Dr. Subas Pani, Asit Mohanty at KLF Corner, discussed about Rath Yatra, Jagannath culture

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KLF Corner, a boost to the socio-cultural history of Odisha

The 7th Kalinga Literary Festival Corner was organised at the Oxford Bookstore, Pal Heights, Bhubaneswar.

Bhubaneswar: Kalinga Literary Festival Corners are monthly ventures to carve out some time for book launches, literary discussions and conversations with eminent literary figures. It is a collaboration the Oxford Bookstore, and is based on the need of the hour for creative interactions.

 

The 7th Kalinga Literary Festival Corner was a boost to the socio-cultural history of Odisha. Shri Subas Pani, a PhD holder in Geetagovinda and an author of several socio-cultural pieces, was in conversation about his latest book, Rath Yatra: Chariot Festival of Shri Jagannath in Puri. The conversation was aided and moderated by Shri Asit Mohanty, a recipient of the Kendra Sahitya Academy Award for translation, an acclaimed author of several books and a holder of the doctorate from the University of Culture.

This illustrated book is a comprehensive account of Ratha Yatra, the great socio-cultural and religious event and phenomenon unique in the entire world. It provides the background on the syncretic faith represented by Jagannatha, his origin and strong links with the heritage of aborigine tribes and an account of the Naba Kalebara ceremonies, celebrating the periodic renewal of the bodies of the presiding deities, most recently held in 2015. Rich in detail, the book covers a wide span including the sacred geography of Puri, legends surrounding the temple, the unique architectural style of the temple complex, the elaborate preparatory summer festivals leading up to the main festival and the process of making the chariots with its associated special ceremonies. Shri Subas Pani has also been a commentator for Rath Yatra, on several national and international outlets of Doordarshan. We were glad to get in touch with someone as deeply connected to our roots as him.

 

“If you look back, you will feel happy that some of the things you had started are still going on,” said Subas Pani. “I struck a chord with Shri Jagannath. Lyrics and feelings are two important aspects of Geetagovinda, and the tuning between the two attributes cannot be translated into English.”

 

“Shri Jagannath is not a dharma (religion), he is not a symbol. He is a Chetana (conscience realisation),” said Asit Mohanty.

 

The Founder of Kalinga Literary Festival, Shri Rashmi Ranjan Parida, believes that such communicative sessions are essential to the essence of a social hub, and assures that KLF shall always walk on the said lines.

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