Sri Jagannath with his brother and sister dress in lotus - Padma - decoration. This vesa signifies health and wealth. It is mythologically believed that Maa Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, moves with fully blossomed lotus flowers. In the fitness of things, each year Sri Jagannath is adorned with lotus flowers in Magha before Basanta Panchami.
At present, the Badachhata Matha takes the pride of arranging the Padma Vesa each year and offers puddings (khiri) and amalu (malpua) bhoga to deities when the vesa is completed. The Pushpalaka sevayat (Singhari ) adorn all deities in this beautiful vesa at the time of Badasinhara Vesa (at night - before the temple closes). It is a major festival and lakhs of devotee visit Sri Mandira to see Sri Jagannath in Padma Vesa and enjoy the offering.
The legend has it that the vesa is being held from 13th century when Mitrabhanu Dev was the king of Khurda. A famous and revered priest Mahatma Manohara Das with permission from the king came to Sri Khetra after his years of meditation in Mahindra Giri (hills).
On his way he found a pond full of beautiful lotus flowers. He took a head load of flowers to offer it to Sri Jagannath.
However, during his two days journey, the flowers were turned black and the sevakas (servitor) refused to offer these to the god. Mahatma Monohar Das was quite moved. Determined to offer flowers, he waited near Singhadwara for three days more with the load of dried flowers covered in a cloth. And on the 3rd day evening, the mercy eyes of the god opened and a miracle happened.
The flowers became fresh and its beautiful fragrance was spread in the inner compound of the temple, though Mahatma Das was waiting outside the Singhadwara.
This news was spread in Sri Khetra in lightning speed. The sevaysts who knew about those dried flowers previously, were astonished to see the change and understood that Mahatma Monohara Das was a staunch devotee of the god.
The Deula Karana (temple accountant) was ordered to arrange for offering of these lotus flowers and Sri Jagannath was adorned with lotus on the same night in the Badasinhara vesa. Since then this vesa is being held each year.
Article extracted from Daily Pioneer.com - 1st of Feb 2006
Please see the Gallery of the Lord Shri JagganNathji to see the Lord in other veshas.
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