What is the belief behind applying butter on the Pindi of Mata Bajreshwari Devi for seven days?

Makar Sakranti is a widely celebrated festival in Northern India, marked by diverse traditions and customs. One such unique tradition is the Ghrit Mandal festival at the Shri Bajreshwari Devi Temple in Himachal Pradesh is an enchanting celebration filled with history, tradition, and religious significance. 

Imagine a festival where butter becomes a symbol of divine healing power! 

This unique tradition, observed during Makar Sankranti, involves the meticulous preparation of Ghrit, a special butter adorned with fruits and nuts, and its application on the mother goddess's Pindi. This festival holds great significance and is deeply rooted in the history and beliefs associated with the temple.

Ghrit Parv Recognition

The main event of Shri Bajreshwari Devi Temple is Ghrit Parva, which is celebrated once a year during Makar Sankranti. There are various beliefs associated with the Ghrit Mandal festival. According to one belief, while killing the Jalandhar demon, the mother's body suffered many injuries. Ghee was then applied to heal these wounds. It is said that during that time, the gods and goddesses made butter by washing the ghee with cold water a hundred times and applied it on the mother's body. Although the exact origin of this tradition is not mentioned, it has been followed for centuries. After decorating the mother with butter, the pindi is adorned with fruits and nuts.

The Process of Preparation

The preparation of Ghrit involves a meticulous process of washing desi ghee with cold water 101 times. This arduous task is considered no less than a penance and is carried out by the temple priests. The butter is then applied to the mother's Pindi and adorned with fruits and nuts, culminating in a visually stunning display.

Butter remains on mother's pindi for seven days

The process of preparing Ghrit from ghee begins eight days before the start of the Ghrit Mandal festival, and the temple is adorned with colorful lights to mark the occasion.The Ghritamandal festival lasts for seven days from Makar Sankranti. Devotees of the Mother visit the divine building from the sanctum sanctorum to the courtyard. After seven days, butter is taken out from the mother's pindi and distributed as Prasad. It is believed that this butter, after being applied on the Mother's Pindi, becomes a medicinal substance. People use it to cure ailments and skin diseases, but it is not meant for consumption. The ritual of applying butter on the mother's Pindi and the subsequent distribution of the Prasad hold deep cultural and religious significance, symbolizing the divine healing power of the mother goddess.

A similar process is also done in the temple of Baba Baijnath, there are two popular beliefs about it, according to one, many gods accompanied the Mother Goddess in the battle with Mahishasura, Shivaji was also one of them and the other belief is that King Bhimsen of Mandi wanted to take the Shivalinga installed here to Mandi but Bhole Shankar appeared to him in his dream and asked him not to do so. Bhole Baba had asked him to apply butter on Shivalinga as a punishment. This tradition has continued since then.

The Ghrit Mandal festival at the Shri Bajreshwari Devi Temple and the similar tradition at the temple of Baba Baijnath are deeply rooted in history, showcasing enduring cultural and religious heritage. These traditions hold great significance, symbolizing the divine healing power of the mother goddess and reflecting the rich tapestry of traditions in Northern India.

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