Himansu Shekhar Rout

Thousands of people and devotees thronged the Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri on Sunday on the occasion of Diwali, the festival of lights, and offered ‘paya shraddha’ to their ancestors as per tradition.  

As per the Hindu tradition, ancestors descend on the earth during ‘pitrupakhya’ and return to their heavenly abode on Diwali day amid the flashing of lights.

Devotees in large numbers were seen lighting the ‘kaunria kathis’ (jute sticks) on the Bada Danda (The Grand Road). By doing that, they invoked ‘bada badua’ (ancestors) and bade farewell to them. They chanted, “Bada badua ho, andharare asha aluare jao” (O our revered forefathers! Descend on the earth in darkness and we bid you farewell on this festival of lights).

Usually, people solemnize the ‘bada badua’ ritual and light the jute sticks in their homes in the evening. It is believed that ‘paya shraddha’, is offered to ancestors seeking their blessings. 

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A devotee at Puri Srimandir said, "We feel elated as we had a very pleasing darshan of Mahaprabhu and paid ‘Paya Shraddha’." 

Another devotee said, "We lit the kaunria sticks to show lights to our ancestors to ascend to their heavenly abode, while paya shradha was offered to them to get their blessings for a peaceful and prosperous life for future generations."

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