Sharmili Mallick

Puri: A day after the Trinity was offered Adhara Pana, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath are all set to ushered into the sanctum sanctorum of Srimandir on the occasion of Niladri Bije (homecoming of the deities) today.

Niladri Bije is the concluding ritual of Rath Yatra after Suna Besha and Adhara Pana.

“Niladri Bije rituals are likely to begin from 4 PM, while Pahandi will probably start by 5 PM. All the rituals are expected to be completed by 10 PM,” said Puri district Collector Balwant Singh.
As per the rituals, the deities will be escorted by the servitors in ‘Goti Pahandi’ to the temple after ‘Sandhya Dhoopa’. Lord Sudarshan will be taken to the ‘Ratna Singhasan’ first followed by Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra.

Before Lord Jagannath is escorted to the sanctum sanctorum, a traditional play is enacted between the servitors of the deity and his consort Goddess Mahalaxmi.

As per traditions, on Goddess Mahalaxmi’s order, servitors close the gate of the temple to prevent the entry of Lord Jagannath to the Srimandir in order to teach the Lord a lesson for not taking her along in his nine-day sojourn.

In the meantime, Lord Jagannath is taken to the ‘Bheta Mandap’ where he will meet the angry Goddess and offer her Rasagolas. It is believed that Lord Jagannath offers the sweet to appease Goddess Mahalaxmi and seeks her forgiveness.

After a long persuasion, the Goddess finally allows Mahaprabhu Jagannath to enter the Srimandir following which the Lord is escorted to the Ratna Singhasan.

Yesterday, the holy Trinity was offered ‘Adhara Pana’- a special drink made up of milk, banana, cheese, aromatic spices and water in earthen pitchers on their respective chariots.

The drink was offered after a ‘Sodosha Upachar Pooja’ following which the pitchers were smashed on the chariots spilling the entire drink on the floor of the chariots. It is believed that evil spirits who trail the Lords during Rath Yatra attain salvation (Mokshya) by drinking the spilled holy drink on the chariot decks.

As per the Rath Yatra protocol in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order on June 22, curfew was imposed in the pilgrim town on Friday to prevent public congregation in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

“We proved ourselves by organising Rath Yatra in a disciplined manner with all the restriction of coronavirus and I thank the residents of Puri. The temple will remain closed for public darshan till July 30. However, decision on reopening the temple for devotees will be taken after government provides the guidelines for the same after July 30,” added the district collector.

(Edited By Pradeep Singh)
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