Puri: The birthday of Lord Balabhadra and ‘Rakhi Lagi Niti’ was observed in Puri Jagannath Temple by following the COVID guideline on Sunday.
The ‘Purnami’ in the lunar month of ‘Sravana’ is called ‘Jhulana Purnima’ or ‘Gamha Purnima’. This auspicious day marks the birthday of Lord Balabhadra. Special rituals are held in Badadeula and near the Markanda Pushkarani (Pond) to mark the event.
On this day the deities are offered a special ‘Bhoga’ named ‘Gamha Manda’Today, on this occasion, after the completion of ‘Bhoga Mandapa’ near the deities, Shree Sudarshana marches on a palanquin to the Markanda pond.
At Markanda pond, the servitors create a clay idol of Lord Balabhadra and conduct special rituals. The servitors chant mantras and infuse life into the idol. Thereafter, ‘Bhoga’ is offered to the idol before being immersed in the pond.
The ‘Rakhi Lagi Niti’ is also carried out today in Jagannath Temple in Puri. As per the tradition, Patara Bisoi servitors prepare ‘Pata Rakhi’ which Goddess Subhadra ties to Lord Balabhadra & Lord Jagannatha. The deities on the occasion are also offered ‘Guamala’(garland of areca nuts).