Mrunal Manmay Dash

Devotees of Lord Jagannath were left dejected for the second time in as many years when they were refused to witness the beloved Holy Trinity’s Suna Besha on Ratna Sighasana on Kartika Purnima, on Friday.

The Suna Besha of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra has been observed every Kartik Purnima within the temple premises. It is of a particular significance for devotes as they can witness the splendour of the Lords while they are seated on the Ratna Singhasana, the bejewelled throne, within the sanctum sanctorum.

Jagannath culture researcher, Suryanarayan Ratha Sarma said, “The Palia, Pasupalak and Sighari servitors drape the Trinity in sparkling golden attire following which the Trinity give darshan to their devotees blessing them in the process.”

However, keeping the pandemic in view, the Sri Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) and the district administration of Puri restricted the devotees from darshan on Kartik Purnima.

A devotee standing behind the barricades put at the Singhadwar of Srimandir said, “I am so sad that I failed to witness Lord Jagannath in Suna Besha today. I have to manage with the darshan of Lord Patitapabana and the Nilachakra Flag from a distance.”

Similarly another devotee from Puri who was in tears while speaking to OTV said, “Despite being a local of Puri, I could not get a glimpse of the Lord. May the Lord bless all and drive this pandemic away forever so that such kind of situation never arises in future again.”

It is worth mentioning here that In order to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 due to the large gathering, the Srimandir administration has closed the temple for devotees for three days this week. After remaining off the limits for darshan on Sunday due to usual Covid protocols, the temple was closed for the Bada Ekadasi. The SJTA had also decided to bar public darshan on Kartika Purnima to avoid violation of the pandemic protocols. However, all the rituals continue to be observed behind the doors by sevayats.

Tight security has been put in place to ensure strict compliance of prohibitory guidelines in and around the temple during the period and also aid devotees in a hassle-free darshan without any untoward incidents when the shrine reopens.