balistha dayita' gana-yena matta hati
jagannatha vijaya karaya kari' hatahati
balistha dayita' gana—very strong dayitas, or carriers of Jagannatha; yena—as if; matta hati—drunken elephants; jagannatha—of Lord Jagannatha; vijaya—departure; karaya—cause; kari'-performing; hatahati—hand to hand.
The very strongly built dayitas [carriers of the Jagannatha Deity] were as powerful as drunken elephants. They manually carried Lord Jagannatha from the throne to the car.
The word dayita refers to one who has received the mercy of the Lord. Lord Jagannatha has a number of stalwart servants known as dayitas. These servants do not come from very high-caste families (brahmanas, ksatriyas or vaisyas), but because they are engaged in the service of the Lord, they have been elevated to a respected position. Thus they are known as dayitas. These servants of Lord Jagannatha take care of the Lord from the day of the Snana-yatra up to the time the Lord is carried from the throne to the Ratha car. In the Ksetra-mahatmya these dayitas are said to come from the sabaras, a caste that keeps and sells pigs. However, among the dayitas there are also many who come from the brahmana caste. Those dayitas coming from the brahmana families are called dayita-patis, or leaders of the dayitas. The dayita-patis offer food such as sweetmeats to Lord Jagannatha during the anavasara, the resting period after Snana-yatra. They also make the early morning offering of sweetmeats daily, It is said that during the anavasara Lord Jagannatha suffers from fever and that the dayita-patis offer Him an infusion of drugs represented by fruit juice. It is said that in the beginning Lord Jagannatha was worshiped by the sabaras and was known as the Deity Nila Madhava. Later, when the Deity was established in the temple, the Lord became known as Jagannatha. Because the Deities were taken from the sabaras, all the sabara devotees were elevated to the position of dayitas.
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