Puri: After the ceremonial bath, Lord Jagannath and his siblings-Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra traditionally fell ill and have been kept in a sick room (Anasara Gruha) to recuperate in a fortnight.
The daitapati servitors and Raj Vaidya (royal doctor) have started the secret rituals in the Anasara room. The sibling deities will be treated with some herbal medication till they fully recover.
“After the noon ritual (Madyanha Dhupa) today, all daitapati sevayats will enter the Anasara room wearing single cloth. Mahaprabhu Jagannath and his siblings will also remain in single cloth. They will not be decorated with colourful flowers. Only white flowers will be offered,” senior servitor Binayak Das Mohapatra said.
A special bhoga called Chakata Bhoga will be offered and the Prasad will not be brought outside. The servitors will spend night by consuming the Prasad only, Das Mohapatra said.
Other rituals will be performed separately till the deities recover from fever, he added.
“Although the holy trinity is currently inside ‘Anasara’ room due to illness, all the rituals will be performed at Dasavatar idols including Anant Basudev, Basudev, Bhubaneswari, Maa Laxmi on the main temple premises. Beginning from the Mangala Arati to Bada Singhar Besha, all rituals will be held every day as usual, said Biswanath Samantara, another servitor said.
The Maha Prasad will be offered at around 10.30 to 11 am in Sakala Dhupa ritual, he added.
During the sick period of the trinity, devotees usually make a beeline to the Alarnath temple at Brahmagiri, around 23 km from Puri town, to have glimpse of the god. It is believed that Lord Jagannath manifests in the form of Alarnath during illness in Puri. Devotees get same sense of satisfaction by having darshan of Alarnath.
However, this year Alarnath shrine wore a deserted look in the absence of devotees due to prohibitory orders under Section-144 imposed by the district administration in view of Covid-19 pandemic.