Rath Yatra 2020: Significance of Deba Snana Purnima
Bhubaneswar, June 05: The much-awaited Snana Yatra of Lord Jagannath has begun in Odisha today this year. The Snana Yatra is held on the full-moon day of the month of Jyestha. This year, Devasnana Purnima or Snana Yatra will be celebrated on Friday, June 5.
Amid the outbreak of coronavirus, devotees will not be allowed near the Jagannath temple and only servitors, temple administrators and security forces are to attend the Rath Yatra. For the devotees the events and rituals be broadcast live on television.
Devasnana Purnima or Snana Yatra is celebrated just before the world-renowned Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri. Deva Snana Purnima is a ritualistic bathing ceremony of the deities -Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra, and Lord Balabhadra.
Prior to the bathing ceremony, a few rituals are performed by the priests, where a total of 108 pitchers of herbal and aromatic water are used to bath the deities of the Jagannath Temple. The water, used for bathing is taken from the well inside the temple.
On the previous day of Snana Yatra the images of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra along with the image of Sudarshana are brought out from the inner sanctum of the main temple in a procession known as 'Pahandi', to the Snana Mandapa or bathing pandal.
The visitors standing outside the temple can have a glimpse of the deities at Snana Mandap.
The holy water is drawn from the golden well called 'Suna Kua' once in a year. During the process, priests cover their mouths with piece of cloths so as not to contaminate it with their breath.
The priests purify the water with turmeric, whole rice, Sandal, flowers and perfumes.
The deities are then dressed up in Sada Besha after the bath.
Later in the day the idols of Lord Jagannath, Devi Subhadra and Lord Balabhadra are dressed as Hathi Besha that is in the form of Lord Ganesha.
After the Snana Yatra, the deities are kept away from public view for 15 days and during all these days the daily rites of the temple remain suspended. As Jagannatha himself instructed, after this ceremony, he is not seen for a fortnight.
The Deities are kept on a special "sick room" called the Ratan Bedi inside the temple. This period is called 'Anabasara Kala' meaning improper time for worship.
During this time the Deities are offered only fruits and water and Dasa Mula medicines to cure fever as due to all the bathing the Lord becomes transcendentally poor and therefore needs to take rest.
After the Snana Yatra Lord Jagannath is believed to manifest as Alarnath Dev and gets worshipped at the Alarnath temple in Bramhagiri which is 25 kilometres away from Puri. During ‘anasara,' ‘mahaprasada' for Lord Jagannath is available in Anandabazar of Alarnath. The ‘kheer' offered there is regarded as very special.
According to priests of the Jagannath temple, a devotee washes away all sins if he or she gets a vision of the Lord on this day.