Puri Shankaracharya welcomes move to allow independent Functioning of ‘Gobardhan Mutt’

BHUBANESWAR: Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati on Sunday welcomed the legislation passed by the Odisha assembly to allow the ‘Gobardhan Mutt’ to function independently.

The Assembly on Saturday passed the Odisha Hindu Religious Endowments (Amendment) Bill, 2019, giving complete freedom to the ‘Gobardhan Mutt’, one of the four cardinal mutts, established by Adi Sankaracharya.

“We are happy that our long-standing demand has been fulfilled. It is good that the bill was finally passed after a delay,” a spokesperson of the mutt said. There are more than 18,000 Hindu public religious institutions in the state, which are governed by the OHRE Act and the ‘Gobardhan Mutt’, Puri, will no longer be in the control of the state, Law Minister Pratap Jena said.

“By amending the Clause XIII of Section-3 of the OHRE, 1951, the ‘Gobardhan Mutt’ will be excluded from the definition of a religious institution in the state,” he had said while moving the bill in the floor of the assembly.

The position of Sankaracharya of ‘Gobardhan Mutt’ is even more important for his involvement in the affairs of the Shri Jagannath Temple, Jena said. “The Sankaracharya heads the Mukti Mandap Pandit Sabha in the temple, which renders valuable advice on complicated questions on religious affairs,” the minister said.

He added that the Sankaracharya of Puri is also granted a “special right of worship during the Rath Jatra of Lord Jagannath”. PTI