Banajaga team performed ‘Majana Niti’ of Kakatpur Maa Mangala

The majana niti (bathing ritual) of Maa Mangala in Kakatpur was performed in the temple to seek her prophecy about the location of darus for the bigrahs (deities) of  Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra along with Sudarshan for their Nabakalebar.

The ritual is the next step after the Banajaga Jatra during the Nabakalebar. The daitapatis had received the chitau (invitation letter) from the Maa Mangala Temple after they reached the Deuli Mutt at the completion of their Banajaga Jatra.

After the Majana niti the daitapatis returned to the Deuli Mutt and performed some allied rituals including reciting the Swapnabati Mantra to ordain divine guidance on the location of the darus for the deities.

The Banajaga Yatra team was accorded a grand reception by the Mutt authorities and devotees amid chants of haribol and beats of drums, cymbals and trumpets. After the team’s arrival at the Deuli Mutt, the Deula Karana (temple clerk of Shree Jagannath temple), who is a member of the team, delivered the customary chitau (memo) to the trust board of Maa Mangala temple informing them of the Banajaga Yatra team’s arrival and requesting it to make arrangements for tomorrow’s ritual.

In response, Maa Mangala temple trust board delivered a reciprocal chi-tau informing the Banajaga team of the readiness of the priests to conduct the ritual. After finalization of the propitious moment, priests and trust board members of the Maa Mangala shrine arrived at the Deuli Mutt to receive the Banajaga Yatra team and accompany them to the temple in a procession.

After that mahasnana (grand bath) of Maa Mangala was conducted using 108 garas (pots) of water followed by the majana niti. Stotriya Brahmins (Brahmins capable of chanting invocations) chanted mantras during the rituals.

The Maa Mangala servitors have a crucial role to play in the Yatra, which begins the identification of wood for the idols. A grand procession, with illuminating fireworks amid beating of drums, is taken out to Deuli Mutt where they receive the Daitapati servitors who take part in Banajaga Yatra.

After reaching the temple, the servitors of Jagannath temple performed all the rituals, specially the majana niti or bathing rituals. However, a section of local servitors objected to this. They said that they would perform the rituals instead of the Puri servitors. The situation came under control after senior servitors intervened.

Daitapaties alleged that Kakatpur priests deviated from the majana ritual by allowing them with the Mangala deity’s golden eyes on. But Kakatpur priests denied this allegation saying they have gone by the custom as per the Mangala Temple tradition.

After performing the rituals, the banajaga yatris (travellers) left the temple to go to Deuli Mutt on the banks of River Prachi.

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