Pradeep Pattanayak

Like us, Lord Jagannath also brushes teeth, consumes food and retires for the day after dinner. He also suffers from a fever. 

Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra fall sick after they are bathed with 108 pitchers of water on ‘Snana Yatra’ or the ‘Deva Snana Purnima’ day, which falls on the full-moon day of the Hindu month of the Jyestha.  

Snana Yatra & The Rituals

On this occasion, the deities are taken out in a traditional procession called ‘Pahandi’ from the sanctum sanctorum to the ‘Snana Bedi’ or the bathing altar, located in the northeast corner of the Bahara Bedha. 

On the ‘Snana Bedi’, the deities are bathed with 108 pitchers of fragrant divine water brought from ‘Suna Kua’ or the golden well. This well is near the north gate of the temple. The importance of the well is that its water is used only once a year and the occasion is Snana Yatra. 

As per the tradition, 35 pots of water are used for bathing Lord Jagannath, 33 pots of water for Balabhadra, 22 for Devi Subhadra and 18 pots of water for Lord Sudarshan.

At night, the deities are brought to the temple and taken to a sick room or ‘Anasara Ghara’ as the deities are believed to have developed fever after the ritualistic bath. They remain there out of bounds from devotees for a period of fifteen days. 

The quarantine period known as Anasara or Anavasara commences from Jyestha Purnima and ends on Ashadha Amavasya. 

The Lord's Quarantine Period

Even during this quarantine period, devotees keep visiting the temple and daily rituals are also performed. This necessitates the use of substitute images of the deities. So during this period, three ‘Patta’ paintings of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra are worshipped in the temple. These Patta paintings are called ‘Anasara Patti’ or ‘Anavasara Patti’ or ‘Patti Dian’. They are worshipped as a proxy to the original idols.

Besides the three ‘Anasara Patta’ paintings, one small painting is also prepared for Lord Patitapabana, the representative image of Lord Jagannath worshipped at the right side of the Lion Gate as his darshan is also denied during this quarantine period. This small painting is placed in front of the door of the Lord Patitapabana, which remains closed for the entire period.

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