The Puri district administration on Monday allowed people from outside Puri to cremate the mortal remains of their near and dear ones at the ‘swargadwar’ crematorium in the sea beach here with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocol, officials said.
Though the residents of Puri were allowed to cremate bodies at Swargadwar, it remained prohibited for outsiders since mid-April. The latest order issued by the Puri district administration allowed cremation of bodies (non-Covid death) belonging to other districts and states at the ‘swargadwar’ crematorium.
The restrictions on immersion of ashes at ‘Mahodadhi’ (sea) have also been withdrawn by the administration following a decline in infection rates both in the state and the Puri district as well.
The district administration has allowed the presence of a maximum of 10 persons with the body to carry out funeral rites with strict adherence to Covid protocols.
A COVID-19 negative proof and documents relating to the non-Covid death of the deceased have been made mandatory for entering the crematorium to perform the last rites of the deceased, the order said.
The administration has also allowed cremation during weekend shutdowns on Saturdays and Sundays. The Sub-Collector, Swargadwar Seva Samiti, and other officials have been asked to keep close surveillance in the matter and ensure strict implementation of the orders.
”We have come to swargadwar in Puri from Munger in Bihar for the cremation. The deceased, who is a monk, is fortunate enough to get the opportunity to get cremated at Swargadwar,” said another sadhu accompanying the body.
People from different parts of the state and other states have started bringing non-covid bodies for cremation in swargadwar.
The Swargadwar cremation ground is considered auspicious as it is believed that the deceased person directly goes to heaven from here. The very name- ”Swarga” means heaven and ”war” means gateway, so literary Swargadwar is considered as the ‘Gateway to Heaven’.
As per general belief, the idea among Hindus is to end their life in this holy place of Puri to go to heaven for liberating their soul and ultimately salvation, an official said.
Swargadwar is on the sandy beach towards the southwestern corner of the town. In every ‘Amabasya’ God Narayana represents Lord Jagannath visits sea, which is said to be the in-law house of the Lord, through this holy cremation ground.
On the Swargadwar, there is a temple of Goddess Smasana Kali. Goddess Kali acts as the guard of Swargadwar and stands as the proof for all Heaven-going souls.
Purusottam Kshetra Puri has been accepted as the ‘Martya Vaikuntha’ (Heaven on earth), where Lord Vishnu stays as Jagannath in the Temple. Here everything has been said to be ‘Bada’ which means great. The road is called Bada danda, the Prasad is referred to as Mahaprasad, the diya is called Mahadipa and the sea is Mohodadhi.
Anybody, who dies here straight, goes to heaven and attains salvation. ‘Mukti’ undoubtedly achieved through this Swargadwar, besides the Mohodadhi (sea). According to scriptures, the Brahmadaru (the huge logs), from which the three main deities of the Jagannath temple are carved out, floated to the beach at Swargadwar.