Monday, June 4, 2012

Devasnana Purnima

Hi Readers,

Today is the auspicious day of "Devasnana Purnima" , the birthday of Lord Sri Jagannath. This festival is celebrated as the beginning of Jagannath festivals at Puri. According to the ancient scriptures, after king Indradymna installed the images of Lord Sri Jagannath along with his brother  Sri Balabhadra and Sister Devi Subhdra, he immediately arranged for the bathing ceremony. This bathing ceremony is famously known as Deva Snana Purnima meaning, God's bathing full moon day. It is celebrated on the Full moon day of Odia month Jeystha.

The occasions begins in early morning. The (Chalanti Bigraha) Idols of Lord Sri Jagannath, Sri Balabhadra , Devi Subhdra and Sudarsana Chakra are brought outside the main temple and are installed upon the Pendal called Suna Vedi (Golden Pandal). First time, God views the world outside the main temple and comes in contact with his devotees directly. On this day, any devotee can directly touch him without the need of any Pujari Panda. The idols of Lord are brought with Lord Sri Balabhdra followed by Devi Subhdra and then Lord Sri Jagannath. The procession by which Lord is carried from the main temple is called Pahandi Bijay. He comes like a child, in a playfull mood and turns to his right then to his left. It is believed that Lord listens to his devotees directly through their eyes. He does not have any ears to listen, but he directly looks through the eyes of devotees and listens to their prayers and their sorrows. His eyes tells the devotees only one thing, "Do not fear, I am always there with you."

After, the Idols are placed upon the Suna Vedi, water from a well inside temple premises called Suna Kua is brought in 108 copper pitchers. The water of Suna Kua or Golden Well is used only once in year on the day of Devasnana Purnima. These water is carried in a single row and is then poured upon the idols. After, the bathing  ceremony, the Idols are dressed with new clothes in Public. The entire process is carried in Public, which symbolizes that Lord himself has left all his shame, ego and has come to public as a small child would do. He has no shame of getting undressed or taking bath. He is just in love with the love that is being poured upon him by his devotees. Immediately, after Bathing ceremony, he is dressed in Gajanana Vesha ( Genasha Vesha). This is done because, in Hindu mythology, we begin any worship with Lord Ganesha. Since, Devasnana Purnima is the mark of Jagannatha Yatra or Rath Yatra, he himself comes in Ganesha Vesha and is worshipped by his devotees.He clears all the obstacles and barriers of his devotees who worship him on this day.

The Suna Vedi or Suna Mandapa the bathing Pandal in Sri Jagannath Temple Puri is at such a height that the devotees outside the temple premises can also view it. After the day long process, the Idols of God are kept away from Public view for a fortnight. This 15 days are called Anasara or Anabasara meaning inappropriate time to worship Lord. It is believed that Lord falls sick of cold and flu after such a big bath. He then takes rest and takes medicines to get well. Since, due to the heavy bath, the colors of the wooden Idols of lord fades, it is kept away from Public view. In Gajanana Vesha, almost all parts of Lord is kept covered. In this 15 days, new color is applied to the images of Lord and on 16th day his idol is ready for Public view. This Public appearance of Lord is known as Netrotasaba or Nava Yaubana meaning new youth. It is believed that devotees who get a glance of the image on this day, gets rid of all their sins.

After Nava Yaubana or Netrotasaba , the idols of Lord are taken to his Aunt Gundicha on the 2nd day of waxing Moon, Shukla Paksha Dutiya, this festival is called Rath Yatra.

Snana Purnima or Devasnana Purnima is the marked beginning and inseparable part of Rath Yatra.

I wish all a very happy Devasnana Purnima. 

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