Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Sankaracharya of Puri has stressed upon immediate elimination of Government role in Jagannatha system using the delay in transfer of Brahma (life material) as his ploy. Gajapati Divyasingh Dev who offended the Oriya people by going to Sankaracharya to invite him to the ceremonial bath and Rath of Jagannatha ignoring how Sankara’s image had been deracinated from the RatnaSinghasana of Jagannatha by the heroic people of Orissa consequent upon which he has been kept out of the SriMandira system, has also echoed Sankaracharya’s tone and called upon the people of Orissa to rise in revolt against the Government in general and Daitas in particular for whom the delay allegedly occurred. Upper caste people, who have political economy of inequality as their creed and have ability to use media to transmit their motivated views, are also inciting the masses in unison with the Sankaracharya and the Gajapati. But, the Daita Niyoga, which has so far successfully defended the originality of Jagannatha from the conspiracy of Sankara and his followers, has alleged that, instead of four Daitas, the temple administration had pressed forty of them to participate, which severely affected the environment of Gupta Puja (secret performance) and created an environment of threat to the ‘life material’ to be transferred from the old bodies of the deities to the new ones, in tackling which, the appointed time elapsed. Some of these unauthorized Daitas, according to a ‘Badagrahi’ Daita Haladhar Das Mahapatra, even created violent disorders in demanding that the ‘secret material’, which the ruling elite since yore has made people believe to be Brahma, must be shown to them before transfer. They were equipped with mobile phones, discussing with unknown outsiders and transmitting the activities of authorized Daitas to unknown persons in blatant disregard to secrecy involved with transfer of the “Tejomaya Dhatu”, according to latest Statements of of the Badagrahi Daita of SriJagannatha, Jagannath Swain Mahapatra and Vidyapati Narasingh Pati Mahapatra.
This prompts us to suspect that Sankaracharya and his caste-supremacist acolytes in administration had set agent provocateurs to derail the schedule to create an environment of public wrath against the Daitas, the defenders of Jagannatha’s originality ever since his creation by Indrabhuti from Sauri Narayan Buddha.
In this nefarious game, I am sad to say, media organizations, which should have tried to equip the people with scientific analysis of anthropocentric evolution of Jagannatha as suggested by practice of human manners in Navakalebar, and should have, on the basis thereof, educated the people on its socio-political relevance, are dancing to the tune of the antagonists of Jagannatha’s originality and making unnecessary overwhelming noise over the delay in transfer of the Brahma from the old images to new ones, even though there is no canonical time table for performance of this secret conduct.
No Hindu canon applies to Jagannatha as He is not a Hindu God and the Sabara tribe, whose God is He, has no canon of its own that stipulates a time in the night for the transfer of the secret material by them from the old to the new body of Jagannatha. For insemination, night is held convenient by human beings and therefore, in Navakalebar, which is nothing but practice of human manners, night has been preferred since the idea of putting the “Tejomaya Dhatu”, called Brahma, inside the womb of Jagannatha has been materialized. There is no reason to say that if the night passes away before insemination the act is inhuman. Similarly, if the night passes away in putting the “Tejomaya Dhatu” inside the womb of Jagannatha in certain situations, it cannot be a great offense that should call for any punishment.
The entire occurrence of Navakalebar is an act of Sabari Tantra, of fertility perception, of assertion of female factor in matter of creation, of projection of the cult of coition, an act of insemination by the Sabara in the body of ‘Sabari Bali’ (the epithet used for the Supreme Being by Sabaripa, the famous Buddhist philosopher in his Charya Giti).
Jagannatha system has two distinctly peculiar projects addressed directly to the people: (1) Mahaprasada and (2) Rath Yatra.
People take Mahaprasada sans any caste conflict. And, people participate in Rath Yatra without any caste conflict. Human manners without caste conflict connote to Buddhist way of life and Buddha being Jagannatha, this way of life is what Oriya nation stands for.
When the first project takes place every day, the second project is a regular annual project in which, matching the human manners, Navakalebar occurs in interspaced years. But in both the projects, cult of coition is the guiding order.
Mahaprasada is cooked everyday on hearth to which the fire comes from the heat of coition imagined between menstruating Laxmi and lecher Narayan ( K. C. Mishra, The Cult of Jagannatha, pp.105-06). In interspaced years, Navakalebar takes place by inserting Brahma, if not Buddha’s tooth, secretly in the womb of Jagannatha. Jagannatha is the eternal female (Rajendra Kumar Mohanty, Tantra Shiromani SriJagannath, p.266) and hence the tradition of placing the “TejomayaDhatu” (vital fluid) called Brahma by the Brahmins in the womb thereof is giving birth to new body (Navakalebar). The “TejomayaDhatu” (vital fluid) is generated by coition (Tatra Sahaje Bodhichittam Jayate Sukramutpadyate / Vajra Padma Samgharsena Tejodhaturutpadyate //)
Thus, this being a Bouddha Tantric function, the Brahmins and their trainer Sankaracharya (Cult of Jagannatha by K.C.Mishra, p.125) have no role to play in this symbolic celebration of fertility. In fact, this Navakalebar has also maintained this unique tradition by keeping the caste-supremacists completely out of the core function.
