FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
ITAGAR, Aug 3: Aruchal Pradesh Chief Minister bam Tuki on Sunday felicitated Odissi dancers of Lord Jagantha temple–Rojalin Mohanty, Ruchismita Behera and their guru rayan Pandey, who called on him along with Odisha-Aruchal Sanskrutika Sangha advisor Pradeep Kumar Behera.
“Aruchal Pradesh is a unique land and its people and good-hearted which we experienced in our first visit,” the trio told the chief minister. Tuki appreciated them for propagating the rich Indian culture across the globe on behalf of Bharat Sevashram Sangha and visiting the state with the same objective.
The hour-long discussion centered around the rich cultural heritage of the state that included Parsuram Kund in Lohit river in Lohit district, one of the greatest pilgrimage of the Hindu, Malinithan, in Likabali sub-division of West Siang district, where Devi Parvati had welcomed Lord Krish while eloping with princess Rukmini, daughter of King Bhismaka, on the eve of her marriage with Shishupal and who knows it could be this Himalayan state where Hanuman during the Mahabhart war had come to collect Vishalyakarani after Lakshman fainted by the arrow of Rava in 3139 BC.
Highlighting the Jaganntha culture, Pandey recalled that living god Lord Jaggantha, who had drawn over 50 lakh devotees during car Festival this year, was origilly worshipped by the tribals in a cave in Mount Neela as Nila Madhav.
Quoting Skanda-Pura, Brahma Pura and later Oriya works, he said Lord Jagantha was origilly worshipped as Lord Neela Mdhaba by a Savar king (tribal chief) med Viswavasu. Having heard about the deity, King Indradyum sent a Brahmin priest, Vidyapati to locate the deity, who was worshipped secretly in a dense forest by Viswavasu.
Vidyapati tried his best but could not locate the place. But at last he maged to marry Viswavasu’s daughter Lalita. At repeated request of Vidyapti, Viswavasu took his son-in-law blind folded to a cave where Lord Neela Madhaba was worshipped.
On hearing from him, King Indradyum proceeded immediately to Odra desha (Odisha) on a pilgrimage to see and worship the deity. Afterwards the king performed a horse sacrifice and built a magnificent temple for Vishnu.
Though the temple was built in the 12th century atop its ruins by King Atavarman Chodogga Deva, but the first right to worship Lord Jagantha goes to the sevayats (Tribals), Pandey said invited the CM to visit the Puri temple after offering a portrait of Lord Jaganth, Balabhadra and Subhadra.
Those who perform the ritual services at the Jagantha temple are called the sevayats or servitors, a hereditary right. Records of 13th century AD and of the British period suggest that there were 36 categories of sevayats. Within the last two centuries the number of categories have increased from 36 to 250.
Rojalin showed some pictures of her performances in Japan and America to the appreciation of the CM.