Bhubaneswar, Nov 30: The first Thursday of the 'Margasira' month, the ninth month in the Hindu-Odia Calendar, is marked by a special observance by Odias. Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped by women and girls in Odisha throughout the month of Margasira every Thursday, which is known as Manabasa Gurubar. Mahalakshmi, also known as Lakshmi, the Hindu deity associated with wealth and prosperity, is believed to grace homes during the Margasira month.
On the morning of Manabasa Gurubar, Odia women rise early to clean their homes, preparing to welcome Goddess Lakshmi. It is widely believed that the goddess visits only clean and tidy houses, prompting a thorough cleaning to maintain a pristine environment.
A traditional pot, typically used for measuring paddy, is filled with freshly harvested paddy and placed in the puja area, symbolizing prosperity. The home's entrance is adorned with Alpana, Chita or jhoti and special pujas are conducted in honor of Lakshmi. The Mahalakshmi Purana, a scripture in the Odia language, is read on all Thursdays during this month.
The story behind Lakshmi Purana
This Purana recounts a tale where Goddess Laxmi visited Shriya, a woman considered of 'low caste'. Balarama, the elder brother of Jagannath, grew upset and deemed Laxmi stained, leading to her eviction from the sacred Temple of Puri. The temple, a revered pilgrimage site, turns off witness to Laxmi's curse on her husband and brother-in-law, subjecting them to a prolonged ordeal without sustenance, water, and shelter. Realizing their mistake, the brothers apologized, seeking Laxmi's return. Every Thursday of the 'Margasira' month, local Odia TV channels broadcast a program dedicated to this occasion, where two renowned female singers sing the Purana.
Addressing caste discrimination, cleanliness, and feminism, the Purana becomes a guide for women to fulfill their duties. It criticizes societal structures, opposes untouchability, and emphasizes female empowerment.
On this day of prayer, introspection becomes crucial for inner cleansing of souls and minds, challenging traditional casteist beliefs. It encourages the acknowledgment that women possess autonomy and should not be confined by patriarchal norms.
The Purana's messages transcend its time, advocating progressive ideals. During festive occasions, it's imperative to delve into the true spirit of self-reflection rather than mere ritualistic adherence, thereby upholding the essence of our rich Indian tradition.
aced in the puja area, symbolizing prosperity.