Covid-19 has given a pause to many people in the world and it has taken into a new normal, starting from online meetings to online classes, many other professions went online. One of the unexpected profession that went digital to an extent is that of the priests.
Many are now turning to virtual mediums to get the pujas performed through online means. For several ‘vrathalu’ and ‘poojas’, priests are now rendering their services remotely, through video-calling.
A city-based purohit said that several rituals are being performed virtually, with ‘mantras’ and instructions also passed over video calls to people doing the rituals on the other end. According to him, "Ever since the pandemic started, people are worried that we visit several houses and can be the virus carriers. Even we have the same fear of carrying or contracting which is why we shifted to performing rituals through calls."
But in rare cases when they go out, they say that they don't take any chances and ensure to wear proper masks, face shields and maintain social distance from people.
Another priest clarifies that the rituals especially related to death are being done in a proxy manner, where the purohit himself performing the rituals on family behalf in order to save themselves from the novel coronavirus.
The priests say that " If at all we have to be present physically, a lot of times, the rituals are being done near lakes as it ensures physical distancing and minimises risk."