मठ एवं आश्रम (maṭha and āśrama)

Gaudiya Matha
Gaudiya Matha

Centring round the great temple of Lord Jagannath,many a Matha (Monasteries) grew up gradually in course of time in this holy town.In the past many Saints and Sadhus had come to Puri to have darshan of Lord Jagannath.They came in contact with and influenced the Gajapati Kings through their philosophical doctrines.The saints and sadhus established their monasteries on the lands donated to them by the kings and wealthy persons. The Maths continued preaching their respective doctrines and also performed certain ritual services in the Jagannath Temple.With endowed properties and lands, the heads of the Maths were able to maintain their institutions. Lands were donated to the Maths for ‘Amritmanohi’ the proceeds thereof were spent in offering ‘Bhoga’ to Lord Jagannath and the ‘Mahaprasad’ thus obtained, were distributed among the pilgrims, pupils, ascetics, and beggars. The functions of the Maths were:

(1) Propagation of the essential philosophy of Hinduism and Jagannath Culture.
(2) Providing shelter to pilgrims coming to Puri.
(3) Providing accommodation / financial help to poor and meritorious students.
(4) Participating in various rituals of the temple of Lord Jagannath.

As reported in the Puri Gazetter (1929) the “Mathas are monastic houses originally founded with the object of giving religious instructions to chelas or disciples and generally of encouraging a religious life.” The heads of the Mathas are called Mahantas or Mathadharis. They are generally celebrates but in certain Mathas married men can become the Mahantas.

They are generally selected from among their ‘Chelas’.Some mathas were set up for defence purposes. King Narasingh Dev-1 established 4 mathas (‘Akhadas’)namely Bagha,Khaki,Hati and Nirmohi mathas with strong valiant Sadhus to guard the temple.As per the said Gazetter ” there are over seventy mathas in Puri town.” The Mathas are affiliated to different sects of Hinduism,namely Angira sect, Adwait sect,Ramanandi sect,Ramanuja sect,Atibadi sect,Gaudiya sect,Pancha Ramanandi sect,Gauda Mahaba sect,Nimbarka sect,Anant sect,Utkal Vaishnab sect, Madhabacharya sect,Dashanami sect,Pustimarga sect.etc.There are also some mathas belonging to the Gurunanaka sect and the Kabir sect.

Most of the Mathas of Puri have ritual relation with the Sri Jagannath temple.

Jagannath Ballav Matha

It is so to say the pleasure garden of Lord Jagannath.The “Bije pratimas” (the representative images) of the Lords visit this Matha on different festive occasions like “Basanta Panchami”,on the 1st,4th,5th,and 12th days in the bright fortnight of Falguna.This Matha supplies flower-ornaments like ’tilak’and ‘jhumpa’ for Baddasinghara besha and supplies ‘Kora’ (a sweet food) for ‘Kaliya dalana’ and ‘Pralambasura badha’ beshas.It also supplies’dayana’ for ‘dayana chori’ ritual.

This Matha situated on the grand road has a trust board under the administrative control of the Endowment Commissioner of the State. It has no Mahanta.

Raghaba Das Matha

It is situated near the southern gate of the Jagannath temple.This Matha supplies ‘tahia’ on Snana purnima,Car festival,Return Car festival and Niladribije days.It supplies a part of the Hati besha.It supplies ‘tuli’for pahandiand a certain quantity of sandal wood for ‘Sarbanga’neeti on ‘Khalilagi ekadasi.It also supplies flower garlands for ‘Nabanka bedha’ and offers ‘adhara pana bhog’ and ‘panti bhog’ on certain festive days.

Oriya Matha

This Matha is responsible for supply of the materials for certain rituals. It supplies,’trimundi chandua’ and silk clothes for ‘ Chaka apasara’,repairs ‘Kanakamundi’.It also supplies till oil for Phuluri neeti, oil and ghee etc.for ‘Deva deepawali’,offers ‘Chakata bhog’in ‘Anasara’ and adharpana bhog’ and ‘Panti bhog’on certain days. On Neeladri bije day,the Mahanta makes ‘majana’ of ratnavedi.

