The Veshas of Lord Jagannathji

This article is copied from the excellent site of Topics for Seekers by Richard Leighton.

Where possible, the description is illustrated by a painting of the Vesha.

 

The word 'vesha' means outfit or costume, in English. The deities on the ratnavedi are dressed in different outfits beginning with mangala arati, the first arati of the day, and ending with ratri pahuda. The dresses are made of cotton and silk, and are adorned with gold ornaments, precious stones, different kinds of flowers, peacock feathers, tulasi leaves and so on. Sandalwood paste, camphor and occasionally masks are used in the daily and periodic rituals. Hands and feet are often added to the vigrahs of the Lord to add to the effect of clothes and masks used for specific veshas.  A few of the major veshas are listed below.

Abakasha Vesha or Tadapa Uttari Vesha

This is done daily, after mangala arati, for the abakash rituals. Abakash is the tooth brushing and bathing ritual. The clothes that are worn by the deities are called 'Tadapa' and 'Uttariya.'

Badasrunghara Vesha

This is a very beautiful vesha. It is done before the night time 'pahuda', when the deities are allowed to take rest. It is therefore the vesha the deities appear in the following morning, for mangala arati. This vesha is mostly made of different kinds of flowers. The Lords are decorated with flowered ornaments known locally in Puri as adhara, jhumpa, gava, chandrika, tilak, alaka, guna, hruda pallava, karapallava and tadaki among others. The Deities also wear many flower garlands, some with tulasi leaves, and silk clothes called khandua.

Chandana Vesha

This vesha is done for 42 days, beginning on Akshaya Trutiya.

Ganapati Vesha or Hati Vesha

On the full moon day of the month of Jyestha, after the bathing ceremony is over, the Deities are dressed in elephant costumes. Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra are made to look like Ganapati, the beloved son of Shiva and Parvati.

Suna Vesha or Bada Tadhau Vesha

On the 11th day of the bright fortnight in the month of Ashada, when the Deities return from the Gundicha Mandir on their chariots, they appear in the Suna (Gold) Vesha. They are are decorated with golden ornaments and wear gold crowns. Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhada appear with hands and feet made of gold. Lord Jagannath holds a golden chakra in His right hand and a silver conch shell in His left. Lord Balabhadra holds a golden club in His right hand and a golden plough in His left.

Raja Vesha

The same outfit as Suna Vesha, but it is performed on Dussera, Kartik Purnima and Pousa Purnim.

Banabhoji Vesha

On the 10th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Bhadra, the Deities are dressed for a picnic, like the cowherd boys.

Kaliyadalana Vesha

On the 11th day of the dark fortnight of Bhadra, Lord Jagannath is dressed as Krshna in His pastime of killing the serpent Kaliya.

Pralambasura Badha Vesha

On the following day, the 12th day of the dark fortnight of Bhadra, the Deities are dressed to commemorate Lord Balabhadra's pastime of killing the demon Prahlambasura.

Krshna-Balarama Vesha

On the 13th day of the dark fortnight of Bhadra, Lord Jagannath and Lord Balabhadra are dressed very attractively as Lord Krshna and Lord Balarama.

Bali Vamana Vesha

On the 12th day of the bright fortnight Bhadra, Lord Jagannath is dressed like the dwarf brahmin Vamana, who defeated the demon Bali. Lord carries a parasol and a vessal of water. Vamanadeva was one of the das avatars, the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

Radha-Damodara Vesha

For an entire lunar month, from the 11th day of the bright fortnight of Ashwina to the 10th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika, the Deities are dressed in this vesha. Damodara refers to the lord with a rope tied around His waist, which relates to Krshna's pastimes with Mother Yashoda.

Thiakia Vesha or Laxmi-Narayana Vesha

This vesha is used on the 11th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika.

Bankachula Vesha

Used on the 12th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika.

Adakia Vesha or Trivikrama Vesha

Used on the 13th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika.

Dalikia Vesha or Laxmi Nrisimha Vesha

Used on the 14th day of the bright fortnight of Kartika.

Nagarjuna Vesha

This vesha honors Parasurama, the warrior incarnation. It is used only occasionally. It happens during the month of Kartika, when there are six days of Panchaka. This was done six times in the last 30 years on 11/3/95, 11/16/94, 11/26/93, 11/3/68, 11/16/67 and 11/26/66.

Ghodalagi Vesha

During the period from the 6th day of the bright fortnight of Margasira to the 5th day of the bright fortnight of Magha (Basanta Panchami) the Deities wear winter clothes.

Jamalagi Vesha

From Basanta Panchami to Dola Purnima the Deities wear modified ghoda (winter clothes).

Padma Vesha

It is done on Saturdays or Wednesdays between the new moon day of Magha and Basanta Panchami. 'Padma' means 'lotus,' and the Deities' dresses are made from lotus, sola lace and paper. These dresses are traditionally supplied by the Badachhata Matha. Halva is offered to the Deities when They are in this vesha.  (detailed article from the Daily Pioneer)

Gaja Uddharana Vesha

This vesha is done on the full moon day of the month of Magha. It commemorates the story of Gajendra, the king of the elephants, and the alligator.

 

This article is copied from the excellent site of Topics for Seekers by Richard Leighton.

 

Some interesting videos of rituals at Puri :-

Snana Yatra Vesha of Jaggan-Nathji
Snana Yatra

Gaja Vesha of Shri Jaggan Nathji

Ratha Yatra of the Lord of Puri

Suvarna Vesh of Shri Jaggan-Nathji on the last day of the Ratha Yatra (commentary in Oriya)

Ratha Yatra and Suvarna-Vesh (golden attire) of the Lord on His return to the inner temple (commentary in Hindi)

Gallery of the Lord Shri JagganNathji in His various festive attire.

 

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