Cassian Baliarsingh

On the auspicious occasion of Anasara Panchami today, Mahaprabhu Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra will get ‘Phuluri’ oil treatment, popularly known as ‘Phuluri Tela Seva’. This age-old practice of ‘Phuluri oil’ (a special herbal oil) treatment is part of the rituals during the ‘Anasara’ stay of the deities at Srimandir in Puri.

This is said to be part of the secret ritual for more than 1000 years. On the occasion of Anasara Panchami, let us dig deep into the rituals and know its significance:

‘Phuluri Tela Seva’ of Holy Trinity

As per popular belief, the special ritual is carried out to cure ailing Lord Jagannath and his siblings of fever caused by excess bathing during ‘Snana Yatra’. The Holy Trinity falls ill after taking bath with 108 pitchers of herbal and aromatic water on Snana Purnima day.

So, the special herbal oil treatment will help the Trinity prepare for the famous annual sojourn ‘Rath Yatra’. The Phuluri Tela will be applied on the Holy Trinity during their hibernation for their speedy recovery.

How is Phuluri’ Oil Prepared?

As per the practice, the ‘Phuluri’ oil is prepared by the Bada Odia Matha every year by mixing oil with several fragrant flowers such as Ketaki, Malli, Boula and Champa, roots, sandalwood powder, camphor, rice, grains and herbs. 

Pure sesame oil, roots of Bena, fragrant flowers like Jasmine, Jui, Malli, and sandalwood powder are among the 24 ingredients used for making Phuluri tela. The oil is then stored under ground for almost a year until it becomes ready for use during Deva Snana Purnima.

The deities, who are currently on a 15-day long ‘Anasara’ stay in the temple will recover from their sickness after the Phuluri oil treatment on the occasion of ‘Naba Jaubana Darshan’, a day before Rath Yatra.

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