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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Lord Jagannath on 15-day sick leave!

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mathura, June 26, 2013
First Published: 10:23 IST(26/6/2013) | Last Updated: 10:26 IST(26/6/2013)

If you are planning to visit Vrindavan one of these days to get a glimpse of Lord ‘Jagannath’, you may have to return disappointed. At present, the Lord is a bit unwell and undergoing a 15-day treatment!

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Said Swami Gyan Prakash, priest of Jagannath temple, “This is an annual affair. Since, the idols of Lord Jagannath and his sister Subhadra and brother Balbhadra are made of wood, they get worn out in a year’s period. Thus, temple doors are closed for a fortnight, when the idols are spruced up.” The temple doors were closed on Monday and would now reopen on July 09.

“According to folklore, on ‘Jyeshtha Purnima’, which fell last Sunday, Lord Jagannath took a bath which made him fall ill and thus unfit to give darshan to his devotees. The makeover of the Jagannath idol is the modern day equivalent of the mythological tale,” said the priest.

The trend of Lord Jagannath ‘treatment’ is also in vogue in Puri, Odisha, which is considered the home of the deity. “It is said Lord Jagannath came to Vrindavan from Odisha some 500 years ago. We simply follow the practices that are first done in Puri,” said the priest.

Throwing light on treatment of the Lord, Prakash said, “The Lord is seated in a peaceful place and herbal remedies are administered to him. The priests of the temple give fresh paint to the wooden idols, which get chipped away with time. We also serve hot food to him so that he recovers soon.” After recovering from illness, God would give a fresh opportunity of ‘darshan’ to all devotees, he added.

“On July 10, Lord Jagannath would make a visit of the city with his siblings on a chariot. This tradition is called the ‘Rath Yatra Utsav’, which sees enthusiastic presence of local devotees as well as tourists,” he added.

A devotee said, “In honour of tradition we don’t go to the temple for 15 days. We hope the Lord gets well soon.”


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