PURI: The Daitapatis and the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) have come in for severe criticism for the delay in 'Ghata Parivartan' (transfer of Brahmas from the old idols to the new ones), considered as the most important ritual in the Nabakalebara of the Trinity.
The ritual, which should have been completed late on Monday night, was over late on Tuesday noon. As per the Nabakalebara manual, the midnight of Chaturdashi (June 15) was finalised as the day for Ghata Parivartan and accordingly, the SJTA put all measures in place. Despite tall claims of the Daitapatis and the SJTA, the rituals were delayed by several hours hurting the religious sentiments of lakhs of Lord Jagannath devotees.
Four Badagrahi Daitapatis (chief of the Daitapati clan) of four deities - Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, Devi Subhadra and Sudarshan - were entrusted with the job of transferring the 'Brahmas' from the old idols to the new idols.
Sources said internal bickering between members of the Daitapati clan came to the fore when a section of them forcefully prevented the four Badagrahis from performing the duties. They stopped them from entering the sanctum sanctorum of the temple where the transfer of Brahmas was to take place, demanding that they should also be allowed to remain present during the ritual. The four Badagrahis did not concede to the demand and this led to a tussle between them. As a result, the ritual was stalled for over three hours.
Haldar Dasmohapatra, the Badagrahi of Sudarshan, said he along with three other Badagrahis were obstructed by a section of Daitas who demanded that they along with a senior Daitapati be allowed to remain present in the sanctum sanctorum during the rituals. "This is why the ritual was delayed by three hours as a result of which, Ghata Parivartan could be completed by Tuesday noon," said Haldar, who was the head of the Banajaga Yatra team.
On the other hand, Bijay Mahapatra, a senior Biswakarma who was engaged along with nine other Biswakarmas to carve the idols of the four deities, said they could not finish their work on time which was also one of the reasons behind delay. "Some Daitapatis frequently interfered in the carving work and kept changing the wooden logs time and again. We had intimated the Chief Administrator of SJTA about it but he did precious little for smooth conduct of the carving work," he told this paper.
Some servitors also pointed fingers at the SJTA for beginning the 11-day Mahayagna late. They said the SJTA should have organised the Mahayagna much earlier which would have given more time to the Daitas to perform the Gupta Niti (secret rituals) of the Lords. The Mahayagna had started on June 3.
As per the Nabakalebara manual, the Daitapatis can begin their work only after the Swotriya Brahmins initiate Jibanyash (putting life force) in the new idols before the Ghata Parivartan by Daitapatis. The Jibanyash ceremony was completed by 4 am on Tuesday.
Gates of the 12th century shrine were opened for devotees and daily rituals of other deities in the temple complex began late on Tuesday night.
SJTA Chief Administrator Suresh Chandra Mahapatra said action would be taken against the Daitapatis if Haldar Dasmohapatra gives them the complaint in writing. "Only if the SJTA eceives a complaint in writing, we can initiate action against anyone found guilty among the Daitapati clan as per the law," he said.
Sources said the SJTA would convene an emergency meeting of Daitapatis on Wednesday night to record the first hand report on the issue.