The annual nine-day sojourn of Lord Jagannath commenced at the holy town of Puri with the trinity reaching Sri Gundicha temple where lord Biswakarma gave shape to Purna Brahma. The celebration of Rath Yatra amidst the novel corona virus pandemic is truly a historic moment for the devotees across the globe.
arring the Islamic invasion, there was never an occasion in the thousands and thousands of years of the history of Rath Yatra the festival never got postponed, bet it the 1919’s Spanish flu pandemic, devastating famines or cholera epidemics, a regular occurrence during the British and Islamic rule.
The devotees of the lord Jagannath are the real winners whose persistence and unflinching faith forced trhe supreme court to deliver a favourable judgement resulting in the holding of Rath Yatra. This year’s festival bears significance ofor the fact that despite apprehensions thje devotees exhibited exemplary discipline and restraint. The absence of any law and order problem in puri stands testimony to this.
The successful conduct of festival was a slap on the face of those who tried to draw a parallel between the unruly and mischievous jamatis and the disciplined devotees of lord Jagannath who never allowed their emotions to overcome their sense of duty towards the society in this precarious pandemic situation.
The fools failed to understand that the Jamatis violently thwarted the health workers’ efforts to conduct corona test thereby contributing to the spread of the disease while the Lord Jagannath’s servitors voluntarily underwent COVID-19 obeying the Supreme court’s orders. On 23 June, The Law Minister Odisha, Pratap Jena informed the media that COVID-19 test was conducted for all ‘sevayats’ (priests) at Puri’s Jagannath Temple out of which one Sevayat was also tested positive for Corona virus infection. He was not allowed to perform the ‘Seva’. As many as 2000 Sevayats have undergone the covid-19 test before the Yatra.
Additionally, the state government also announced that it will collect samples of all the Sevayats who took part in the different ‘Sevas’ twice before Bahuda Jatra, Suna Vesha and Niladre Bije for the testing.
This year’s festival also thoroughly exposed the duplicity of the anti-Hindu left liberal gang that tried to malign the servitors by sharing their crowded videos of the Pahandi ritual. The organization of the festival was a challenge to the administration which was hard-pressed to carry out the festival successfully while honouring the Supreme Court guidelines. No doubt, the administration played a praiseworthy role by adhering strictly to guidelines set by the supreme court and ensuring an incident-free festival.
Both Jagatguru Sankaracharya Swami Nischalanand Saraswati and Gajapati Dibyasingh Dev was instrumental in conveying the feelings of the people who were overwhelmingly wanted the festival to take place. Gajapati’s letter urging the state government to move the apex court seeking modification of its order prohibiting the conduct of Rath Yatra paved the way for festival.
To conclude, all credit goes to the devotees whose honouring of the supreme court guidelines in letter and spirit ensure the millennia old sacred tradition went on despite the efforts of some publicity-seeking vested interest groups.
Source: VSK Bharat