Blood stains in Puri Jagannath Temple Snana Mandap delay Trinity’s ceremonial bathing
Devotee falls sick, dies near Snana Mandap; ritual delayed by one hour and 40 minutes
PURI: Braving the scorching heat, lakhs of devotees witnessed the Trinity’s Snana Purnima ritual which was delayed by almost one hour and 40 minutes after blood stains were found on the bathing altar on Sunday.
The personnel of Jagannanth Temple Police (JTP) and some servitors spotted blood on Snana Mandap after completion of the ceremonial bathing of the deities. It is suspected that the blood stains were of a servitor who might have sustained injury on his foot while climbing the bathing altar with the holy water.
After detection of the blood, a special purification ceremony of the deities, popularly known as Maha Snana, was performed which resulted in the delay of other rituals.
Chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) Ranjan Kumar Das said a report has been sought from the shrine’s security wing in this regard.Similarly, a devotee from Rajasthan, identified as Amba Lal, fell sick and collapsed while witnessing the Trinity’s bathing rituals near the Snana Mandap. He was rushed to the first-aid centre where the doctor declared him dead. It is suspected that the devotee died due to cardiac arrest. Simhadwar Police registered a case and sent the body for postmortem.
Earlier in the day, servitors performed Mangalarpan, Abakash, Tadap Lagi and Mailum before offering bhog to the deities. Daita servitors began the Pahandi procession of the Trinity and escorted them from the Ratnasimhasan of the sanctum sanctorum to Snana Bedi. The Pahandi was completed at 6.30 am.
Subsequently, three sets of Pujapanda servitors bathed the deities from 108 pitchers of aromatic water. The ritual was completed at 1.25 pm. Servitors then dressed the deities in new clothes. The Chhera Pahanra ritual, performed by Puri Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb, was over at 4.30 pm. After a complex set of rituals was performed on the altar, the servitors dressed the deities in the elephant attire popularly called Hati Besha.
The Hati Besha was unmade late in the night and the deities were escorted to Anasar ghar (sickroom) where they will take rest for a couple of weeks after supposedly suffering from fever. During the period, the temple physician will treat them with herbal medicines and put them on fruit diet.Puri collector Samarth Verma and SP K Vishal Singh looked after the arrangements during Snana Purnima ritual. At least 60 platoons of police personnel were deployed for the event.