OCC Celebrates Snana Purnima


HOUSTON: Orissa Culture Center (OCC) in association with Shree Sitaram Foundation and Shree Shiva Shakti Temple Foundation has celebrated the bathing ceremony of the Lord Jagannath at the Shiv Shakti Mandir, 6640 Harwin Drive, Houston TX 77036 on June 31. “Deva Snana Purnima” or the bathing ceremony of the Lord Jagannath, His elder brother Balabhadra, sister Devi Subhadra and The Sudrsana Chakra is an ancient yearly ritual conducted at the Puri Shree Jagannath Temple on the full moon day of the Hindu month of Jyestha. This ritual of the Lords is a precursor to the grand chariot festival of the Lords which will be celebrated by OCC with cooperation from many religious organizations on Saturday, July 18, at the VPSS Haveli, 11715 Bellfort Village Drive, Houston, TX, 77031.

At the core of this ritual, lies the belief system that even if the “Purusottama” or “Jagannatha” or the divine force manifests Himself on earth in the form of Avatara or reincarnation, He goes through the worldly chores such as this and the cycle of Birth and Death. The bathing ceremony is one of the few celebrations for the Lords when the Lords come out of His “Ratna Singhasana” or the golden throne to outside the temple premises for public viewing. It is said that the devotees who witness the Lords on the Bathing Pedestal or the “Snana Mandapa” will be cleansed of all sins.

The bathing ceremony of the Lords was conducted by the priest of the Minakshi Temple Sri K.V. Doriaswamy Bhatter. In conducting this ceremony, he was assisted by Dr. Debananda Pati, President of OCC and Srimanta Dash. Following the decoration of the Lords on the bathing pedestal, the worship of Sri Ganesha, Sri Varuna and Nabagraha was conducted. This was followed with the “Havan” or the ancient Vedic ritual of fire worship. Following the fire worship, the assembled devotees were allowed to carry water filled pots and pour on their beloved Lords on the pedestal. Following the bathing, the Lords were provided with what is called the “Hathi Besha” or the “Elephant Attire”. The elephant attire is one of many types of attire that the Lords are decorated with during different yearly festivals at the Puri temple. At the end “Maha Arati” for the Lords was conducted by the assembled devotees and finally all devotees were served with the Mahaprasad. At the end, Virta Bhai of Shiv Shakti temple blessed all assembled devotees and offered the holy saffron cloths of Lord Mahavev to OCC members and other devotees.

While we conclude the “Snana Purnima”, we cordially invite everyone from Houston and surrounding cities to the grand celebration of the Chariot Festival to be conducted on Saturday, July 18, at the VPSS Haveli, 11715 Bellfort Village Drive, Houston, TX, 77031. The sole objective of this yearly festival by OCC and other participating organizations is to spread the “Jagannatha Philosophy” of universal brotherhood and religious tolerance.

For further information, contact/visit the following, houstonrathyatra.org or call 832-225-2376 or e-mail at rathyatra.hou@gmail.com. You may connect on https://facebook.com/HoustonRathYatra
Jai Jagannath Orissa Culture Center (http://orissaculturecenter.org/) and Shri Sitaram Foundation (http://shrisitaram.org/)