Nabakalebara

Nabakalebara

Nabakalebara is a grand event of Shri Shri Jagannatha Temple, Puri. Once in between 12-19 years to exhibits the humanly acts the lord of the universe Jagannath, along with brother Lord Balabhadra and Sister Devi Subhadra and chakraraj Shri Sudarshan changes their bodies, made up of neem trees. In which the alive Supersoul is very secretly transferred from the old bodies to the new bodies.

Nabakalebara takes place when a special period occurs in the traditional calendar i.e the year with two ashadh months. which is the year with two full moons in the hindu month of Asadha, in odia its called joda asadha and the month is known as Purushottama masa in which the Purushottama shows his uncommon act, which is only in the culture of Jagannatha, according to suta samhita a scripture its mentioned there that : 

yada bhavati ca sarho maso yam tu malimluchah
tada bhavet prabhor guhyo-lila goloka-sambhavah


Among the months the  Mala masa is the most important. Among the mala masas, the Purushottama masa is specific, the Asadha Purushottama masa is also known as Guhya Purushottama masa, a very secret month in which Jagannatha exhibits His Goloka Lila.

In the year with two asadha month at the time of chaitra navaratri, the day after Ram Navami, on the chaitra sukla dasami tithi is the beginning of the grand ceremony. on that day after the Madhyanna Dhoopa puja(afternoon puja) of lords, Daita and Patimohapatra enters the Sri Mandir, and ascend towards Ratnasinghasan, there one of Pati mohapatra servitor gets atop the Ratnasinghasan and first gets the Aagyamla(garland of permission) of Lord Balabhadra, then Devi Subhadra and then of Jagannatha and give it to the head daita of each group, and he himself holds the garland of Shri Sudarshan, and lead the group, where at the jayavijay dwar the Bhitarccha mohapatra ties a silken cloth of Lord Jagannatha on their head as a protection and permisson from Lord Jagannatha to process this service.


They walk to the gate of the King’s palace (Sri Nahara). There the chief of the Daitas called the Biswabasu and Bidyapati accepts a sacred betel nut from the Raja Guru. The Raja Guru directs the King to perform the acharya varana ceremony to appoint the Acharya for the banajaga yatra (the journey to the forest). After obtaining permission, they walk to the Jagannatha vallabha gardens, where they place the agyamalas on a special cot. They spend the day and the night there, and on the night of the next day they carry the agyamala towards the temple of Goddess Mangala at Kakatpur, situated on the banks of the river
Prachi. The Lenka Sevaka holds a chakra danda made of silver, leading the way. Traveling on foot, they first reach the Deuli Matha, situated on the bank of the river Prachi.

The next day, the deula karan sevak wrote a traditional letter to the Mangala temple to inform them about their arrival as the main Acharya of Goddess Mangala’s temple is informed of the imminent arrival of the banajaga yatris, as soon as he gets the news he makes arrangements to receive them with great ceremonial way and takes them into the temple. By this time, the morning puja of Mother Mangala has been completed. The
Lenka Sevaka places the chakra danda on a pedestal inside the temple, and the main Acharyas stotriya bhramins started reciting the Chandi path(devi mahatmya on markandeya puran) in the Jagamohana of the temple as the Sevakas of the Goddess conduct the upachara puja and offer the Mahaprasada that has been brought for her along with the flower garlands, Sarees,Sandalwood paste etc in the presence of the Daitas and the Pati Mahapatras.

After the 11 days of Chandi path, Goddess Mangala guides them towards the way leading to the holy neem trees, 

darunam sruyatamatra tad ekadasa-lakshanam daru-nirnaya-belayam yatpramanam bhavishyati

prathamam jnayatametan nischitam daru-sannidhau smasanam vartate kinchit yadeva tada-duratah
It means the holy neem trees fulfilling some signs would be selected for the carving of the deities. The Banajaga yatris must verify the eleventh signs:


Location
bhaved daru puranam tat tasya punastvavasthitih vyavaharat vahirbhute grama-prante naditate na vajrapatopahatam na cha svapada-darshitam nanavrikshair mritangair va yuktam daru prasashyate

The tree should be a very old neem tree. It should be on the outskirts of a village, near a body of naturally flowing water and near a crematorium. No wild animals must have nested in it and no other tree should grow very near to it. It must not have been struck by lightning, burned by a forest fire or submerged in flood water.

Colour and look of the neem trees

yad-daru balabhadrasya bhavet-tat-sukla-varnakam, sapta-bhiriha-sakhavi 
stahdruddhorathaba yutam ll
jagannathasya devasya ramaniyaka-daru tat,syyadisat krushna-varnadhyyang chatursakhasamanwitam ll
 sudarshanasya yad-daru bhavedaraktavarnakam saralancha sudhirgancha loka-lochana-sundaram ll

Lord Balabhadra’s Mahadaru must be whitish in color with 7 or more central branches, while Chakraraj Shri Sudarshana’s reddish, Devi Subhadra’s golden yellow, and that of Lord Jagannatha’s should be blackish with 4 central branches.

Marks of divine signs on the holy neem tree

jagannathasya daru syat sankha-chakradilanchitam
chinnitam balabhadrasya halena mushalena cha
devyah punah subhadrayah padmachinna-samanvitam

The marks of the divine weapons are Shankha and Chakra for Jagannatha, Hala and Mushala for lord Balabhadra and lotus marks on goddess Subhadra’s Mahadaru(holy neem tree selected for carving of idols).

Presence of an anthill

syad daru sannidhau nunam valmikancha puratanam
pipilika-namavasah caturtham lakshanam tvidam

There must be an anthill filled with ants near the tree.

Presence of a Tulasi plant

panchamam lakhanam neyang sannmidho barunastaruh 
syaat krusnavarnayukti tulasi mangalaprada ll


There must be a varuna tree and a auspicious black Tulasi plant close to the neem tree. It is the fifth sign the tree must bear to be selected.

Snakes as protectors

sasthanang lakhyanam neyang sannmidho tasya darunang
bhayankaro vaset kashmid vishakto bhujago mahan

As soon as the vanayaga yatris arrive at the spot, they must see a big King Cobra snake protecting the tree. It is the 6th sign.

Evidence of previous worship 

kenachituu kadachit va syaadidang bahupujitam 
saptamang lakhyanam hyotad bhavedeva pramanitam 

There must be evidence of previous worship once or everytime by any person,this is the seventh sign.

 Divine sounds in the surrounding area
ashtamautu prayanat prak devadaru-samipatah
karnatithir bhaved durat sankha-kahali-nisvanah
The banayaga yatris must hear divine sounds of shankha and kahali (bugles) coming from far off places, it is the eighth sign.

Body sensation felt by the Devotees and Daitas on seeing the tree

durad-darshana-matrena svanga-sphurtir-bhavishyati
bhaktanam dayitanam vai navamam kathitam buddhaih
As soon as the devotees or daitas get near the tree, once they must feel will get a body sensation like the hair on their bodies stand on end.It is the 9th sign.

There should be no marks of cutting on the tree
dasamang tasya brukhasya kachidangsah kadachana
kutharadiviruchinno na syaatat kenapi kahichit 


As the 10th sign, the holy neem trees being selected for the carving of the idols should never possess any  previous cutting marks by axe in any of its branches and trunk.

A sweet fragrance of the trees
sugandhitang sumistang vhabedasya tu bakalam
 ekadasalakhayam syada deivadaruni khlpidam
As the 11th sign they must found a sweet fragnance coming from the tree, out of these 11 signs the neem trees which possess 8th or more signs will be selected for the carving of the deities.

(to be continued)

4 Comments on “Nabakalebara”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *