According to ” Skanda Purana” Lord Jagannath redeems the devotees by permitting them to partake his Mahaprasad,to have His darshan and to worship him by observing rituals and by offering of gifts .Mahaprasad is treated here as ‘Anna Brahma’.
Everyday Lord Shree Jagannath is served with 56 Types of dishes, known as the Chappan Bhog.
Here are 8 amazing unknown facts about Shree Jagannath Mahaprasad.
1. The Prasad or holy offering to the Lord is cooked on firewood in seven vessels or pots kept one above the other. The miracle is that the food kept in the topmost vessel gets cooked first, followed by the second and so on till the seventh or lowest one above the fire gets cooked.
2. The quantity of Mahaprasad cooked inside the Temple remains the same for the entire year. But that same quantity of prasad can feed few thousand people to a few lakh of people, there has never been shortfall.
3. Dry Arna Mahaprasad is called Nirmalya. Nirmalya is also known as Kaibalya. In spiritual recognition Nirmalya is equally important as Mahaprasad. There is a believe among Hindus that if Nirmalya is served to a person on his death bed, he will find a place for himself in the heaven after his death following atonement of all his sins. Nirmalya is commonly understood as dry-rice i.e. rice dried up in hot sun in Kaibalya Baikuntha.
4. Maharprasad is Prepared by 600-700 cooks and partaken by up to 50,000 pilgrims daily generating a business of Rs 8-12 lakhs, the mouth watering Mahaprasad of shree Jagannath Temple has retained its appeal among millions of devotees for ages.
5. Mahaprasad is of two types – ‘Sukhila’ and ‘Sankudi’. Sukhila Mahaprasad consists of dry sweetmeats whereas Sankudi Mahaprasad includes items like rice, ghee rice, mixed rice, cumin seed and asaphoetida-ginger rice mixed with salt & dishes like sweet dal, plain dal mixed with vegetables, mixed curries of different types, Saaga Bhaja (Spinach Fry), Khatta, porridge etc..
6. Mahaprasad is only cooked in earthen pots on wood fires.And then the steam-cooked food is offered to Lord Jagannath first and then to Goddess Bimala after which it becomes Mahaprasad.
7. While the steam cooked food is carried to Lord in slings of earthen pots no flavor comes up from the food but when the same is carried back to the sale point after being offered to the Lord, a delicious smell spells along in the breeze to the pleasant surprise of the devotees. Since the food is blessed.
8. Devotees after purchasing ‘Mahaprasad’, they eat together forgetting their caste, creed and status in Anand Bazar or the Pleasure Mart of the Jagannath temple which is situated on the north east corner of the outer enclosure.