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12th Tirtharaj Mahodadhi Arati Held In Odisha's Puri


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21 January 2019

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Puri: Tirtharaj Mahodadhi Arati, an annual event organised by the Gobardhan Peeth, was inaugurated by Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati at the Swargadwar on Puri Beach on the occasion of Pausha Poornima on Monday.

As dusk fell, the beach glowed with lamps, lights, and the holy fire. Chants and devotional music filled the air. Puri King Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb, Swami Pragyanand Ji, hundreds of saints and heads of monasteries from all over the country and other dignitaries gathered for the grand annual Arati, to be performed by the Puri Shankaracharya.

The Tirtharaj Mahodadhi Arati or Samudra Arati is offered to the sea according to vedic rituals. Hymns and chants rise up with the clang of gongs to blend with the eternal rhythm of waves rolling on the beach. Colourful flowers and other ritual offerings surround the holy fire. As lamps spread light through the descending darkness, the Samudra Arati presents a scene of immense earthly beauty.

As per the Shankaracharya this prayer to the sea is also infused with deep spiritual significance to spread the message of peace and harmony among humanity, and the natural world around us.

Samudra Arati is performed daily after sunset by the young disciples of Puri Shankaracharya. It’s a serene and dignified ritual evoking peace and tranquillity. Every year on Pausha Poornima, the Shankaracharya of Puri himself performs the grand Samudra Arati.

Pausha Poornima, which falls in January, is considered auspicious for worship, especially at sacred water spots. The sea at Swargadwar (gateway to heaven) is considered most holy, and no pilgrimage to Puri is complete without a dip at this hallowed spot.

The Samudra Arati was first performed here in 2007 by the present Shankaracharya of Puri as a prayer for the well-being of this beautiful world of nature. At that time, the strange restlessness of the sea terrified local residents. They feared a tsunami may come. Since the Shankaracharya began the tradition of evening prayers to the sea, the sea is considered to have calmed down.

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Swami Nischalananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya, Puri

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