About Mahaprasad & Nirmalya
'Mahaprasad' is of two types. One is Sankudi mahaprasad and the other is Sukhila mahaprasad. Both the types are available for sale in Ananda Bazaar of the Grand Temple.
- Sankudi mahaprasad includes items like rice, ghee rice, mixed rice, cumin seed and asaphoetida-ginger rice mixed with salt, and dishes like sweet dal, plain dal mixed with vegetables, mixed curries of different types, Saaga Bhaja', Khatta, porridge etc. All these are offered to the Lord in ritualistic ways. It is said that every day 56 types of Prasad are offered to the Lord during the time of worship and all of these are prepared in the kitchens of the temple and sold to the devotees in Ananda Bazaar by the Suaras who are the makers of the Prasad.
- Sukhila mahaprasad consists of dry sweetmeats.
Besides Sankudi and Sukhila mahaprasad another type of dry mahaprasad is Nirmalya. This is also known as Kaibalya. In spiritual recognition Nirmalya is equally important as Mahaprasad. There is a belief among Hindus that if Nirmalya is given to a person on his death bed, he is certain to 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. As laid down in the Skanda Purana things like flowers, sandal paste, garlands, etc. which are treated with reverence on the Lord including the other divine deities seated on Ratnasinmhasan (throne) in the temple are also known as Nirmalya after they are taken out from the deities. It is thus clear to mention that any of the divine accompaniments or components that is taken out of the Lord and his divine associates is known as Nirmalya.