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abhada mahaprasad

Chhapan Bhog: Know its Mythological Importance

As per Hindu sacred mythology, individuals in the forests of Vrindavan followed an act of offering luxurious cuisines to Lord Indra – the God of rain and storm – to ensure he is sufficiently satisfied to favour them with convenient rainfall and great reap. Little Krishna discovered the worthless ritual to be somewhat brutal for the helpless ranchers. He persuaded the whole town to quit making these contributions to Lord Indra and care for themselves.

Maddened by the absence of food offered, Lord Indra set off enormous rainfall and rainstorm in Vrindavan. The storm proceeded for quite a long time, flood situations arose and individuals were trapped. Dreading for their carries on with, the locals moved toward Krishna for help, who at that point requested that everybody take shelter under the Govardhan hills.

When everybody was there, he lifted the entire hill with his little finger, and everybody went under the hill to take cover from the downpours and storm. The downpour proceeded for seven days, and little Krishna held the hillock on his little finger all as the days progressed. He didn’t move anyplace and didn’t devour a solitary grain of food.

Eventually, Lord Indra needed to stop the rains in Vrindavan. It is said Lord Krishna used to have eight meals in a single day. When the rainfall died down, everybody made Lord Krishna an aggregate of 56 dishes (eight meals for seven days each), out of appreciation.

Chhapan Bhog in Jagannath Mandir

Chappan Bhog implies 56 assortments of food offered to Lord Jagannath in Puri. As per ” Skanda Purana” Lord Jagannath reclaims the fans by allowing them to share his Mahaprasad, to have His darshan and to oblige him by watching ceremonies and by offering of blessings.

Mahaprasad in thali
courtesy Telegraph India

Mahaprasad is treated here as ‘Anna Brahma’. The temple kitchen has the ability to cook for a lakh of devotees on a day. Mahaprasad is cooked uniquely in earthen pots. The steam-prepared food is offered to Lord Jagannath first and afterward to Goddess Vimala after which it becomes Mahaprasad.

This Mahaprasad is uninhibitedly taken by individuals with no discrmination. At the point when the steam prepared food is conveyed to Lord in slings of earthen pots no flavour comes up from the food.

Ingredients Blended in Chappan bhog:

Chappan bhog is a blend of grain, organic products, dry organic products, desserts, drinks, namkeen and pickles. A portion of the regular things found in the chappan bhog are makhan mishri, kheer, rasgulla, jeera ladoo, jalebi, rabri, mathri, malpua, mohanbhog, chutney, murabba, saag, dahi, rice, dal, kadi, ghewar, chila, papad, moong dal halwa, pakoda, khichadi, poori, badam milk, tikkis, cashews, almonds, pistachios and elaichi among others. They are totally allocated in a specific arrangement, milk things are put first, trailed by salty things, and desserts at long last.

56 bhog
courtesy Jagganath Shop, Pinterest

Consistently, six arrangements of contributions are made, crossing the distinctive dinner hours. Goddess Laksmi is accepted to manage the exercises of the kitchen. The Mahaprasad is of two sorts. The primary sort, called the Sankuni incorporates a wide range of rice, dal, vegetables, Kheer and so forth. The subsequent kind, Sukhila incorporates dry desserts. This cooking is acclaimed worldwide and has been highlighted in many travels shows and books.

Actual Preparation of the Bhog

Preparing the Mahaprasad is a massive undertaking involving hundreds of people. It begins with procuring supplies from nearby villages. In many cases, the economy of many villages depends on the patronization by Jagannath Temple. The vegetables produced here are transported almost daily to the 700 members of the Suar Mahasuar Nijog, who are the primary cooks at the Jagannath Temple kitchens.

On an average, about 30 to 50 tonnes of vegetables are delivered to the kitchens from at least 200 different farmers around the Puri district. This process starts in the early hours of the day even before the dawn breaks. Cooked prasad (abhada prasad) is prepared first, as it is usually the most perishable. Then the dry prasad (sukhila prasad) is made as needed.

Bhog being prepared
courtesy Pakwaangali

On an average, 50000 pilgrims are fed by the Jagannath Temple kitchens daily, which can stretch to a lakh or even more on special days.

Editor’s Note: The COVID-19 lockdown has severely disrupted the farming communities of the district as the demand from Jagannath Temple has dwindled down to almost nothing. Most of the produce that used to go to the Temple kitchens is now rotting in godowns as farmers are unable to sell it in the open market as well.

In addition, the preparation requires litres of milk and ghee, which are supplied from dairies not only in the district but from places as far as West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.

All of this is prepared by the Suar Mahasuar Nijog, who work tirelessly from the early hours of the day to late at night.

Conclusion

The Chappan Bhog of Lord Jagannath is a massive feat of organization that that began as a way to celebrate Lord Krishna saving the people of Vrindavan from the wrath of Lord Indra and has culminated into a tradition that brings together people of all walks of life in Odisha and provides employment to thousands of people.

Its contribution to our culture, our way of life cannot be be denied.

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