Devasnana Purnima to Nabakalebara 2015
With Devasnana Purnima over the devotees wait with anxiety to have darshan of Lords in ‘new body’ on Rath Yatra
Thousands of devotees congregated in the pilgrim city of Puri in Odisha to witness the Deba Snana (bathing ritual) of the three deities—Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra
The deities from Ratna Singhasana were taken in the ‘pahandi’ mode to the Snana Mandap, an elevated platform facing the Bada Danda (Grand Road).
The servitors dressed the deities in the attire of elephant (Gaja Vesha) after performing their bathing ritual by pouring 108 pots.
With the end of Debasnana Purnima on second of June 2015 the presiding deities of Puri , Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra, have been isolated in the “Anasara Ghara” where they would stay for 45 days next.
Mythology has in it that that after taking bath on the occasion of Debasnana Purnima, the deities catch fever and stay inside the “Anasar Ghara “in seclusion for at least 15 days. However this year due to the prevalence of “Joda Asadha” (dominance of month of Asadha according to Hindu almanac for consecutive two months) the stay of the deities inside the “Anasara Ghara” would be 30 days more than that normally happens.
It is also belied and felt that during the isolation of the deities; in the “Anasara Ghara” the climate remains hotter as they shiver in fever. In the meantime all the rituals for the making of new idols are being performed secretly at Koili Baikuntha where all the Neem logs have been kept in special enclosures. This is the nabakalabara year where new existing idols of Lords will be replaced with new ones after following lots of rituals. Nabakalabara 2015 is celebrated after a gap of 19 years.
The new idols would be carved out of the logs of the Neem trees, brought from different places during “Banajaga Jatra”. The carving of image of Lord Jagannatha would be done by three oldest sculptors out of the group of seven main carvers.
Similarly the idols of Lord balabhadra and Devi Subhadra would be carved by two teams of carvers with each team having three sculptors.
The idol making works is done so clandestinely that even the head priest of the Jagannath temple is not allowed inside this special enclosure. All the carpenters involved in wood carving go through strict ritualistic prohibitions which prevents them to eat, drink or smoke and move outside the Jagannath temple premises for consecutive 21 days, the time required for the completion of idol making.
During these 21 days “Akhanda Bhajan” (day and night singing of devotional songs) would be sung outside the Koili Baikuntha. While temple musicians and Devadasis would sing the devotional songs perform, the specialist priests would chant the shlokas from the Vedas continuously.
After work on the new deities is finished, they would placed in front of the old deities facing them. Once again this is a secret act performed only by the Daytapatis with utmost confidentiality. Nobody is allowed see. According to the tradition, the rights of the Bramha Parivartan (soul transformation) are vested with the Daitapatis, being considered as the descendants of the tribal king Biswavasu’s daughter Lalita who first worshipped Lord Jagannath.
This Bramha Parivartan ceremony takes place three days prior to the great Chariot Festival. The transformation of Bramha(life force) is done by the Daytapatis, who do it with closed eyes , their hands covered by clothing of Lord Jagannatha. The transformation is being completed once the “Brahman” (also referred to as pinda) is transferred from the old deities to the new.
The new deities get seated on the altar (“Ratna-Singhasana”) in the morning of the second day and the routine worshipping activities once again starts in the temple after almost a gap of nearly 58 days. From this day, the devotees are normally allowed to have “darshan’ of the new deities and the occasion is called “NavaJauban Darshan”. However the administration has decided not to allow devotees to have darshan of deities as the expected see of crowd would be beyond control to manage. The third day marks the chariot festival where the deities appear outside the temple for the devotees at large. This is the day, when people would get first chance to have glance of Lords after debasnana purnima.