ENARADA, Bengaluru, July 28, 2016
The Jagannath Rath Yatra has kicked up a row in Bengaluru with International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) deciding to conduct the Yatra on July 2 instead of July 6.
The decision of the ISKCON has enraged the Odiya community in Bengaluru who has taken an online route to criticise the move.
View of ISKCON Jagannath Temple at Seshadripuram, Bengaluru. Photo by www.enarada.com
Hara Prasad Mohapatra, one of the Odiya community members said, “We came across an advertisement from ISKCON, Seshadripuram of conducting “Sri Jagannath Rath Yatra” on 2nd July 2016. This is against the tradition of Lord Jagannath rituals. Actually the Yatra should be celebrated in the” Month of Ashadha Diwitia Day” which falls on 6th July this year and the Jagannath temples across the world celebrate the Rath Yatra on 6th July 2016 itself except ISKCON. ISKCON seems to be fooling Lord Jagannath Devotees and playing with the emotion of the millions of devotes of Lord Jagannath. On behalf of true devotes of Lord Jagannath, we condemned this act by ISKCON and request all the devotees to be careful about their wrong doing. We tried to protect the same on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/sjmblr. When ISKCON officials found it was going out of their hand, they deleted not only our post but also removed the page from Facebook. This clearly shows that they had knowledge of their wrong doing.” He further added that all the rituals related to Lord Jagannath were written in a holy script-“Madala Panji” which is followed strictly by all the temples including the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA), Puri. “The act of ISKCON is nothing but their way of creating supremacy”, he alleged requesting the devotees not to encourage such Raths.
However, ISKCON administration has a different story to narrate and said they had revised the dates bowing to the pressure from the bhakts who had five-day work pressure and wanted the Rath Yatra to be held on weekends so that it is easy for them to attend.
Speaking to Enarada.com, Rhakale Krishnadas, senior devotee and office bearer of ISKCON Seshadripuram said Deva snana purnima to deities were held according to rituals and there is no deviation from any rituals except the change in date.
“Let me clarify that we don’t have any intention of hurting anyone and we are ones who strictly adhere to traditions and rituals. This year, owing to huge number of requests from the devotees that they could participate in large numbers if the Rath Yatra was held on weekend, we decided to conduct the Rath Yatra on July 2 and this is no way of hurting any community,” said, Rakhale Krishna Das.