Odishatv Bureau

‘Chaka Bije niti’ is one among the many rituals performed during the ‘Anasara’ period for the recovery of Lord Jagannath and His siblings at Puri Srimandir. The ritual is held on Dasami tithi. 

On Deba Snana Purnima day, which is believed to be the birthday of Lord Jagannath, the deities are taken out in a traditional procession called ‘Pahandi’ from the sanctum sanctorum to the Snana bedi or bathing altar, located in the northeast corner of the Bahara Bedha. 

It is pertinent to mention here that, this is the first occasion when the huge wooden idols of Lord Jagannath and his siblings are brought out of the sanctum sanctorum.  

After observance of certain rituals on the Snana Bedi like Mangalarpana, Mangala Alati, Tadaplagi Niti, Adharapocha, Abakasa, Surya Puja and Dwarapala Puja, the deities are bathed with 108 pitchers of fragrant divine water brought from Suna Kua or golden well. As per the tradition, 35 pots of water are used for bathing or Lord Jagannath, 33 pots of water for Balabhadra, 22 for Devi Subhadra and 18 pots of water for Lord Sudarshan. The ritual, known as ‘Jalabhishek’, is performed amid chanting of vedic mantras, kirtan, beating of gongs and blowing of conch shells. Then Puri King Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb, the first servitor of Lord Jagannath, performs the Chhera Panhara ritual on the bathing altar. 

After the ritualistic bath, the deities are believed to have developed fever. Then they are taken one after another in Anasara Pahandi to a sick room called ‘Anasara Gruha’. And their 15-day-long quarantine period begins.

After 10 days of complete rest and treatment for the fever the Holy Trinity catches following their religious bath on Devasnana Purnima, ‘Chaka Bije niti’ is observed. On this day, after ‘Madhyana Dhupa’, Daitapati servitors of the temple shift the deities from their ‘Anasara Pindi’ to a special ‘Asana’ called chaka made of black granite rock near the ‘Anasara Ghara’. They are made to sit upright. It is believed that the deities regain their usual balance and feel better after sitting properly on these rocks. 

This ritual marks the deities’ complete recovery from their illness and they are fit to go to their ‘Ratna Bedi’.