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   MATHA AND ASHRAMS Untitled Document

:: History

:: Location Map

:: Tourist Attraction

:: Rituals

:: Festivals

:: Matha & Ashram

:: Mahaprasad

:: Temple Administration

:: Accomodation

:: Shopping Arcade

:: Jagannath Bhajans

:: Useful Links

:: Shri Mandira Samachar

:: Tender


Centring  round  the  great   temple  of   Lord Jagannath,many  a Matha (Monasteries) grew up gradually in course  of  time in this holy town.In the  past many Saints and  Sadhus had come to Puri to have darshan  of Lord Jagannath.They came in contact with and influenced the Gajapati   Kings   through    their   philosophical doctrines.The  saints  and   sadhus  established  their monasteries  on the lands donated to them by the  kings and wealthy  persons.   The Maths  continued  preaching their respective  doctrines and also performed  certain ritual services  in  the Jagannath Temple.With  endowed properties  and lands, the heads of the Maths were able to maintain  their institutions.  Lands were donated to the Maths  for 'Amritmanohi' the proceeds thereof were spent in  offering  'Bhoga' to Lord Jagannath  and  the 'Mahaprasad'  thus obtained, were distributed among the pilgrims, pupils, ascetics, and beggars.  The functions of the Maths  were:

(1) Propagation  of the essential philosophy  of Hinduism and Jagannath Culture.
(2) Providing  shelter  to  pilgrims  coming  to Puri.
(3) Providing accommodation / financial help to poor and meritorious students.
(4) Participating  in various rituals  of  the temple of Lord Jagannath.

As  reported  in the Puri Gazetter  (1929)  the "Mathas are monastic houses originally founded with the object of  giving  religious instructions to chelas  or disciples  and  generally  of encouraging  a  religious life." The heads of the Mathas are called Mahantas  or Mathadharis.   They are  generally celebrates  but  in certain Mathas  married  men can become  the  Mahantas.

They are   generally   selected    from   among   their 'Chelas'.Some   mathas   were  set up   for   defence purposes. King  Narasingh  Dev-1  established  4  mathas ('Akhadas')namely  Bagha,Khaki,Hati and Nirmohi  mathas with strong  valiant Sadhus to guard the temple.As  per the said  Gazetter  " there are over seventy mathas  in Puri town."  The  Mathas  are affiliated  to  different sects of    Hinduism,namely    Angira    sect,   Adwait sect,Ramanandi  sect,Ramanuja sect,Atibadi sect,Gaudiya sect,Pancha  Ramanandi sect,Gauda Mahaba  sect,Nimbarka sect,Anant  sect,Utkal  Vaishnab   sect,  Madhabacharya sect,Dashanami  sect,Pustimarga sect.etc.There are also some mathas  belonging  to the Gurunanaka sect and  the Kabir sect.

 Most of the Mathas of Puri have ritual relation with the Sri Jagannath temple.

Jagannath Ballav Matha

It  is  so to say the pleasure garden  of  Lord Jagannath.The  "Bije  pratimas"   (the   representative images) of  the  Lords  visit this Matha  on  different festive occasions   like  "Basanta   Panchami",on   the 1st,4th,5th,and  12th  days in the bright fortnight  of Falguna.This  Matha  supplies   flower-ornaments   like 'tilak'and   'jhumpa'  for   Baddasinghara  besha   and supplies  'Kora' (a sweet food) for 'Kaliya dalana' and 'Pralambasura  badha'  beshas.It also  supplies'dayana' for 'dayana chori' ritual.

This  Matha  situated on the grand road  has  a trust board  under  the administrative control  of  the Endowment  Commissioner  of  the   State.   It  has  no Mahanta.

Raghaba Das Matha

It  is  situated near the southern gate of  the Jagannath  temple.This Matha supplies 'tahia' on  Snana purnima,Car    festival,Return    Car    festival   and Niladribije  days.It  supplies  a   part  of  the  Hati besha.It   supplies  'tuli'for   pahandiand  a  certain quantity   of  sandal  wood   for  'Sarbanga'neeti   on 'Khalilagi ekadasi.It also supplies flower garlands for 'Nabanka  bedha'  and  offers 'adhara  pana  bhog'  and 'panti bhog' on certain festive days.

 Oriya Matha

 This  Matha  is responsible for supply  of  the materials  for  certain  rituals.It  supplies,'trimundi chandua'  and silk clothes for ' Chaka apasara',repairs 'Kanakamundi'.It  also  supplies till oil  for  Phuluri neeti, oil  and  ghee etc.for 'Deva  deepawali',offers 'Chakata  bhog'in  'Anasara'  and adharpana  bhog'  and 'Panti bhog'on  certain days.  On Neeladri bije day,the Mahanta makes ‘majana’ of ratnavedi.

This  Matha  was  set up by  Atibadi  Jagannath Das,a poet-saint  of  Orissa in early part of the  16th century.

Emar Matha

 It  was established by the Saint  Ramanuja. This Matha supplies   'Chandrika'and  'Chausara'   made   of flowers for  the Badasinghar besha of the  Lords,'Mala' and 'Chula'  for  the 'nabanka' ritual.It offers  'Pana bhog'during  the  Chandan Yatra, 'Chakata bhog'  during the 'anasara'  period and 'bala bhog' during the  month of Kartika.

Gopaltirtha Matha

This  Matha supplies a part of 'Hati besha'  on the Snana  Purnima day and ' makara chula' on the Snana Purnima and  Makara  sankranti  days and  offers  panti bhog.

