Untamed potency and tamed kinetics metaphor in Nabakalebara

Asit Mohanty & Sibkumar Das

Construction of new ‘daru’ idols and invocation of divinity through ‘pratistha karma’ continue simultaneously. Intricate mandalas are drawn on the ‘pratistha mandap’ or special pedestal at the very beginning of ‘pratistha karma’ or ritualistic invocation for establishment of potency,

Surya pooja Pain Surya Mandal

A mandala literally means a circle. But in realms of occult and spiritualism, it represents wholeness. It is a cosmic diagram to relate our mind with the infinite omnipresence that extends beyond and within our body and mind. Drawing of various mandalas is an attempt to represent the whole cosmos and its every conceivable detail. It seems to pass on the message that encompassing the whole creation in the consciousness is the first stride on the road towards the ultimate evolution or Sri Jagannath state.

In his book ‘Sri Purushottam Tattwa o Nabakalebara’, Jagabandhu Padhi has described the various mandalas drawn at ‘pratistha mandap’.   ‘Chakrabja mandala’ and ‘Swastik mandala’ are drawn on the Agni corner, ‘Sarvatobhadra mandala’ and ‘Nabagraha mandal’ on Aishanya corner and ‘Vastu mandal’ in Nairruta corner. Separate mandalas are drawn for ‘ashtadasha matrugana’ or 18 mother entities, ten ‘Digapala’ or protectors of cardinal directions, ‘nabagraha’ and various other deities.

‘Chakrabja (wheel-shaped lotus) mandala’ is said to have originated from Tantrasarasamgraha of Sri Madhvacharya, the propounder of Dvaitha philosophy. Sri Nrusimha as well as other gods and goddesses are established on ‘Chakrabja mandala’. It denotes that the omnipresent entity splits into duality for the leela of creation. ‘Nidraghata,’ a holy pot representing inert potency is worshipped on the ‘Swastik mandala’ that represents the positive go of creation. ‘Snanaghata’ or pots of water to be used for ‘abhishek’ process are kept on the ‘Vastu mandal’.  In the Vayu corner of the ‘pratistha mandap’, tools of Biswakarma or craftsmen servitors are worshipped in the ‘Ashtadalapadma mandala’.

Sri Nrusimha is of utmost importance during ‘Nabakalebara’ rituals. Interestingly, Sri Nrusimha is not worshiped on the ‘ratna simhasana’ altar of Sri Jagannath temple. As per priests, Sri Jagannath is worshiped in the ‘Srikrishna Govinda Gopijanaballava’ form. It is the form that can be adored by all.

Interestingly, ‘nyasadaru’ is also placed on the ‘Chakrabja mandala’ in ‘pithasana’ (erect position) or ‘sayanasana’ (lying position). This piece of the ‘daru’ in which divinity is invoked is later divided into four parts to become integral the elements of four different idols. Former professor of Sri Jagannath Sanskrit University Dr Braja Kishore Swain opines that the importance of Sri Nrusimha is quite evident from the yajna conducted near the selected ‘daru’ trees till the last phase of Nabakalebara rituals,. According to him, Sri Nrusimha is made ‘supta’ or inert as Sri Jagannath is worshipped in pleasing ‘Gopijanaballava’ form.

This seems to be a metaphor for us and our society. Our potency is representation of Sri Nrusimha, the untamed energy that includes animosity as well as humanism. This untamed potency has to be ‘supta’ or inert and disciplined actions which are pleasing for all have to be adopted. This can make the temple of our society survive. It will make an individual adored by the society.



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