This Matha was set up by Atibadi Jagannath Das,a poet-saint of Orissa in early part of the 16th century.

Emar Matha

It was established by the Saint Ramanuja. This Matha supplies ‘Chandrika’and ‘Chausara’ made of flowers for the Badasinghar besha of the Lords,’Mala’ and ‘Chula’ for the ‘nabanka’ ritual.It offers ‘Pana bhog’during the Chandan Yatra, ‘Chakata bhog’ during the ‘anasara’ period and ‘bala bhog’ during the month of Kartika.

Gopaltirtha Matha

This Matha supplies a part of ‘Hati besha’ on the Snana Purnima day and ‘ makara chula’ on the Snana Purnima and Makara sankranti days and offers panti bhog.

Govardhana_mathaGobardhan Matha (Shankaracharya)

It was established by the great Sankaracharya in the Swargadwar area.Puri became one of the four important ‘dhamas'(places) of Hinduism because of the establishment of this Matha by the great Saint. The head of this Matha also known as Sankaracharya is the permanent head (nayak) of the Muktimandap of the Sri Jagannath temple by virtue of his position.The temple authorities use to consult him in religious or ritual matters when ever necessary.

Bada chhata Matha

Situated in front of the temple. Performs ‘Kirtan’ at the time of ‘mangala alati’ and ‘pahuda alati’ and bala dhupa.Padma besha of the Lords is done and ‘Kshiri bhog’ offered by this Matha.

Suna goswami Matha

It supplies flower ornaments like ‘alaka’and ‘chausara’ during the Chandan Yatra, makes ‘majana’ of ‘ratnavedi’ at the time of ‘banakalagi’,supplies ‘adhibasa jala’ from the well of Sitala fof Snana purnima rituals,and offers ‘panti bhog’to Dola Govinda at tthe time of ‘Agniutschaba’.The Mahanta of this matha also happens to be the mahanta of Darpanarayan Matha.

Mangu Matha

It is located by the side of the Emar Matha. It is associated with the memory of Guru Nanak.This Matha supplies a ram for ‘bali'(sacrifice)before the Goddess Bimala,each year on Mahanabami night.There is another Matha of Guru Nanak sect,known as Baaul Matha.

The other Maths connected with the affiars of Sri Jagannath temple are Sri Ram Das (Dakhina parshaw)Matha,Uttara parshaw Matha,Trimali Matha,Mahiprakash Matha,Sankarananda Matha Gangamata Matha,Gangamata Matha,Radhaballav Matha,Labanikhia Matha,Chhauni Matha,Jhadu Matha,Papudia Matha,Nebal Das Matha, Devagiri Matha,Pipili Sadabarta Matha,Sanachhata Matha, Jhanjapita Matha,Samadhi Matha,Balaram Kota Matha,Badasantha Matha,Ramji Matha,Sidhabakula Matha,Venkatachari Matha,Narasinghachari Matha,Ghumusara Matha,(now in ruins),Radhakanta Matha,(Sri Chaitanya visited Puri in 1510 AD and stayed in this Matha.Some of his personal belongings have been preserved in this Matha).Kothabhog Matha,Mahabir Matha etc.The mahantas of these Matha are entitled to perform ‘Upachara Chamara seva,but most of them are not doing the seva. The Mathas are under the control of State Endowment Commissioner.There are two Mathas under the Sri Jagannath Temple Managing Committee. They are Chaulia Matha and Delhi Nalak Ram Das Matha (near Gundicha temple).There is another Matha known as Sata lahadi Matha in the Swargadwar area.It is the burial place of Atibadi Jagannath Das,author of the Bhagabata purana in Oriya.This Matha is being managed by a committee under the Chairmanship of Collector,Puri.Another Matha located in the same area is the Kabir choura Matha,associated with the Kabir sect. It is said that Kabir,the mystic poet stayed here when he visited Puri.There are some other Matha unconnected with the rituals of the Jagannath temple like Chaitanya Goudiya Matha,Purusottam Goudiya Matha,Panjabi Matha etc.Many Mathas have stopped performing services in the temple and those who perform now,do so to a limited extent.Some of the Mathas are entitled to get ‘Khei'(a portion of the Kotha bhog) of the temple.

