Odisha Nabakalebara: Daitas wait for prophesy on ‘darus’

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kakatpur, Apr 4:

The all important majana niti (bathing ritual) of Maa Mangala, the presiding deity of Kakatpur in Odisha’s Puri district, was conducted at the Maa Mangala temple here with full pomp and grandeur by the Banajaga Yatra team on Friday.

banajaga team

Majana niti of Maa Mangala is considered all important because it is only after the completion of this ritual that the Banajaga Yatra team members receive in their dream the divine prophesies on the locations of the darus or neem trees out of which new idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Sudarshan are carved.

Despite the blistering heat and humid conditions,chants of Jai Jagannath drowned out all other sound in this small town of Kakatpur since day break on Friday. The stretch from the Deuli Mutt to the Maa Mangala temple was lined with devotees chanting Jai Jagannath and Haribol with women making ululations. The road leading to the temple was strewn with flowers and alpanas painted to receive the Banajaga procession. Each house on the stretch had the auspicious symbols of a banana tree and a purna kumbha (pitcher full of water) as men and women alike waited to welcome the procession in the scorching heat.

After completion of the majana niti now Daitapati sevayats (servitors) returned to the Deuli Mutta and are waiting for prophesy of Maa Mangala on the location of the darus.

After arrival of the team of servitors carrying the angyamala (order of the Goddess) from Maa Mangala Temple in a procession to the beats of drums, cymbals and blowing of trumpets at the Deuli Mutt where the Banajaga Yatra team has put up, the angyamala was taken by theVidyapati of the Banajaga team for lagi (offering) to Lord Sudarshan (Chakra Narayan).

On completion of the ritual at Deuli Mutt, the Banajaga team, led by its dalapati (leader), carrying the customary articles like silk saree for Maa Mangala, mala (garland), mahaarda-prasad of Lord Jagannath etc.)that had come from the Shree Mandir in a basket for the majana niti  the team left for the Maa Mangala temple in a grand procession accompanied by the sevayats of Maa Mangala.

After the arrival of the Banajaga team at the Maa Mangala temple began the majana niti as per traditional customs. Maa Mangala’s majana niti was done using 108 garas (pots) of scented water which contained sandal wood paste, camphor, honey, aguru (perfume) etc.

Daitapati sevaks (servitors) then did adhya (prostrated on all fours) and prayed before Maa Mangala to reveal to them in a prophesy the locations/directions of the darus. During the majana niti, two agnyamalas from Maa Mangala descended on Lord Sudarshan (Chakra Narayan) symbolizing the go ahead following which the Daitapatis left for the Deuli Mutt to recite the swapnabati mantra to pray for the mother’s prophesy.

However, Daitapatis have alleged aberrations in the conduct of rituals which has disappointed them. They have even said that they would raise the matter at the Nijog besides informing the temple administration about it.

“Today, they didn’t conduct the rituals properly as per the customary norms. I cannot tell you about the secret rituals; it’s improper. After the snana (bathing ritual), we were supposed to have darshan and then conduct certain pooja paths (rituals) which did not take place. We felt that the pooja was not done properly but the majana niti is complete,” said Ramakrushna Mohapatra, president of the Daitapati Nijog.

“We will raise this issue at the Nijog’s proceedings, will write to the administration. In the next generations, we may not be there. But future generations will hand over the chitau (memo) through the Deula Karana (temple clerk) but won’t come to this place,” said Premananda Das Mohapatra, secretary of the Daitapati Nijog.

“The way they behaved with the Daitapatis, it has hurt all Daitapatis,” said Biswabasu of the Banajaga Yatra Binayak Das Mohapatra.

The Maa Mangala temple servitors have, however, said that the matter has been resolved and there is no dispute.

“We again took them inside the temple we offered chadeinada bhog and pana to the Mother, we asked them to forget what had happened and if their honour had been affected in any manner and bury down the differences,” said a senior priest of the Maa Mangala temple.