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Pradeep Pattanayak

In a big relief to devotees, the daily rituals at Lord Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar which remained suspended for two days resumed on Thursday morning. The suspension of the rituals following a dispute between two servitor groups had forced the Lord to go hungry.  

Due to the impasse between servitors belonging to Badu Nijog and Pujapanda Nijog over ‘Paitalagi’ ritual, the decade-long tradition of raising ‘mahadipa’ atop the temple on the occasion of ‘Chaturdashi tithi’ is observed at the temple in Bhubaneswar was breached on Wednesday. What hurts the sentiments of devotees is that Lord Lingraj had to go hungry due to the servitors’ conflict. 

Similarly, devotees coming from different parts of the country were seen returning dejected for not being allowed to offer puja to the lord. They would hold the temple administration responsible for this. 

It was also feared that the lord might have had to go hungry for today as well had the impasse not been resolved. 
However, that has successfully been evaded and the temple administration managed to make peace with the servitors, resulting in the resumption of all rituals. 

However, the instances of servitors of two nijogs halting rituals at the famous 11th-century shrine over one or the other issues are not new either. In past, they stopped the rituals on several occasions. 

Notably, ‘Paitalagi’ is one of the several important rituals observed at the shrine. As a part of this ritual, the lord is offered 27 pieces of silk threads which are known as ‘paita’.
 

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