By: Bijaya Ketan Sahu
~ Holy Odishan tradition behind “Rasagola” ~
Odisha celebrats Rasagola Divas (Rasgulla Day) on occasion of “Niladri Bijay” Mahostav (grand celebration for Lord Jagannath‘s back to his glorious temple). Rasagola is an Odia sweetmeat product as a proof it is mentioned in “Dandi Ramayan” by great devotional poet Pandit Balaram Dasa on 16th Century. “Dandi Ramayan” is an immortal literary creation in “Pancha-sakhaa” era of Odia literature which was written 500 years before.
It is mentioned in “Dandi Ramayan”:-
‘କୋରା ରସଗୋଲା ଯେ ଅମୃତ ରସାବଳୀ
ମଣ୍ଡା ନାନାମାନ ଅମୃତପାଣି କଦଳୀ’
(ଦାଣ୍ଡୀ ରାମାୟଣ)
In “Dandi Ramayan” it is clearly mentioned that sweetmeat Rasagola was served with other delicious food to Sri Ramachandra’s younger brother Bharat when he was in his uncle’s house. It is a recorded written proof aboutRasagola dated back to 500 years.
In “Madalaa Paanji” (A book of periodically recorded incidents of Sri Jagannath temple at Puri) Rasagola (Rasgulla) is named as “Kshira Mohan”. This “Kshir Mohan” nothing butRasagola which is presented by Lord Jagannath to Mahalaxmi on day of Niladri Bijay.
Historical analysis says the Rasagola sweetmeat have been originated from Kitchen of Lord Jagannath which is known as “Ananda Bazar”. Rasagola has been being offered to Lord Jagannath inside the Puri temple (Sri Mandir) since 900 years back dated. It is offered once in a year inside the temple when Lord Jagannath returns back from Gundicha temple to Sri Mandir at the last day of Ratha Jatra. In fact Lord Jagannath gifts to his wife Godess Laxmi in order to break her anger as he visited his aunt’s house (Gundicha temple) with his siblings but did not take her with him. Lord Jagannath promises that next year he would sure take his wife with him in Ratha Jatra. Goddess Laxmi becomes happy after getting Rasagola and listening her cheater husband’s promise. But next year again Lord beaks his promise and ignores his lovely wife by not taking her with him in Ratha Jatra. This very lovely scene is played as drama by Lord Jagannath’s sevayats (Priests) each year on the last day of Ratha Jatra which is called “Niladri-Bijay”. Odisha has 900 years back recorded history how it is culturally connected with the lovely sweetmeat Rasagola.
Images: prameyanews.com, sambadenglish.com  

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