Sudarshan Daru Traced : Nabakalebara 2015

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Devotees make beeline amidst chanting of Jai Jagannath

 

All the roads led to “Gadakantunia” village, located near Balakati on the outskirts of the capital city, after the priests, who are out on the “timber trail”(locally known as Banayaga Yatra), finalized a neem tree from which the idol of Lord Sudarshan would be carved out.

 

Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Sudarshan termed as Chaturdha Murti or 4 idols are worshiped in sanctum sanctorum of famous Sri Mandir in Puri. Sudarshan is first among the four deities the neem tree from which the idol of Lord Sudarshan would be carved out use to be named as per temple tradition. Other three will follow shortly.

 

The neem tree, situated on the banks of river Kuakhai , is one kilometere away from the historic Chausathi Yogini temple, has all the requisite divine signs to be used for the purpose of creation of Lord Sudarshan’s idol.

 

According to the chief of Banayaga yatra the neem tree found here fulfills all the preconditions like a river and Shiv temple are close to the location of the tree. The tree bears the symbols of Sankha, Chakra, Gada and Padma on it.

 

As soon as the news broke out devotees have made beeline for the once non-descript village. The police have cordoned off the place and a three tier security arrangement has been put in place to control the crowd. Barricades are installed around the neem tree to keep it safe.

 

The daitapatis(servitors of Lord Jagannath temple) have started performing rituals like Yajna near the neem tree. The area is thronged by thousands of visitors from nearby areas as well as from far-off places for having a glimpse of the tree. Many outside tourists coming to Puri and Bhubaneswar also have included the place in their itinerary.

 

There are several Nabakalebar rituals to be completed near the tree before it would be chopped off on April 17. Hence the village would further see arrival of visitors in large numbers. When the village is soaked in devotion, a mela like environment has been created in and around the vicinity. Many temporary kiosks selling Bhog and Diya have been set up by the small businessmen. Few religious villagers have also left no stones unturned to take the opportunity to serve the spiritual guests by distributing free vegetarian food.

 

The whole place gets reverberated with devotees offering prayers, chanting “Jay Jagannath”, beating of cymbals and gongs in rhythm.

 

It was an event of life for the retired government employee Somnath Behera, 76, a villager of Gadakantunia,who has been taking care of the tree since the super cyclones that hit the area in 1999. He took a spiritual look at the tree when he found that the neem tree was unaffected from the furies of the super cyclones. Since then he has been worshipping the tree after placing mini idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra. This announcement of the priests for the neem tree has made him quite nostalgic.

 

The Banayag Yatra(a tour on barefoot by the Puri priests in search of neem trees for making idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balaram, Goddess Subhadra and Lord Sudashan) for Navakalebaar purpose was started from March 29 last. Soon the neem tress for the other deities would be identified and the work on the creations of the idols out of the logs would be started.

 

How to Reach:

The Gadakantunia” village, located near Balakati is on the outskirts of the Odisha Capital Bhubaneswar. Well connected with Rail and Plane the most sought after place in Odisha now is just 20 Km from Bhubaneswar. Since well planned public transport is not available it is advisable to take a taxi to the spot.