Puri Seer Nischalananda Saraswati Supports Hereditary Servitor Service

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Bhubaneswar(PTI): Shankaracharya of Govardhan Peeth Swami Nischalananda Saraswati has supported the hereditary service of servitors at Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri and stressed on the need for economic well being of the community to ensure their behavioural change and disciplined service.

Saraswati said this at a meeting yesterday at Govardhan Peeth in Puri where servitors met him in the presence of Puri king Gajapati Maharaj Divyasingha Deb.

“Shree Jagannath Temple temple is not a factory or Gandhis memorial. The temple should be safeguarded and service to deities must be carried out in a systematic manner as per tradition,” Saraswati told newsmen after the meeting.

The seer’s statement is significant in view of the Supreme Court’s June 6 direction in which it had suggested that the hereditary service of servitors in Jagannath Temple should be abolished in Puri temple.

Stating that the hereditary service of the servitors should be maintained, he said that the state government should place all relevant documents including the Record of Rights (RoR) of the Jagannath Temple before the Supreme Court on the practice of the hereditary service of the servitors.

The Puri seer also suggested the state government to take steps to help servitors to come out of their financial crisis and provide education to their children.

Gajapati Maharaja asked the servitor communities to stand united on the issue of the practice of hereditary service. He also suggested the formation of a legal cell comprising of a group of servitors to pleade their case before the apex court.

The meeting was attended by a number of senior servitors and representatives of the Chhattisa Nijog.

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