Media as a whole is making noise over breakage of tradition because of non-transfer of the so-called Brahma in the night. There is no such tradition ever canonized by the Sabara, known now as Daita, in matter of night to be the only time for the transfer.
The only tradition which is well settled and known, is that, the Brahmins and the Sankaracharya are not and never allowed to have any business in this secret act.
Instead of making obfuscating noise over the timing of transfer of the ‘TejomayaDhatu’ (Brahma, as they call it), the media should have shown why the Brahmins and their supreme guide Sankaracharya are never allowed to participate in this secret but the most sacred function. But anything anti-people in matter of culture seems to be the core passion of media at the moment.
In anything Buddhist, the people of Orissa have never allowed the Brahmins any authority. They are not even allowed to enter into the area of the Buddhist functions anywhere in the State.
In Narasinghpur where Buddha’s descendants were the rulers till merger of the States, the sword of Buddha is preserved as Pravalayudha (weapon of immense strength) (Pt. Chakradhar Mahapatra, The Real Birthplace of Buddha). After Hindu predominance engulfed the land, it is now worshiped as Pravala. Once in a year the secret worship of this weapon is performed by either the king or his authorized official who at that time becomes ‘Bada Raula’ (Buddha’s son was Rahula and hence, this epithet). During this secret worship, no Brahmin is allowed to enter into the ceremonial area. Pt. Mahapatra, who belongs to Narasinghpur by birth, has mentioned that, this function “is done strictly in seclusion and Brahmins are deprived of witnessing it” (Ibid.p.47).
In Puri, when SriJagannatha enters the Anasara Tati (secluded hut) where secret treatment commences and continues by the Sabara (Daita) Niyog after the ‘Raja Snana’ (menstrual bath) as well as when Navakalebar takes place, famous author Surendra Mohanty , whose works on Orissa’s politico-social history in his unique style have always been held with utmost importance, has also noted that, during these secret ceremonies, “the Brahmin priests are not allowed to enter the ‘Tati’, much less to worship” (Lord Jagannatha, p.24). To Prof. Prallhada Pradhan, “Buddhist practices of the Tantric period” continue as the core of the typicality in vogue in Jagannatha system (Prof. Pradhan’s Presidential Address at the 2nd International Buddhist Conference, Nalanda). Such Buddhist practices are the non-Brahmin practices that need no intervention or interpretation of any Brahmin or supporter of Brahminism.
The Brahmins, led by Sankaracharya, are eager to wipe out the Buddhist practices from the Jagannatha system and therefore, systematic campaign has commenced with showing the Daitas as the villains in media propaganda, after agent provocateurs set by these elements created the delay. It seems, they want to take advantage of the morally weak and absolutely self-centric Naveen Patnaik government to wipe out the historic and inviolable core tradition, i.e. the Sabari tradition of Navakalebar from the Jagannatha system.
Earlier in these pages, we have stressed that Jagannatha, being Buddha by origin, should be free from the priesthood and hegemony of the Brahmins. The vested-interest government, dependent on vote-bank-politics, has not dared to protect Orissa’s unique culture and remove the wrongs done to and the gaps left in the history of Orissa. Rather it has continuously kept Jagannatha under administrative control of the Brahmins by appointing Brahmin Officers as administrators. If a government officer is required to be kept in charge of the temple administration, why that must be a Brahmin officer? Any officer of any caste could be put in charge of Jagannatha temple, where Brahminism is in constant conflict with non-Brahminism. But the Government has always acted subservient to social elites and ignored our suggestions. The result is: agent provocateurs engaged by temple administration in excess of the four designated Daitas have precipitated the violation of the normative schedule of Navakalebar-2015, which has given the caste supremacists their desired opportunity to instigate the people against the inviolable Sabar tradition in core functions of Jagannatha, specifically in the phase of Car Festival that includes Snana (ceremonial menstruation bath) held regularly every year and Navakalebar held in interspaced periods in absolute consonance with human manners.
Obfuscating noise over timing of the transfer of Brahma does not contribute to ethical distinction of Navakalebar, but discussion of why human manners are entirely adopted in this unique festival that disallows the Brahmins to have any say, is essential on part of media to highlight.
It is essential for media to highlight why the entire ongoing discussion is being aimed at projecting Jagannatha as only Vishnu and nothing else, in total oblivion of Jagannatha being Buddha by origin and a creation of Bouddha Tantra.
It is essential for media to focus on why Sankaracharya has issued wrathful wordy arsenals against the State Government for having not acted under his direction in matters of Jagannatha.
It is incumbent upon the media to inform the public who engaged the agent provocateurs to derail the designated time by entering into the secluded area where the “TejomayaDhatu” was to be put inside the body of Jagannatha to thereby give finality to the concept of Navakalevar.
Shamefully, media as a whole is shy of this responsibility.