PURI: Even as the entire world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, Badi Nrusingha, a deity worshipped as protector against various diseases, came out of the Sri Jagannath temple in a palanquin on Saturday and moved around the city.
The deity was offered ‘pankti bhog’ by devotees at many places of the holy town. According to the convention, the image of Badi Nrusingha comes out of the temple on the fourth day of the month of Chaitra every year and makes parikrama of the city, including the four ancient ashramas of Rishi Markand, Angira, Bhrugu and Kandu located in four corners of Srikshetra. Popular belief is that Badi Nrusingha wards of all diseases from Shrikshetra and protects the devotees.
The ritual attracted attention as it came at a time when unprecedented panic grips the world, including India. Legend has it that when people are affected by different diseases and pray Lord Jagannath, he comes out in the form of Badi Nrusingha to cure his devotees. It is believed that by going around the temple city, the deity, in fact, traverses the entire world to cure people of diseases. ‘Badi’ in Odia means disease and Lord Jagannath blesses people every year to cure them of diseases on this day.After his ritualistic parikrama, Badi Nrusingha returns to the Jagannath Temple again. He is considered the Nrunsigha Avatar.