Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Niladri Bije - Ratha Jatra

Ratha Jatra or Ratha Yatra or Rath Yatra, also called the ‘Chariot Festival' of Puri Shree Jagannatha is a centuries-old festival of Odisha, India. It finds mention in many ancient texts like the Brahma Purana, Padma Purana, Skanda Purana, Kapila Samhita, Bamadeva Samhita, Niladri Mahodaya etc. 

Ratha Jatra is celebrated all over the world now.

This annual festival is celebrated on Asadha Shukla Paksha Dwitiya (second day in bright fortnight of Asadha month, the third month of the Odia calendar).

The rituals have been held systematically as per the tithi for hundreds of years. The preparations start early. The first lot of wood for constructing the Rathas reaches by Basanta Panchami, and Puja (Ratha Katha Anukula) is done. 

The construction of the chariots starts on the day of Akshaya Trutiya (the third day of the bright fortnight of the month of Baisakha). Skilled artisans and craftsmen construct the Rathas following centuries-old traditions. The size and specifications of the Rathas are fixed.

Ratha Jatra is the journey of Lord Jagannath, along with brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra from their abode, Shreemandira, to their birthplace, Shree Gundicha Temple. Thus, this is also called Gundicha Jatra.

Friday, 16 July 2021

Hera Panchami - When Maa Lakshmi Is Angry

Puri Dham is one of the most important places of visit for Hindus.
A rich cultural history and many festivals including the world-famous Ratha Jatra are associated with this holy place. 

Puri Dham is called the Shree Kshetra and the Shree Jagannatha Temple is called the Shreemandira.
Shree means Goddess Lakshmi. 
This shows Her importance.
She is the wife of Shree Jagannatha, the Lord of the Universe.

Many wrongly think that Ratha Jatra is a one-day festival and the festivities end that day. 
The journey starts on the second day of the bright fortnight of Asadha (month in Hindu/Odia calendar) that is celebrated as Ratha Jatra. 
The Ratha Jatra is also called Nabadina Jatra (nine-day journey). 

On the ninth day, Bahuda Jatra is held.
However, that is not the end of the Ratha Jatra.

Actually, the Ratha Jatra festivities come to an end on the twelfth day of the commencement of the journey. 
Niladri Bije ritual marks the completion of their journey with the deities entering the Shreemandira.

There are many traditions and significant centuries-old rituals are done.

On the fifth day of the Ratha Jatra, there is the Hera Panchami tradition.
Today is Hera Panchami.
"Hera" means "to see".
This evening, Maa Lakshmi will visit Shree Gundicha Temple to see Shree Jagannatha.
What does She do there?

Wednesday, 30 June 2021

All Are Safe

She loved the outings with her grandfather. 

They cycled taking the roads less travelled.

One day, they found a shortcut to the woods.

An abandoned van made Grandpa say- "So here you are!"

Photo Prompt- Russell Gayer
He fondled the van like an old friend! 

They struggled to open the jammed door.

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Justice Delayed

When I saw that cheat enjoying himself in the resort, I was livid.

Such unethical people mustn’t do what they do.

He had to be taught a lesson. 

Photo Prompt- Brenda Cox

He had copied all my work and gained undue credit and awards.

He maligned my name and reputation, and appropriated my creations, claiming them to be his own ideas! 

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Happy Father's Day

"Speak the truth - support honesty,

Without being deterred by the noise.

Empathy & character are your richness.

Integrity, hard-work, discipline...are choice."

He reposes tremendous faith & confidence,

Celebrating enthusiasm & trust, we rejoice.

This practical teacher practices what he preaches. 

He values his girls- no way inferior to boys.

Sand art on Puri beach by Padma Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik

Remembering Padma Shri Prof. Radhamohan

A week ago, on June 11 2021, we lost Padma Shri Prof Radhamohan. He was an environmentalist and social scientist. He was the former information commissioner of Odisha. 

A student of Samanta Chandrashekhar College, he studied Applied Economics and taught the same. 

He was conferred the Padma Shri along with his daughter, Ms. Sabarmatee. Father and daughter duo are founders of a non-profit organization named "Sambhav" (it means- possible). 

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Heritage Hut

She had photographed and documented all the statues found on the river-bank.

They demanded attention, protection and preservation.

All her pleas fell on deaf ears.

There was no action.

Some months later, she was shocked to find the priceless heritage missing.

Photo Prompt - Alicia Jamtaas

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

The Beauty of Sanskrit Language and Texts

What is the meaning of mangalacharanam?

In which place was the Mahabharata composed?

How many seasons have been described by Kalidasa in his epic Ritusamhara?

What are the four vedas and the four upavedas?

What does Mrichhakatikam mean?

Are spirituality and religion the same thing?

Who compiled the Bhagavata Mahapurana?

If these questions teased your brain-cells, and you are unable to retrieve the answers, it is time to pick up this informative book about Sanskrit language and texts-

The Beauty of Sanskrit Language and Texts is written by Durga Prasad Dash.

It is one of the eBooks launched by the Blogchatter EBook Carnival this year.

Sanskrit is one of the most ancient languages of the world. It was the language of the intellectuals of India, prior to the Mughal invasion and reign. India has one of the most manuscripts in the world. Sanskrit texts are treasure-houses of India’s ancient wisdom. However, many of us are unaware. Many Indians have never studied Sanskrit in school. Had the British not interfered with our education system, we would perhaps have devoted more time and interest in studying this.

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Strange Construction

The spherical orange building shone.

She was surprised to see it in their backyard.

She was sure it was not there the day before. 

She had not seen or heard people working.

Photo Prompt - Dale Rogerson

Every morning, she crossed that way.

Was the religious morning-walker so lost in her thoughts that she had never noticed it? 

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

One Of Her Crazy Fans

She looked like a radiant new bride. 

Basking in the full moon night, she sparkled.

He sighed. 

He dreamt to get his hands on her! 

His dream could come true.

The time was right.

Everyone was asleep. 

There was no one in sight.

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