The Telegraph
Thursday , December 13 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Puri temple to train Jagannath orators

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 12: The Puri Jagannath temple administration will conduct a training programme for orators of Jagannath culture to maintain uniformity about the lord’s rich culture.

The programme, scheduled to be held in Puri from January 15-30, will involve 60 orators from across the state.

Sources in the temple administration said that most of the times, the orators described the Jagannath culture in ways that are different from what was described in the historical manuscript of temple.

“Without the orators, it will be very difficult to spread the Jagannath culture. But at the same, time we have to ensure that there is uniformity. Emphasis will be given to orators having good knowledge of Sanskrit language,” said a temple official.

The temple administration is also planning to conduct another training programme for servitors of various Jagannath temples across the state. The three-day programme is likely to be held in the last week of this month in Bhubaneswar. During the programme, the participants will be informed about the daily rituals of the lords.

Sources in the Puri temple said though it might not be possible for other shrines to adhere to all the traditions, rituals and festivals that are followed by in Puri, considered the real abode of Lord Jagannath, these temples needed to ensure that certain amount of uniformity is to be maintained.

“The temple administration have been trying to conduct such kind of programmes to maintain uniformity. The training programme is aimed at imparting knowledge about the daily rituals of the lord,” said public relations officer of Jagannath temple Laxmidhar Puja Panda.

Sources said that though the exact number of Jagannath temples in the state was yet to be ascertained, there were more than 3,000 temples of the lord across the state. The number of temples is growing both in the country and outside it.

Puri residents, however, seemed unhappy about the decision to train other Jagannath temple priests in the rituals of the Puri temple.

Jagannath culture expert Pandit Surya Narayan Rath Sharma said: “By asking other temples to follow the rituals followed here in the Puri temple, we are only diluting the importance and uniqueness of the original temple. They can only be guided to a limited extent. But to bring uniformity in the rituals of all Jagannath temples is insensible. On the other hand, training religious orators about the Jagannath culture is a good decision so that every one gets an idea about the same legends revolving around Lord Jagannath.”