This early morning ritual bears a symbolic message directing us to dispel darkness of ignorance by waking up to the flame of knowledge.
Literally, ‘mangal’ means auspiciousness. Alati is the synonym of ‘Arti’ that is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘aaraatrik’ meaning something that removes ‘ratri’ or darkness.
Mangal Alati is a daily ritual of Sri Jagannath temple, which is performed at early morning. It follows the Dwaraphita niti or ritualistic opening of doors leading to the inside of the temple as well as its inner sanctum.
Standing below the ratnasinghasana, the pedestal of the deities, Bhitarachha Mahapatraand two other Pushpalaka servitors perform Mangal Alati ritual. Talichha Mahapatra servitor is entitled to perform Mangal Alati in the absence of Bhitarachha Mahapatra. A team of devotees from Badachhata Matha performs kirtan every day at the time of Mangala alati. Mangal Alati involves use karpur (camphor) alati, Bati (wicks) alati and pithau (rice batter) alati.