LORD JAGANNATHA OF PURI – A to Z DETAILS YOU SHOULD KNOW!
A Question from a Girl devotee (Name hidden):
“Hare Krishna Prabhuji.. Thank you so much for your selfless service. It has reformed lives of many people. May Lord SriKrishna directly protect you Prabhuji.
Could you please tell about the glories of Lord Jagannatha? I just know only one incident that when Lord Chaitanya MahaPrabhu saw the deity of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Chaithanya fainted. And i have seen pictures of Lord Jagannatha, Devi Subhadhra devi and Lord Balladeva togather. Are they Incarnations? I don’t know much due to ignorance.
Could you please tell about the glories of Lord Jagannatha? Thank you Prabhuji. HARE KRISHNA”.
WHO IS LORD PURI JAGANNATHA?
Jagannatha in Sanskrit means “The Lord of the Universe”.
Krishna is worshipped at Puri, Odisha (Orissa) as Jagannatha! But, Jagannatha is worshipped all over the world in Ratha Yathras (Car festivals).
The best aspect to be remembered is that Lord Jagannatha excuses His devotees’ offenses and attracts them further along the path of devotional service.
Lord Jagannatha is Krishna.
Baladeva is His brother Balarama;
Devi Subhadra is His sister.
Krishna has a Beautiful and Charming form. However, He appears in many forms as Archa Vigrahas (deities) made up of stone, metal, wood, or paint, to accept the loving service of His devotees and elevate them.
Lord Jagannatha is the wooden form of Krishna.
(Why Sri Caitanya Maha Prabhu said that chanting does not require initiation? READ HERE!)
WHY LORD JAGANNATHA IS NOT IN THE AVATAR LIST OF KRISHNA?
Jagannatha form of the Lord Vishnu is a Pastime to protect the words of Vedas.
The Lord Vishnu takes 24 types of incarnations in the material world. Lord Jagannatha is a special PASTIME of Lord Vishnu. As said by Lord Jagannatha Himself, His appearance as Lord Jagannatha is just a part of the sweetness of His pastimes to protect the eternal words of the Vedas.
WHY LORD JAGANNATHA IS BLACK IN COLOUR?
The Lord Jagannatha is originally a Lord Vishnu statue with four hands with shankha, chakra, gada, padma (conch, wheel, mace and the lotus). This deity was made of Blue Sapphire, hence He was called with the name Neela Madhav. So, after carving, Lord Jagannatha appears as Neela Madhav in dark colour.
THE STORY BEHIND THE APPEARANCE OF LORD JAGANNATHA
There was a king called Indratyumna. This King Indradyumna was a son of Bharata and Sunanda. He is in the lineage of Malava kings that have been mentioned even in the Mahabharata and the Puranas.
(How to chant 1 lakh Hari Nams a day as said by Sri Caitanya? How Haridas Thakkur chanted 3 lakh Hari Nams a day? READ HERE!)
King Indratyumna wanted to meet Lord Vishnu as he is very much devoted to the Lord Vishnu.
Pleased by his devotion, the Lord sent a devotee to the palace of the king.
He spoke about Nila-Madhava to the king and the king started to be curious to know about Nila Madhava.
So, he sent many brahmanas to know the whereabouts of Nila Madhava.
Out of all brahmanas only one succeeded. His name was Vidyapati who succeeded in finding Nila Madhava,
When Vidyapati was staying in a village in the house of Vishvasu in a district with the population of Sabara non aryan community and married his daughter Lalita. Vidyapati found Vishvasu going to a secret place every night and come back with fragrances the next afternoon. From Lalita, he knew that Vishvasu goes to meet Lila madhava.
After getting compelled by Vidyapati, Vishvasu took him to that secret place by closing Vidyapati’s eyes with cloth.
However, the Lord appeared in front of Vishvasu and informed him to arrange for royal service from His devotee king Indratyumna.
After facing opposition from Vishvasu, finally, Vidyapati returned to the king Indratyumna and informed that he has found Nila Madhava.
(FIVE PRIMARY DUTIES OF A DEVOTEE RECOMMENDED BY SRI CAITANYA MAHA PRABHU! READ HERE!)
Vidyapati had sprayed mustard seeds on the path when he was taken to Nila Madhava to locate the place. The seeds had grown as plants now and hence he could take the king to the spot of Nila Madhava correctly by following the mustard plants.
They were unable to see the Lord. So, King Indradyumna arrested Vishvasu. Suddenly, a voice in the sky said to the King, “Release Vishvasu! Construct a temple on the top of this hill. The Absolute Truth will manifest in a wooden form there and you can find Me. But, you will not see Me as Nila-madhava.”
Then, the King established a town called “Rama Krishna Pura” and started to construct the temple. As he wished that Lord Brahma should consecrate the temple, he visited Brahma Loka. Since he had to wait there for very long time, the temple constructed by him was covered by the sands deposited by the sea water.
When he was stayiing in Brahma loka, Surya deva and Galamadhava started to rule that area and brought the temple out of sands.
Mean time, Indratyumna returned from Brahmaloka and claimed that he only constructed the temple. However, a crow living in a tree there told the witnesss as if the temple was constructed by Indratyumna, but, Galamadhava regained it from the sands,
Lord Brahma ordered the Galamadhava to reside outside the grounds of the temple as he concealed the truth.
