‘No adornment of Lord Jagannath disappeared during a special ritual’: temple administration
About 10 days after Lord Jagannath’s ‘sun and moon’ adornment was alleged to have disappeared, the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration said on Monday that the jewels were never missing. The precious ornaments were used in the Nagarjuna Vesha ritual.
Nagarjuna Vesha by Lord Jagannath and his brothers in the temple took place on November 27 without the presence of devotees due to Covid-19 restrictions. A day after the ritual, a temple employee was seen leaving the temple with the decorative piece of the ‘sun and moon’ which generated a controversy.
However, on Monday, the termple’s niti administrator, Jitendra Kumar Sahoo, said that the “sun and moon” ornaments seen outside the temple on November 28 were actually made of thermocol.
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“Temple servant Basant Chandra Rana had prepared two extra ‘sun and moon’ thermocol ornaments in addition to the items listed by the temple commander for Nagarjuna Vesha. Since the same ornaments made of gold were already there, the thermocol ornaments were not used, ”he said.
The administrator of Niti said that after the Nagarjuna Vesha ended, two main servers, Bhandara Mekap Madhusudhan Mekap and Daita sevayat Ramchandra Das Mahapatra, received the artificial “sun and moon” ornaments at their request.
Nagarjuna Vesha is observed during the month of Kartika when Panchuka (last five days of the month of Kartika) is observed as six days instead of five. The vesha is held in commemoration of the death of Kartyavera Arjuna, one of the main kings assassinated by Parsuram. The vesha was last observed in 1994 when six devotees were killed in the stampede that followed.