Sacred Complex of Orissa (Study of Three Major Aspects of the Sacred Complex)

Sacred Complex of Orissa (Study of Three Major Aspects of the Sacred Complex)

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Book Specification

Item Code: UAN796
Author: Dr. Nityananda Patnaik
Publisher: Gyan Publishing House, New Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2000
ISBN: 8121206804
Pages: 365
Other Details 8.80 X 5.80 inch
Weight 620 gm

Book Description

The Sacred Complex of Orissa has had its origin and development, since time immemorial. Its evolution is traced back to different ancient dynasties, till recent times. The Jagannath Temple at Puri was constructed during Ganga dynasty. Later, it flourished under the patronage of the rulers of Solar dynasty and Gajapati Rajas of Orissa.

As Puri has become the most important pilgrim center, many Sadhus and Sanyasis visit it and have their own places of abode which have been developed into monasteries. With the growing ramification and collaboration in ritual services at the Jagannath Temple many ritual functionaries are appointed to serve Lord Jagannath. Thus, Puri has grown into a center of Sacred Complex with its sacred institutions spread in its hinterland.

In fact, the Sacred Complex comprises the following:

1. Sacred Geography of Puri,

2. Gajapati Rajas and Lord Jagannath Temple,

3. Ritual functionaries,

4. Monastic Order,

5. Brahmin Sasan Villages,

6. Minor Rulers of Feudatory States,

7. Pilgrims, Public and Government.

These aspects are closely related and dislocation in any of them has severe repercussions throughout the whole nexus.

This study of the Sacred Complex highlights the changes which have taken place in recent times and further, this study has implications for broader enquiries into some of the processes of secularization of modern Hinduism.

Dr Nityananda Patnaik, a reputed Anthropologist was born in 1927 and educated in Calcutta University. He has many publications in the form of books and papers all related to various aspects of Social Anthropology to his credit. This book is a part of his study on Sacred Complex to which he was devoted for the last four decades or so. He has been one of the teachers in Post-graduate Department of Anthropology, Utkal University. Thereafter, he joined National Institute of Community Development (NICD) as Director of Anthropology. During his tenure at the NICD, he received a fellowship from the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, where he concentrated his efforts and brought out a publication namely, Cultural Tradition in Puri. After serving for about 13 years at the NICD he came back to Orissa to work as the Director of Tribal and Harijan Research cum-Training Institute, Government of Orissa. After his retirement he established. his own research institute namely, Social Science and Development Research Institute (SSADRI) at Bhubaneswar.

Many rulers of different dynasties have ruled in the past, over the State of Orissa, which was then known as Kalinga or Utkal. During that time its size was much bigger and its shape was different. Gradually it has shrunk to the present size. These rulers have left their name and fame through their meritorious works and achievements. But the event, which stands above all noble deeds was the construction of the Jagannath Temple and worship of the Lord Jagannath and his brother Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra. The intimate relationship between the paramount deity and the paramount king is vividly described in the mythic history about the king Indradyumna who got the divine woods shaped into these deities and got the divine images sanctified and installed in a temple.

In course of time from very simple Sebapuja the rituals became ramified and were observed in the most elaborate form with Sebakas multiplying in large number and wealth in the forms of both movable and immovable properties grown beyond any imagination under the patronage of the rulers of different dynasties particularly the Gajapati rulers. The deity assumed such importance that it became the State deity and the rulers considered the deity as the emperor of the State and they themselves as its sebakas. The god-king relationship was so intimate and divine that people considered the Raja as Thakur Raja (god-king) or Chalanti Vishnu (mobile Vishnu).

With growing importance of the Jagannath cult under the royal patronage various institutions and organizations came up and got themselves integrated to form a Sacred Complex. The major interlinked aspects are the monasteries of various sects, ritual functionaries of various categories, Brahmin settlements or Sasan villages. Similar organizations came up as an integral part of the Jagannath Temple complex, which grew up in feudatory states under the patronage of minor chiefs who were subordinate to the Gajapati rajas.

Puri became a famous pilgrim centre and thousands of pilgrims coming from different parts of the country and also from abroad visit Puri on festive occasions particularly during car festival. To accommodate the pilgrims many dharamasalas, (pilgrim rest-houses) have come up in the town. Many hotels have also come up in the town particularly in the seashore for the visitors and tourists to stay and spend time at Puri. The chart showing the institutional and organizational interlinkage and the broad outline of the Sacred Complex follows.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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