to Shrimandir known as ‘Bahuda Yatra’.

A question arose as to whether it was permissible for the devotees to climb atop the Rathas (chariots) when the deities are installed thereon for having a darshan of the deities or to touch the deities after the chariots reach Shri Gundicha Temple and before the deities are taken therein.

The said issue was referred by the Managing Committee for opinion of HH Shankaracharya, Puri on the understanding that HH Shankaracharya, Puri was the final advisor on the issue of rituals of the deities as per the statutorily recognized record of rights. HH Shankaracharya, Puri, vide his opinion dated 6.11.2013 opined that “none other than the Sevaks (who perform rituals or seva-puja over the Chariots during Ratha Yatra), the Shankarcharya and the Gajapati Maharaja are authorized to climb on to the Chariots and the devotees should have darshan from the Badadanda without climbing on to the Chariots”.

The said opinion was accepted by the Managing Committee and a sub-committee was constituted to suggest the modalities for implementation of the opinion which required co-ordination with various stakeholders and law and order arrangements. It also required bringing about consensus with the sevayat community, some of whom had opposed the said opinion.

The Managing Committee also referred the matter to the State Government to guide the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) for implementation of the above decision of Jagadguru Sri Shankaracharya. The petitioner represented to the State Government seeking implementation of the decision but since no response was received, this petition has been filed.

3. Having regard to the sensitive nature of the issue and taking into consideration the urgency of the situation, as the Car Festival is to commence from 29.06.2014, notice was issued for taking up the matter today itself and learned counsel for the Temple Administration was required to produce the documents about the Record-of-Rights.

4. We have heard Mr. Jayant Das, learned Sr. Advocate appearing for the petitioner, Mr. Ashok Mohanty, learned Advocate General for the State Government and Mr. B.N. Rath, learned counsel for the Temple Administration.
5. Mr. Rath has handed over a compilation of documents in Court today which include letter dated 11th November, 2013 from the chief Administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri to the Principal Secretary, Law Department, Govt. of Odisha on the subject ‘High Level Meeting to discuss on the implementation of the recommendation of Jagadguru Sri Shankaracharya on the issue of climbing on to the holy Chariots during Rath Yatra’ .

6. Learned Advocate General has produced the stand of the Government in the form of the letter dated 19.6.2014 of the Principal Secretary to the Government, in the Law Department, addressed to the learned Government Advocate.

7. The stand of the Government indicated in the said letter is that in the meeting held on 11.06.2014 presided over by Hon’ble Minister of Law, Govt. of Odisha, which was also attended by the Principal Secretary to Government in the Home Department; Principal Secretary to Government in the Law Department; Chief Administrator, Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri; Special D.G. of Police, Odisha; Collector, Puri; and Superintendent of Police, Puri; and representatives of Daitapati Nijogs, it was decided that no one except the Sevaks and others connected only with the Seva Puja will be allowed to climb the holy chariots on three days i.e. on the day of Ratha Yatra, Bahuda and Suna Besha.

However, on the other days the existing practice may continue.
The decision was taken keeping in view the security, safety and convenience of the pilgrims /devotees and the administration of police arrangements.

8. The question for consideration is whether the State Government is justified in practically reversing the decision of the Managing Committee of the Temple to go by the opinion of HH Shankarcharya while considering the issue of its implementation.

9. Learned counsel for the petitioner referring to the averments in the petition and provisions of the Act submitted that issue of religious rituals is the statutory duty of the Managing Committee as per Section 15 of the Act and the State Government cannot substitute its views on the subject of religious rituals.

Power of the State extends only to secular functions and not to religious rituals. It was submitted that the rituals are recorded in the record of rights which have been notified in the Official Gazette dated 14.10.1955 and 3.9.1956 vide Law Department’s Notifications No. 5660-JTA-3/55-JTA dated 12.10.1955 and No. 5039-JTA-3/55-JTA dated 23.08.1956 respectively.

Prior to the said Act, the management of the Temple was vested in Gajapati Kings. Thereafter, the management of the temple affairs vested in the Managing Committee of which Raja of Puri was designated as Chairman and an Administrator was appointed by the State Government to function as the Secretary of the Managing Committee.
The constitutional validity of the Act was dealt in a judgment of this Court in Ram Chandra Deb Vs. The State of Orissa, AIR 1959 ORI 5, which was upheld by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Raja Bira Kishore Deb, hereditary Superintendent Jagannath Temple, P. O. and District Puri Vs. The State of Orissa, reported in AIR 1964 SC -5- 1501.

