Home ART & CULTURE Odisha Nabakalebara: Banajaga Yatra moves indoors now

Odisha Nabakalebara: Banajaga Yatra moves indoors now

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, May 23:

With the entry of Lord Jagannath’s mahadaru (the holy neem timber out of which the new idol will be carved) into Koili Baikuntha (the place inside the Shree Jagannath temple premises where new idols of the Lords are carved and the old ones buried) on Friday ended Bahyajaga (outdoor part) or the first phase of the Banajaga Yatra.

Lord Jagannath's daru reached the Shrimandir on Friday morning
Lord Jagannath’s daru reached the Shrimandir on Friday morning

However, the Antahjaga (yagnas held inside Koili Baikuntha) of the Banajaga Yatra, which includes carving of idols of the Lords and bramha parivartan niti (ritual of transfer of soul from the old idols to the new) will begin from Debasnana Purnima on June 2, according to Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) sources.

Yagnas similar to those held before felling of daru are held inside Koili Baikuntha for carving of the idols of the Lords from the respective darus and infusion of life into them.

While the idols of the four Lords – Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Sudarshan – leave for the anasara or anabasara (vacation) griha (villa) after taking snana (bath) on Debasnana Purnima at the snana mandap (bathing altar) in normal years, the idols are taken to Koili Baikuntha in the Nabakalebara year.

Upacharya of Banajaga Yatra and purohit (priest) of Shree Jagannath temple Siddheswar Mahapatra told leading Odia daily Sambad that yagna will be held for almost 11 days inside Koili Baikuntha. The yagna will continue as the idols are secretly carved by the Biswakarmas, he said.

“During the carving of idols, Maharana servitors will have havisyanna (pure vegetarian meal cooked of rice, dal and specific vegetables) for their food and adhere to rigid discipline. Saws, chisels, etc. and other tools used for carving of the idols will be cleansed and sanctified by Brahmins in panchamrit to the chants of mantras (invocations) before being used for the carving of the idols.  After completion of purnaahuti (final oblation in the yagna fire) on chaturdasi -14th day of the new moon – consecration of the new idols will take place. On the same day, the Brahma will be taken out from the bodies of the old idols and placed in the new ones under the cover of darkness and in complete secrecy. The Brahma parivartan (changing of Brahma from the old idols to the new ones) will be done by the badagrahis (body protectors) of the respective deities. Later the old idols will be buried under the mythical siali lata (creeper where Lord Krishna had abandoned His body) inside Koili Baikuntha,” said Mohapatra.

The carving of the idols of the deities will be done in complete secrecy. Even the sound of the tools used for carving of the idols will not be heard outside.