Sunday October 21, 2018

World embraces for Nabakalebara: The ritual of Lord Jagannath’s new embodiment

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By Prateek Kumar

Nabakalebara is among one of the most prominent festivals of Odisha, celebrating the regeneration of Lord Jagannath, Bhalabhadara, Subhadra and Sudarshan by restoring their wooden idols in Jagannath temple, Puri.  According to the secret code of conduct followed in the customs, the provision is there for changing the deities. And with the help of secret rituals the supreme power is installed from old deities to the new one.

The ceremony that’s traditionally performed once in 6, 12 or 18 years is organized during the intercalary month of the respective year’s annual calendar, i.e. a year that has consecutive lunar months of Ashadha. This year’s festival will be commencing from 18 July and is expected to be witnessed by more than 20 lakh people and the net expenditure of the festival ranges to Rs 1000 crore.

Numerous myths, elaborate rituals and several celestial incidents are also attached with this propitious event and the procedure of which is also mentioned in Sanskrit manuscripts inscribed on the palm leaves which are kept in the Jagannath temple.

For the prosper completion of the ritual Gajapati Maharajah of Puri gives a decree of instructions to the Vidyapati, Diatas and Brahmins who are well versed in Vedas, to go and search a tree on which images of the deities can be crafted.

A group of devotees from several communities in strict adherence to the ancient scriptures travel together in their quest of finding the appropriate tree (Neem/Margo) whose wood is used in the construction of the deities. The need for the new deities is imperative owing to the decay of the wooden idols over the years.

Sankha (conch), Chakra (disc), Gada (mace/club) and Padma (lotus) are the few specifications that a tree must fulfill to be chosen as a Daru Brahma. A search party is formed to go out and locate the “Holy tree”. The herd of searchers consists of 1 heir of Pati Mahapatra family, 20 Dayitapatis, 1 Lenka, 9 Maharanas, 16 Brahmanas, 3 Deulakaranas, 30 Police officers and 2 Inspector of police.

For the successful completion of Nabakalebara fest, centre has already given Rs 50 crore to Odisha government and The Tourism Development Corporation of Odisha has also announced special tourism packages for pilgrims of Nabakalebara festival. People are waiting to see the revival of Lord Jagannath and witness this sacred congregation that unites all the communities and classes. There is also a belief that marriages are prohibited during this year of reincarnation.

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Cancer-Causing Chemical Found In Odisha Fish Sample

Odisha mostly depends on Andhra Pradesh to meet its demand for fish. Last year, the total fish production in Odisha was around 6.5 lakh tonne

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Cancer-causing chemical formalin was found in fish stocks available in the markets here, an official said on Friday.

Traces of cancer-causing formalin were found in Pomfret fish samples, collected from the Unit-IV fish market in Bhubaneswar, said Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department Secretary Vishal Gagan.

A 12-member team from the department collected samples of around nine varieties of fish including marine, freshwater, and brackish water from the market and Chilika Fresh outlets — fish retailers — on Friday.

While formalin content was found in Pomfret fish samples, Gagan said the entire stock will be destroyed if more fish tested positive.

After the Assam government banned the import of fish from Andhra Pradesh, the Odisha government on Thursday issued directions to examine the quality of fish being imported from Andhra Pradesh to detect the presence of formalin.

Verification samples at different fish markets in urban and rural areas will be taken up in order to prevent the sale of adulterated fish.
Verification samples at different fish markets in urban and rural areas will be taken up in order to prevent the sale of adulterated fish.

Formalin, a cancer-inducing chemical, is used to keep dead fish fresh and enhance their storage life.

Gagan also informed that a committee under the District Collectors will be formed to ensure that no prohibitory substances are used to preserve the stock.

“As only one out of nine samples has tested positive, we are now concentrating on collecting information from various parts of the state and will take an appropriate decision regarding a ban on fish imports,” he said.

Also Read: “DNA Barcode” To Deliver Personalised Care For Breast Cancer Patients

Verification samples at different fish markets in urban and rural areas will be taken up in order to prevent the sale of adulterated fish.

Odisha mostly depends on Andhra Pradesh to meet its demand for fish. Last year, the total fish production in Odisha was around 6.5 lakh tonne. (IANS)

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