In the vibrant land of Odisha, a grand spectacle unfolds every year during the auspicious occasion of Rath Yatra, capturing the hearts and minds of millions. At the pinnacle of this divine event stands Lord Jagannath, adorned in his resplendent Hati Besha, oozing grandeur and magnificence.
Hati Besha, translating to "Elephant Attire," is a sacred ritual where Lord Jagannath, along with his divine siblings, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra, dons the appearance of mighty elephants. As the celestial beings transform into majestic pachyderms, they command reverence, filling the atmosphere with an air of mystique and devotion.
Hati Besha of Lord Jagannath Story
1. Devotee ( Ganapati Bhatta ) Visits Lord Jagannath Temple
Ganapati Bhatta, a devout follower of Lord Ganesha, was believed to have gone on a pilgrimage to the sacred city of Jagannath Puri. Eagerly anticipating his visit during the Snana Yatra festival, he arrived at the temple, brimming with celebrations and went to participate in the ceremonious bathing ritual of the Lord.
However, upon catching a glimpse of Lord Jagannath, Ganapati Bhatta's heart sank. The deity before him lacked the elephant head that he associated with his beloved Ganesha. Disappointment clouded his spirit, and he left the premises. His devotion was solely reserved for Lord Ganesha, and he longed to worship Him alone.
Unknown to Ganapati Bhatta, Lord Jagannath, the supreme soul residing within the hearts of all beings, understood his devotees' dissatisfaction. Lord Jagannath, then set in motion a divine plan to address Ganapati Bhatta's devotion and provide solace to him.
2. Lord Jagannath in the Form of Brahmaan
In a divine play, the Supreme Lord, assuming the guise of a learned Brahmana, sought out Ganapati Bhatta, who was going to depart from Puri. Oblivious to the impending encounter, Ganapati Bhatta contemplated bidding farewell to the sacred city.
The Lord, disguised as the Brahmana, approached Ganapati Bhatta, his gentle words carrying a magnetic charm. Despite his initial reluctance, Ganapati Bhatta found himself captivated by the words of the disguised Lord. Slowly but surely, the Lord reassured his doubts and convinced him to reconsider his decision. Eventually, Ganapati Bhatta acquiesced, agreeing to revisit the temple in the evening.
Little did Ganapati Bhatta know that the Lord had orchestrated a wondrous surprise, destined to unfold within the hallowed grounds of the temple. Filled with a renewed sense of anticipation, he made his way to the temple, guided by the promise bestowed upon him by the enigmatic Brahmana.
3. Devotee (Ganpati Bhatta) sees Hati Besha Avatar of Lord Jagannath
Ganapati Bhatta's joy knew no bounds as he witnessed Lord Jagannath adorned in the Hathi Besha, resembling his beloved Lord Ganesha. Lord Jagannath had assumed this form to please Ganapati Bhatta and a radiant smile adorned his divine face.
Overwhelmed, Ganapati Bhatta repeatedly bowed to the merciful Lord, his heart brimming with indescribable joy and gratitude. Their union in that sacred moment created an eternal bond of devotion.
4. Lord Jagannath is the Supreme Lord
Ganapati Bhatta's understanding grew due to the divine insight, which showed him the deep truth that Lord Jagannath was the Supreme Lord Himself. He saw that everything in the world came from this holy source.
Once thought of as separate beings, the demigods were now shown to be part of the Supreme Lord, with their powers coming only from His vast essence. Ganapati Bhatta realised the ultimate truth at this moment, which was that the Supreme Lord was all of creation and orchestrated its complex tapestry with divine accuracy.
With his newfound clarity, he saw how all beings are related to each other and to the Supreme Lord. He also realized that every part of existence comes from the Supreme Lord's eternal source, which gives it life and power.
Worshiping Lord Krishna Satisfies All Demigods
Worshiping Lord Krishna provides ultimate fulfillment to all demigods.
When devotees worship Lord Krishna sincerely, they naturally satisfy all the demigods. All other demigods are empowered representatives of Lord Krishna, the highest personality of Godhead. Devotees indirectly accept and honour the authority and potency of all the demigods by devoting their devotion to Krishna.
Krishna embodies the essence of all demigods, and worshippers develop a harmonious relationship with the entire celestial hierarchy by focusing on Him. Recognising Krishna as the highest source, the demigods happily join in the devotion offered to Him.
To sum up, the tale of Hati Besha from the divine doings of Lord Jagannath unveils the tender-hearted essence of the Almighty.
The dejection of Ganapati Bhatta was transformed into elation as Lord Jagannath manifested in the form of Hati Besha, bearing a striking resemblance to the divine Lord Ganesha.
Ganapati Bhatta's understanding was enriched by the realization that Lord Jagannath is the ultimate deity, fulfilling the desires of all celestial beings. This beautifully showcases the omnipresent essence of Lord Jagannath's divine aura and the profound contentment that arises from worshiping Him.