Saptabarana Bidhi (Ritual for seven coverings) Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

The images of the Deities are carved in the 'Karu Shala' (Carving Room), specially built in 'Koili Baikuntha' (Garden-cum-Burial ground). These new wooden images are transferred with 'Brahma' (Supreme material) later on. Although these gross bodies of the deities are built by the 'Biswakarmas' (Carpenters and sculptures), final finishing is required to make the idol fit to contemporary appearance. This ritual is called 'Saptabarana Bidhi' (Ritual for seven coverings) this is performed during the ‘Maha Anasara’ (hibernation) period.

According to instructions made in the scriptures, the making or finishing of the images are strictly forbidden to see. After the gross body of the images are completed, they are applied with thick layers of substances like resin, stripes of silken cloth, gips and sandal paste which form the essential parts like that of living human being. For arteries and veins, 'Patta Dora' (silken ropes) is used while clothes are utilised to make skin. 'Neta Pata' (Silken Red colored cloths) is used as blood and 'Phulari Tela' (scented oil) becomes flesh. Sandal paste is used as bone marrows while 'Asta kali' (a liquid made of flour) are applied as semen. The original wooden images are like bones.

These seven types of covering are named 'Saptabaran' (seven coverings). The original wooden images are gross bodies and after this ritual of imaging and fashioning the deities become complete.

'Skanda Purana', 'Madala Panji' (old almanac of temple related matters) and writings of great Odia historian Jagabandhu Singh throw substantial light on this ritual. 

Source :I & PR Department