Puri: “Sarbbajibasya Jibaschha Gopati Mrarutang Pati Hi. Manobbrudhi-Ra-Hankara Kamidi-Kroddhanasana”.
“Mahamurti Biswamurti-Mahabruddhhi Parakrama. Sarvabitha-Chari cha Drwsta Debapati Sada”
These are the Sanskrit Slokas in honor of Lord Jagannath, quoted not by any Pundit, Sanskrit Scholar or Saint. These stanzas were circulated among the people across the Globe by a MBBS Graduate, who made it to All India Civil Service in 2002.
He is Dr Krishan Kumar, the suave, pious and honest mandarin of Odisha Cadre IAS, whose spiritual bent of mind has unfolded a new chapter in the State.
Apart from being the Secretary, Works, Dr Kumar is also the Chief Administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA). He has also two more assignments to handle.
Despite his 24×7 busy schedule, Dr Kumar, during his tenure as the Chief Administrator of the SJTA, has already made a place for himself in the ‘Divine World’ and his devotion toward the Lord of the Universe is evident from the “Slokas” he is putting before the people across the World.
Born at Rothak in Haryana in 1976, Dr Kumar preferred the IAS service instead of becoming a Doctor, in fact destined to serve Lord Jagannath.
Now the top mandarin is engrossed in a spiritual line and his devotion towards Lord Jagannath is not unknown to anyone.
The post of SJTA Chief Administrator was earlier held by many efficient Odia IAS officers, who have successfully handled and managed the responsibilities. However, Dr Kumar is different, an ardent devotee in the garb of an Ace Administrator
The SJTA assignment is an additional charge for him officially. But, the manner in which the young mandarin involves himself in the affairs of the 12th century shrine is unprecedented.
“It is a full time job for him. He has been doing at least two full time jobs like works secretary as well as the SJTA Chief,” pointed out a senior servitor engaged in LordJagannath service.
Dr Kumar’s devotion towards the Lord Jagannath came to the fore when the order was passed to stop Lord Jagannath’s annual car festival. It may be a festival for many, but Dr Kumar took it seriously and apprised the stakeholders that it is not just a festival, but an age old tradition as well as a ritual being followed in the shrine since ages.
The young officer, who made his place in Odisha for successfully handling the worst Communal Riots in Kandhamal district, again proved his mettle.
When there was uncertainty over holding the Ratha Jatra in 2020, Dr Kumar kept his mission alive without getting diverted. He had the strong faith on Lord Jagannath that the Ratha Jatra will be held amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic though sans devotees.
When a petition was pending in the Apex Court for the final judgment, Dr.Kumar kept the three chariots- Taladwaja, Nandighosh and Darpadalan- ready to roll on the Grand Avenue.
Finally, Lord’s wishes were fulfilled and the Ratha Jatra was held in 2020.
“This could be possible as the chariots ready despite many hurdles. As soon as the Apex Court gave its final nod, the chariots rolled within few hours. Had the chariots were not constructed, the Ratha Jatra could not have taken place last year,” a senior journalist working in a national level premier new agency, pointed out
Making of chariots during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was also not an easy task. Many people started circulating fake news that carpenters engaged in chariot making have been infected with the COVID-19.
However, Dr.Kumar declared Ratha Khala (chariot making yard) a bio-bubble zone and no COVID-19 positive person was allowed entry. The Ratha making is now in fast progress and about 70 per cent of work is completed. It appears that the chariots will be ready much before the schedule.
The devotion and dedication of an ace IAS officer, who is an ardent devotee of LordJagannath will reap rich dividends!!!