Daily Nitis & Dhupas
The daily rituals of Lord Jagannath performed in the temple are popularly known as nitis, which signifies a particular religious rite. The nitis start functioning daily from 6:00 AM in the morning to 9:00 PM in the night.
Dwarfita and Mangal Arati — The first ritual of the day is ceremonial opening of the doors. On some specific occasions, such as – Aswina Ekadasi (next day after Dasahara) to Kartik Purnima and from Dhanu Sankranti to Makar Sankranti Dwarfita time is from 2 AM to 3 AM in the morning. For this simple opening of the doors, presence of 5 Sevayats is necessary; they are Bhitarchu Mahapatra; Pratihari; Muduli; Akhanda Mekap and Palia Mekap. After scrutiny of the seal on the padlock given in previous night; Muduli opens the Jay-Vijay dwar. Thereafter Kalahat or Chamu Dwar is opened. Pratihari utters the words Manima and Manima while the doors are opened. After opening of all the doors the inner part of the temple is purified in sacred water. The most important ritual in the early morning is Mangal Arati. Morning Aratrikam of Lord Jagannath is done by Bhitarchu Mahapatra. In front of Balabhadra and Maa Subhadra it is done by 2 Puspalakas. lnitially Camphor Aratrikam is made in specially designed brass and bronze-stands and it is known as Karpur Alati. A lamp with twenty one weeks is lit thereafter, followed by Pistak Alati. The ashes after Arati are distributed as Prasad.
12 Sevayats are involved for Aratrikam; they are Bhitarachu Mahapatra; Pratihari; Muduli; Akhanda Mekap; Palia Mekap; Khat-seja Mekap; Palia Suarbadu; Khuntia; Garabadu; Balitabala; Puspalak and one temple civilian employee Mangala Arati can be seen by pilgrims; just in front of the Bhitar Kath Argali; free of cost.
Mailam — change of dress —After Mangal Arati the next ritual is Mailam or removal of the dresses and floral decorations of the previous evening. The scheduled time for Mailam is 6 AM but it is generally done after completion of Mangal Arati. The Sevayats involved for this purpose are – 3 Puspalaks; Khuntia; Changada Mekap and Dhoba (but he is a Brahmin). All three Puspalaks go up to the Ratna Simhasan; remove the decorations; dresses and flowers of the deities and dress them with Tadap and Uttariya. The dresses removed are washed daily by a Sevayat named Dhoba; but he is not Dhoha by caste. Clothes utilised during Mailam are 4 Tadaps, one for each deity; 2 Uttariyas, one for Jagannath and the other one for Balahhadra. At the time of Mailam flowers; Tulasi etc. are removed; those are equally distributed between Khuntia and Puspalak, for further distribution as Prasad to the devotees.
Abakash — Ahakash is the morning ablution of the deities just like human beings, this includes cleaning of the teeth; scrapping of the tongue of the deities and thereafter giving them a pleasant bath symbolically. The scheduled time for Abkash is 6 AM to 6.30 AM. Abkasha puja is done by 3 Puspalaks below the Simhasan. Soft twig and tongue-cleaner are shown to deities with appropriate Mudras as if they do brush. Thereafter, along with chanting of Vedic Suktas; water mixed with camphor; Aamla; sandalpaste; milk and curd are poured on the reflection of the deities on bronze mirrors placed in front of them and it is considered as if they take their bath. It is actually a Mantra Snana. Then the Astrologer (Khuri Nayak) explains about the Tithi and other astrological details of the day. On the specific occasion of birthday of any deity, Nakhyatra Bandapana is also undertaken.
The Sevayats engaged for the purpose are — Puspalak; Suar Badu; Pani-apat; Khatuli Sebak; Darpania; Mukha Pakhal Padhiari; Mukha Pakhal Pasupalak; Aanla Ghatuari; Bhandar Mekap; Mahabhoi; and Temple Astrologer. The materials required are — wooden cot; purified water; Khatuli; soft twigs; tonguecleaners; three vessels; flower; tulasi; bronze mirrors and water storage materials.
The bathing of Garuda in the Nata Mandap follows that of the principal deities. Garuda Sevak brings Chunera water and undertakes the bath of Sri Garuda. The bath water of the deities and that of Garuda is considered as Prasad and invariably useful for the patients. During Abakash rites; public are not allowed to enter into the sanctum, but they can have a glimpse of the deities, standing just in front of the Bhitara Kath Argali’. After Abakash the deities are dressed with Baralagi Khanduas. Then Akhand Mekap places perpetual lamp (Akhanda Baitha) near the Simhasan, which remains burning for whole day and night.
Sahana Mela — Public Darshan for one hour normally the scheduled time is from 7AM to 8AM but it varies at times depending on completion of earlier programmes. The deities offer a clear Darshan to their adoring devotees, but devotees are not allowed to touch the deities. From Ekadasi after Dasahara till Kartik Purnima, the timing of Sahanmela is shifted to the evening i.e. after completion of the Dwipahar Dhoop. The timing for Sahanamela is subject to change, consequent on change of specific programmes on important functions on festive occasions.
