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Bathing ceremony of Janabahaa Dyo

  

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: While entering Kanak Chaitya Mahavihara popularly known as Janabahal, one is able to see the elaborative annual bathing ceremony of Janabahaa Dyo also known as Seto Macchindranatha, Aryaavalokitesor and Karunamaya Lokesor. Bathing ceremony takes place on Pousha Sukla Asthami every year which falls on January 1 this time followed by a week-long repainting of the image carried out by designated priests maintaining strict ritual discipline. According to Triratna Bajracharya, Priest of Janabahaa Dyo the bathing and repainting ritual symbolise changes that occur in throughout life, including Janabahaa Dyo’s.

Inside the courtyard the bathing ceremony takes place on a concrete stage especially made for the ritual, which is beautifully decorated with garlands and lights. The ritual is done by five main priests who are dressed in white clothes with a few ornaments and colourful aprons. The main priest begins dancing accompanied by music where God’s clothes are taken off. Then cold water is poured on the God three times and ends with a warm water shower as part of the

ritual.

Two other Gods are placed at the left and right side of Janabahaa Dyo and Hunkaji Shakya, member of Sangh informed, “Two idols are of Arya Tara — green and white — incarnated from the tears of Janabahaa Dyo. It is believed that if the clothes of Arya Taras is worn by a whimpering child, s/he becomes calm.”

Raja Shakya, member of Sangh shared, “Janabahaa Dyo is not distinguished by any gender and according to Newari culture Janabahaa Dyo has to go through rituals, which humans go through from infancy to adulthood.” He also informed that after bathing ritual only for four days, idols of Arya Taras are revealed to the devotees otherwise those idols are always covered by clothes of Janabahaa Dyo.

Every year the ceremony is organised by caretaker priest clan of Janabahaa Dyo named Sangha. The ritual starts only after the living Goddess of Nepal Kumari arrives at the premises who is believed to be the main spectator of the ritual.

Janabahaa Dyo is believed to have the capacity of relieving living beings from any kind of suffering. And about the importance of witnessing the ceremony 68 years old Chirbhai Maharjan one of the devotees shared, “One who worships Karunamaya is believed to have a prosperous life and who witnesses this event will be successful person.”


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