Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jun 16:
The Brahamapadartha parivartan niti (life substance transfer ritual) of the Lords, the most important ritual of the Nabakalebata which began late on Monday night inside Shri Jagannath temple premises in Odisha’s Puri town, was completed a short while ago several hours behind schedule due to inordinate delay in the rituals.
The temple gate opened and the Daitapatis trooped out amid chants by the devotees outside to mark the end of the elaborate secret ritual called brahma parivartan.
“With the Lord’s grace, everything was done as prescribed in the scriptures,” announced a beaming Ramaksrushna Das Mohapatra, the mukhya badagarhi (chief body protector) of Lord Jagannath.
“It was painful to part ways with the deities we had worshipped for 19 long years,” another senior Daitapati said.
Sources said the gupta niti (secret rituals) of the Lords begun at 4.15 AM today after the servitors consecrated the entire temple premises.
The Puri Gajapati Maharaja Divyasingh Dev, who had entered into the temple at 2.15 AM, returned at 2.45 AM after performing purnahuti at the yagna at Koili Baikuntha.
After the departure of the Gajapati Maharaja, all lights in and around the temple were switched off at 3.15 AM while the gupta niti of the Lords began after the entire temple premises were consecrated at 4.15 AM.
Earlier in the day, Chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Suresh Mohapatra had a hard time explaining the inordinate delay in the completion of this key ritual.
“As you can see, all four gates of the temple are closed. No official or outsider can go in while the secret rituals are on. Hence we do not have any information on when the ritual of Brahma Parivartan would be over. It will be clear only when the daitapatis come out,” he said.
Mohapatra sought to make light of the inordinate delay in the completion of this most important ritual of the Nabakalebara by invoking precedence.
“There are a host of rituals that have to be completed. Along with the idols, the horses, the sarathi and the parswa devatas have to be buried. All this takes time. The entire process can take up to 12 hours. During the Nabakalebara in 1996 too, the process was completed at about 3-4 pm,” he said.
Asked if the inordinate delay did not constitute a violation of the temple tradition since the scriptures mandate that the Brahma Parivartan has to take place in the dead of the night, the chief administrator could only mutter; “As I said, everything will be clear only after the daitapatis come out.”