Puri: Devotees of Lord Jagannath are going to miss the opportunity to witness the rare ‘Nagarjuna Besha’ ritual in 2020, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lord Jagannath and his siblings don the warrior attire in the ‘Nagarjuna Besha’. It is observed once every 25 years.
This year the ‘Nagarjuna Besha’ ritual will take place November 27. If the world was not battling the COVID-19 pandemic, then lakhs of devotees would have thronged Puri to catch a glimpse of the trinity donning the ‘Nagarjuna Besha’.
But due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation, ‘darshan’ of the deities is not allowed.
However, the good news is that the deities are likely to don this rarest ‘besha’ in 2021 as well.
According to Jagannath culture expert and senior servitor Sarat Mohanty, the astrologers have predicted that the deities will don the warrior attire November 15, 2021 as well.
According to a Sri Jagannath Temple Managing Committee official, when the ‘panchuka’, the last five days of the holy Kartik month, is observed for six days then on the sixth day the ‘Nagarjuna Besha’ is observed. The ‘panchuka’ will be observed for six days in 2021. The date will be known only after the release of the 2021 ‘panjika’ (calendar of festivals).
The ‘Nagarjuna Besha’ of the trinity was last held in 1994 and lakhs of devotees thronged Puri to catch a glimpse of the trinity in golden warrior attires, holding several weapons including plough, wheel and mace.