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Monday, 22 June 2009

The Story of Jagannath Part1

"The Story of Jagannath"

King Indradyumna was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and was eager to meet him face to face. Once a brahmana came to the palace of King Indradyumna wnd told him about an incarnation of Lord Vishnu named Nila Madhava. The king then sent different brahmanas out to search for Lord Nila Madhava. They all returned unsuccessful except a priest named Vidyapati. After travelling for a while Vidyapati came to an area inhabited by non-aryans called sabras. He stayed at the house of a local chief, called Visvavasu. When he arrived Visvavasu was not there, but his daughter Lalita was. Vidyapati stayed there for some time and eventually married Lalita, the daughter of the sabara.

Vidyapati noticed some peculiar behaviors of his host. Visvavasu would go out each day around noon and would return back to the house scented with fragrances of sandalwood, camphor and musk. Vidyapati asked his wife about this topic and she informed him that his father would go daily to worship Nila Madhava, but she had overstepped that order by telling her husband. Vidyapati repeatedly requested to see Nila Madhava. Finally Visvavasu bound Vidyapati’s eyes & took him to see Nila Madhava. Vidyapati secretly carried some mustard seeds in his cloth & dropped them onto the path as he was walking. When he reached Nila Madhava, the blindfold was removed & Vidyapati saw Nila Madhava. Visvavasu went out to collect some forest flowers for worship and Vidyapati stayed near the deity. During this time a crow fell off the branch of a tree into a nearby lake and drwned. It immediately took a four-armed Vaikuntha form & started back to the spiritual world. Vidyapati then climbed up onto the tree and was about to jump into the lake. A voice came from the sky and said,” Since you've seen Nila Madhava, you should inform King Indradyumna."

Visvavasu returned & started his daily worship of Nila Madhava. Suddenly the Lord spoke to him and said,” I’ve accepted for many years the simple forest flowers & roots offered to me by you. Now i desire the royal worship offered to me in devotion by Indradyumna." Visvavasu felt cheated by his son-in-law, therefore, he bound him up and kept him in his house. After repeatedly requested but his daughter he let him go.

The brahmana then went to King Indradyumna & told him about his discovery. By following the mustard seeds, which had grown into small plants, they were able to follow the path to Nila Madhava. When they reached the spot, they couldn't find him. King Indradyumna had the village besieged & arrested Visvavasu. Suddenly a voice came from the sky,” Release the sabara. On top of Nila hill you should construct a temple. There i will manifest as Daru brahman (the Absolute Truth manifested in a wooden form). You will not see me as Nila Madhava.

The king constructed a temple. The king wanted Lord Brahmha to construct the temple. So he traveled to Brahmaloka & waited there for him. During this time the temple became covered by sand. While he was gone, 1st Suradeva & then Galamadheva became king of the area. King Galamadheva uncovered the temple from the sand. Shortly afterwards, King Indradyumna return from Brahma's abode. ndradyumna claimed that he had built the temple & Galamadheva also claimed the same thing. There was an old crow in the near by banyan tree who was constantly singing the glories of Lord Rama. The crow had seen the construction of the temple & he said that Indradyumna had built the temple & that Galamadheva had just uncovered it. Because he had not told the truth Galamadheva was ordered by Brahma to live outside the temple compound on the westren side of Indradyumna Sarovara lake.

Indradyumna then asked Lord Brahma to consecrate the temple & the surrounding area, which was called Sir Ksetra & gives the highest type of liberation. Lord Brahma told him that Sri Ksetra is manifested bu the Supreme Lord's internal potency & that the Supreme Lord manifests Himself. Therefore he could not install the Lord here, but Lord Jagannatha & His abode are eternally situated in the material world. He said he would install the flag on the temple and that anyone who sees this flag & offers prostrated obeisances would easily be liberated.

After a while King Indradyumna became frustrated with not seeing Nila Madhava. He decided to lay on a bed of kusa grass & to fast utill death. Lord Jagannatha came to him in a dream and told him I shall come floating from the sea in my wodden form as Daru-brahman at a place called Bakimuhan.

The king went to this place & saw a huge piece of wood, which had the marks of a conch, club, disc, & lotus on it. Many men & elephants tried to move Daru-brahman, but they couldn't move Him. That night Lord Jagannatha spoke to Indradyumna ina dream & told him to bring Visvavasu, who used to serve Nila Madhava & bring a golden chariot in front of Daru-brahman. The king did this & Daru-brahman easily was placed onto the chariot.

Lord Brahma then performed a sacrifice & established a Deity of Narasimhadeva on the raised platform of the sacrifice arena. It is said that the Deity of Narasimha in the present temple compound that is on the western side of the Mukti-Mandapa is this original Narsimha Deity.

King Indradyumna had the best sculptors come to carve the Deity of the Lord Jagannatha from Daru-brahman. As soon as they started their chisels broke to pieces. The Supreme Lord Himself came in disguise as an old artist who called himself Anatha Maharana (According to the Narada Purana, Visvakarma, the architect of the demigods carved the Deities by the desire of Lord Vishnu, who took the form of an old brahmana.) He said that if he was able to work behind closed doors for 21 days then the Deities could be carved. The old sculptor then took Daru-brahman into the temple & the doors were closed. After 14 days were passed, the king could not hear the sounds of the artist's tools & he became full of anxiety. The king then personally opened the door of the temple by force.

The king did not see the sculptor, but instead he saw the 3 forms of Lord Jagannatha, Subhadra and Balarama. Their fingers & toes were unfinished. Thinking himself a great offender the king decided to give up his life. He then laid one bed of kusa grass & began to fast. Lord Jagannatha appeared to him in a dream. He told the king that He is eternally situated here in Nilachala in the form of Lord Jagannatha as Daru-brahaman. In the material world, I descended in 24 Deity incarnations along with my abode. I have no material hands & feet, but with my transcendental senses I accept all the items offered by My devotees. The fact that you broke your promise is part of the pastime for me to manifest this for of Jagannatha. Those devotees whose eyes are smeared with the salve of love will always see Me as Syamasundara, holding a flute.

The king prayed to Lord Jagannatha that those in the family of the sculptor, who manifested your form, will continue to assist in constructing the three carts. He also told him that the descendants of Visvavasu, who served Me as Nila Madhava, should generations after generations serve Me. They shall be called My dayityas. The descendants of Vidyapati born from his brahmana wife should perform the Deity worship to Me. The descendants born from his sabari wife, Lalita, should cook My food. They shall be known as suyaras.

King Indradyumna then requested Lord Jagannatha, that the doors of the temple should be closed only three houra a day. The king also requested that he wouldn't have any descendants, so that no one in the future would claim the temple property of Lord Jagannatha as their own property.

It s said in the Narada Purana (Uttara Khanda 52.123), that the Supreme Lord Narayana told Lakshmi Devi: "In that great abode known as Purushottama- kshetra, which is rarely achieved among all the 3 worlds, the Kesava Deity, who was fashioned by the Supreme Lord Himself is situated. If men simply see that Deity, they are easily able to come to My abode"

Sri Krishna Hari Das

(Dr. Satish Chandra Gosain M.B. B. S. D.N.B.(i) Med)

Director Congregational Preaching North-west Delhi and Congregational Preacher ISKCON Delhi, NCR & Gurgaon.


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