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Nabakalebara of Lord Jagannatha

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Item Code: HAN316
Author: Edited By Sachchidanand Joshi
Publisher: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
Language: English
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9789391045104
Pages: 138 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 12x11 INCH
Weight 1.51 kg
Book Description
About the Book

Jagannatha is considered by most believers as the incarnation of Vishnu - the preserver in the trinity of Hindu Gods. While Lord Jagannatha is the principal deity, He resides with his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra in the temple.
The three idols sculpted from wood, cast their old bodies and migrate to new bodies after a certain period of time - eight, twelve or nineteen years determined by celestial configurations as computed in the almanacs. This is congruent with the Hindu belief, in which the human soul casts off an old body like an old garment and acquires a new body. The Jagannatha consciousness thus reminds us of the ephemeral nature of human life. This major event is called Nabakalebara (naba means new and kalebara means body in Odiya) and includes a whole series of elaborate and arcane rituals. An estimated five million devotees witnessed the last Nabakalebara festival held in 2015.

About the Author

Prof. (Dr.) Sachchidanand Joshi is currently serving as the Member Secretary of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (an esteemed institute of art, culture and heritage under Ministry of Culture, Government of India). He has many feathers in his cap in various capacities as educationist, writer, motivational speaker, thinker, theatre artist, Journalist to name a few. Prior to IGNCA Dr. Joshi, served as the youngest founding Vice-Chancellor of Kushabhau Thakre Journalism & Mass Communication University in Chhattisgarh He also served at Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism and Communication. He gave towering height to IGNCA's cultural and academic activities, took the herculean challenge head on and has been proactively involved in rejuvenating the ideology and objective of IGNCA envisioned by the founding members. His exemplary vision towards expanding the objective of IGNCA in the orbit of indigenous-traditional-tribal-folk-art, craft, culture, heritage, tradition, literature, dance, and theatre by bridging the gap and creating a space through diverse programs of creative activities, performance, research, publication, documentation, training etc. has been awe-inspiring,
Dr Radha Banerjee Sarkar, a well-known scholar on Buddhist art of India, China and Central Asia. She is the recipient of Four International Scholarships including UNESCO Fellowship. She was the former Professor and Head of Kalakosha, IGNCA. She has authored and edited several books on Buddhism and Central Asia. She was also the Editor, Kalakalpa - Journal of Arts, IGNCA- UGC journal.
Dr. Ajay Kumar Mishra is working at Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in various capacities as an Assistant Professor. He has presented many papers in National and International seminars/workshops and published many articles pertaining to Indian art and culture.

Foreword

The Jagannatha consciousness has evolved over ten centuries or more in Odisha and is part of the quintessential Odiya belief system. The temple's history is shrouded in layers of anthropology, mythology and legends in such complex ways that it is often difficult for the common people to separate the strands. Archaeological evidence suggests that the temple itself, which we see today as the home of the deities, was built over several decades in the 12th Century CE by Anantatavarman Chodaganga Dev of the Ganga dynasty and completed by King Anangabhima Dev.
Jagannatha is considered by most believers as the incarnation of Vishnu - the preserver in the trinity of Hindu Gods. While Lord Jagannatha is the principal deity. He resides with his elder brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra in the temple.
The three idols sculpted from wood, cast their old bodies and migrate to new bodies after a certain period of time-eight, twelve or nineteen years determined by celestial configurations as computed in the almanacs. This is congruent with the Hindu belief in which the human soul casts off an old body like an old garment and acquires a new body. The Jagannatha consciousness thus reminds us of the ephemeral nature of human life. This major event is called Nabakalebara (Naba means new and Kalebara means body in Odiya) and includes a whole series of elaborate and arcane rituals. An estimated five million devotees witnessed the last Nabakalebara festival held in 2015.
Dr. Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary of Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, Prof Radha Banerjee Sarkar and Dr Ajay Kumar Mishra, Assistant Professor in the institute, have carried out painstaking research to document the entire process during the last Nabalebara festival. They visited Puri and spoke to numerous priests and servitors and other actors associated with the organizing of this major religious event in the Hindu calendar. They have delved deep into the history and myths associated with the event and attempted to unravel the mystique of the Jagannatha consciousness. The description of the rituals make very interesting reading. The transfer of Bramha-the soul-into the new idol is the most fascinating and gives us insights into the core of religious beliefs in the Hindu tradition.
We hope the readers enjoy the story.

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