Lord Jagannath plays gambling with his consort Mahalaxmi in Sri Jagannath temple

Puri, Oct 31 (UNI) Lord Jagannath and his consort Mahalaxmi participated in a dice game (gambling) popularly called “Kauri Khela” on Kumar purnima, a festival of spinsters which was observed across Odisha today.
On this day Laxmi pooja also began and the ritual was observed in the Sri Jagannath temple in a different way.
As per the temple traditions late in the night servitors in the absence of devotees escorted devi Mahalaxmi to the sanctum sanctorum of the Lord Jagannath temple.
The ceremonial dice game was played atop the Ratnasimhasan between the servitors playing on behalf of the Lord Jagannath and Mahalaxmi.
Conventional coin “Kauri”(small conch cells) the old medium of exchange was used in the game. In the final game, Lord Jagannath conceded defeat.
The servitors of Mahalaxmi imprisoned the representing image of Lord Jagannath-Neela Madhav and escorted him to the Mahalaxmi temple for a week.
During the week-long punishment lord, Nilamadhav remains tied to the throne of Mahalaxmi.
Taking clues from deities, the devotees and the residents too gamble on a large scale throughout the night.
The popular belief goes that gambling on this night brings wealth and prosperity.
The day was also celebrated as Kumar Purnima, a festival dedicated to the spinsters.
All the girls wore new clothes and worshipped lord Kartik to grant them, suitable bridegrooms.
In the evening the traditional “Chanda Chakata” a sweetmeat prepared of cheese, paneer, lia and Khai besides floral service was offered to moon God and distributed.


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