Daily worship of Goddess Biraja

Daily worship of Goddess Biraja at Jajpur Biraja Maa Temple, Odisha.

Goddess Biraja, the presiding deity of Jajpur has acquired celebrity as a great Shaktipeetha since time immemorial. Her daily rituals and methods of worship need to enumerate here in a nutshell. The great Goddess in worshipped both through Vedic and Tantric rites during her daily propitiation. As she is regarded as the epitome of the religious faiths of Sakta, saiva, vaishṇava, Gaṇapatya, saura and Buddhists the devotes from the walks of life adore her and consider themselves as the sons of the great Śakti incarnate.

The tradition of worship is hereditary and it is prevalent since time immemorial. Sevāyats (attendants), priests and menial servitors have been appointed to conduct all sorts worshipping methods and rituals. Sevāyats entitled Pāni, Pānigrāhī and Kara are appointed in hereditary character to conduct daily worship in terms of their turn. On the festive occasions Pānigrāhī Sevāyats also prepare prasad for the deity and associate to conduct all other rites connected with the Goddess.

The chief priest known as ‘Patimiśra’, Pati family looks after and prescribes the daily worship patterns and special festivals performed in the temple throughout the year makes programs in consultation with the Trust Board and Pandita Sabhā. He happens to the religious authority of the shrine or Dharmādhikārī. During special worship occasions the co-priests of the said family take part in the rituals under the guidance of the chief priest.

Attendants- It is hereditary for the Sevāyats and other attendants to worship the Goddess regularly as well as on festive occasions. The gardener (Mali), The astrologer (Jyotisa), The Bisoi (sweet man), The barber, The potter, The carpenter, The Behera (conch-shell blower), The Drummer, The chaurie bearer (Cāmara sevaka) serve the deity respectively in terms of their turn. The gardener supplies flower, The astrologer prepares calendar, The Bisoi provides breakfast, The barber collects pūjā materials, The potter supplies pots, The carpenter builds chariot, The Behera blows the conch-shell, The Drummer beats drum and chaurie bearer servers with cāmara (a kind of fan made from the hairs of the tail of a yak with a handle of silver or gold).

The temple service is managed by a managing trustee with the sub-collector as the chairman with a committee of members. They look after every thing about the temple service appointing personnel to do needful.

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