Lord Jagannath offered prasad on brass utensils instead of gold?

Puri: Jagannath, who is the Lord of the Universe, is being offered prasad on brass utensils instead of gold plates in Puri Srimandir. This has left hundreds of devotees and researchers hurt who have alleged negligence towards the Lord and his siblings at Puri Srimandir.

Sources said the ‘Kotha Bhoga’ ritual of the deities in the 12th century shrine is being conducted using brass plates even though two gold plates and several silver plates are being kept stashed inside the Ratna Bhandar – the treasure trove of the Lord.

“During my childhood, I used to hear that prasad was being offered to the Lord on gold plates. But now we are hearing that the practice has been stopped now which is really unfortunate,” said Pramod Ray, a devotee.

It is learnt that a devotee had even donated eight silver plates to the temple and why they are not being used to offer Prasad and conduct of other rituals has raised eyebrows. Several pertinent questions- whether these precious utensils have gone missing from the store room and why the practice of offering Prasad to deities in gold and silver utensils has been stopped- remain unanswered.

“We have heard that the gold plates have been damaged. But Prasad can be offered in silver plates and only the temple officials can comment on why such practice is not being followed,” said Bhagawan Suara, senior servitor.

As per senior servitors, Prasad was being offered to deities on gold plates. But the plates got damaged after a stone fell on it inside the ‘Garbha Gruha’ in 1934 and since then brass plates are being used.

Shree Jagannath Culture researchers have blamed temple administration alleging gross irregularities.

“We are really hurt as the Lord is not served on gold plates which are still kept in the Bhandar Ghar,” said Pandit Suryamani Rathsharma, Jagannath Culture researcher.

On the other hand, Administrator Niti (Rituals), Jitendra Sahoo said, “I am not aware about it and hence cannot comment on it. We will try to resolve such issues.”

Though it is being said that the broken gold plates and the silver plates donated by devotees have been kept inside Ratna Bhandar, it is believed that such claims can only be confirmed after an audit of the treasure trove.