Kakatpur Mangala and Batamangala of Puri
BY: SOMANATH JENA
Feb 19, BARIPADA, ORISSA (SUN) The temple is located in a beautiful rural setting in the midst of villages, gardens, and green trees. The temple is a palatial one, accommodating many other Deities as well. But Mangala is arupa (formless) and has become sarupa (took form). Throughout the year, the 'Niti' 'Puja' is done in a ritualistic and disciplined manner, and prasadam is made available at the temple. Many patients come to remain in dharana, in prostrate form, to get themselves cured, and cures often come, as many come to get their desires fulfilled.
The most reputed festival is Jhamu Jatra, which occurs on the first Tuesday (Mangalbar) of the sacred month of Vaisakh (April 14 to May 15) every year. On that occasion, the devotees possessed with a sense of the Deity's potency walk barefoot on a surface of burning charcoal fire, which is spread in a long trench. Disciplining the mind, they walk on the coals without injury amidst the loud beating of drums and singing. Thousands gather to witness the Jhamu Festival each year.
It is said that Daru Brahma (sacred wood containing the life energy of Lord Jagannath), was initially found floating on the water t the confluence of the river and the Bay of Bengal at Banki-Muhan near Jagannath Dhama, Puri. King Indradyumna, desirous of constructing a Deity of the Lord, sighted the sacred wood according to a search made as per the command of Lord Jagannath to King Indradyumna. The wood could not be sized, and the form of the Lord could not be conceived, but one offered flower from the head of the Deity, Kakatpur Mangala, on advice of sage Narada, was taken and touched on the sacred wood, Daru Brahma. It facilitated the splitting of the wood, into three parts for construction of the Deities of Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra according to requirement.
Nabakalebara (construction of new Deities forms of the three Lords) is a regular feature of Jagannath Dhama. Old, worn out Deities are buried under earth and in their place, new Deities forms of Lord Jagannath, Subhadra and Balaram are constructed.
From that time, as tradition requires, the carpenter sevaks and priests living a very disciplined life pray to Maa Mangala of Kakatpur, remaining prostrated before the Deity at Kakatpur, to bless them by showing sacred trees and their location, and these trees alone are suitable for construction of the Deities in Nabakalebara. In fact, they get the indication of the exact location of the sacred trees, and the path leading to their location, in a dream. This practice and tradition have been existing for years together, without any deviation.
Successful guidance, without fail, is received from the Deity to help the sevaks find the sacred trees, and this is understood to be evidence of the power and energy of Maa Mangala of Kakatpur. Even Lord Jagannath, who is the Hood of all the universe, is assisted by Mother, who is the original power for creation and is actively guiding the carpenters and priests to find suitable sacred wood, according to specific features, for construction of the sacred Deity forms.
Devotees may combine their visit to the sacred seat of Maa Mangala of Kakatpur as a part of their visit of Bat Mangala and Puri Jagannath Dhama.