Bibaha Panchami, commemorating the marriage between Lord Ram and Jagat Janani Janaki in the Tretayug, has been observed in Janakpurdham on Saturday amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival was celebrated at the religiously significant Janaki Temple.
Due COVID-19 pandemic, the marriage procession did not come from Ayodhya this year. The presence of devotees from India was fewer due to the border closure.
On Saturday, the main event of the week-long festival – the Swayambar ceremony of Ram and Janaki – was held. In the afternoon, the palanquin of Janaki, also known as Sita, left the Janaki Temple, accompanied by a musical procession, to meet Ram’s palanquin that arrives from the Ram Temple.
The two were then taken around the city and brought to the historical Bara Bigha ground of Janakpur. Then, Goddess Janaki’s palanquin circled Lord Ram three times and their garlands were ceremonially exchanged, thus completing the Swayambar.
Despite the present coronavirus scare, thousands of devotees from Nepal and India had come to the ground, many on foot, to participate in the celebrations.
In the evening, a symbolic marriage ceremony was held according to Vedic customs between the two Hindu gods at the altar constructed in the Janaki Temple complex. Priest of the Ram Temple Ram Giri performed the rituals as King Dasharath, father of Lord Ram, and priest of Janaki Temple Ramat Peshwor Das performed as King Janak, father of Goddess Sita. While all this was going on, the participating women sang various cultural songs.
The cold created a problem for pilgrims sitting under the open sky, said Ram Roshan Das, successor priest of Janaki Temple. According to Ramat Peshwor Das, the festivities will conclude on Sunday after bidding farewell to Lord Ram’s Janti (wedding procession).
Photo Courtesy: Deshsanchar