Outside Puri town, there is another Matha in the Kakatpur village area,known as Deuli Matha which is connected with the Nabakalebar ceremony of the temple.

Bidur Matha
Bidur Matha

The Four Ashrams

Connected with certain rituals of the temple of Jagannath,there are four Ashrams (hermitages) in Puri town.These are Angira Ashram,Pandu Ashram, Markandeya Ashram and Parasara ( Ugrasena)Ashram.

On the ninth day of the bright fortnight of Sravana,the Nrusimha deity of the Sri Jagannath temple pays a visit in a ceremonial manner to these four Ashrams.This is called ‘Badi Nrusimha bije’.’Sital bhog’ is offered to the Deity in each Ashram.On the full moon day of Margasira,Nrusimha again visits these places.On the full moon day of Sravana,Lord Sudarshan visits all these Ashrams. These Ashrams are being managed by different local committees.

There are some other Ashrams not ritually connected with the Sri Jagannath temple.Some of those Ashrams are Bijaya Krushna Goswami Ashram(near the Narendra tank),Adwait Brahmashram (Girinarbanta), Omkarnath Thakur or Neelachal Ashram (Swargadwar area), Karar Ashram (founded by the great Kriya yogi Sri Yukteswar Giri, (Swargadwar area)Bharat Sevashram (Swargadwar area),Pranabananda Ashram (near Chakratirtha),Satsangha Ashram (Chakratirtha road),Nigamananda Ashram (Lokanath road),Dibyadham Yogashram (Chakratirtha road),Maa Anandayamayi Ashram (near Swargadwar), Abhiram Paramahanshashram (marichikote lane), Bhagabat Ashram (near bus stand),Haridas Ashram (Sarbodaya nagar).

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DOLA YATRA

This is Celebrated from the tenth day of the bright fortnight of Falguna up to the full moon day. The representative deities Dologobinda, Bhudevi and Sreedevi are taken in a procession to Dolabedi located outside the outer compound wall of the main Temple and special rites are performed.

CHANDAN YATRA

This Takes place in the month of Vaisaksha and continues for long 42 days. But, generally speaking it is a Festival of first 21 days only. The first period of 21 days is known as “Bahar Chandan”or outer Chandan. During this period, the representative images of Rama,Krushna, Madanmohan,Sridevi and Bhudevi are taken in a procession to Narendra tank.The images of Siva from 5 Siva Temples known as “Pancha Pandavas” also accompany them to the Narendra tank, At Narendra tank the images play in well decorated boats and are worshipped. The second period of 21 days known as “Bhitar Chandana” is celebrated inside the Temple. The rites observed on this period are not popularly enjoyed.

SNANA YATRA

This Festival takes places in the month of Jestha. it is popularly known as the Deba Snana Purnima.This is the first occasion in the course of a year when the deities Jagannath, Balabhadra,Subhadra along with Sudarsan and Madanmohan are brought out from the Temple and taken in procession to Snana Bedi located in the North East corner of the outer compound.The deities are bathed there with 108 pitchers of water drawn from a well near the Northern Gate. Here,Jagannath and Balabhadra are dressed like Lord Ganesh of the Purans with the head of an elephant. Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra & Lord Jagannath in Snana Bedi Click to enlarge Three Ratha(Chariot) The Chariots The three Chariots of Balabhadra,Subhadra and Jagannath are constructed each year with Sal wood, customarily brought from the exprincely State of Dasapalla,by a specialist team of carpenters who have hereditary rights for this.Lorrd Jagannth’s Chariot is called nandighosa. it is forty-five feet square at the wheel level.It has sixteen wheels,each of seven feet diameter, and is decked with rred and yellow coverings of cloth. The Chariot of Lord Balabhadra,called the Taladhwaja,has fourteen wheels,each of seven feet diameter, and is covered with red and blue cloth.Its height is forty-four feet. The Chariot of Subhadra,known as darpadalan is forty-three feet high with twelve wheels, each of seven feet diameter. This Chariot is decked with the coverings of red and black cloth. Around each of the Chariots are nine Parsvadevatas, the guardian deities,and four horses. Each chariot has a Charioteer called Sarathi,Matali,Darruka and Arjuna are the three charioters attached respectively to the three Chariots of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra.

