"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." – Albert Einstein

A true History of Suna-Besha (Golden costume of Lord Jagannath)

A true History of Suna-Besha (Golden costume of Lord Jagannath)

Today is Suna besha of Lord Jagannath.Suna besha means Lord will dress-up with golden ornaments,weapons even not only that,to day all the devotees can see lord Jagannath’s incomplete hand and legs with completed golden arms,palms and feet. It is a glorious history lies behind this Suna-vesha (Golden costume).

Historical name of Orissa was Kalinga.The great Kalinga empire which was geographically situated from river Ganga (in West Bengal now) in north to river Godavari (in Andhra Pradesh now) in south and from Mahodadhi (Bay of Bengal) in east to Amar kantaka hilly area in west (now in Chhatishgarh).Once the king of this empire was Gajapati “Sri Kapilendradev” of Surya Vansa (dynasty).This great king had established Arya culture in Dravidian region (South India).This very powerful king was able to spread his kingdoms which crossed the limit of original Kalinga region.He had won the entire Andhra paradesh,all most all regions of Tamil nadu,Some parts of Karnataka along with Vijaya Nagar empire(Now in modern Karnataka state) and also entire Gouda-desha (Mordern Bangladesh).He had got his victory over these states so he was honored in a name as “Nava koti Karnata Kalabargeswara, Biradhibirabara Kalinaga-Utkal rajadhiraja Sri Sri Kapilendradev”.Kapilendradev was also writer of many books one of them is named as “Kapil-Samhita” which also describes the glorious history of Kalinga-Utka (Orissa) of that time.But he had no pride for his victory.This great king had never declared him self as the ruler of Kalinga empire.He himself had declared that actual ruler of Kalinga is Lord Sri Jagannath Mahaprabhu.He himself is only representative of Lord Jagannath.He is only his servant.So after winning entire Dakshinatya (Southern Kingdoms) he has brought 16 chariots which is filled with many golden and diamond ornaments to offer Lord Jagannath.On firstday it self when he returned back to kalinga after completion his journey of victory, he offered those huge amount of gold and diamond ornaments to Lord Jagannath and ordered to priest of the Lord Jagannath to make the golden coustume (Suna-Besha) of the lord the day after the Bahuda Yatra (Returned day of Ratha yatra) on the chariot it self.So from that day Lord Jagannath with brother Balabhadra,and sister Subhadra was dressed up with golden costume on the chariot it self at the end day of Ratha-Yatra.(The day after Bahuda Yatra).Sitting in the chariot the lords give darshan to devotees in golden outfit (costume).After this suna besha (golden costume) the whole process of Ratha-yatra is completed. It is said in a Sanskrit sloka that “Rathe tu Baman drustwa punar janma nalavyate”.Who will have darshan of lord Jagannath on chariot never has to rebirth.

To day it is a matter of sad that the previous glory of Orissa is lost now-a-days.To day’s modern Orissa is lagging behind the previous great Kalinga empire not only geographical area but also culture, tradition and wealth.

To-day Kapil-Samhita (Composed by King Kapilendradev himself) makes us recalled the following glorious script in sanskrit:-

"Varshnam Bharatah srethah, deshanam Utkalh sruthah
Utkalasya sama desham, desham nasti mahi tale"

Among the whole universe Bharat (India) is greatest, and Utkal (Orissa) is purest,
There is no land in whole world purest like Utkal.

May the history take us back to that golden era……………………………………………!!!

By: Bijaya Ketan Sahu


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