A submerged deity survives Orissa’s Muslim invader Kalapahada
Posted by jagoindia on April 22, 2008
By Amulya Kumar Pati
Jajpur (Orissa), April 13: It is strange but true. The idol of a popular god in Jajpur district, Lord Narayan Gosain, has been kept in a pond for the past 440 years.
It is displayed in public for darshan for only three days a year. The deity is worshipped with gaiety and grandeur during this period in a remote Singhapur village under Rasulpur block of the district.
Lord Narayan Gosain appears on Mahabisuba Sankranti or Pana Sankranti day, and is immersed in the pond adjacent to his temple on the fourth day, where He resides for the rest of the year.
Lakhs of devotees across the state throng Singhapur to offer prayers to their beloved Lord at the sacred place called `Madhutirtha Khetra’
Legend has it that a bigoted Muslim and infamous idol-destroyer, Kalapahada invaded Utkal during the reign of Mukunda Dev in 1568 AD and left behind him a trail of demolished temples, shrines and idols.
After unleashing a reign of terror in Shreekshetra at Puri, he arrived at Jajpur – the nation’s oldest Shaktipeetha.
In order to rescue the idol of Lord Narayan Gosain from the Muslim invader, the then Madhupurgarh King hid him in a tank in Singhapur.
A few days later, the King had a dream in which the Lord asked him to take out the idol from the water and worship it. Since then, the idol is taken out of Singhapur pond for a three-day period.
“Every year Singhapur yatra is celebrated with much fanfare in our villages. Local people turn vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are completely banned during the yatra.
Every year on the occasion of ‘Pana Sankranti’, we take out Narayan Gosain’s idol from under water and then worship it in a three-day long ceremony. After the yatra, the idol is again taken in a procession and submerged in water, where he comes from,” said Prafulla Chandra Satapathy, a resident of Singhapur.
Both the beginning and concluding days saw a huge crowd participating in the procession carrying the idol while singing hymns and dancing.
“This is a unique tradition in the country. According to the tradition, first the King of Madhupurgarh comes and offers prayers to the Lord on the bank of the pond as Narayan Gosain is the presiding deity of the king.
After the King’s puja and prayer, thousands of devotees take part in the ceremony every year, in which the idol is taken out from under water and worshipped in the nearby temple,” said Sukadev Pati, chief priest to the royal family.
It is widely believed that worshipping Lord Narayan Gosain fulfils all wishes made during this three day long ceremony.