NAVAKALEVARA

As a man discarding worn out clothes takes other new ones,so also the embodied soul, casting off worn out bodies enters into others which are new.In the light of this truth of the Bhagavat Geeta, Navakalevar can be interpreted as a ceremony for entering into new bodies, when Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan cast off their old bodies and take new ones. It is called Navakalevar. The year which has two months of Ashadha is regarded auspicious for Navakalevar ceremony.It usually occurs in 8,11 or 19 years. The new bodies of the deities are made out of the newly cut Yeem trees. The previous navakalevars were held in 1733,1744, 1752, 1771, 1790, 1809, 1828, 1836, 1855, 1874, 1893, 1912, 1931, 1950, 1969, 1977 and 1996.

RATHA YATRA (Chariot Festival)

The most splendid of the innumerable festivals celebrated round the year in the holy city of Puri, the Ratha Yatra is the grand culmination of a series of celebrations spread over the summer and the monsoon months.

Akshaya Trutiya tithi marks the beginning of the construction of the Rathas (chariots) for the ceremonial journey and sojourn of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra at the Gundicha Temple for a week.

On the full-moon day of the month of Jyestha (May-June) in the Snana Yatra, the Bathing Festival, when the three deities move in colourful processions to a platform in the outer enclosure of the temple, the Snana Vedi, the bathing platform, where they bath with one hundred and eight pitchers of perfumed water drawn from a temple well once a year. After the ritual bath, the deities assume the special elephant form, recalling the legend of the Lord’s affection for a devotee, whom He proved that he was in fact another manifestation of Lord Ganesha.

At the end of the Snana Yatra day, the holy triad,supposedly afflicted with fever, do not return to their pedestal in the sanctum.they stay away from the public view for a period of fifteen days, called Anasara, after which they appear in their Navayauvana Vesha, literally a renewed youth, on the new moon day of the Month of Ashadha.During this fortnight the icons get a fresh coat of painting which gets washed out on the day of the Bathing Festival. During this period the deities eat only fruits other restricted diet and soft drinks.Cloth paintings. representing the deities called Anasara Pati, are displayed beyond the enclosures hiding the deities from the devotees to see and worship.

Finally comes the Ratha Yatra on the second day of the bright fortnight of the month of Ashadha, when the three deities come out of the temple in a specacular procession called Pahandi. The deities, which are colossal wooden statues, adorned with giant floral crowns, called Tahias, are literally pulled, pushed and dragged in rhythmic movement to the accompaniment of the beat of cymbals, drums and chanting of their names in chorus by devotees in frenzied ecstasy. After all the deities are seated in their respective chariots starts the Chhera Pamhara, the ritual of sweeping of the chariots with a golden broom by the Gajapati King of Puri,the foremost servant of God,the Adya sevaka of Lord Jagannath. The King comes from his palace on a richly decorated palanquin. Chhera Pamhara is a symbolic rite which proclaims that the King, like others, is but an humble servant of the real sovereign, Lord Jagannath.

The most exciting part of the Rath yatra is the pulling of chariots by thousands of people who lay their hands on the sturdy ropes and drag the massive structures along the Bada-Danda,the grand road. The chariot of Balabhadra moves first, followed by those of Subhadra and Jagannath. The chariots grind forward slowly until they reach the Gundicha temple and the three deities rest for a night at the entrance on their own chariots. They enter the Gundicha temple on the next day in the usual Pahandi style and stay there for seven days.

