Puri: It was an emotional moment for all (only the authorised ones) present on the Bada Danda, and lakhs others watching the Adhara Pana ritual of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra on television.
Organising Rath Yatra this year was complex, it was not an easy affair at all, thanks to the crisis that has emerged in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. As the idiom goes – Man proposes, God disposes. It is all about the Lords’ will.
The world famous Car Festival of Lord Jagannath and his divine Siblings was held amid religious fervour without any break or interruption. It all went off smoothly, till today and so did the Adhara Pana ritual on the 11th day of Rath Yatra.
On the 11th day (Ekadasi), the three deities were offered a refreshing drink named as ‘Adhara Pana’. ‘Adhara’ means ‘Lip’ and ‘Pana’ is a sweet scented drink made of milk, sugar, cheese, banana, camphor, nuts, black pepper etc. Apart from these ingredients, other herbal plant extracts like tulasi (holy basil) are also mixed into the drink.
The deities were offered Adhara Pana on huge cylindrical earthen pots reaching up to their lips. The drink was filled in nine earthen pots and each of the deities was offered three pots each on their respective chariot.
The priests offered the drink to the deities by performing ‘Sodosha Upachar Pooja’. Once the Puja was over the earthen pots were broken by the servitors and the Pana spread all over the chariot.
There is a rule which devotees must remember while the pots are being broken – the Adhara Pana is not meant for human consumption.
Breaking of the pots is customary to satiate the Yakshas (nature spirits), evil spirits, demi-Gods, Parsva Devatas who guard the chariots and all other elements of the nether world.
The deities will stay on the chariots today and will return to the ‘Ratna Sinhasana’ (divine bejewelled throne) on the 12th day of Rath Yatra, called ‘Niladri Bije’.