Courtesy :- Daily Pioneer
The auspicious day marks the beginning of the preparations for the world famous car festival (Rath Yatra) of Lord Jagannath at Puri and the famous Sital Sasthi festival which solemnises the marriage ceremony of Lord Siva and goddess Parvati at Sambalpur.
Thala Utha, the first phase of the Sital Sasthi Yatra is held here on Akshay Tritiya, when the devotees donate for the divine marriage on earth that unites the Prakriti with Purusha.
The Thala Utha for the marriage of Bambarada Balunkeswar, Sri Lokanath, Jageswar Baba, Somanath Baba, Sri Sitaleswar was held on the night of Akshay Tritiya night in different parts of the town, including Nandapara, Jharuapara, Modipara, Bada Bazar, Thakur Pada etc in presence of the important personalities. Sambalpur apart, preparation for Sital Sasthi has also begun in other parts of western Odisha, including Barpali and Balangir.
After completion of the Thala Utha ceremony, the priests of the Lord Lokanath Baba temple of Jharuapara Ramanath Mahapatra and Mahendra Pujari went round the town in a pageant with the important persons of their area.
This year for the marriage of Lord Lokanath Baba, Motilal Das and Chandraprava Das of Kansaripada would be the Kanyapita (bride’s father) and Kanaymata (bride’s mother).
“We feel proud of becoming the in-laws of the Lord and the father and mother of the divine mother. It is a privilege,” said the Das couple.
Similarly, at Bada Bazar, Surendra Mohanty and Sangeeta Mohanty would be the in-laws for Sri Sitaleswar Baba. “We got this opportunity only for the kindness of the Lord,” the couple admitted, while narrating the undisrupted blessings of the Almighty on them.
At Nandapara, the priests Murari Prasad Mishra and Sarada Mishra accompanied by Golak Behari Mishra, Amulya Mishra, Pradip Babu, Harihara Guru went round the town with the Thala. The entire city is now bracing up for the divine marriage.