Debadasi of Lord Shree Jagannath Sabitri Puja

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Devadashi ( Maharis ) of Lord Shree Jagannath Shasimani Devi is doing Savatri Brat. Sashimani is the last of the Devadasis — or Maharis, as they are called in Orissa. The Maharis of the Puri temple have always commanded respect, courtesy their stature as the spouse of the Lord (a deity form of Krishna). The 16th-century reformist monk Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who spearheaded the Bhakti movement, describes them as “Gopis” in his writings after a long stay in the ancient city of Puri.

The Mahari system came into being in the 12th century when the then king entrusted the Devadasis to recite his contemporary Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda. They were also given the sanction to “entertain” the Lord by singing in the sanctorum the 12 chapters of the lyrical Sanskrit poem.

Photo: Ranjan Gangyly

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Festival in Puri


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