Puri: On the auspicious occasion of Snana Purnima, the Holy Trinity of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra along with Lord Sudarshan gave darshan as Hati Besha.
Soon after the holy bathing ritual today morning on the Snana Mandap, the deities gave ‘darshan’ (divine glimpse) of ‘Gaja or Hati Besha.
Prior to this enchanting ‘Gajanan Besha’ or ‘Gaja Besha’ or ‘Hati Besha’, Mudirasta, the representative of Puri King Gajapati Dibyasingha Deb performed the ceremonial sweeping of the Snana Mandap, the process called Chhera Panhara as the Puri King was absent to perform the rituals.
The tradition of decking up Lord Jagannath and Balabhadra in Gajanana or Hati Besha after the ceremonial bath can be traced to the Hindu belief of beginning every religious rite with a worship of Lord Ganesh.
Legends also has it that the Lords are dressed as Ganesh to satisfy the followers of the Ganapatya sect. A story in the book 99 Thoughts On Ganesha, by mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik, talks about the Puri temple and the particular besha.
This Besha is chiefly conducted by the Palia Puspalak, Khuntia, Mekap and Daitapatis on this day. Lord Jagannath and Balabhadra assume Gajanana Besha. Raghav Das Mutt and Gopaltirtha Mutt supply the materials as per a prolonged tradition.