Puri:Rasagolla Diwas celebrated across the State on Tuesday marking the Trinity- Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath along with Sundarshana, returning to the main temple after 9-days Ratha Jatra, in a ritual called “Niladri Bije.”
On Niladri Bije, according to legends, Maha Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Jagannath, gets angry as she was left out in the 12th century shrine alone and was not taken on Rath Jatra to the Shri Gundicha temple.
An angry Maha Lakshmi though allowed elder brother Lord Balabhadra and sister-in-law Devi Subhadra and Lord Sudarshana into the temple, she closed the main gate for Lord Jagannath.
“In order to convince Maha Lakshmi, Lord Jagannath offers Rasagolla (sweet dish made of milk cheese) and requests her to forgive him for not taking her in the Ratha Jatra,” said Asit Mohanty.
Mr.Mohanty, who was also instrumental in collecting evidence supporting Rasogolla’s origin in the Puri Temple as the sweet dish is offered to the deities as “bhog” since centuries.
He said: “In earlier days, the dish was known as ‘Khira Mohan’ in the temple which is same as Rasagolla.”
Mr.Mohanty said: “Our Rasagolla is totally different from that of Bengal. The Rasagolla in Bengal came into existence in 1868 while the same sweet dish dates back to about 500 years ago. There is mention of Rasagolla in Dani Ramayan written by Balaram Das.”
“The Rasagola is there in Odisha as long as Ratha Jatra is there. Lakhs of people have seen on television channels devotees offering Rasagolla to Lord Jagannath on his return from Ratha Jatra. There should not a debate on the origin of Rasagolla. Let Bengal enjoy its Rasagolla and we ours.” Mr.Mohanty pointed out.
The Rasagola Divas is, however, been celebrated in the state since 2015, the year when Lord Jagannath’s Nabakalebara festival was held in that year.
Taking to twitter Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said: “It is a unique tradition in the Jagannath culture where Mahaprabhu offers Rasagolla to Maa Lakshmi in order to convenience her. Rasagolla has a special place in Odia dishes.”
Tagging a picture, Mr.Patnaik greeted the people of Odisha on the occasion of Rasagolla Diwas.
Padma Shri awardee Sudarsan Pattnaik also took to Twitter and shared the pictures of his beautiful creations on the occasion of Niladri Bije.
“Jai Jagannath… On the pious occasion of #NiladriBije, Mahaprabhu Jagannth while returning to Ratna Singhasan, offers Rasagola to #MahaLakshmi. My sand art at Puri beach in Odisha for this unique ritual. #RasagolaDibasa,” Mr.Patnaik said in his twitter post.