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.
Author - P.C. Roy Choudhoury