All You Need To Know About The Spectacular Pahandi Bije Of The Deities
Ratha Jatra is a unique festival which unites and binds all the devotees of Jagannath cult. Be it the chariots’ pulling, sweeping of chariots by the king or just having a glimpse of the trinity in their richly decorated chariots; each and every ritual associated with this quintessential festival are of utmost importance and fills the pilgrims with great joy!
However ‘Pahandi bije’ the spectacular procession in which the deities are carried from their sanctum sanctorum to their respective chariots is the most special and colorful ritual for the lakhs of devotees assembled to get a glimpse of the trinity. It’s truly a spectacular sight to behold. Here’s few interesting and important information concerning the ‘Pahandi bije’ of the deities.
1. The word Pahandi originates from the Sanskrit word Padamundanam, meaning in local dialect a slow step by step movement with spreading of feet. It is the special technique and method of carrying the idols from sanctum sanctorum to their respective chariots by the sebayatas.
2. The deities are taken out in Dhadi pahandi (one after the other) in the following order – Sudarshana, Balabhadra, Subhadra and lastly Lord Jagannath from the Ratna Singhasana in a ceremonial procession amidst the beat of cymbals and chanting by the devotees in frenzied ecstasy.
3. Considering the weight of Lord Jagannath and Balabhadra’s idols, a wooden cross is fixed to their backs and thick silken ropes are tied round their heads and waists for this ceremonial procession; a ritual termed as Senapata lagi.
4. It is at the Seventh stair of Shree Mandir where Lord Jagannath and Balabhadra receive tahiya. These richly decorated massive headgears are offered to the deities by the Raghav Das Math.
5. Tahiya is the most fascinating and unique headgear made of natural objects and beautiful flowers. These are prepared from cane, bamboo sticks, thermocol and flowers. Only skilled artisans (particular family from Balisahi, Puri) are entrusted to prepare the Tahiya, who are assigned to undertake this task hereditarily.
6. Adorned with the richly decorated Tahiyas, the deities then resume their journey and are ushered through the Ananda Bazar, Baishi Pahacha, Singhadwara, Aruna stambha and are finally escorted to their respective chariots.
7. Lord Sudarshana comes out first amidst beating of drums, bells and blowing of conch. It goes round the chariots to notionally ensure that arrangements for Jatra are right and proper. The idol being small and light is carried on the shoulders by Daitas and then placed in Darpadalana, the chariot of Subhadra
8. Thereafter, commences the Pahandi Bije of Lord Balabhadra. He is carried to his chariot named Taladhwaja.
9. Then comes out Goddess Subhadra. Her idol being small and light is also carried on the shoulders of Daitas like that of Lord Sudarshana.
10. Soon after, the highly awaited Pahandi Bije of Lord Jagannath to his chariot Nandi Ghosa begins!
Being massive and heavy, his idol is literally pushed, pulled and dragged in rhythmic movement with little pauses in forward and backward motions in the accompaniment of beating of drums, cymbals, blowing of conch and chanting of their names in chorus by a number of sebayatas and devotees.
Pahandi Bije of deities is indeed the most fascinating scene of the Ratha Jatra. Each time when the radiant and smiling faces of deities appear, excitement fills the air with devotees loudly reciting Jai Jagannath. In the backdrop of the glorious Lord Jagannath’s temple, the three richly decorated chariots embracing the deities present a grand scene to the thousands of devotees, people of Odisha and the world at large. Spreading a glorious message that Lord Jagannath belongs to all and all belong to Him.
Ft img Courtesy: harekrsna