Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Deba Snana Purnima

Gajanan Vesha of the Trinity on the occasion of Deba Snana Purnima in Puri

Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath atop the Snana Bedi before the bathing rituals

Snana Mandap at Jagannath Temple in Puri
The 12th Century Jagannath Temple in Puri
 Here are some glimpses of the Deba Snana Purnima of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra at Puri, which was celebrated on Tuesday. As per the rituals, the Trinity were taken to the bathing altar at the outer complex of Jagannath temple where they were bathed with 108 pitchers of aromatic and herbal water that was taken out from the Suna Kua (golden well) near Maa Shitala inside the Uttara Dwara (north gate) of the temple.

The Gajapati Dibyasingh Dev - the foremost servitor of the Lord - arrived at the Snana Mandap for Chhera Pahanra (sweeping of the Snana Mandap with a golden broom) atop the Snana Bedi. After performing a complex set of rituals, the servitors decked the Trinity in Gaja Besha, incarnation of Lord Ganesh. The priests then offered 'bhog' to the deities before allowing public for Sahana Mela (public darshan).

The Sahana Mela which began at 6 pm and continued till 11 pm. Late in the night, the deities were escorted to a solitary place in the temple complex, 'Anasar Ghara' (sick room). The deities, supposedly suffering from fever after taking the bath, would retire to bed for 45 days. During this time public darshan is closed in the main temple and representative deities are placed in the sanctum sanctorum. With the Nabakalebara of the Trinity being observed this year, they  will have a 'Maha Anasara' for 45 days, 30 days more than the usual 'Anasara' held every year. The temple physician would treat the deities in the sick room with herbal medicines in this period.  

As per religious belief, during Anasara period Lord Jagannath manifests in Alarnath Dev in Brahmagiri. Devotees in large numbers rush to Alarnath temple, 23 km from Puri and offer Kheer Prasad.

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