Puri: The ‘Nagarjuna Besha’, one of the rarest attire rituals of Lord Jagannath and his siblings in Puri Jagannath temple, is scheduled to be observed November 27 after 25 long years.
However, the devotees of the trinity are likely to lose the opportunity to have a glimpse of the deities adorning the Nagarjuna Besha, also known as Bira Besha due to prevailing COVID-19 situation. Notably, the temple has been out of bound for visitors for seven months now.
The rare ritual will be observed on 12th day of the holy month of Kartik which comes on November 27 this year. The ‘panchuka’ (last five/ six days of holy Kartik month) will be observed for six days instead of usual five days and the attire ritual will be observed on the sixth day.
On this day, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra appear in Nagarjuna Besha. Last time the trinity appeared in this attire was in 1994. Lakhs of devotees had darshan of the Holy Trinity on that occasion. That year six people had died in a stampede inside temple premises.
With winter season being around the corner, the hope of opening of Jagannath Temple in the holy month of Kartik is slender.
However, the devotees are learnt to have made up their minds not to let go the occasion which comes after a long gap of 25 years. Many have been seeking to at least get a glimpse of Lord ‘Patitapaban’ – who is revered as the representative of Lord Jagannath.
Temple sources said, Srimandir servitors are prepared to decorate Lord ‘Patitapaban’ in Nagarjuna Besha this time. They have urged the chief administrator of Jagannath temple to shift the barricade close to ‘Aruna Stambha’ so that devotees can have a hassle-free darshan of Lord ‘Patitapaban’.
Meanwhile, many devotees have requested for online darshan facilities. “It would be good for devotees if the temple administration makes arrangement for online darshan of Nagarjuna Besha of the trinity,” said Shri Jagannath Temple Management Committee member Madhab Mohapatra.
Notably, the Besha is observed during Kartik month occasionally when Panchuka is observed as six days instead of five. According to Srimandir traditions, this Besha is celebrated in commemoration of killing of Sahashrarjuna by Parsuram or battle between Aurjua and his son Nagarjuna. The Lords are adorned with golden hands, legs bids and weapons made of gold and dressed like warriors. The previous five occasions when this attire ritual was last held fell November 16, 1994, November 26, 1993, November 3, 1968, November 16, 1967 and November 26, 1966.