“Snana gundicha ae swam beni lila jara Patitapabana arthu prasadu bahara”
Deba snana Purnima is a special bath ceremony of Lord Jagannath which takes place on the Purnima of Jyestha month, to commemorate the appearance day of Lord Jagannath. According to Skanda Purana when Raja Indradyumna installed the wooden deities he arranged this bathing ceremony. This day considered to be the birth-day of Lord jagannath. It is held on the full-moon day of the month of Jyestha. This festival is also simultaneously held in all other parts of Odisha, but in Puri, it attracts thousands of visitors and pilgrims from all over the country and the world.
On the previous day of Snana Yatra the deites of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra along with the image of Sudarshana, Madanmohan are ceremonially brought out from the sanctum in a procession to the Snanavedi (Bathing pandal). This special pandal in the temple premises of Puri is called Snana Mandap. It is at such a height that visitors standing outside the temple also can easily get a glimpse of the Deities. It is the Preliminary function of Annual Ratha Yatra (Car festival). The bathing festival takes place during the morning hours of the purnima tithi. The filled vessels are carried from Bhoga Mandap to the Snana Vedi by the Suaras/Daitapatis in a long single-line procession. This ritual is called ‘Jaladhibasa’ (Jala – water, abhishek – bath).
Prior to the bathing ceremony the images are covered with silken clothes and then smeared with red powder. Then water is poured over the deities, and the rituals are performed. After the bath the deities are so dressed that together they appear like the image of Ganesha. This is called Ganesha besha. It is said that a staunch devotee of Lord Ganesha and himself a profound scholar visited Puri during Snana Yatra, he was amply rewarded by the king of Odisha for his scholarship. The king asked the scholar to accompany him to see Lord Jagannath which he refused under the pretext that he wouldn’t worship any God other than Ganesha. Somehow he was persuaded and brought before the Snana vedi. To the utter surprise of all, Lord Jagannath appeared as Ganesha. Since then during Snana Yatra when the sacred bath is performed, the deities are dressed like Ganesha. Various other legends are also associated with Ganesha besha. This costume is offered by Gopaltirtha Matha & Raghavdas Matha. This besha is specially dedicated to the famous Gananpati Bhatta. Other deities may also receive abhiseka on this day. One should perform puja and bath of the Deities with water or pancha gavya and pancamirta while chanting the vedic mantras like purusa sukta.
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