Godess Laxmi,who gets angry for being left out at the temple, proceeds to the Gundicha temple to meet her Lord, Jagannath , on the Hera Panchami day,the fifth day of the fortnight. After having a stealthy look at her Lord, she returns to the temple, damaging a part of Jagannath’s chariot in anger and disgust.

The deities, after the seven-day stay at Gundicha Temple, their garden house, commence their return journey. It is called Bahuda Yatra held on the tenth day of bright fortnight of Ashadha. The return of the chariots takes place in the same order as in the Rath Yatra. Balabhadra’s chariot moves first,followed by those of Subhadra and Jagannath. On his way back,Jagannath stops for a while at Ardhasani temple, popularly called Mausi Ma temple or the temple of Aunt. He accepts from the aunt His favourite rice cake,Poda Pitha. The three chariots pulled by thousands of devotees, reach back the Simhadwara in the late afternoon of the Bahuda day and the deities remain seated on their chariots. On the next day known as the Bada Ekadasi,the three deities, are attired in costumes of glittering gold and are worshipped by thousands of devotees. This form of the deities is known as the famous Suna Vesa. On the Dwadasi day, the three deities go back to their original place,the Ratna Simhasana, literally the jewelled platform, with the usual fanfare and the Pahandi style.Their arrival into the Sanctum sanctorum marks the end of the Ratha Yatra the grand festival of chariots.

The Chariots

The three Chariots of Balabhadra,Subhadra and Jagannath are constructed each year with Sal wood, customarily brought from the exprincely State of Dasapalla,by a specialist team of carpenters who havehereditary rights for this.Lorrd Jagannth’s Chariot is called nandighosa. it is forty-five feet square at the wheel level.It has sixteen wheels,each of seven feet diameter,and is decked with rred and yellow coverings of cloth.

The Chariot of Lord Balabhadra,called the Taladhwaja, has fourteen wheels, each of seven feet diameter, and is covered with red and blue cloth. Its height is forty-four feet.

The Chariot of Subhadra,known as darpadalan is forty-three feet high with twelve wheels, each of seven feet diameter. This Chariot is decked with the coverings of red and black cloth.

Around each of the Chariots are nine Parsvadevatas, the guardian deities, and four horses. Each chariot has a Charioteer called Sarathi,Matali,Darruka and Arjuna are the three charioters attached
respectively to the three Chariots of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra.

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jagannath-puri_ptg(The timings are subject to change depending upon the rituals of the day as prescribed by the Vedic Astrologer (see ABAKASH)

1. “DWARPHITA & MANGAL ALATI ” AT 5 A.M. (Opening of the door and morning prayer)
The door opens early in the morning in the presence of the five specific sevayats after verification of the “seal” given by a particular sevayat in the last night. Soon after the opening of the door, sacred lamps is offered to the deities which is called “Mangal Alati”.

2. “MAILAM” AT 6 A.M.
“Mailam” is a word used in Shri Jagannath Temple,which means change or removal of dresses and flowers etc. At this time some specific sevaks change the clothes, flowers, Tulasi leaves of the deities worn on the previous night. After removal of colthes,the clothes known as “Tadap”and “Uttariya”are worn by the deities.

3. “ABAKASH” – 6 A.M. TO 6.30 A.M.
Purificatory rites like brushing of teeth and bath is known as “Abakash “. At this time Temple Jyotisha ( Astrologer ) reads out the tithi and other astrological details of the day and according to that, that very days rituals are performed.

4. ” MAILAM” 6.45 A.M.
At this time deities change their clothes ( Tadap & Uttariya ) and wear another set of clothes. A sevak known as “Akhanda Mekap ” keeps in the sanctum Akhanda Baitha i.e. one lamp which burns till ” Pahuda ” or the time of the retirement of the deities to bed.

5. “SAHANAMELA ” – 7A.M. TO 8 A.M.
Though this is not a part of the rituals,but about one hour is spent to facilitate pilgrims to go up to “Ratnavedi ” or inner sanctums to have a Darshan, without paying fees for it. On certain festive days, Sahanamela is held after ” Sandhya dhupa ” (Evening Puja or Sandhya Alati in the month of Kartik) and after Sakaldhupa ( in the month of Pausha ). Some times this darshan is not allowed for some special rituals of the deities.

