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Massachusetts Celebrates Niladri Bije Festival

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 10, Jul 2023, 18:06 pm IST | UPDATED: 10, Jul 2023, 18:09 pm IST

Massachusetts Celebrates Niladri Bije Festival
New Delhi: Massachusetts hosted 3rd Annual Car Festival, Return Journey, gold ornamentation and Niladri Bije ceremonies of Lord Jagannath with much pomp and massive fanfare. The Mega Celebrations were organised by Odia Communities based in New England, USA in active association with the New England Shirdi Sai Parivaar (NESSP). The New England’s Siridi Sai Temple situated at 99, Shirdi Way in Groton of Greater Boston, where the Trinity are presently stationed was aesthetically and elegantly decorated befitting to the Grand Occasion. On the Rath Yatra day at around 9.30.a.m., in the morning special religious rituals like Bigraha Puja of All the Four Deities followed by the homo for the Rath were performed in a pious and solemn ambience as per vedic norms by priests Gunturu Bala Venkat Pavan, Rama Charayulu and Manohar Chandrasheker. Apart from local residents of Massachusetts  around 800 Odias and non – Odia devotees along with their friends, family members and relatives from nearby states like Rhodes Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine also descended at Groton to take part in the holy fair. In the afternoon four Idols were taken in a grand procession to the colourfully decked up chariot parked in front of the Sai temple. Devotees present conducted the traditional sweeping in front of chariot called Chherra Pahanra. Then the long awaited and most sought after process of pulling up of chariot commenced. The entire atmosphere got reverberated with the lyrical sounds of Bhajan, Kirtan, chanting of hymns, raising of slogans like Hari Bol, Jai Jagannath and playing of musical instruments like Ghanta, Kartala, Cymbals, Jhanja, Mrudanga and recitals of Odissi Dance. This Year’s Rath Yatra evoked unexpected interest, unusual enthusiasm and unprecedented excitements among the spectators gathered to have a holy glimpse of Gods and Goddess on board the Chariot and earn lifetime fortune. The 20 ft. High chariot beautifully cladded with attractive pipli appliqués and alluring flowers was pulled around the boundary of Sai temple till 2 km and then taken back to the premises of the temple. The moving sight of Lord of the Universe sitting atop the Royal chariot in His majestic style during the sojourn on the streets of Massachusetts was momentous, mesmerising and memorable. After reached back at the temple the idols were escorted back to the Gem Studded Altar by the servitors. Then all the Deities were decorated with golden attire for Suna Besa like being done in main temple at Puri. After that Arati was performed before the sanctum sanctorum.

The highlight of this year’s Car Festival was the offering of Fifty Six varieties of food items called Chhappan Bhoga to the Trinity specially prepared on the pattern of Anand Bazar at Puri. The delicious Prasad were then distributed among the attendees of the Rath Yatra. Presentation of a spectacular Cultural Jamboori consisting of scintillating Odissi dance performances and soul soothing recitals of Jagannath Bhajans was also part of the Mega Fiesta. The Chariot pulling ceremony became an all out success because of  the strenuous efforts put up jointly by all Board members, founder members, present and former trustees, operating board members of the Temple along with Odia Community at large based in Greater Boston.