The ‘Mahaghora Kali Yajnam’, was supposed to be held for 10 days from March 12.

Days after the Kerala government came down heavily on the authorities of the Deviyode Sri Vidwari Vaidyanatha Temple for urging devotees to offer human blood as part of a ritual, officials at the temple have decided to take a step back.

The temple is situated at Vithura in the Thiruvananthapuram district.

“We will not defy the orders of a democratically elected government. However, the government should study the scientific basis of the ritual before stopping it. Only a drop of blood mixed with water was used for the ritual at a time,” the functionaries of the Deviyod Sree Vidwayari Vaidyanandha temple claimed.

Meanwhile the head priest of the temple also said that the government was trying to portray the ritual in a bad light.

“We are sad that the government and a section of the society portrayed the ritual in a bad light,” said A Manikandan, the head priest of the temple.

He also added that the ritual would help cure diseases.

“Mahagora Kali Yajnam will help cure diseases. It is an ancient ritual. The government and the public have a false idea about it. We do not have any hidden agenda. Devotees were requested to collect their blood for the ‘yagna’. The ‘yagna’ fire is holy and when we add a drop of blood to it, it absorbs energy. That’s the reason why Hindu puranas have a number of blood-related rituals,” the priest added.

The ritual was supposed to be held at the temple for 10 days from March 12 as part of the annual Kaliyoottu festival. The devotees were expected to donate their blood using disposable syringes.

The head priest also added that the temple authorities could have saved up to Rs 50,000 if the ritual was not conducted. Earlier, the ritual was conducted using a drop of blood from the priest who conducted the yagna.

The decision to use blood from the devotees came after they themselves expressed their willingness to be part of the ritual, the temple officials claimed.