Shankaracharya Nischalananda Saraswati and Gajapati King Dibyasingha Dev, who is considered the first servitor of Lord Jagannath, have expressed opposition to allowing entry of non-Hindus into the Puri temple.
Presently only Hindus are allowed to enter the 12th-century shrine and the issue relating to allowing entry of non-Hindus is being debated in Odisha after the Supreme Court direction on Thursday that the Shri Jagannath temple management should consider allowing all visitors, irrespective of their faith to offer prayers to the deities.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad too has strongly opposed the entry of people of non-Hindus into the 12th-century shrine and said it would file a review petition in the Supreme Court to reconsider its proposal on this.
Entry to all into Sri Mandir violating the age-old tradition of Sanatan religion is not acceptable to us, Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati of Govardhan
Peeth, one of the four cardinal mutts, said in a release.
The Shankaracharya of Govardhan Peeth is the chief of Mukti Mandap, the apex body of pandits, inside Shri Jagannath Temple.
Gajapati King Dibyasingha Deb said the dieties -- Lord Jagannath, Balaram and Subhadra -- are taken out the temple every year during the Rath Yatra to bless devotees of different religions and lakhs of people also get to see the them during the 'Snan Ustav' (bathing festival).
The Supreme Court's proposal is like an interim order, the Gajapati King said adding the temple management committee will deliberate on the issue after the Rath Yatra and the Shri Jagannath Temple Administration will take steps accordingly.
He said when there is a question relating to religion, particularly the Sanatan Dharma and issues relating to Sri Mandir, Govardhan Peeth Shankaracharya's decision is considered to be final and even the court will accept it. -- PTI