Odisha: Raghunath Besha of Lord Jagannath in 2020

Puri: The ‘Raghunath Besha’, one of the rarest Beshas of Lord Jagannath, will be held at Srimandir here after 115 years in 2020.

Lord Jagannath along with siblings Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra will be adorned with precious jewelries. Millions of devotees will witness the rare attire of deities on the Ratna Singhasan (bejewelled throne), informed Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) chief administrator Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra who attended a programme in Bhubaneswar yesterday.

In this regard, a discussion will be held at Niti sub-committee meeting within three to four months, he said.

The Raghunath Besha has been conducted nine times in the last 500 years. It was last held in 1905 when a sea number of devotees had flocked the pilgrim city to see the rare sight of Lord Jagannath.

He assured that all sorts of initiatives will be taken by the temple administration for smooth conduct of the occasion at the shrine.

According to Srimandir Record of Rights, Madala Panji and other sources, the Raghunath Besha was first held in the year 1577. Later, it was conducted in 1739, 1809, 1833, 1842, 1893, 1896 and 1905.

It will be for the tenth time Lord Jagannath will appear in Raghunath Besha in the year 2020.

Earlier, the saint Baba Jagadananda Das had appealed to the government for conducting the besha in 1969. However, he failed on his mission. In 1983, a meeting chaired by the then collector was held with the administrators and servitors to discuss the smooth conduct of the event. However, their efforts went in vain.

By holding the Raghunath Besha of Lord Jagannath in 2020, millions of devotees will get an opportunity to see a rare sight in the temple.

In Raghunath Besha, Lord Jagannath appears like Lord Ram holding a bow in his courtroom with his siblings. Lord Ram’s siblings Bharat, Laxman, Shatrughna and his devotees Hanuman, Narad and several other idols of deities including Indra, Brahma, Kubera, Nairuta and Vashishta are seen together in the royal court. His devotees Sugreeva, Jambavana, Nala, Nila, Sushena, Angada, Hanuman, Vibhisana are seen standing near the deities.

The Besha is also called Shringara Besha as the precious jewelries are used to decorate the deities.

Reports said that the Raghunath Besha is conducted only on the day when Lord Rama’s coronation ceremony falls in the month of Vaishakha.

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