The Hon’ble Court observed that the Act provided only for the management of the Temple’s secular affairs and did not interfere with its religious affairs which had to be performed as per the Record-of-Rights. The Record-of-Rights covers the rituals associated with the Rath Yatra, which is an annual affair.

10. Learned counsel for the Temple Administration submitted that the stand of the Managing Committee is reflected in the letter dated 11.11.2013 which is reproduced below:

“The Managing Committee of Shri Jagannath Temple, Puri was seized of the issue of devotees climbing on to the holy Chariots during the renowned Rath Yatra and this being a religious matter had elicited opinion of Sri Shankaracharya of Puri as to who is authorized and who is not to climb the Chariots and have darshan and touch the Lords in the Chariots. There were some unfortunate incidents of complaints of misbehaviour meted out to few devotees during the celebrations in 2011 and 2012. Morevoer, with ever increasing number of devotees year after year, security risk persists while allowing devotees on to the Chariots.

“Jagadguru Sri Shankaracharya of Gobardhan Pitha, Puri has finally communicated his decision in the matter and has opined that “none other than the Sevaks (who perform rituals or seva-puja over the Chariots during Ratha Yatra), the Shankarcharya and the Gajapati Maharaja are only authorized to climb on to the Chariots and the devotees should have darshan from the Badadanda without climbing on to the Chariots”.

“The concluding part of the opinion of the Shankarcharya is enclosed for your ready reference. The Managing Committee in its meeting held on 7th November, 2013 in principle accepted the recommendations of Jagadguru Sri Shankarcharya and constituted a sub-Committee under the Chairmanship of Chief Administrator, SJTA with Collector, Puri, Superintendent of Police, Puri; Endowment Commissioner, Odisha; Additional Secretary, Law Department, Government of Odisha and the Administration (Niti), SJTA as its convener to suggest modalities for implementation of such recommendations by Sri Shankaracharya.

“Implementation of the above suggestion of Sri Sankaracharya, no doubt, needs coordination of various stakeholders and demands various administrative and Law & order arrangements.

“Bringing consensus from the Sevayat community will also be a daunting challenge before the SJTA as few Sevayat groups namely, Daitapati Nijog has openly opposed the move. We in the SJTA are ready to whatever best is possible to ensure a smooth Chariot Festival with maintenance of law & order. With the above backdrop, I request you to kindly place the matter before Government, convene a High Level Meeting to discuss on the issue and guide the SJTA for implementation of the above decision of Jagadguru Sri Shankaracharya.”

11. It is submitted that the help of the State Government has been sought only for implementation of the decision based on the opinion of the HH Shankaracharya, Puri and not the issue of religious rituals.

12. Learned Advocate General fairly stated that the State Government did not intend to interfere on the issue of religious rituals but was only concerned with law and order situation and smooth handling of the event without interfering with the decision of the Managing Committee on the issue of rituals in any manner. He pointed out that the Managing Committee had the duty not only to arrange for performance of rituals but also to provide facilities for proper performance of worship by the pilgrims.

13. In view of the above submission by the learned counsel, nothing remains to be decided by this Court, notwithstanding the stand of the State Government which is in conflict with the opinion of the HH Shankaracharya, Puri and the decision of the Managing Committee as reflected in the letter dated 11.11.2013.
The stand of the learned Advocate General is that the concern of the State Government is only to maintain law and order and not to interfere with the religious rituals. Once it is so, the stand of the Managing Committee to go by the opinion of the HH Shankaracharya, Puri has to prevail as far as rituals during the car festival are concerned.

Any contrary opinion of the State Government will obviously be in-operative. The State Government may however perform its duty of maintaining law and order and providing all necessary assistance for smooth conduct of the Car festival in accordance with the decision of the Managing Committee on the issue of rituals which is based on opinion of HH Shankaracharya, Puri and correctness of which is neither subject matter for consideration of State Government nor before this Court.

14. The petition is disposed of accordingly.
A.K.Goel, Chief .Justice, Odisha High Court 
Dr A.K.Rath, Judge, Odisha High Court 

As we support the idea of keeping away the deity from being touched by anybody on the chariot, we strongly oppose to the Shankaracharya riding on the chariot, as thereby Hindu hegemony would completely engulf SriJagannatha, who was created by Indrabhuti with the sole purpose to save the people from Hindu hegemony which divides the people on caste basis and aims at keeping people bound to the belief in fate so that the system of exploitation goes on unhindered, to the advantage of upper-caste Hindus and their patrons.

We have been, and we will discuss why Shankaracharya has no real affinity with what SriJagannath stands for.