Sayana Yatra (Sleeping Ceremony) Monday, Jun 22, 2015

Although Sri Jagannath temple carries out a good number of celebrations and festivals for the whole year, 12 festivals are regarded very significant and thus these are popularly known as 'Dwadas Yatra' (Twelve Festivals). On the occasion of 'Ratha Yatra' (Chariot Festival) and 'Snana Yatra' (Bathing Festival), original deities come out for open view of the devotees. But in case of other festivals, the deities do not come out of the temple. Rather, these festivals are observed in the temple and representative deities enjoy the advantage of the ritual, though original deities are placed usually. Some of the festivals are symbolic to explain the status of the original deities.

'Sayana Yatra' (Sleeping Ceremony) is one of such festivals, observed on 11th day of bright fortnight in the month of Ashadha. On this occasion, deities sleep. This is otherwise known as 'Sayana Ekadasi'. After 'Badasinhara Bhog' (Night offering), 'Sayana Thakuras' (Representative images) are brought and placed in small 'Vimans' (palanquins). Three representative images are Lord Ananta Basudev, Goddess Bhubaneswaree and Lord Narayan. Followed by subsidiary rituals such as 'Sarbangalagi', 'Patanilagi' and 'Phulamala Lagi' (using scented materials, flowers and cloth etc), 'Ballabha Bhog' (Additional offering) is made. Three 'Puja Pandas' (Brahmin Servitors) worship the deities with 'Sodasaupachara' (sixteen types of treatment) including 'Karpura Alati' (offering with camphor). The representative deities are taken from 'Ratna Singhasana' (Bejeweled Pedestal) towards the 'Bhandar Ghar' via-'Jagamohan'. Sleeping materials like Bed, Pillows are also taken. The representative images are brought to the well decorated sleeping chamber and placed on the cots. Bandapana is done and the door is closed. The representative images sleep or take rest for 4 months, from 11th day of bright fortnight of Asadha to the 10th day of Bright Fortnight of Kartik. This is a festival that symbolizes deities' sleep for four months for the welfare of the universe. 

Source :I & PR Department