Bhubaneswar: Lord Jagannath is reputed as the protector of his devotees for ages together. Over the years, the cult of Lord Jagannath has expanded and transformed.
The Lord has been accepted in high esteem not only by the Hindus but by many devotees of other religions. There have been several devotees, stories of whose devotion became a part of the folklore associated with the temple.
But one story stands out, that of Raghuvar Das, poor fisherman of Puri, who was appointed as Agni Rakshak of the lord’s temple. Let’s know the episode.
Here is the story of Day 7:-
There have been several devotees, whose devotion became a part of the folklore associated with the lord of the Universe (Jagannath).We know how Dasia Bauri, an untouchable’s coconut gift to Lord Jagannath was taken from him by the Lord himself and how once Bhakht Salabega’s prayers for the almighty stopped the chariot during Rath Yatra.But do we know about this devotee Raguvar Das, who was made in charge of keeping the fire lit at all times at the Baishnabagni, from where the fire to make the prasad was taken, and he was known as the Agni Rakshak, a title given to him by the Gajapati at that time – Annaga Bheema Deva.When Raghuvar Das grew old, he wanted to gift Lord Jagannath and the three deities with Mukha Padma made by himself along with Kheer made using the fire of Baishnabagni.But when owing to traditions and practices, his gift was not accepted by the priests, during the process of Bada Singhara Besha, or the ritual of putting the attire of the king on Lord Jagannath the priests found that no matter how many times they tried the cloth to be put on the head of Lord Jagannath kept falling down.When the priests became tired and worried, the Head Priest who fell asleep, dreamt of Lord Jagannath who reminded him of the gifts of Raghuvar das which was still not given to him.And only after the gifts of Raghuvar Das was submitted to the Lords, the Bada Singhara Besha process got completed and while Raghuvar Das owing to his age was unable to see this physically by going there with his inner eyes he was able to see the Mukha Padma adorning the faces of the three lords and his kheer was also presented to Lord Jagannath.This pleased him and he left his mortal body and his soul merged into Lord Jagannath.
Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra, the centuries-old chariot procession is not only a religious ritual but also a showcase of how the Jagannath consciousness has long enriched the cultural heritage of Odisha. Lord Jagannath is reputed as the protector of his devotee for ages together.
Ollywood actor Chandan narrates the story of Season 2 of ‘9 Dina 9 Kahani’ organised by 93.5 Red FM and presented by YONO SBI. Besides, renowned sand artist Manas Kumar Sahoo presented beautiful sand art visuals of the adventurous story.