Odishatv Bureau

Hera Panchami ritual, a tradition followed during Rath Yatra in Puri, is one of the beautiful episodes in which Goddess Laxmi gets angry with Lord Jagannath and vents her anger by causing damage to Nandighosha, the chariot of Lord Jagannath.

The ritual is observed on the fifth day of the car festival. 

Getting angry with husbands for leaving alone for a long period is par for the course with all women. So is the case with Goddess Laxmi. 

The marriage between Goddess Laxmi and Lord Jagannath takes place on the 11th day of the bright fortnight of Hindu month Jyestha. On Jyestha Purnima, Lord Jagannath and His siblings go to sick room (Anasara Gruha) after falling sick following the ceremonial bath. The deities are out of bound for public darshan during this period. 

After spending 15 days in sick room, the deities give darshan to their devotees as part of Naba Joubana Besha. After two days, Lord Jagannath along with His siblings embark on a nine-day-long annual sojourn to Gundicha temple without informing Goddess Laxmi. This annoys her. 

Following the advice of Lord Brahma, Goddess Laxmi goes to Gundicha temple with ‘Mohana Churna’ (a powder to attract husband) offered by Maa Bimala, the guardian of Srimandir, for Lord Jagannath’s early return via the Grand Road (Bada Danda). Servitors take her in a beautifully decorated palanquin in a grand procession. 

She is welcomed at Gundicha temple. Upon her entering the temple, she throws ‘Mohana Churna’ but the door gets closed for her. A perturbed Goddess Laxmi spends no time at the temple and returns. On Her way back to Srimandir, the goddess asks her servitors to break a piece of Lord Jagannath’s chariot. 

The next moment she feels guilty for her act and returns to Srimandir silently, without any procession via Gohiri Sahi route.