Puri: The special ‘Pahili Bhoga’ rituals began at Srimandir on the auspicious occasion of Dhanu Sankranti here today in the wee hours.
As per the rituals, the main door of the ‘Garbha Griha’ (sanctum sanctorum) was opened at 3.00 am for conducting the special rituals of Lord Jagannath.
The main entrance of Srimandir will be opened at 3.00 am and closed at 11.00 pm everyday till January 13, a day before Makar Sankranti, during Hindu month of ‘Pousha’ (first month of winter season), informed Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Chief Administrator, Pradipta Mohapatra after chairing a meeting of the Chhatisa Nijog held on Saturday.
Only, the main gate of the Jagannath Temple will be closed early at 9.30 pm on December 31 and will be opened early at 2.30 am on January 1 i.e New Year.
As per the decision at Chhatisa Nijog meeting, the ‘Pahili Bhoga’ rituals will commence in the wee hours with opening of the main door at 3.00 am, cleaning and purification rituals at 3.30 am, ‘mangal aarti’ at 3.45 am, ‘mailam’ at 4.30 am, ‘abakash’ at 5.00 am, ‘Surjya Puja’ at 5.45 am, ‘dwarapal puja’ and ‘besha’ at 6.00 am and ‘Pahili Bhoga’ (morning prasad to deities) between 6.20 am and 6.50 am. Other rituals will be conducted as per the schedule.
Notably, the ‘Gopal Ballav Bhoga’ is offered to the deities along with ‘Pahili Bhoga’ from the first day of lunar ‘Pousha’ month Dhanu Sankranti. After worshipping Maa Lakshmi on Thursdays during Hindu month ‘Margasira’ offering her newly harvested paddy, grains and vegetables, a special sweet called ‘Muan’, made of ‘Khai’ (popcorn sweetened) with jaggery or sugar, is offered to Lord Jagannath on Dhanu Sankranti.
The ‘Muan’ also known as ‘Dhanu Muan’ and ‘Pahili Bhoha’ are also offered to other deities at the Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar, Mangala Temple in Kakatpur and other shrines on Dhanu Sankranti. The rituals are performed for one month in all the temples across the State.
Worth mentioning, the ‘Pahili Bhoga’ is a delicious ‘Khechudi’ prepared by Yashoda (mother of Lord Krishna). After ‘Margasira’ month, Goddess Lakshmi, wife of Lord Jagannath, visits her father’s house and stays there for one month. In her absence at Srimandir, mother Yashoda prepares food for her son Lord Jagannath and offers Him early in the morning till Goddess Lakshmi returns to Srimandir from her father’s house ‘sea’.