6. ” BESHALAGI ” – 8 A.M.
After Sahanamela the deities are again dressed up which can be witnessed from a little distance i.e.” Bhitara Katha “. At this time, Deities are also adorned with gold and precious stones to suit diffeerent festive occasions.

7. ROSHA HOMA, SURYA PUJA, AND DWARAPAL PUJA- 8 A.M. to 8.30 A.M.
While some sevayats are busy with vesha lagi of the Deities, Pujapandas at that time perform ” Rosha Homa “( Fire Sacrifice ) at the kitchen and ” Surya puja ” at the surya temple near “Mukti Mandap “. Then the images of two gate keepers named Jaya and Vijaya on the entrance of the Jagamohan of the Temple are worshipped.

8. GOPALA BALLAVA PUJA – 9 A.M. (Breakfast of the God)
The prescribed time is 9 A.M. This is the time for breakfast of the deities. At this time sweet popcorn (Khei ), Khualadus, Coconuts sweets (Kora), Ripe banana, Curd, and chipped coconuts etc. are offered as bhogas. Puja is performed in a brief manner with pancha upachar only.

9. SAKALA DHUPA (MORNING FOOD OFFERING) 10 A.M.
At this time puja is performed by three Pujapandas with 16 Upachars or Sodasha Upachars. Three Pujapandas used to sit on Ratnasinhasana to worship three deities Shri Balabhadra,Subhadra, and Lord Jagannath. The Pujapanda who worships Lord Jagannath also worships Sri Devi, Bhudevi,and Sudarshan. The morning bhoga or food offered to the deities contains Rice, Kanika, Khechudi, Green leaves, Cakes etc.. The local names of the Bhog are Pitha Puli,Hansakeli, Kanti, Enduri ,Matha Puli, Kakatua Jhili, Bundia, Kadali Bhaja, Ada Pachedi (ginger tonic ) etc.. The cost of the dhoop Pujas and Ballavs are borne by the Temple Administration.Previously Raja-Superintendent of the temple born the cost of materials for preparation of Bhoga. So these Bhogas are also called “Raja Bhoga “or “Kotha Bhoga”.

10. MAILAM & BHOGA MANDAP : 11 A.M.
After Morning Dhupa or Puja the Deities changed their Clothes ” and again Puja takes places in “Bhoga Mandap “,a place behind the Garuda pillar of Jagamohan. Huge quantity of Bhogas such as Rice ,Dal,Curries,Saga and Cakes of different kinds etc.are offered to the Deities. Pujapandas worship this bhog with Pancha Upachars. The cost of Bhoga Mandap offerings are not borne by the state or Temple Administration. This bhoga is mainly prepared to meet the need of different Mathas ( Monasteries ) and for sale to the general public. According to the demand, Bhogamandap Puja is made twice or thrice a day i.e. after ” Madhyanha Dhoop” and “Sandhya Dhup ” also.

11. MADHYANHA DHUPA (Afternoon food offering ) 11A.M. to 1 P.M.
Like Sakal Dhupa, this puja is also performed with Sodasa Upachar in the afternoon.The Bhoga items are more in number than that of Morning Dhupa. One can go near to the ” Ratna Singhasan” for darshan by paying special Darshan fee @ Rs 25 /- after Madhynha Dhupa & Sakal Dhupa.

12. MADHYANHA PAHUDHA 1 P.M. to 1.30 P.M.
If rituals have been performed in time and if time permits, the Deities retire for the afternoon.

13. SANDHYA ALATI
In the evening again sacred lamps are offered to the deities after Madhyana Dhupa Mailam. On Ekadasi day,the deities change their clothes and wear another sets after “Alati” is over.

14. SANDHYA DHUPA – 7 P.M. to 8 P.M.
After “Sandhya Alati” again Bhogas are offered to the deities in the same manner like Sakala and Madhyan Dhupa but this time Bhoga amount is less in quantity and number. After Puja again lamp offering is made which is called as “Jaya Mangala Alati”.

