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Things to know about Hera Panchami ritual of Lord Jagannath

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After the famous Ratha Yatra or Car Festival, the deities stay in Gundicha Temple or The Mausima temple for a period of 9 days. During the stay the ritual of Hera Panchami takes place .’Hera Panchami’ is a famous ritual takes place during the Lord’s stay in the Gundicha Temple. This ritual is indicative of Goddess Mahalaxmi’s anxiety to meet her Lord, an outburst to expose her anger and pangs of separation owing to the Ratha Yatra Festival.

‘Hera’ means to ‘see’ or to ‘visit’, this ritual is named after the word. Hera Panchami is observed on the 5th day from the Commencement of Ratha Yatra. It is said that Goddess Mahalaxmi goes to Gundicha Temple secretly in anger for not being asked to accompany her and ensures that a small wooden plank from Lord Jagannath’s chariot is broken off and comes back to Shreemandir. This event is witnessed amidst loud cheers and profuse excitement. ‘Hera Panchami’ is a part of the divine-human character attached to Lord Jagannath.

Goddess Mahalaxmi, seated in the ‘Bhandar Ghar’ (Storeroom) is treated with ‘Majana'(Bathing ritual). Then a ‘Panti Bhoga'(Collective Prasad Seban) is organized, followed by ‘Pata Sadhi and Alankar Lagi’ (Saree and ornament giving ritual). Goddess Mahalaxmi then enters ‘Gundicha Ghara’ by ‘Bimana'(Palanquin) carried by ‘Biman Badu’s'(Particular category of Servitors assigned with transportation activities), via the Lion’s Gate. Then rituals such as ‘Chamara Alat’, ‘Bandapana’, and ‘Prasad Lagi’ are held near the Chariot of Lord Jagannath. After these rituals, Goddess comes to ‘Jaya Bijaya Dwara” ( A door named so). ‘Pati Mahapatra’ (Servitor) offers an ‘Angyamala’, taken out from the body of the Lord. The ‘Bimana’ carrying Goddess Mahalaxmi is brought to the chariot of Lord Jagannath. A servitor breaks a piece of wood from the chariot. Finally, Goddess Laxmi returns to Shreemandir through Heragohiri Sahi(A locality in Puri Town associated with the ritual).

Article Courtesy: Nabakalebara 2015 Official Portal

About Nabakalebara 2015: Nabakalebara literally means “New Body” is an ancient ritual associated with most of the Lord Jagannath Temples when the Idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshan are replaced by a new set of Idol’s. This usually occurs every 12  – 19 years when a  year which has two months (Adhika masa) of Ashadha as per the Hindu Calendar and that year is auspicious for conducting the ceremony. more …

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