Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 9:
Questions have been raised over the schedule for the infusion of Brahma into the new idols of Lord Sudarshan, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Jagannath during this year’s Nabakalebara in Odisha’s Puri town by the temple administration.
Experts in temple traditions say the date set for the infusion of Brahma into the new idol is not only not compatible with the Shastra (scriptures), it also violates the rules mentioned in the Srimadir Chakada Pothi.
In all previous Nabakalebaras, the infusion of Brahma to the new idols was done on the 15th day after Snana Purnima. However, the temple administration has decided to perform this all important ritual on the 14th day this year. This has evoked strong reaction among those who hold the traditions of Shrimandir sacrosanct.
It has been clearly mentioned in Skanda Purana, Niladri Mahodaya and Bamadeva Samhita that the door of Anasara house will be opened on 14th or 15th day after the Snana Yatra of the deities while the Netrotsav ritual of the Lords has to be performed on the day of Nabakalebara Rath Yatra even if it is an adverse tithi. There must not be any deviation in these rituals.
As per available information from the Chakada Pothi, the change of idols was done in 15th and 16th day during the Nabakalebara of the Lords in 1912, 1931, 1969, 1977 and 1996.
However, there has been a stark deviation in the rules. As per mythological observation, the change of idols of the Lords should be done on the 15 the day after Snana Yatra which was held on June 2.
Going by this, the date for change of idols should be on June 16. However, the temple administration has decidedto hold the ritual on June 15.
As per the opinion of well-known astrologer Baikuntha Nath Nayak, the Rath Yatra of the Lords is celebrated as per the day, not the tithi.
“The Ratha Yatra begins with Snana Yatra and ends with Niladri Bije. Since there can be no deviation on this, why have the temple servitors and the administration decided to change the date for the infusion of Brahma to the new idols. Neither the servitors and nor the temple administration has any answer to this. It seems that they are playing with the religious sentiments of the devotees,” Nayak observed.
However, Haladhara Das Mohapatra, the dalapati (leader) of the Banajaga Yatra team, said the temple servitors are performing the rituals as per the tradition.
“We are performing the rituals this year as per the rituals performed during Rath Yatra last year,” he added.
However, to a question on whether the servitors have wrongly interpreted the Shastras and decided to change the idols on Chaturdasi (14th day), he said he has no information on this.