Odisha Banajaga Yatra team fans out in search of ‘darus’

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kakatpur, Apr 5:

The Banajaga Yatra team that had been camping at the Deuli Mutt in Kakatpur in Odisha’s Puri district  since its arrival here from Puri on April 2, left the Mutt premises early this morning in search of the divine darus (neem trees with special attributes used for carving of new idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Sudarshan for Nabakalebara Yatra).

Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra
Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra

The team split into four groups, each group led by a chief badagrahi of the four Lords, and set out in the directions suggested to them in their dreams by Maa Mangala through divine prophesies on the locations of the divine darus.

After the conduct of the all important majana niti (specialized bathing ritual) of Maa Mangala at her temple and the receipt of the agyanmala (go ahead order) from her for search of darus, Banajaga Yatra team members had been chanting the swapnabati mantra (a specialized invocation for inducing dreams) before going to sleep.

“We have checked at different places, but it doesn’t mean that all those darus will be Lord Jagannath. They may be fit for Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Lord Sudarshan.  We all are moving in the direction as revealed in Maa Mangala’s prophesy, which is east-south direction (purba-dakshin). We will decide on it after discussing among ourselves. We Daitapatis, our dalapati (team leader), upadalapati (deputy team leader), president, secretary and other members of the team will decide on the darus after referring to scriptures and conducting certain rituals. It doesn’t mean that wherever we go and locate a daru (neem tree) it will be fit for carving of idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra,” said Ramakrushna Dasmohapatra, upadalapati of the Banajaga team and president of Daitapati Nijog.

“We will continue with this search till 6 PM in the evening. We will walk for around 30 KM and then enter a forest as told by Maa Mangala in the prophesy. On our return to Deuli Mutt, we will have havishaana (specially cooked pure vegetarian meal by using specific ingredients). Now we are on a fast, we won’t even take water during our baraefoot journey till we are back at the Mutt. We have the blessings of Maa Mangala and Lord Jagannath with us which will guide us to find Him,” said Jagannath Swain Mohapatra, chief Badagrahi (chief body protector) of Lord Jagannath.

“This is His leela. It is He who will show us the way to the divine;y ordained daru. We have come 70 KM to Kakatpur from Puri guided by Him. He will again guide us and we will discover the daru out of which He will be made. It is His doings’ we are mere mortals. We have been told by Maa Mangala to go in this direction the Lord will appear and show us the way it is His leela (doings), , said Ramachandra Das Mohapatra, chief Badagrahi (chief body protector) of Devi Subhadra.

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