This is why ‘Kheer’ Prasad offered at Alarnath

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 26, 2024 IST

 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.

Puri, June 26: Following the 'Snana Purnima' festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district. This pilgrimage is significant as the Holy Trinity – Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Godess Subhadra – are believed to fall ill and retreat to the 'Anasar Ghar' (sick chamber) after their ceremonial bath during the 'Snana Jatra'.


Also Read: Why Alarnath temple becomes more significant during Anabasara of Shree Jagannath, details here….

 

In this period of 'Anasara', when the deities are not available for public viewing, thousands of devotees visit the Alarnath Temple to worship Lord Alarnath, who is considered an incarnation of Lord Jagannath. It is a widespread belief that seeing Lord Alarnath during this time brings the same blessings as seeing the Holy Trinity.

 

The Alarnath Temple, a 13th-century structure established by the Alwar dynasty from Rajasthan, was originally named Alwarnath. Over time, the name evolved into Alarnath. The temple houses a striking black stone idol of the four-armed Lord Vishnu, known as Lord Alarnath.

 

A major attraction for pilgrims at the Alarnath Temple is the special 'Kheer' (rice pudding) offered as prasad. This dish, prepared with buffalo milk and other ingredients, is believed to have medicinal properties that can restore health to the unwell. Even during the Anasara period, when the main deities are considered ill, the Kheer bhog continues to be offered to both the deities and devotees. Daily, about 10,000 liters of milk are used to prepare enough Kheer to meet the high demand from pilgrims.

Also Read: No ‘Nabajoubana Darshan’ of Trinity for devotees this year: SJTA 

The tradition of visiting Alarnath Temple and partaking in the 'Kheer' during the 'Anasara' period is a cherished ritual, deeply embedded in the cultural and spiritual practices of the devotees.


The Legend of the Kheer Prasad at Alarnath Temple:


The 'Kheer Bhog', or rice pudding offering, at Alarnath Temple holds deep spiritual significance, symbolizing the Lord's love and compassion for His devotees. The deity of Lord Alarnath still bears blister marks on His right hand, face, and chest, attributed to this offering. These marks are linked to an ancient legend involving a poor Tamil Brahmin priest named Sri Ketan and his 12-year-old son, Madhusudan.

 

According to the legend, Sri Ketan, who served the Lord by begging alms, had to travel to a distant place, leaving Madhusudan in charge of the temple duties. Despite Madhusudan's apprehensions about performing the rituals correctly, his father reassured him that placing the 'Kheer Bhog' before the Lord with devotion would suffice.

 

Following his father's departure, Madhusudan offered the 'Kheer Bhog' to the Lord with great reverence, praying earnestly for the deity to accept it. After closing the sanctum door, Madhusudan went to play, returning later to find the bowl empty. His mother was surprised and suspicious, as she was accustomed to the 'Kheer Prasad'  being returned home. She decided to observe the offering process secretly the next day.

 

Through a small hole in the door, Madhusudan's mother witnessed the Lord descending from His throne to eat the 'Kheer'. When Sri Ketan returned, his wife narrated the miraculous events, but he was skeptical and accused Madhusudan of lying. To prove his innocence, Madhusudan again offered the 'Kheer', which was again consumed by the deity.

 

On another occasion, when Madhusudan offered the hot 'Kheer', Sri Ketan watched through the door hole. To demonstrate Madhusudan's sincerity, the Lord began eating the hot 'Kheer', resulting in blisters on His body. When Sri Ketan saw this, he was astonished and fearful. The Lord explained that He accepted the offering because it was made with pure love. The deity asked Sri Ketan to request a boon, but the priest's repeated questioning angered the Lord, leading to a curse on Sri Ketan's lineage. The Lord then took Madhusudan to Vaikuntha, His heavenly abode.

 

After these events, the temple remained without a priest for several years until Gajapati Maharaja Sri Purusottam Dev, returning from his victorious Kanchi campaign, visited the temple and learned of its plight. He arranged for the temple's rituals to be carried out by three Brahmin families, ensuring the continuation of the worship traditions.

 

Today, the descendants of these families continue the puja ceremonies with great reverence, maintaining the legacy of the 'Kheer Bhog' and the divine love it represents.

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 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
 Following the Snana Purnima festival at Puri's Jagannath Temple, devotees eagerly head to the Alarnath Temple in Brahmagiri, Puri district.
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