The world famous Joranda Magha Mela started at Joranda of Dhenkanal district began on February 18. Thousands of disciples have arrived at the international headquarters of the Mahima culture at Joranda to participate in the Magha Mela, also called Joranda Mela.
Magha Mela is an exclusively mass prayer of ascetics for the welfare of the world. It is aimed at spreading the message of love and humanity, without any rituals, in the name of Mahima Gosain, the founder of Mahima Dharma. Praying for universal peace and prosperity, ‘Dipa Prajwalana’ (Lighting of Diya) will be carried out during the festival.
The festival begins on Guru Purnima or Baba Purnima, Magha Mela is observed to mark the day of salvation of Mahima Gosain in Sunya Mandir at Joranda in 1876. The Magha Mela is celebrated on a full moon day in the month of Magha i.e between January and February. This year, the festival is the 146th Mela being held at the place delivering the message of universal peace among the fellow beings.
During the Mela, devotees, irrespective of caste, creed, and religion, enter the Mahima shrines known as Gadi Mandir, Dhuni Mandir, Akhanda Bati Mandir, and Ghanta Mandir. Thousands of devotees also gathered for ‘Mundan’ (Tonsuring of the head) for the fulfillment of their wishes and desires.
During the 18th century when the lower caste people were tortured by the zamindars and other rich people, Mahima Gosain had envisioned a classless society. He had also opposed the idea of conversion from Hinduism to Christianity.
Later, his ideology influenced society at large. His unconditional spiritual service, the message of love, humanity and universal brotherhood attracted thousands of devotees. He had ignited a perpetual flame called the Akhanda Dhuni at Joranda, which continues to burn to this day.