DAILY RITUALS OF JAGANNATH TEMPLE

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 Mailama

This means removal or taking off the clothes, dress, flowers, tulasi etc. of the previous night. The schedule time of this niti is about 6.00 A.M. in the morning. But it depends on the time taken for Mangala alati. The sevakas associated with this niti are (1) three Pushpalakas, (2) Khuntia, (3) Changda Mekapa and (4) Dhoba. Pushpalaka sevakas change the clothes, flowers and tulasi leaves of the deities worn on the previous night. After removal of clothes, the deities wear another set of clean and washed clothes. It is known as tadapalagi. The clothes are called tadapa and uttariya like towels. These are made of cotton worn by the deities for morning bath. As per the tradition, these clothes are washed by the Dhoba sevaka in the kunda (water tank) near Bata Ganesa. This Dhoba sevaka is actually Brahmin by caste. It is worth mentioning that every day the deities wear different types of clothes (Bastras) in different times of the day. These bastras are (1) Tadapa, (2) Uttariya, (3) Paharana, (4) Phuta, (5) Sirkapada / Srikapada, (4) Phuta, (5) Sirkapada / Srikapada, (6) Baralagi Pata (set), (7) Srimukhabala (made of cotton), (8) Suta luga (cotton clothes), (9) Chandana Guda, (10) Suta Chadara, (11) Gita Govinda Khandua bastra etc.

 Abakasa

It means cleaning of teeth and bathing. The time is between 6.00 A.M. to 6.30 A.M. in the morning for the purificatory rites of the deities such as brushing of teeth and bath. These nitis are performed by the following sevakas namely, (1) Bhitarachha Mahapatra, (2) Palia Pushpalaka, (3) Suarabadu, (4) Paniapata, (5) Mukhapakhala sevaka, (6) Khatuli sevaka, (7) Darpania, (8) Padhiari, (9) Amla Ghantuari, (10) Bhandara Mekapa, (11) Mahabhoi and (12) Khurinayaka and (13) Jyotisa. This does not mean that the deities actually take bath. Three Pushpalaka sevakas perform this snana bidhi in pancha upachara paddhati sitting on the floor below the Ratnavedi. They sprinkle water mixed with camphor, curd, amla and Chandana (sandal wood paste) on three brass mirrors (darpana), each about two feet high, symbolizing the bath. Before that they also show the tooth sticks and tongue scrappers to the deities symbolizing brushing of the teeth. During this niti, the Temple astrologer (Jyotisa) reads out the tithi and other astrological details of the day. After this niti, Garuda in the Nata mandapa takes bath for which the Garuda / Chunara sevakas perform the snana bidhi.

 Mailama and Vesha

Specified time for this niti is about 6.45 A.M. in the morning. The deities change their clothes and wear another clean and washed set. Every day the deities also wear different types of flower ornaments made of different types of flowers, leaves of tulasi, banana, panasa and patuka etc. These flower ornaments are (1) Kara Pallava, (2) Kundala, (3) Tadagi, (4) Chandrika, (5) Gabha, (6) Alaka, (7) Tilaka, (8) Jhumpa, (9) Nakuasi, (10) Dayana, (11) Adhara Mala, (12) Makara Kundala, (13) Sripayara Mala, (14) Hrudaya Padaka, (15) Kali Padaka, (16) Kaustubha Padaka, (17) Chausara Mala, (18) Guna etc. A sevaka known as Akhanda Mekapa keeps in the Garbhagriha the Akhanda Baitha, which is not extinguished and burns till Pahuda i.e. time of retirement of the deities to beds. For this til oil is provided to the Akhanda Mekapa from the Kotha Bhoga godown of the Temple Administration. The following sevakas are associated with this niti : (1) Pushpalaka, (2) Changda Mekapa, (3) Akhanda Mekapa, (4) Suarabadu and (5) Dhoba etc. It is worth mentioning that the colour of bastras/dress (clothes) of the deities varies as per tithi (day). For instance, on Sunday the deities wear red pata, on Monday they wear black and white pata, on Tuesday the clothes are called Barapatia pata (combination of five colours), on Wednesday they wear blue pata, on Thurs day they wear yellow pata, on Friday the deities wear white pata and on Saturday they wear black pata.

 Sahanamela

It means sarbasadharana darsan or public darsan of the deities. As per the ROR, the specified time of sahanamela is 7.00 A.M. in the morning. During this time, the yatris are allowed to go into the garbhagriha near the ratnavedi to have a close darsan of the deities and circumambulate with out paying fees for the same. It takes place twice a day, once in the morning immediately after abakasa and for the second time during night immediately after sandhya alati. However, in practice it is being held only once generally after mailama on account of the delayed performance of nitis. On certain festive occasions, sahanamela is held after Sandhya dhupa (evening bhoga). In the month of Kartika, it is held after Sandhya alati. Sometimes, it is held after Sakala dhupa and on certain festive days like Ratha yatra, Bahuda yatra, Niladrimahodayastami, Nrusinghajanma, Dhulia Gundicha, Kartika Sukla Ekadasi (Lakshmi-Narayana vesa), Kartika Sukla Chaturdasi (Lakshmi-Nrusingha vesa) and during anavasara, there is no provision of Sahanamela at all. It is generally held to enable the common people to go near the ratnavedi in the garbhagriha to have a close darsan of the deities. After darsan of the deities, the pilgrims do parikrama along the lane behind the Ratnavedi and then come out of the Bhitara Pokharia. Pilgrims are not allowed to touch the deities. If any body accidentally does so, the deities are supposed to be polluted and a Mahasnana takes place. In case, any one vomits or passes urine or any one is injured and blood falls inside the Pokharia that also amounts to pollution of the deities and Mahasnana takes place. The following sevakas remain present during sahanamela : (1) Pushpalaka, (2) Khuntia, (3) Mekapa, (4) Tadhau Karana, (5) Gochhikara, (6) Pratihari, (7) Suarabadu and (8) some Temple as well as Police personnel. Though it is conducted only for one hour, in the months of Magha and Pousa, Sahanamela continues for two to three hours in view of large gatherings in the Temple during these months.

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