‘Hera Panchami’ – the expression of anger by Goddess Lakshmi against Lord Jagannath for his failure to return home from Gundicha Ghar #Jagannath #Puri #Odisha
The popular belief is that she gets annoyed against her husband Lord Jagannath for not returning from Gundicha Ghar – His aunt’s place after a day’s halt.
Lord Jagannath stays at Gundicha Ghar along with his siblings, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra and it is believed that He enjoys the company of the devotees so much that He prefers to extend His stay there.
The ritual is observed on the fifth day of Rath Yatra. According to the legend, Lord Jagannath on hearing about arrival of Lakshmi Devi, locks himself inside the Gundicha Ghar.
When he returns to the main abode on ninth day, she also locks herself inside but later shows her virtue of forgiveness and welcomes them a little later with juice and sweets.
The Grand JaganatTemple of Puri is famous for its unique ritualistic practices as well as various functions observed throughout the year. Hera Panchami is one such function with a unique ritual during the period of Rath Yatra. It is known as a ritual of Maa Mahalaxmi.
The fifth day from Rath Yatra i.e. fifth day in bright fortnight of Ashadha is known as the Hera Panchami. During Ratha Jatra, lord Jagannath comes out on a divine outing with his bother Sri Balabhadra and sister Maa Subhadra along with his divine weapon Sri Sudarshana, leaving behind His wife Mahalaxmi.
The Goddess expresses her anger for the Lord. She proceeds to the Gundicha Temple, the Adapa Mandapa in a palanquin in the form of a Subarna Mahalaxmi and threatens Him to come back to the temple at the earliest. To make Her pleased, the Lord concedes to Her by offering her agyan mala (a garland of consent).
Seeing the Goddess furious, the sevakas close the main door of the Gundicha. Mahalaxmi returns to the main temple through the Nakachana gate. In a unique ritual, the Goddess orders one of her attendants to damage a part of the Nandighosa chariot.This is followed by her hiding behind a tamarind tree outside the Gundicha Temple.
After some time, she escapes to her home temple in secrecy, through a separate path way known as Hera Gohri Lane.The unique ritual is enjoyed by lakhs of devotees of Lord Jagannath.
History & Ritual –
The rituals of Hera Panchami as an important function of Srimandira finds mention in Skanda Purana. According to the history of the Temple, this “utsav” started during the time of Maharaja Kapilendra Deb. Before his reign, the Hera Panchami function was being observed in a symbolic way with recitation of Mantras.As stated in Madala Panji, Raja Kapilendra Deb substituted this practice with the introduction of an idol of Mahalaxmi mode of gold and making the celebration more realistic.