Special Rituals On Thursday(NEETIS OF MAHAPRABHU)

Special Rituals On Thursday
Numerous Rituals are observed in the Mahapravu Shree Jagannath temple at Puri throughout the year. The rituals or religious rites (neetis ) may be classified under three categories, (a) The Daily rituals that are fixed and observed everyday as routine; (b) The Special rituals observed on specific days, like Thursday, Amabasya, Ekadasi, Sankranti, Nakshyatra, Solar and Lunar eclipses. Also occasionally certain purificatory rites are performed when the situation so warrants; (c) the Festive rituals or Festivals observed, some inside and some outside the temple, throughout the year. The details of all these rituals have been mentioned in the Record of Rights of the temple. In this essay, the special rituals observed in the temple on Thursdays are dealt with in brief. The Gurubar neetis (rituals on Thursday) may be classified under two heads – Majana and Ekanta.
MAJANA Majana (or Marjana) means bath or cleansing. It is performed after Morning Puja (morning food-offering) is over. There is a mandap (a raised platform with a roof over it like a temple) at the southern side of the main temple in front of the Muktimandap. This southern mandap is known as Majana mandap, since majana is performed here. This mandap has to be washed and a canopy to be tied inside before commencement of the rites. The images (idols) of Sridevi (Maa Laxmi), Maa Bhudevi and Pravu Madanmohan are carried to this Mandap by Mahajan sevaks. On the mandap they place the Deities on a khata (cot) and perform majana. The materials needed for majana are supplied by Sudusuar Sevak. Another sevak, Bhitarchha Mahapatra applies sandal paste to the Deities. After that, Puja is performed by a Puja Panda Sevak. The food items offered are curd and kora (coconut sweets). After puja is over Bhitarchha Mahapatra does alati (waving of lamps) before the Deities and then bandapana (a ritualistic adoration or greeting). After majana neeti is over, the images are carried back to Their respective places.
EKANTA: Ekanta means living in camera or in a secluded place. On Thursday night, another ritual has to be performed. It is called Ekanta. Maa Sridevi and Madanmohan (proxy-image of Mahapravu Shree Jagannath) are taken to the Jagamohan i.e. audience hall of the Maa Mahalaxmi temple and placed on a Palanka (cot). Bhitarchha Mahapatra applies sandal paste to the images. Pujapanda performs the puja. Kora is offered to the Deities as food. Puja is followed by alati and bandapana. After that, the images are carried back to their respective places in the main temple. Majana and Ekanta are not performed on few Thursdays, as specified in the ROR of the temple. The Sevaks (servitors) associated with the ritual services of Majana and Ekanta are Mahajan (six persons), Sudusuar, Parvayatrayogania, Asthana-Padhiary, Chandan Ghatuary, Pujapanda, Bhitarachha Mahapatra, Pushpalaka, Vimanbadu, Chhatara, Ghantua, Khata-seja Mekap.
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