The three Dayitapatis must be blindfolded.
They must bind a piece of Lord Jagannath’s cloth around their hands before the transfer can begin.
They should not have shaved since the first day of the search party procession. This is considered to be the disappearance ceremony of Jagannath also. Traditionally, after a member of the family passes away, the son does not shave for ten days, out of respect for the deceased. The house is also whitewashed after the death of any family member. And since Lord Jagannath is considered to be the Head of their respective households, they are required to have their houses whitewashed after this ceremony.
The children and all Dayitapati family members wear new clothes on this day of the “transfer”. This rite is considered to be the most auspicious ritual of all in Jagannath Temple. It is this ceremony itself that is the actual Nabakalebar Yatra, or Transformation Ceremony of Lord Jagannath. The three Dayitapati members fast and meditate the whole day inside the temple. Only after midnight does the transfer of the “Life Force” occur, and that too in total silence.
What’s interesting here is that no Daitapati till date has been able to experience what actually is this “Brahman”.
When asked of their experience at this time, the Dayitapatis say, “It is very difficult to express what Brahman is. It cannot be seen or touched. Our eyes are blindfolded and our hands are covered with cloth when we carry it. Yet a powerful feeling is very much present, like a rabbit jumping in our hands. This is our experience. Beyond this, exactly what this Brahman is that is so powerfully felt, nobody is able to say”.
During the midnight, the old deities are carried on the shoulders of the Dayitapatis and buried in the Koili Vaikuntha before dawn.
There are three separate graves for the three deities, but all the previous Jagannaths are laid to rest in the same grave, one on top of the other. It is believed that if anybody from outside this select group happens to see any of this ceremony, be it from a roof top or otherwise, they will surely die.
The Government of Odisha therefore orders a full blackout of light on this one night in the whole town of Puri.
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On the morning of the second day the new deities are seated on the altar, the “Ratna-Singhasana”. On this second day, the daily routine of the temple finally begins again, after a lapse of nearly 58 days. Sweet-smelling flower garlands and new garments arc given to the new deities, food is offered, and puja is done. Devotees can again come inside for darshan. And on the third day the new deities emerge from the temple for the biggest Chariot Festival.
Nabakalebar 2015 is one of the biggest festivals in Puri.
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