15. MAILAM AND CHANDANA LAGI
After “Sandhya Dhoopa” deities changed their clothes and are annointed with Sandal paste mixed with champhor, keshar and Kasturi. One can witness this ritual by paying special Darsan fees.

16. BADASINGHAR VESHA
After Chandan lagi, deities are dressed with Baralagi Patta (silken robes on which some portions of Geeta Govinda of Jayadev are woven in to the texture of these robes) and flower ornaments.

17. BADASINGHARA BHOGA
This is the last bhoga of the day. Puja is offered With Pancha Upachar by the Puja Pandas with Pakhal(watered rice),Kadali bada,Kshiri ,Kanji etc.

18. KHATA SEJA LAGI AND PAHUDA 12.00
The bedsteads of the deities are arranged. The Deity of “Sayan Thakura” is carried from Bhandarghar to Ratnavedi or Ratnasinghashana and place the deity near Lord Jagannath. Then follows offering of green cocoanut, betels and camphor alati and then deities retire to their beds. After sealing the doors by the Sevayat (Talichha Mohapatra). Temple is closed and no visitors or outsiders are allowed to remain inside. This is in brief the daily rituals observed in the Temple. It is generally not possible to follow the time prescribed for each ritual on account of various practical difficulties. On the specific festive day,additional rituals are performed. As a result, charges in timings and alterations in the routine rituals are made.

DARSHAN
As indicated above during Sahanamela, the devotees can go up to the “Ratna Singhasana” and pray to Lords, free of cost. Besides the pilgrims can go up to “Ratna Singhasana” at certain times paying a nominal fee Rs.25/- ,which is known as “Parimanik Darshana”. At other times the pilgrims can have their darshan from a little distance that is in “Jagamohan” and “Vitarakatha”.

BHOGA
Every day 5 bhogas are offered to the Lords, these are “Gopala-Ballava”(Break fast), “Sakal Dhupa” “Madhyana Dhupa” “Sandhya Dhupa” and “Badasinghar Dhupa”. The details of these Dhupas are given above in the rituals.

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radha-damodara

राधा (rādhā) means various things and people

  1. prosperity and success and refers to the completion of karma related to birth thereby becoming eligible for mokṣa which marks the real success
  2. it refers to the 21st Nakṣatra Uttara Āsāḍha which houses 14/15 parts of the intercalary nakṣatra Abhijit which is the seat of Hari (Nārāyaṇa, Jagannāth). The two nakṣatra 20th Pūrva Āsāḍha and 21st Uttara Āsāḍha are parts of the dharma bhāva along with Mūla nakṣatra in Dhanus (Sagittarius) Rāśi. In the lunar month of Āsāḍha, Jagannāth leaves his abode at the temple and travels to the Guṇḍichā (Rādhā) temple in the chariot – the famous Ratha Yatra festival.
    • The 19th nakṣatra Mūla represents the pitṛs and shows root (mūla) dharma coming from father. If father is Hindu then child shall be Hindu at birth; if Christian then child shall also become Christian. This is mūla dharma.
    • The 20th nakṣatra represents the śreṇi-guru i.e. all the teachers and professors of the university where we train for professional life as well as the boss at work who teaches us to become proficient in our karma. This brings professional success.
    • Finally the 21st nakṣatra determines the dīkṣa guru who guides us in the spiritual path to mokṣa.
  3. It also refers to the nakṣatra Viśākhā (containing 4 stars in the form of a curve marking the meeting of Libra and Scorpio). It is the power of purity and chastity of a lady.
  4. of the foster-mother of Karṇa, the first son of Kunti who was not a Pāṇḍava, the king of Aṅga (modern Bihar).  She was the wife of Adhiratha, who was Sūta or charioteer of king Śūra. Karṇa was also called Rādhā-suta.
  5. Finally, a celebrated cowherdess or Gopi (beloved by Kṛṣṇa, and a principal personage in Jaya-deva’s poem Gita-Govinda who was worshipped as a goddess at the time of Parāśara and later again after the medieval period. She is occasionally regarded as an avatāra of Lakṣmī although the prime avatāra is Rukmiṇī. In order to ensure that the prayers are addressed to this Rādhā and none of the others above, Parāśara teaches the powerful dasākṣarī mantra गोपीजन वल्लभाय स्वाहा (gopījana vallabhāya svāhā) with the lupta bīja which is given only to the initiated for learning jyotiṣa. Similarly the name Rādhikā is used instead of just Rādhā as in the aṣṭākṣarī mantra राधिकायै श्रेयं नमः (rādhikāyai śreyaṁ namaḥ) has the power to remove the debility of Venus and every kind of skin affliction. Later add the name of Kṛṣṇa to this mantra and it becomes the 13 syllable mantra resembling the 13 petal lotus at the door of the Jagannāth garbha griha. ॐ क्लीं कृष्णाय राधिकायै श्रेयं नमः (om klīṁ kṛṣṇāya rādhikāyai śreyaṁ namaḥ)

