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Temples in East India >> Bihar >> Ma Paudi


Worship of a deity without a devotional darshan is rather rare in India. The deity of Sri Sri Ma Paudi, enshrined at Porahat first and then at Seraikella in Bihar, is a deity of that category. Seraikella was the head quarters of a feudatory State and now it is the headquarters of the Seraikella Sub- division of Singhbhum district. Nobody is permitted to see Ma Paudi except the Ruler, the Heir Apparent, the Heir Pre- sumptive and their consorts and the main Dehuri or Pujari (priest) of the temple.

Formerly everyone could have darshan but,Since the beginning of the19th century, a decision was taken in a convention of the people of Seraikella that none except those mentioned above would be allowed to have darshan of the deity on ordinary days. The members of the Ruler's family, the Singha Dynasty, could now have the darshan of Ma Paudi only on the Nuakhia and Jesht Jantal days. The taboo still continues even after the termination of the ruler-ship. The story of how the taboo came into vogue is indicated later.

shta Devatas or presiding deities for families are quite well known. So also is Ishta Devatas for many of the erst-while ruling houses in India. A presiding deity for a particular part of the country is also not unknown. Pauri Devi or Paudi Devi or Ma Paudi is the presiding deity of the Singh- bhum district in Chotanagpur, a division of the State of Bihar.

According to the Vamsa Prava Lekhana, Paudi Devi originally came from Ceylon. Vamsa Prava Lekhana is a chronicle which has been faithfully recorded in palm leaves by a family of Dogras, who have followed the Simha Dynasty of Rathors from Rameswaram to Singhbhum, Kanjo, Rajputana and back to Singbhum through all the vicissitudes of history and have recorded the chief events in each reign from generation to generation.

The present palm leaf manu- script was copied out from the original in the year 1700 of the Samvat (1643 A.D.), during the reign of Kashiram Singh 11, the 41st king of the Singh dynasty. Maguni Rout Dogra, son of Chitra Rout copied it, and the dates of events are given in the Vikram Samvat or the Gajapati Era. The language and the script are in Oriya. According to this important chronicle, when the Simhas were installed by Lord Sri Ramachandra to keep guard over Rameswaram, this deity (Ma Paudi) appeared before them in a dream saying that she had come to sustain them in their efforts to keep -watch over the 14,000 Hara lingas.