Playing music for Lord Jagannath Bije Kahali

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The chariot of Lord Jagannath, cannot move an inch till Subhas Chandra Mohanty blows the ceremonial trumpet Bije Kahali.

Lord Jagannath is considered to be an aboriginal deity. Hence the tribal instruments i.e. Bije Kahali, Telingi Baja, Pakhauja, Mardal, Ghanta, Mahuri, Ghanti constitude an essential part of the worship of the deity. Apart from these instruments ‘Bije Kahali’ and Conch shell constitute an important part in the daily rites of the deities.

At the time of Sakala Dhupa (morning offering of food) Car Festival, Pahandi Vije, Bahara Vije use of Madali Pakhauja is a must. In “Srimandira Sattva Lipi”, specific mention has been made of use of different instruments inside and outside the temple during several occasions.

The persons who are engaged in performance of these instruments are called “Bajantari” and this particular service has been stated as “Baijanti Seva”.

A member of the Kahalia group of sevayats, Mohanty and his family have been performing the ritual for generations. For the past six years, it has been his duty during every chariot festival. Prior to him, his elder brother had performed the ritual for 35 years.

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The trumpet weighs 400gm and is made by artisans from Cuttack. Their services are not only limited to the chariot festival. They blow the bugle for invocation during various auspicious events of the temple and the Trinity.

Lord Jagannath
image – telegraphindia.com

Musical instruments play an integral part in rituals of Lord Jagannath and each of these are assigned to a particular group of sevayats. While the Veenakara play the veena at the time of putting the deities to bed, the Madeli play madala (a long drum) during bed-time rituals.

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