Himansu Shekhar Rout

With a festive and religious fervour hanging in the air of Puri, the Yajna Kunda (well/pit) was lit this afternoon on Makar Sankranti. 

The three-day long Maha Yajna began as a prelude to the inauguration of the Srimandir Parikrama Prakalpa  (Srimandir Heritage Corridor project) while Vedic mantras were chanted at the four gates of the Srimandir amid heightened security and CCTV surveillance.

As per reports, all parts of the sacred city are now reverberating with the chanting of the four Vedas. 

The Rigveda is being recited in front of Sighadwar; the Samaveda in front of the Paschimadwar; the Yajurveda in front of Uttaradwar and the Atharvaveda in front of Dakshinadwar.

After the Yajna Adhibas ritual was solemnised on Sunday, Akhandadweepa was lit at sunset, marking the auspicious beginning of the Maha Yajna. 

The Yajna Kunda has been set up on the ‘Aisanyakona’ of Srimandir. 

Acharya Brahamins ordained by Gajapati king Dibyasingha Deb have been offering ‘Ghrutahuti’ (pouring ghee on Yajana fire). Such age-old rituals have ushered in an atmosphere of deep devotion in the entire pilgrim city. Gajapati King Dibyasingha Deb will offer ‘purnahuti’(making the end of Yajna) on Wednesday.

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Pandit Dibakar Mohapatra, one of those chanting Vedic mantras said, "In the Rigveda, sthuti (paens) is sung for Gods while in the Yajurveda ‘ahuti’ is offered through mantras to the gods. In the Samaveda, the gods are entertained with music and songs. In Atharvaveda, mantras are recited to ward off mental sins and worries.” 

A woman devotee who came from Bengaluru expressed her happiness after going around the Srimandir with its face-lifted surroundings. “Lord Jagannath attracted me from Bengaluru. Though my train ticket was cancelled, I still managed to come here. Lord Jagannath is the God of feelings and communion,” she observed.

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