Orissa’s economy rests firmly on the shoupracheelders of its green fields and farmers. To accentuate the power of the man of grains and gruel, Vaishnav poet of Orissa Kabi Balaram Das introduced the festival ” Manabasa ” and Sudasa Brata , about 400 years back. The paraphernalia of the festival includes drawing a lotus motif and installing a wooden stool containing the beetlenut and the newly harvested grains. A special cake called “Manda” is offered as Prasad to the Goddess Laxmi.
It is a ritualistic practice to recite the Laxmi Purana on this day. It is interesting even Goddess Laxmi as a woman was not spared by her husband Lord Jagannath and banished out of her abode on a trivial mistake. The poet very aptly conveys the establishment of values like harmony, equality and social stability. The poet strongly believed that it is not through religious discipline but through sense of cleanliness, humility and noble thoughts that one can achieve the divine grace.