Lord Jagannath's Ten most famous Beshas !
Lord Jagannath, the supreme god of the universe and the King of the Puri Jagannath temple, is adorned with a staggering amount of beshas, each of which has a special significance and a fascinating backstory. Depending on the reigning deity, different beshas exist. Dhwaja is another name for Lord Jagannath's attire. Over the years, devoted followers of Lord Jagannath Himself have created this dhwaja specifically for him.
Lord Jagannath's different beshas are spectacular, whether during everyday rituals or festive occasions. Devotees swarm to see the deities in all their glory. The deity of Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri is dressed with different types of material like cotton and silk fabrics, flowers, leaves, and sandal paste because as per Hindu religious rituals, everyday gods and goddesses have to be dressed in different dresses. Every day from the "Mangala Alati" till "Ratri Pahuda", idols of lord Jagannath are decorated by the priests and devotees who are wearing special clothes or pedestals worn on the head, stomach, arms, and legs.
Different Beshas of Lord Jagannath:
  • Abakasha Besha: Every day, once the Mangala Arati and Mailam are finished, Lord Jagannath’s Abakash Besha is performed. This besha is slated to take place between 6 and 6:30 in the morning. As part of this ritual, deities are also given a bath, have their faces newly painted, and have their teeth brushed.
  • Bada Shringar Besha: Every day at 10:30 PM, the Bada Shringar Besha takes place, during which the deities of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Goddess Subhadra are decked with flowers following the rituals of the temple.
  • Bamana Besha: Bamana, also known as Bhadrav Shukla Dwadashi, is the name of Lord Vishnu's fifth avatar. Every Brahmin symbol, such as an umbrella, a gadu (rice bag), a kusa (mace), etc., is utilized to decorate Lord Jagannath as Bamana. Pushapalaka attendants decorate Lord Sri Jagannath in a way that makes him appear to be a Bamana.
  • Lakshmi Narayana Besha: This besha takes place on Kartik Shukla Ekadasi, a day of worship when the deities are decked out in royal attires and gold ornaments as Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi. Another name for this besha is Laxmi Narayan besha. While Lord Balavadra is attired in a bow and arrow, Lord Jagannath is adorned as Lord Vishnu with a gold shankh and a chakra. Goddess Subhadra holds her jeweled gold crown on her head as well as her anklets on each of her feet.
  • Chandana Lagi Besha: Chandana Lagi Besha occurs in the months of Baishakh and Jyeshtha. The Lord Jagannath, Elder Brother Balabhadra, and Sister Subhadra deities are adorned with Sandal Paste (Chandan Lagi) besha which starts around 10 PM. The deities are then bathed with milk after this besha is over. The attendants smear the sandal paste on their bodies and offer betel to them as an offering during this ceremony.
  • Gajanana Besha: On the day of Snana Purnima, the bathing rites of the deities are held on the Snanavedi. Afterward, Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra are dressed like Lord Ganesha, wearing an elephant's head attire.
  • Nagarjuna Besha: The Nagarjuna besha is observed during Kartika month, specifically on the fifth day of Panchuka. It honors Arjuna's conflict with his son Nagarjuna or Sage Sahasrarjun's demise at the hands of Sage Parsuram. Deities are decked with golden hands and other gold-based weaponry during this time.
  • Padma Besha: The Padma besha, or lotus dress, is made of lotus flowers that have been traditionally supplied by the Badachhata Matha. Only during the month of Magha does this flower bloom on the planet, and people who bring it to decorate the deities are said to be blessed with success and riches. Between the new moon day of Magha (January) and Basanta Panchami (February 21), worshippers offer pudding to the gods as they are clad in this besha on either Saturday or Wednesday.
  • Suna Besha: The Suna Besha festival is observed five times a year, with the most important festival being celebrated on Asadha Ekadashi where the deities are observed in front of the temple on Ratna Singhasana or the chariot. During this festival, the deities are decorated with more than 100 kilograms of gold. On Kartik Purnima, Magha Purnima, Bijaya Dashami, and Pausa Purnima, the festival is observed in greater detail and decorated with gold ornaments at the temple itself.
  • Bankachuda Besha: This besha is performed on Kartika Sukla Dwadasi tithi and it includes a golden headpiece crown like the Lakshmi-Narayana besha. Besides the various beshas of Lord Jagannath mentioned above, there are also different other beshas that are performed in the temple and during the festivals. Hopefully, this blog will help you to get a better knowledge of the different beshas of Lord Jagannath and their significance.

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