Rashmi Ranjan

Marking an end to the annual sojourn, Lord Jagannath and His siblings- Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra return to their abode. This ritual is known as Niladri Bije. But, the day holds an important significance as it portrays the heavenly love and affection between Lord Jagannath and His wife Goddess Laxmi.

Following the “Adhara Pana” ritual in which the Holy Trinity along with Lord Sudarshan are offered special ‘pana’ on their respective chariots,  the four deities are taken to the bejeweled platform in a ceremonial procession.

Niladri Bije

After the deities were offered Sandhya Dhupa on Niladri Bije, charamalas are fixed to each of the three chariots. Mudiratha servitors offer puspanajali (floral offerings) to the deities on Taladhwaja, Nandighosha and Darpadalana and carry out the “doralagi” ritual. Kahalia servitors blow a bugle after which the Pahandi of Lord Jagannath and His siblings begins.

At first, Mahajan servitors take the proxy divinities like- Rama, Krushna from Taladhwaja and Madan Mohan from Nandighosh to Dakshini Ghara in Srimandir premises in a pahandi. Later, Lord Sudarshan is taken to the temple from Goddess Subhadra’s chariot Darpadalana.

Lord Sudarshan is taken to the bejeweled platform through Baisi Pahacha (twenty two steps), Annanda Bazaar, Sata Pahacha (seven-steps) and Jagamohan in a grand procession. Later, Pahandi of Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra takes place. And at last, the pahandi of the sovereign of the cosmos Lord Jagannatha starts.

When Lord Jagannatha reaches the chara of Nandighosha, Goddess Lakshmi appears on a Dambaru (a special musical instrument) which is placed on a holy bed.

Niladri Bije

The Mahajana servitors install the deity on the Dambaru at Bheta Mandap. The Patimahapatra servitors offer sandal paste, alati, dhandi prasad, durbakshata, bandapana, dahipati, ghasa, Bidia to the deities.

Bhitarachha Mahapatra offers sacred lamp to Goddess Lakshmi. But Goddess Lakshmi, who was left alone in the Srimandir during the annual sojourn of Lord Jagannath and His siblings, directs to close the main gate (Lions’ gate) of the temple. However, Lord Jagannatha proceeds to the Lions’ Gate and it opens.

Later, Lord Jagannatha is taken to Jagamohana through Baisi Pahacha, Ananda Bazaar, Bhitara Bedha and Sata Pahacha.

Goddess Lakshmi, who is already upset, closes the Jaya-Bijaya door. She becomes furious as Lord Jagannatha did not take her along during the annual sojourn. A tug of war breaks out between the Devadasi (women servitors) on behalf of Lakshmi and Badagrahi Daitas and other Daitapatis on behalf of Lord Jagannatha.

Niladri Bije

In between the fight, Lord Jagannatha assures Goddess Lakshmi he will not repeat it again. Thereafter, Goddess Laxmi directs to open Jaya-Bijay doors for him. At last near the storehouse Lord Jagannatha looks to the north and similarly, Goddess Lakshmi looks to the south and both exchange looks.

The Bhittarchha servitors untie the nuptial knot and offers Bandapana. In order to pacify His better half, Lord Jagannath offers her Rasagollas. Niladri Bije is the only day when Rasagollas are offered to the deities in Shreemandir.

Later, the deities are enthroned on the bejeweled platform and the Daitas and Patimahapatra servitors offer sandal paste. The Kothasuansia servitors remove charamala from the bejeweled platform marking an end to the Niladri Bije ritual.


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