PURI: Ending 11 days of outing since Rath Yatra, the deities of Jagannath temple entered the sanctum sanctorum of the shrine on Thursday night. ‘Niladri Bije’ marked the return of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra to their permanent abode.
Thousands of devotees thronged the temple town to witness the deities being escorted to the temple in ‘pahandi’ procession. They waited till late night to watch the ‘Niladri Bije’ of the presiding sibling deities. Elaborate measures were taken by the temple administration for smooth conduct of the fete. Security was tightened in and around the temple.
The event also saw devotees offering rasogolla to the deities on chariots. The practice is age-old.
Lord Jagannath offered rasogolla to His consort Goddess Mahalaxmi before entering the sanctum sanctorum. For, the Goddess was miffed as the God left her behind when the divine siblings went on a nine-day sojourn to Gundicha temple. So she sulked when the Lord was entering the shrine.
The heated exchange between Lord Jagannath and Goddess Mahalaxmi near the shrine entrance was enacted by two sets of servitors of the temple in an act called ‘Bachanika’. Then Lord Jagannath tried to appease Goddess Mahalaxmi with rasogolla.
Earlier on Wednesday night, the Trinity was offered ‘Adharpana’ on the chariots which the Lords consecrated for the ‘mokshya’ of ghostly bodies. As per the ritual, nine large barrel shaped pitchers filled with the drinks were placed before the three deities.
The priests through ‘Sodosha Upachar Pooja’ offered the drink. Soon after this, late in the night the pitchers were smashed on the chariots spilling the drink on the floor.
It is believed that ghostly bodies trail the Lords awaiting for this moment to get ‘mokshya’ by having the holy drink.