Animated Nabakalebara through the writings of Devdutt Patnaik #Nabakalebara #DeduttaPatnaik #Odisha #Jagannath
Every 14 to 19 years, Puri’s Lord Jagannath undergoes a rebirth. This period is known as the Nabakalebara. Epified brings you a brief account of what happens in the pilgrim town of Puri in Odisha during this period.
The Nabakalebara ceremony of the deities takes place in the year when the month of Asadha (June-July) happens to be an intercalary month (Double Asadha or two months of Asadha), which means when one lunar month of Ashadha is followed by another lunar month of Aashadha. The month of double Ashadha is composed of four fortnights, so the Anabasara period of the Navakalevara year actually extends over a period of one month and fifteen days.
During this period, the temple remains closed for general public. During the first fortnight, the new deities are engraved on the Nirmana Mandap. The second and third fortnights of the double Ashadha months are known as Mala Masa. In the second fortnight (i.e. the first fortnight of Mala Masa), the Dayitapatis observe the obsequies because of the death of their family Lords as they are the descendants of the Lords. In the third fortnight (i.e. the second fortnight of Mala Masa) the wooden statues are covered with cotton and silken clothes and the Anabasara duties are performed.
Nabakalebara – Jagannath – The Rebirth
Generally double Asadha come once in every 12 years but not strickly so. It may occur also in 8 years or 16 years or 19 years depending on the auspicious day. The Nabakalebar function is essentially unavoidable as an importance of the fact that the Deities of the Jagannath Temple are made of Neem (Margo) wood and wooden images are normally subject to decay in such a span of time, so changes of the Deities during such interval are felt essential. Nabakalebara is a very old ritual of the Grand Temple, but it’s very difficult to guess the exact time since when it has been celebrated. In the 20th century, the Nabakalebara function was celebrated in the Temple in 1912, 1931, 1950, 1969, 1977 and 1996. The idols that are currently being worshipped in the Jagannath Temple were installed in the year 1996. Next Nabakalebar Festival will be celebrated in the month of Ashada(July/August) at Puri in 2015.