Gobardhan Matha

It  was established by the great  Sankaracharya in the Swargadwar  area.Puri  became  one of  the  four important  'dhamas'(places) of Hinduism because of  the establishment of this Matha by the great Saint.

The   head   of  this   Matha  also  known   as Sankaracharya  is  the  permanent head (nayak)  of  the Muktimandap  of  the Sri Jagannath temple by virtue  of his position.The  temple authorities use to consult him in religious or ritual matters when ever necessary.

Bada chhata Matha

Situated   in  front  of  the   temple. Performs 'Kirtan'  at  the time of 'mangala alati'  and  'pahuda alati' and  bala dhupa.Padma besha of the Lords is done and 'Kshiri bhog' offered by this Matha.

Suna goswami Matha

It  supplies  flower ornaments like  'alaka'and 'chausara'  during the Chandan Yatra, makes 'majana' of 'ratnavedi'   at  the   time  of  'banakalagi',supplies 'adhibasa  jala'  from  the well of  Sitala  fof  Snana purnima rituals,and  offers 'panti bhog'to Dola Govinda at tthe time  of  'Agniutschaba'.The  Mahanta  of  this matha also  happens  to be the mahanta of  Darpanarayan Matha.

Mangu Matha

It  is  located by the side of the Emar  Matha. It is associated  with  the memory of  Guru  Nanak.This Matha supplies  a  ram for 'bali'(sacrifice)before  the Goddess Bimala,each  year on Mahanabami night.There  is another Matha of Guru Nanak sect,known as Baaul Matha.

The  other Maths connected with the affiars  of Sri Jagannath   temple  are  Sri   Ram   Das   (Dakhina parshaw)Matha,Uttara        parshaw       Matha,Trimali Matha,Mahiprakash  Matha,Sankarananda    Matha Gangamata Matha,Gangamata   Matha,Radhaballav    Matha,Labanikhia Matha,Chhauni Matha,Jhadu Matha,Papudia Matha,Nebal Das Matha, Devagiri Matha,Pipili Sadabarta Matha,Sanachhata Matha, Jhanjapita   Matha,Samadhi   Matha,Balaram  Kota Matha,Badasantha     Matha,Ramji      Matha,Sidhabakula Matha,Venkatachari Matha,Narasinghachari Matha,Ghumusara   Matha,(now    in    ruins),Radhakanta Matha,(Sri Chaitanya visited Puri in 1510 AD and stayed in this Matha.Some of his personal belongings have been preserved  in this Matha).Kothabhog Matha,Mahabir Matha etc.The mahantas of these Matha are entitled to perform 'Upachara  Chamara seva,but most of them are not  doing the seva. The  Mathas  are  under the control  of  State Endowment  Commissioner.There are two Mathas under  the Sri Jagannath  Temple  Managing  Committee.   They  are Chaulia Matha  and  Delhi  Nalak Ram  Das  Matha  (near Gundicha  temple).There is another Matha known as  Sata lahadi Matha  in  the Swargadwar area.It is the  burial place of  Atibadi Jagannath Das,author of the Bhagabata purana in  Oriya.This  Matha  is  being  managed  by  a committee     under       the       Chairmanship     of Collector,Puri.Another  Matha located in the same  area is the Kabir  choura  Matha,associated with  the  Kabir sect. It is  said that Kabir,the mystic poet stayed here when he visited   Puri.There  are   some  other   Matha unconnected  with  the rituals of the Jagannath  temple like Chaitanya   Goudiya     Matha,Purusottam   Goudiya Matha,Panjabi   Matha  etc.Many   Mathas  have  stopped performing services in the temple and those who perform now,do so  to  a limited extent.Some of the Mathas  are entitled  to get 'Khei'(a portion of the Kotha bhog) of the temple.

Outside  Puri  town, there is another Matha  in the Kakatpur village area,known as Deuli Matha which is connected with the Nabakalebar ceremony of the temple.

The Four Ashrams

Connected with certain rituals of the temple of Jagannath,there  are four Ashrams (hermitages) in  Puri town.These  are Angira Ashram,Pandu Ashram,  Markandeya Ashram and Parasara ( Ugrasena)Ashram.

On  the  ninth day of the bright  fortnight  of Sravana,the  Nrusimha deity of the Sri Jagannath temple pays a visit  in  a  ceremonial manner  to  these  four Ashrams.This  is  called  'Badi  Nrusimha  bije'.'Sital bhog' is  offered  to the Deity in each  Ashram.On  the full moon  day of Margasira,Nrusimha again visits these places.On  the full moon day of Sravana,Lord  Sudarshan visits all   these  Ashrams. These   Ashrams  are  being managed by different local committees.

There  are  some  other  Ashrams  not  ritually connected  with the Sri Jagannath temple.Some of  those Ashrams are  Bijaya  Krushna  Goswami  Ashram(near  the Narendra   tank),Adwait   Brahmashram   (Girinarbanta), Omkarnath Thakur or Neelachal Ashram (Swargadwar area), Karar Ashram  (founded  by  the great  Kriya  yogi  Sri Yukteswar  Giri,  (Swargadwar   area)Bharat   Sevashram (Swargadwar    area),Pranabananda       Ashram    (near Chakratirtha),Satsangha      Ashram       (Chakratirtha road),Nigamananda   Ashram   (Lokanath  road),Dibyadham Yogashram  (Chakratirtha road),Maa Anandayamayi  Ashram (near Swargadwar),      Abhiram       Paramahanshashram (marichikote   lane),   Bhagabat   Ashram   (near   bus stand),Haridas Ashram (Sarbodaya nagar).

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