Coronavirus outbreak: Havan, dakshina go digital in times of lockdown

Updated: Apr 03, 2020, 08:08 IST | Diwakar Sharma | Mumbai

Jayashree Ballikar called up her priest and convinced him for a 'digital havan' on Maha Ashtami

Jayashree Ballikar performs 'digital havan'
Jayashree Ballikar performs 'digital havan'

Many people are finding ways to sail through the lockdown and among them is a 50-year-old ardent devotee of goddess Vaishno Devi, who ensured one of the important rituals of Chaitra Navratri — 'havan' — was held as she practiced social distancing that's been advised to contain the spread of deadly Coronavirus.

Jayashree Ballikar called up her priest and convinced him for a 'digital havan' on Maha Ashtami. On Wednesday, both Ballikar and her priest Santosh Joshi started a video call on WhatsApp and began the havan. "Since I have been performing this havan for years, I did not want to miss it this time. So I went digital after requesting my priest to come on a video call," said Ballikar, who lives with her family at Nasarwanji Petit Street, Grand Road.

The havan lasted nearly two and a half hours. Joshi regularly performs puja at Umerkhadi Ganpati temple near JJ hospital. "By going digital, I have followed all the lockdow instructions, like social distancing and staying indoors. I have prayed to god for the well being of mankind amid this global health crisis. May god give us relief from COVID-19," she said.

Joshi told mid-day that he has been performing pujas at Ballikar's house since past 13 years. "When she called me up for the havan, I was confused, but then she suggested we connect on WhatsApp through a video call. So I agreed," added Joshi. Ballikar even paid dakshina digitally.

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