Mrunal Manmay Dash

The annual Rath Yatra (Car Festival) will come to an end on Saturday with the return of the Holy Trinity to Ratna Singhasana on Niladri Bije.

However, the Niladri Bije will not be a smooth affair for Lord Jagannath as he would have expected due to the intervention of Goddess Laxmi. She will let Lord Balabhadra, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Sudarshana enter the temple, but when Lord Jagannath will try to enter the temple, she will order her servitors to close the Jaya Vijaya gate of the Singhadwar.

As the legend goes, Lord Jagannath had left Goddess Laxmi behind in the temple while going to his aunt’s house along with her brother and sister. On Hera Panchami, Goddess Laxmi went to Gundhicha temple to meet Lord Jagannath but he closed the door and did not allow her to meet making her angry.

Goddess Laxmi takes her revenge on Niladri Bije.

In order to appease Goddess Laxmi, Lord Jagannath offers Rasagola to pacify her. After a long conversation, Goddess Laxmi finally calms down and accepts Lord Jagannath’s apology. The ritual to pacify Goddess Laxmi is called Mana Bhanjan. Later, Lord Jagannath will be allowed to proceed to the shrine.

To mark the occasion and celebrate the Srimandir’s as well as Odisha’s age-old association with Rasagola, the day (Niladri Bije) is observed as Rasagola Dibasa in Odisha.

On Niladri Bije, the Holy Trinity and Sudarshan will be taken to the Srimandir in a ceremonial procession called Goti Pahandi. The ritual is scheduled to be conducted in the afternoon.

Rituals like Mangala Alati, Mailama, Sakaladhupa, Madhyanna Dhupa, Sandhya Alati and Sandhya Dhupa will be performed on the chariots today. All the rituals will be followed by the Charamala tying. Later, the Goti Pahandi will begin.

Niladri Bije follows Adhara Pana ritual in which the deities were offered a special pana on their respective chariots.

On Friday, the temple servitors offered the drink in long earthen pitchers to the Trinity after performing ‘Sodosha Upachar Pooja’. The pots were kept in such a way that they did not touch the lips of the deities.

Soon after the offering late in the evening, the earthen pots were broken on the chariots spilling the entire drink on the platform. These pots were broken to liberate the evil souls, spirits and other invisible beings residing in the chariots.

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