Deva Snana Celebrated at Durga Bari


HOUSTON: With much pomp and ceremony, Deva Snana, bathing ceremony of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra was celebrated at Durga Bari on Sunday, June 23.

Deva Snana is the day the deities are bathed with 108 pitchers of water brought from the well in the precincts of Puri Jagannath temple. After the bath, the deities dress up in Ganesha Vesha.  This day is also known as the birthday of Lord Jagannath. The same rituals were performed at Durga Bari by Dr. Bishnupada Goswami. Special deities (2.5ft tall) were ordered from Puri for this occasion. They were made exactly the same way as those in the Puri temple. There are seven layers between wood and paint which makes the deities living entities. After the bath, the deities were dressed in Ganesha Vesha.

About 300 people attended the ceremony and were treated to some beautiful Kirtan from ISKCON and melodious bhajan from Sonali Mohanty. Then the devotees enjoyed delicious lunch Prasad, prepared by Durga Bari volunteers. After the ceremony, the deities were placed in Anabasara, where the devotees can’t see them until Rath Yatra, which will be celebrated on Saturday, July 13, which is being organized jointly by Char Dham Hindu Temple, Houston Durgabari Society and ISKCON.


There will be 2 events on Saturday, July 13. Morning 9AM to 2PM, Rath Yatra will be celebrated at Durga Bari. Devotees can pull the chariot and enjoy free lunch Prasad. The same evening, from 5PM to 9PM, for the first time in Houston, Rath Yatra will be celebrated at Discovery Green, symbolizing it’s accessibility to all Houstonians and underscoring the fact that Jagannath is the Lord of the Universe. Also for the first time, 3 separate chariots will be used. The carts, designed in Puri and assembled here under the supervision of Dr. Surya Sahoo, are replicas of the ones in Puri. Kirtan parties comprising of devotees from Houston, Dallas and San Antonio will perform in front of each chariot. The highlight of the evening will be “The Mayapuris”, the most talked about group in the Kirtan genre. In addition, there will be Masala Bhangra, Indian Semi Classical dance, Bharathnatyam, Royal Scottish country dance, Polish dance and Chinese folk dance, celebrating cultural diversity of Houston. Yoga meltdown session, free health screening like BP Check, face painting & balloons for children and air brush tattoos for all ages and free Prasadam feast round out the celebrations.

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