Know Lord Jagannath’s Chhappan Bhog At ISKCON

Chappan bhog offered before the Lord Jagannath at the Gundicha temple in Maayapur (2017) Picture by Pranab DebnathChappan bhog offered before the Lord Jagannath at the Gundicha temple in Maayapur (2017) Picture by Pranab Debnath

SUBROTO BISWAS

Mayapur, June 26: The “Chhappan Bhog” (56 delicacies) that offered to Lord Jagannath during his stay in Gudicha has always been a matter of curiosity to the devotees. Be it in Puri, or in Iskcon hub of Mayapur, it is always a matter curiosity that help the devotees to earn the heavenly pleasure when they have the ‘bhog’ of the Lord Jagannath as ‘Mahaprasadam’.

As per scriptures this prasadam is so pure that it sanctifies a person in body and soul. HDG Bhakti Vedanta Swami Srila Prabhupad, founder Acharya of ISKCON, had emphasised that distribution of this Mahaprasadam can bring peace and prosperity in society.

In Mayapur, a lot of importance is given to the food that is being served to Lord Jagannath, the Lord of the universe during his 9 day stay in Gundhicha temple.

At ISKCON  Mayapur Gundicha temple , where  Lord Jagannath  along with  his siblings – Baladev and Subhadhra stay during the period till the return journey (Ulto rath yatra), devotees enthusiastically work hard to prepare varieties of  sumptuous delicacies for the pleasure of the Lord.

However, in real term, the delicacies are not just 56; it runs over hundreds. Lord Jagannath likes varieties. As a result the entire delicacies include around seven types of rice, 7 types of daa, over 30 types of sweet dishes and many other popular dishes of

QUICK FACTS

Food Served to Lord Jagannath: 6 times in a day

Time Schedule: 4am, 8am, 12noon, 4pm, 7.45pm, 8.30pm

Number of Cooks: 45

Head Cook: Nitai Naresh Das

Bhog@4am includes: Rasamali, Barfi, Sandesh, Halwa etc

Bhog@8am includes: Puffed rice, Puri, Fruit juices etc

Bhog@12pm includes: Rice, Pulav, Pramanna, Daal, Sabji, Pakora etc

Bhog@4pm includes: Rajbhog, Rasgulla, Gulabjamun, Patisapta, Laddu, Malpoa etc

Bhog@7.45pm includes: Custard, Coconut cake, milk etc

Bhog@8.30pm includes: Khichri, kheer, Noodles etc

As many as 45 devotees, both males and females under the guidance of a kitchen head engage night and day to prepare the Mahaprasadam. Lord Jagannath is served  food for 6 times in a day- beginning at 4.00 am , 8.00 am , 12.00 noon also called as Rajbhog , 4.00 pm , 7.45 pm and 8.30 as Sayan bhog (supper).  The cooks and helpers in the kitchen follow a strict routine before entering the cooking area. All of them get up very early, attend “Mangal Arti” followed by 25000 times chanting the Mahamantra  on  beads, this process helps the devotees to purify themselves from inside believes Nitai Naresh Das, kitchen in-charge.

Lord Jagannath with siblings at Gundicha temple in Mayapur, Iskcon.

Lord Jagannath with siblings at Gundicha temple in Mayapur, Iskcon

The activities begin in the kitchen from the wee hours. The morning bhog of Jagannath starts with several types of mouth watering sweets like Rasamalai , Barfi, Sandesh , Halwa, Masala puffed rice  along with Poori and variety of  juices. The  Rajbhog in the afternoon  is considered to be the most important offering.

The daily offering of “Chappan bhog” that run beyond 100 delicacies in actual term include 5 types of dal, 7-8 varieties of rice, 24 kinds of sabzi preparations, 7 -8 types of pakoras to name a few.

The head cook Gaur Hari Das  opines “Jagannath has an insatiable sweet tongue” so he takes special care to prepare 12-15 kinds of sweets like Rasgulla, Gulabjamun, Sweet rice, Patisapta, Laddu, Milk cake, varieties of  Peethas, Malpoa for the afternoon lunch of the Lord.

Other than this, the menu for the day also includes continental dishes like custard and coconut cake which become a part of evening appetite. Night offerings are generally kept light. Each day Kheer becomes the last offering. Gaur Hari  Das who masterminds the finger liking delicacies  for Lord Jagannath  is always seen wearing a broad smile on his face similar to the grin of Jagannath.

On an average 500 people which includes guests, pilgrims and devotees honour the Mahaprasadam of Jagannath daily at Prabhupad Ghat on the bank of the Ganga. “All the offerings are indigenously   prepared by using Coconut, ghee, yogurt, home-made cheese and milk—in abundance”, informed Das.