Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Balianta, Mar 19:
The people of Sathilo, a nondescript village under Balianta block in Odisha’s Khurda district, consider themselves blessed. The reason: the village got associated with the Nabakalebara process of Lord Jagannath by contributing the daru (neem tree) to be used for carving of idols of parshwa devas and devis (subsidiary deities) to be fixed on the three chariots of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra that will be pulled during the Ratha Yatra this year.
It may be mentioned here that though the chariots of the Lords are crafted anew every year before the Ratha Yatra, the idols of parshwa devas and devis are carved only in Nabakalebara years, which comes once every 19 years.
An atmosphere of spirituality prevailed in the village with kirtan mandalis singing paeans to the Lord to the beats of cymbals and mridanga. After the customary worship and rituals, the appointed neem tree was felled today following which the logs were dispatched to Puri for the carving of idols of subsidiary deities.
A large number of believers from surrounding areas had converged in the village during the felling of the daru. The sound of cymbals and chant of Haribol rent the otherwise tranquil air of the village.
“After yagnas and poojas, the tree was felled and the logs are being sent to Puri. People from our village and adjoining villages have gathered here in large numbers. We feel we are blessed that the daru from our village will be utilized in the services of Lord Jagannath,” said Dayanidhi Purohit, the village priest.
“A few days back, Daitapatis from Puri Shree Mandir had visited our village with agyan mala and had identified the neem tree in our village in front of a shop near the village temple as the daru for carving of idols of parshwa devas and devis. Today the daru has been felled and is being sent to Puri for use in the services of Lord Jagannath. We feel proud to be the residents of this area which is blessed to be in the service of the Lord,” said Durganandan Mishra, a devotee.
“We are very happy and feel proud that daru from our area is leaving for Shree Kshetra to be in the service of Lord Jagannath. We had never imagined that daru from our area will used for making of idols of parshwa deva devis”, said Sasmita Dash, a devotee who was present at the time of the felling of the tree..