Beshalagi is taken up after public Darshan. The deities are clad with different apparels; ornaments and flowers etc. based on availability of materials and flowers etc. Beshalagi is done by the Puspalak Sevaks. Rosh Homa; Surya Puja; Dwarpal and Garuda Puja — The next ritual carried out is Fire Sacrifice in the temple kitchen near the Kotha Chuli before initiation of the cooking process for the day. As per the record of rights it is the duty of the Deula Purohit but this work is being performed by the Pujapandas at present. Worship of Sun God or Surya Puja is done just after completion of Rosh Homa by the same sevayats in Surya temple; situated near the Muktimandap. Dwarpal Puja is the offering of prayers and Bhog to the celestial doorkeepers. Jay and Bijaya in front of the Jay Bijaya door, performed by the Palia Pujapanda. Garuda Puja i.e Puja of the Charioteer follows, thereafter. Gopal Ballav Bhoga Puja — This is the breakfast of the deities and the scheduled time is 9AM. This Bhoga is served in Anabasra Pindi outside the sanctum. Puja is undertaken by the Pujapandas in Panchopchar system. The items offered are Paga Khai; coconut-sugar-plum; sweet bananas; Khuarnanda curd: butter and small coconut pieces etc. The Sevayats involved during this puja are 3 Pujapandas: Sudu Suar; Ballavjogania; Charcha Paika; Suarbadu; Patribadu; Garabadu; Palia Mahasuar and Pradhani. During Dhanu Masa, (which falls during December and January) Ballav Bhoga and Pahili Bhoga are taken up together. Similarly, on Dolapurnima and Snanapurnami Ballav and Sakal dhoop are taken up together. Sakal Dhoopa — Regular morning food offering is known as Sakal dhoop, its scheduled time is 10 AM and the place for the puja is Pokharia.
The system of Puja is Sodasa Upacara. 3 Pujapandas sit on the Ratna Simhasan to take up the Puja; except for the period from Odhana Sasthi to Basanta Panchami; during such period Pujapandas sit below the Ratna Sirnhasan to take up Puja. The items offered are — Kanika; Tata Khechudi; Lukhura Khechudi; Mendha mundia; Bada kanti; Sana kanti; Mathpuli; Hansapuli; Pitha puli; Chanda puli; Jhili; Enduri; Adapachidi; Saga and Bhaja etc. 32 varieties of Sevavats such as Suarbadu; Dhukudidwar Pratihari; Paniapat; Pradhani Sevak; Pujapanda; Pratihari; Palia Mahasuar; Pantibadu; Rosh Paika; Palia Patri; Garahadu; Changada Mekap; Patribadu; Muduli; Chandan Ghatuari; Parikha Badu; Palia Mekap; Parikhya [Rajguru]; Palia Mahari; Palia Madeli; Jhanjapitali; Hadapa Nayak; Bidiajogania; Bojhia; Sudu Suar; Puran Panda; Gochikar; Dakhina Dwar Padhiari; Dwari Nayak; Ghantua and Bajantri; render their assistance during the Sakal Dhoopa. The materials required for preparation of items due for offering are supplied by the Temple Administration and some other Maths. The items are prepared by Kothbhog Supakars; such Prasads are required to be distributed to the temple Sevayats; which is otherwise called as ‘Khei’; for the services rendered by them in the temple. Mailam — Bhogamandap – After the Sakal Dhoop again mailam and change of dresses are undertaken. Then the second round Dhoop of the deities are arranged within the Bhogamandop behind the Garud Stambha, its scheduled time is 11 AM. The materials used and the expenditure incurred for this bhog is not met by the temple administration. Prasad in huge quantities is offered in Bhogamandap to meet the requirements of the pilgrims and the local people. Puja is done by three Pujapandas under Panchopachar system. There is no specification of items and no restriction of quantities to be offered; Prasad is cooked by Supakars based on the assessment of pilgrims expected to visit on a particular day and requisitions obtained from the public. Mahaprasad out of Bhogamandap Puja are meant for public sale only. The Sevayats who assist in this Puja are Palia Puspalak; Changada Mekap; Palia Mekap; Bhogamandop Pratihari; Suar Badu; Bhogamandap Dwar Pratihari; Suar; Mahasuar; Mekap Khuntia; Patri Badu; Garabadu and Charchabala. Madhyahna Dhoop — This is the mid-day meal of the deities and the scheduled time is 12.30 to 1 PM; the place for the Puja is Pokharia below the Simhasan; the system of Puja is Sodashopachar. 3 Pujapandas sit on the Ratna Simhasan to take up the Puja; same Sevayats engaged in Sakal Dhoop are also involved in this Dhoop. Materials used for preparation of Prasad are provided by temple administration. Mainly the items offered are—arisha; pitha puli; tipuri; mathpuli: kakara; chadheilada; tata manohar; khairachula: marichaladu; pheni; takua; gaja; biribadi; anna; mugadali; pitianna; oria; marichapani; khiri; subashpakhal; sakara and pana etc. On completion of the bhog Arati is performed. Madhyahna Pahuda — After the Dhoop; the prescribed item is Madhyahna Pahuda; rest for sometime; but now a days either the deities do not like to take rest or rest is not considered to be provided; for their sound health. But as a matter of procedure Pahuda is due after the midday meal. However the system of Pahuda is — that after Madhyahna Dhoop another Mailam and change of dresses etc. are to be done by the Puspalaks. Four beds i.e Ratna Palankas are to be brought; arranged and kept below the Simhasan by Khatseja Mekap. Badadwar Padhiari invites the deities Manima Manima; please come down from Ratna Simhasan and take rest on ‘Ratna Palankas.’ Thereafter the Kalahat; Beharan and Jay-Bijay doors remain closed. The time for opening of the doors is 6 PM. This Pahuda is being operated only for a few days in the months of Kartika and Pausha (Pahilibhoga period). The system is generally being ignored due to delay in daily programme. Sandhya Arati — Evening Arati of Sri Jagannath is done by Talachhu Mahapatra, Aratis of Sri Balabhadra and Sri Subhadra is done by two Puspalakas. Camphor Arati; 21 candles and Sanjakali Arati is done by the Sevayats; standing below the Simhasan in front of the deities. On the days when Madhyahna Pahuda is arranged; change of dresses and decorations are made after evening Arati; the same procedure is followed on all Ekadasi days; but when Pahuda is not practicable; change of dresses etc. are made before the evening Arati. The Sevayats engaged are Bhitarchu Mahapatra; Paliamekap; Akhandamekap; Muduli; Khatsejmekap; Palia Pusupalak; Garabadu; Talicha Mahapatra and Khuntia. Sandhya Dhoop — This is the evening tiffin of the deities and the scheduled time is 7 to 8 PM; the place of Puja is Pokharia below the Ratnasimhasan; the system is Sodasopachar and the Prasad is arranged on behalf of the Temple Administration. The Sevayats who are engaged in Sakal and Madhyahna dhoop perform this Dhoop also.
The items offered to the deities are kaanla puli; takua; mathpuli; bhog pitha; gotali; bada kakara; sana kakara; luna khuruma; amalu; suar pitha; rosh paika hiribuha; jhadeinada; subash pakhal, sana and bada kadamba etc. After this Dhoop Arati is done by three Pujapandas in three silver pots; five varieties of Aratis are made. This Arati is named as Jayamangal Arati; Arati for the betterment of the universe. The next item is Sahan Mela; this Niti is not being observed at present. The system is just like the Sahanmela performed in morning time. Mailam and Chandanalagi — After Sandhya Dhoop the dresses of the deities are changed. Before the colourful late night Badasimhar Vesha, the deities are smeared with sandalpaste, mixed with musk and camphor, this is known as Chandanlagi, its scheduled time is 10 PM. Sevayats involved in this programme are Suar badu; Puspalak; Ghatuari; Muduli; Paliamekap; Palia Padhiari; Garabadu; Hadapnaik and Palia Khuntia. Badasimhar Vesha and Badasimhar Dhoop — Amongst all the daily rituals, the most attractive is the Badasimhar Vesha. During this ritual Chaturddhamurti look enchanting in their grand make-up. Badasimhar Vesha is a colourful floral decoration with special items like karapallab; kundal; tadiga and chandrika etc. The deities are clad with Barlagi Patas, traditional Orissan tie and dye cloths (silk clothes) Jaydev’s Gitagovind Slokas woven into them. This is the most beautiful and smiling appearance of the deities; after which they take slight light foods and go to their respective beds.
Badasimhar Dhoop is the last Bhog of the day and the scheduled time is 11.15 PM. Three Pujapandas below the Ratna Simhasan offer the Puja with Panchopachar. The items offered are — Pure ghee in a silver container; Kadali Bada; Khiri; Sakara; Pitha and Kanji. There is no provision of Arati after this Bhog. Khata Seja Lagi — This is going to bed and other ancillaries; a symbolic routine ritual; the scheduled time is 11.45 PM or thereafter. The Sayana Thakur; a joint image of Laxmi and Narayan with eight hands and made of gold; is shifted from Bhandar Griha and placed by the side of Sri Jagannath. Green coconut and Bidia betel are offered to the deities; camphor Arati is made by the Puspalakas just below the Ratnasimhasan and Devdasi sings devotional songs near the Kalahat door within the Jagamohan. In the meantime three small bejewelled beds (Ratna Palankas) are placed in front of the deities below the Simhasan. Sayana Thakur is further shifted from Ratnavedi to Jay-Bijay door and placed on a big Dambaru. Green coconut and Bidia betel are again offered and Puspanjali is offered by Palia khuntia. Sayana Thakur is then taken back to Ratna Palanka of Lord Jagannath; kept there for a while in a symbolic sleeping position and finally removed into Bhandar Griha. Thereafter the temple is totally vacated; all the doors are closed and sealed.
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