Then, Lord Brahma installed a flag above the temple and gave a promise to the king that anyone who bow down and worship that flag will get liberated.
(GAURA PURNIMA : SRI CAITANYA MAHA PRABHU LIFE HISTORY – DIARY AND SIKSASHTAKAM – READ HERE!)
Then, King Indratyumna waited for the deities of Nila madhava to appear as told by the voice in the sky.
Since he could not find Nila Madhava, he was frustrated and decided to die fasting. Then, Lord Jagannatha spoke in his dream that He will come floating in from the sea in His wooden form as Daru-brahman at the place called Bankimuhan.
The King then saw on the sea shore a very big wood marked with a conch, disc, club and lotus.
But, none of the soldiers could even move it a bit. Lord Jagannatha again spoke to the King in dream and said that he should bring Vishvasu who served Him as Nila- madhava and place a golden chariot in front of Daru- Brahman.
The King did everything as instructed by Lord Jagannatha. Then Lord Brahma began a sacrifice and established a Deity of Lord Narasimha deva. This deity is still there as believed by the people.
Then, King Indratyumna appointed many sculptors to carve the Deity of Lord Jagannatha from the Daru- Brahman wooden piece. None of them could even do a little because their chisels broke and fell to pieces once they started to carve.
Then, Lord Jagannatha Himself came as an old artist “Ananta Maharana” and offered to carve the deity.
(SRI NARASIMMHA KAVACHA MANTHRA WITH MEANING! READ HERE!)
Ananta Maharana put a condition that he should be allowed to work behind closed doors for twenty-one days and none should open the doors till he finishes carving the deity.
Then, the sculptor started to carve the deity alone inside the room.
After fourteen days, the King was unable to hear the sounds of the artist working inside. So, in spite of the advice of his ministers, the King as advised by his queen, opened the door of the temple.
Inside the temple room, the sculptor was not there, but he saw that Daru-Brahman had taken the three forms as Jagannatha, Subhadra and Balarama, but their fingers and toes were unfinished.
The King’s minister told him that the architect was Jagannatha Himself and because the King opened the doors in the middle, Lord Jagannatha had manifested Himself in that way.
(GLORIES OF LORD NARASIMMHA DEVA –READ HERE!)
The King felt that he was an offender. So, he decided to end his life fasting.
Lord Jagannatha appeared in his dreams and said that He was eternally situated in Nilacala in the form of Lord Jagannatha as Daru-brahma and He will accept whatever offered by His devotees though he had no hands. He also assured that those devotees who loves Him will always see Him as Syamasundara, holding a flute.
(NOTE: That is why, when Lord Caitanya Maha Prabhu visited the temple of Lord Jagannatha, He could see Krishna Himself in the Shyama Sundara form and hence the Lord Caitanya went to the state of ecstacy and became as if fainted. And, the Lord appears in a form as wished by His loving devotees. When Arjuna wanted to see His unlimited form of cosmic universe, He showed. When Arjuna wanted to see His original form, He showed His original form as explained in the eleventh chapter of Bhagavad Gita.)
The King became satisfied.
The king prayed to the Lord to grant the lineage of the family of the sculptor who manifested Your form may age after age assist in constructing the three carts of Lord Jagannatha.
(ODANA SASTHI – CEREMONY FOR LORD JAGANNATHA – STORY! READ HERE!)
The Lord assured the king so and also said that Vishvasu’s lineage will also serve Him in future as His Dayidas and the lineage through the brahmana wife of Vidyapati will perform deity worship to Him and the lineage through Vidyapati’s Sabari wife Lalita should cook His food and called as Suyaras.
Then King Indradyumna got the permission from the lord to keep the temple closed just for three hours a day.
The King also prayed to the lord that he should be allowed to remain without a lineage to avoid anyone claim the ownership of His temple. The Lord Jagannatha agreed and granted that benediction.
This is the great story behind Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Devi Subhadra appearing in this world.
As assured by Lord Narayana to Lakshmi as said by Naradha Purana, anyone who just sees the deity of Lord Jagannatha carved by Himself as a sculptor will come back to His abode.
There is another version in Narada Purana that the artist Vishvakarma as Old Brahmana carved the Deities as per the desire of Lord Vishnu.
PERIOD OF MANIFEST OF THE LORD JAGANNATHA & CONSTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE
The original image of Jagannath manifested near a banyan tree, near seashore in the form of an Indranila mani or the Blue Jewel at the end of Treta yuga.
The Original deity disappeared in due course of time. Why?
Since it granted instant moksha to the devotees, Yama Dharma Raja kept it hidden in the earth so that the people will come to Yama Loka.
In Dvapara Yuga, King Indradyumna found it as described above and installed again.
The current form of the Puri Jagannatha temple was built in 1196 or 1197 or 1205 or 1216 or 1226 as mentioned by various scriptures, but, it has to be understood as 12th century.
Let the Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Devi Subhadra bless you all!
(LORD JAGANNATHA AND THE PROUD DEVOTEE: A TRUE STORY! READ HERE!)