Puri: Rath Yatra concluded as the deities were ushered into the Shri Jagannath Temple in ‘Goti Pahandi’ (a ritual) during the Niladri Bije on Monday. Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra were escorted on Goti Pahandi to the Garbha Griha (sanctum sanctorum) of Srimandir in the evening.
The ritual of return of the deities from the Holy Chariots to the Ratna Simhasan (bejeweled throne) is known as ‘Niladri Bije’. Daita servitors conducted the Pahandi procession amidst beating of cymbals, trumpets, drums and bugles and presentation of Gotipua and Odishi dances.
As per tradition, Madan Mohan and Ramakrushna were first taken into the main temple. Then, the Chaturdhamurati of – Lord Sudarshan, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath, was escorted.
This ritual is conducted on the 12th day of Rath Yatra in which the divine siblings along with Lord Sudarshan are taken to the temple and seated on the Ratna Singhasana in 'Goti Pahandi' procession. In goti pahandi procession the Deities move one after another, it means the next Deity only moves from the chariot after the former Deity reached to his/her destination.
Before entering the main temple, a traditional act between the servitors of Lord Jagannath and Mahalaxmi was held at the main gate (Jaya Vijaya door) of the temple. Mahalaxmi, the consort of the Lord Jagannath, was angry as she was left in the main temple and was not a part of the trip to the Gundicha temple.
She closes the temple gate on the face of the Lord Jagannath and only allows Lord Balabhadra, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Sudarshana into the temple. To appease Mahalaxmi and to gain access to the temple, Lord Jagannath offers rasagolla (sweetmeat) and seeks apology.
After a long conversation, Mahalakshmi is finally convinced, opens the temple gate and allows Lord Jagannath inside. After that, Jagannath is made to sit beside Lakshmi where a ritual of reunion is rehearsed and finally Lord Jagannath ascends the Ratna Singhasana and re-joins his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra.
Chief Administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration, Pradipta Mohapatra said, "Since there is a lunar eclipse tomorrow (Tuesday), it was decided jointly by the Temple Managing Committee and Chattisa Nijog to start the Pahandi for Niladri Bije by 4 pm. All the rituals were conducted very punctually and accomplished in a divine manner with no delay,"
On the day of eclipse the Deities will be on a fast. Therefore, all servitors were committed to finish the Niladri Bije rituals timely. Tomorrow the 'Sakala Dhupa' (morning rituals) and Madhyanna Dhupa (noontime rituals) will be conducted as per the schedule. And after the Madhyanna Dhupa, the deities will go on a fast because of the lunar eclipse, Mohapatra added.
"There was excellent coordination among temple administration, district administration, State police and the servitors. The Rath Yatra, starting from Akshaya Tritya to Niladri Bije, the entire festival was conducted smoothly without any hiccups," the SJTA Chief said.
"With the blessings of the Lords we were able to accomplish the annual Rath Yatra festival smoothly. The servitors, police, administration and lakhs of devotees have contributed immensely for the seamless and incident-free Rath Yatra," IG Police Central Range, Soumendra Priyadarshi said.