July 21, 2021: Lord Jagannath’s Suna Besha (also known as Raja Besha or Rajarajeshwara Besha) happens five times a year. However, only the Suna Besha during Rath Yatra happens outside the temple, on the raths. The Suna Besha 2021 will be held on Wednesday, July 21 and even though the bhakts cannot see the holy trinity in Puri, the live broadcast of the Besha starts at 3pm for darshan on national and state television.
Suna Besha 2021: Gold adornment of the deities
During the Suna Besha, Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra are adorned with beautifully carved gold jewellery and are loaded with precious stones from top to bottom.
It is observed on the day after the return of the deities from Gundicha Temple (Bahuda Yatra), on Ashadha Shukla Ekadashi Tithi. The deities, on their chariots, adore the golden attire or the Suna Besha, with hands, arms and crown made of solid gold.
Lord Jagannath is adorned with a Chakra or disc made of gold on the right hand while a silver conch adorns the left hand, during Suna Besha.
However, Lord Balabhadra is decorated with a plough made of gold on the left hand while a golden mace adorns his right hand.
The other four times Suna Besha is arranged is on Bijaya Dashami, Kartika Purnima, Pausa Purnima and Magha Purnima. These beshas happen on the Ratnasinghasana itself.
The gold ornaments of the Lords are stored at the temple’s treasury known as Bhitara Bhandara ghara. The Bhandara nikap priests or the store in charge, guarded by armed policemen and temple officials, bring the required amount of gold from the Bhandara ghara before one hour and hand them over to the puspalaka and daitapati priests on the chariots. The daitapatis decorate the Deities’ body with gold jewellery.
Suna Besha 2021: History
As per legend, King Kapilendra Deb had brought a huge amount of gold on 16 elephants to Puri by conquering a neighbouring kingdom.
He donated all the valuable metal to the temple in 1460. Since then, the Suna Besha has been a major ritual of the deities.
It is believed that whoever sees the Lord in Suna Besha gets free of all his bad Karma. A huge crowd can be seen in front of the temple to feel the power of the Lord on this day.
Gold ornaments are crafted into:
- Sri Hasta – Golden hand
- Sri Paya – Golden feet
- Sri Mukuta – Golden crown
- Sri Mayura Chandrika – A golden peacock feather used by Lord Jagannath (a Krishna incarnation headpiece)
- Sri Chulapati – A golden ornament worn traditionally on the forehead to enhance the beauty of the face
- Sri Kundal – Golden earring
- Sri Rahurekha – A half square shaped golden aura around the face of the deities.
- Sri Mala – (Necklaces with several designs made of gold)
Padam Mala -lotus shaped
Sevati Mala -shaped like small sun flower
Agasti Mala -moon shaped flower design
Kadamba Mala -kadamba flower design (round ball shape)
Kante Mala -big gold beads design
Mayur Mala -shaped in peacock feathers
Champa Mala -shaped liked yellow champa flower
- Sri Chita – It represents the third eye of the Gods. On a Golden plate, there are eight precious gems and in the centre, is a pure jewel. On the middle point of the Sri Chita of Lord Jagannath, there is a precious diamond which represents the ‘Satwik quality’ of nature, the greatest of all qualities (in divine) and on the forehead of Goddess Subhadra, a Panna (emerald) representing the ‘Raja quality’ (the second of the three natural qualities of creatures). When all three deities come out from Srimandir on the occasion of Debsnana Purnima these original jewels are kept in Srimandir.
After return to the temple, the original chitas(jewels) are again placed on the forehead of the deities on the day called Chita Lagi Amavasya.
- Sri Chakra – Golden Wheel
- Sri Gada – Golden bludgeon
- Sri Padma – Golden lotus
- Sri Sankha – A silver conch
(Source: Puri Police)
Suna Besha 2021: Guidelines for darshan
The Puri district administration has imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC in view of the Bahuda Yatra.
The curfew imposed by the district administration under Section 144 of CrPC is still in force at some places in the pilgrim town. The prohibitory orders have been clamped today at the Market square, Kakudi Khai chhak and all roads leading to Bada Danda. The restriction will remain in force till 6 am on July 24.
After the Suna Besha, Adharapana and Niladri Bije rituals will be observed amid similar restrictions.