Today all Puri celebrates Gundica-marjana. This is the day before Ratha-Yatra and for more than five centuries devotees of the Lord come to clean Gundica temple.


Located at another end of Grand Road, Gundica temple is used only during the festival of Ratha-Yatra.

There are few levels of understanding the significance of Ratha-Yatra and I’ll share it with you in my next article. Today I want to describe one interesting meaning of cleaning Gundica.

The temple is not used during the year and everyone who visited India even once can imagine the amount of accumulated dust and garbage. When devotees come to wash the temple and make it suitable place for Lord, coming there the very next day, it is understood that they clean their own hearts from all unwanted things (bad habits and tendencies, negative and destructive emotions, excessive attachments, etc. – everything that is stored in our hearts from time immemorial).

cleaning Gundica

Vedas speak about 8 400 000 forms of life in Creation. They also tell that the highest form of life is human. Bible says the same. Why? Indian knowledge (which is still available in its pure form through certain lines of disciplic succession) explains that the only quality that differs in a human being is the ability to realize the existence of a higher force, the Lord. As well as a thirst to such realization.

From this point of view, the Vedas proclaim the highest attainment for a human being: to realize his own nature, the nature of the soul; his relationships with the Lord and his life mission. And anyone can reach this perfection by cleaning his heart from all the unwanted things through the process given by the Lord. ТIn this way he prepares his heart for the Lord to come and sit on the throne decorated with flowers and jewels. This is the connection between cleaning the temple of Gundica on the day before Ratha-Yatra and our own hearts.

The festival of Ratha-Yatra is not advertised much but never the less, year by year, century by century, age by age it attracts millions from all over India. People come to see Jagannath and make themselves qualified by cleaning their own hearts on the day of Gundica-marjana.

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