Revisiting the Jagannath cult

(image) Bhubaneswar: The imprint of great Jagnnath cult can be witnessed in every nook and corner of the State. The mutts dotted across the state, vividly carry the noble Jagannath culture. Benupada village, nearing Delanga block under Puri district, quintessentially, showcases the aroma of a rare mutt culture.

The name Benupada draws its significance from the Dhenu community inhabiting here, who have an age-old maniac for the ever flowing music of the flute. It appears as if they have grown with the sweet tune of the bamboo cylinders. Even the music has tied the two deer with its rhythm. The identity of the village is associated with a mutt, dated back to fourteenth century, established by the legendary Baidhara Das. The unique Baisnav tradition here has been kept alive over the years by the other celebrated figures like Dinakrushna Das, Artratrana Das, Madhab Das and Niladri Das among others. The flowing stream of the “Gadibramha” is still alive here with the Mahanta custom of Utkaliya Baisnav tradition.

“The mutt was established in the fourteenth century. Here there are five Gadis signifying the five legendary spiritual gurus. All the rituals of Jagannath culture are performed here. It’s a learning center of spiritualism and devotion. Devotees from across the state visit here to quench their spiritual thirst”, quipped Dasarathi Das, the Mahanta of Gadibramha mutt.

The Gadibramha mutt here has been acclimatised with the mutt tradition of Jagnnath cult. As the mutt culture in Puri was nurtured with the Amruta Manohi of Jagannath temple, the mutt here has a customary link with the Jagannath temple. While the Amruta Manohi Vanda in Jagannath temple is known as Baihandi after the name of Baidhara Das, there lives a ritual to bring in a part of Amruta manohi to this mutt. Likewise, teacher-disciple tradition among the Mahantas still remains as strong as before. The Mahantas maintain physiques that have been glorified by the badis, chhadis and mukutas, used by the legends. And they are determined to carry forward this exceptional tradition for times to come.

“It is the practice center of devotion and knowledge. The five legends have attained their salvation here. The guru-shishya tradition can be found here in true spirit. It is the main center among 700 Gadis found across the nook and corner of the state. The devotees here fulfill their wishes after dedicating themselves to divinity”, Shisira Das, servitor, Gadibramha mutt.

Nearly 13 festivals are celebrated in the mutt round the year, matching to the best cultural practices of Jagannath culture. Again there is a strong belief that patients get healed up from chronic diseases after availing sacred ‘bibhuti’ from the mutt and this belief attracts a lot of devotees from far-off areas to this place. So Gadibramha mutt, since long, has been making alive the spiritual feeling of the people banking upon the love of the devotees.

“All my three sons had health complications in their childhood. I had prayed and wished for them here and they got cured. If having faith everybody’s wishes would be fulfilled here”, asserted, Dinamani Das, a devotee.

Still today the music of the flute creates phenomenal sensation in the minds of the aficionados and once somebody visits the mutt, gets attracted forever. While the spiritual ambience of the mutt brings fulfillment in one’s life, the memories associated with the mutt subsequently becomes unforgettable.