Deva Snana Puja to be Celebrated at the ISKCON Temple


HOUSTON: As part of the “2015 Greater Houston Rath Yatra” celebrations, “Deva Snana Puja” will be held at the ISKCON temple on June 14 (Sunday) from 4pm to 7:30pm.

“Deva Snana” Puja is the “Bathing Ceremony” of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra. This is the first occasion in the year when the deities are brought out from the  sanctum sanctorum and taken in a procession to Snana Mandap (bathing altar), where they are ceremonially bathed with 108 pitchers of water from a well inside the Jagannath Temple.  Out of the 108 pitchers of water, 35 pitchers of water are used for Lord Jagannath, 33 pitchers for Lord Balabhadra, 22 pitchers for Devi Subhadra and 18 pitchers for Sudarshan. After the bathing rituals, the deities are decorated in Gaja Vesha (elephant headgear). Traditionally, after the bathing, the Gods fall ill and are kept in Anasara, where the devotees can’t see them until they appear in Naba Jauban Vesha (new look) on the day of the Rath Yatra.

In keeping with this tradition, deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Sudarshan, specially built and brought from Puri will be bathed with 108 pitchers of water at the ISKCON temple on Sunday, June 14. After the bathing ceremony, the deities will be dressed in Gaja Vesha, followed by Maha Arati, Pravachan by H.H. Bhakti Rasamrita Swami, and Prasadam.  Then the deities will be kept in Anasara and will appear on July 11 for the 3rd Annual Rath Yatra or Festival of Chariots at Discovery Green from 6pm to 10pm.

This event is being organized jointly by Char Dham Hindu Temple, SKAI Foundation, ISKCON Houston and Masala Radio and is being supported by various organizations including Hindus of Greater Houston, India Culture Center and the Gujrati Samaj of Houston. The organizers are anticipating and preparing for a big crowd packing the Discovery Green and surrounding streets to see and seek blessings from Lord Jagannath, Lord of the Universe. Festivities will include procession of 3 chariots in Jagannath Puri style, Cultural entertainment featuring a high-flying drum and dance spectacular by the World famous Mayapuris, Indian bazaar, Food booths, Maha Arati and Open air Dandiya Raas. Admission is completely free and devotees will get free Prasad.

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