The Veśa

Now we can understand why Śrī Chaitanya Mahāprabhu laid so much importance to this Rādhā-Dāmodara Veśa of Lord Jagannāth and was instrumental in reinstalling this veśa as a part of the annual ritual of the Lord. During his expedition to Śrī Kṣetra (Jagannāth Puri) in Odisha in the 16th Century, Śrī Caitanya had this powerful month long ceremony initiated. For an entire ‘Vaiṣṇava’ lunar month, starting from śukla ekādaśī (the 11th day of the bright fortnight) of Aśvina māsa to the śukla daśamī (10th day of the bright fortnight) of Kārtika māsa, the Deities are dressed in this Rādhā-Dāmodara veśa. Dāmodara refers to Bāla-Gopāla (baby Kṛṣṇa) with a rope tied around His waist to prevent the baby from straying (Kṛṣṇa childhood pastimes with Mother Yashoda). It was in this veśa that Kṛṣṇa gave mokṣa to the Arjuna trees as baby Kṛṣṇa was so strong that He pulled at the rope tying Him to the two trees and they fell down!

One mythological belief reveals that while Akrura the emissary of Kansa, while taking Kṛṣṇa and Balaram to Mathura, took a bath in River Yamuna, he saw this veśa of Jagannāth.

The deities wear three-crossed dress materials in this veśa. They are adorned with Golden hands, Crowns made of bamboo plates and velvet cloth.

Jyotiṣa Notes

Māsa is the period of a month and represents the entire living phase from birth to death. At the beginning of the month, the deities are like babies and then grow to adolescence and emerge as youth. Finally old age (vṛddha) and death like stage (mṛta) avasthā envelopes them. What amāvāsya is to the Moon and saṅkrānti is to the Sun, śukla ekādaśī is to Kṛṣṇa. On amāvāsya the Moon is naked and hides inside the trees; the Sun god is changing his clothes on saṅkrānti (implying being without clothes) while Kṛṣṇa is a baby on śukla ekādaśī. Those who worship the Kali fast on amāvāsya and sing the 22 syllable mantra; the brāhmaṇa seeking self-realisation fast on saṅkrānti and sing the 24 syllable gāyatrī mantra; the bhakta seeking union with Kṛṣṇa fast on ekādaśī and sing the 32 syllable mahā-mantra.

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jaga-badasringaravesa3.1
This is a very beautiful vesha. It is done before the night time ‘pahuda’, when the deities can take rest. Simply stated, it is the ‘night dress’ of Jagannath and siblings Balabhadra and Subhadra.
It is therefore the vesha the deities appear in the following morning, for mangala arati.
This vesha is mostly made of different kinds of flowers. The Lords are decorated with flowered ornaments known locally in Puri as adhara, jhumpa, gava, chandrika, tilak, alaka, guna, hruda pallava, karapallava and tadaki among others.
The Deities also wear many flower garlands, some with tulasi leaves, and silk clothes called khandua.

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