Monday, 4 July 2011

Lord Jagannath



Jagannatha, also pronounced as Jagannath, or Jagannaath, or Jagannaatha, is the universal deity form of <span>Lord Krishna</span>

. Especially the Vaishnava community revered Jagannatha as Krishna’s merciful form. Lord Chaitanya too was a great devotee of Lord Jagannatha.






Jagannatha, also pronounced as Jagannath, or Jagannaath, or Jagannaatha, is the universal deity form of <span>Lord Krishna</span>

. Especially the Vaishnava community revered Jagannatha as Krishna’s merciful form. Lord Chaitanya too was a great devotee of Lord Jagannatha.

Jagannatha, a Sanskrit word, is widely used in order to describe a deity form of Krishna. The word can be broken into two terms: nath which means master and jagat signifies universe. Together Jagannatha signifies "Lord of the universe". Jagannatha is one of multiple names of Krishna that were mentioned in the ancient <span>Vedic</span> scriptures of India.




Scholars have come up with an interesting finding. According to them, the English word, juggernaut, widely used to describe an ‘unstoppable’ has been derived from Jagannatha.

Myths are popular amongst the people that centered on the origination of Lord Jagannatha. According to a story, once Krishna eavesdropped while the ‘gopis’ spoke about him like His pastimes, and how much they loved him. Sister Subhadra was given the responsibility to keep an eye ensuring that Krishna should not be seen nearby while they spoke to Krishna.




However Subhadra was so engrossed in listening the stories that she absolutely paid no heed that her brothers Krishna and Balarama have already approached. As the brothers listened, their hairs stood straight, their arms pulled in, their eyes grew larger and they smiled broadly out of elation. That is why Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra look very similar to each other.

The ancient most as well as most popular Jagannath deity is enshrined in the city of Puri, in Orissa, India


. Interestingly many people like to refer the city as Jagannath Puri where each year the famous Rath Yatra festival used to take place in great festivity. Jagannath is worshipped by Hindus through out India.





The Jagannath Temple in Puri is regarded as one of the four most sacred Hindu pilgrimage places in India. Although the deities - Jagannath, Balabhadra (Balarama) and Subhadra (Krishna and Balarama's sister) are worshipped in the temple.

During the Hindu month of ‘Ashadha’, they are brought out onto Puri’s main street and then taken to procession by traveling three kms to the Gundicha Temple (also called to be the abode of Krishna's maternal aunt), allowing the devotees to have ‘darshan’ of the deities. This festival is known as Ratha Yatra.

There are two interesting stories associated with this deity. First is the story of how Krishna appeared to a great devotee of the lord, King Indradyumna and ordered him to carve a deity from a log he would find washed up on the sea shore. King Indradyumna found a mysterious old Brahmin carpenter to carve the deity, but the carpenter insisted that he not be disturbed while he was carving the deity. The king waited anxiously outside his room, but after some time, all sound stopped. The impatient Indradyumna worried what had happened and assuming the worst, opened the doors - only to find the deity half-finished and the carpenter gone!

pilgrimage places in India. Although the deities - Jagannath, Balabhadra (Balarama) and Subhadra (Krishna and Balarama's sister) are worshipped in the temple.

The mysterious carpenter was none other than Vishvakarma, the heavenly architect. The king was distraught as the deity had no arms and legs. Utterly repentant that he had interrupted the carving, the king was only pacified when the muni (sage) called Narada appeared and explained that the form the king now sees is a legitimate form of the supreme personality of godhead. The second story here was narrated to further explain and remove any doubts and confusion.

The second reason for Lord Jagannath's appearance is the story of how Krishna was eavesdropping on the gopis as they spoke amongst themselves of His pastimes, and how much they loved him. Sister Subhadra was instructed to keep watch and ensure Krishna wasn't nearby while the gopis spoke of Krishna. But after a while Subhadra was so overwhelmed by the gopis' devotion and their stories that she became completely engrossed in listening. She didn't see the brothers Krishna and Balarama approaching. As the brothers listened their hairs stood on end, their arms retracted, their eyes grew larger and larger, and they smiled broadly in ecstasy. That is why Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra look like they do.

This form is worshiped by Vaishnavas as the abstract form of Krishna. The deities - Jagannath, Balabhadra (Balarama) and Subhadra (Krishna's sister) are usually worshipped in the temple, but once in every Asadha Masa (Rainy Season, usually June or July), they are brought out onto the main high street of Puri and travel

(3 km) to the Mausimaa Temple, allowing the public to have Darshan (holy view) of the deities as they pass. This festival is known as Ratha Yatra.




Jagannatha, also pronounced as Jagannath, or Jagannaath, or Jagannaatha, is the universal deity form of <span>Lord Krishna</span>

. Especially the Vaishnava community revered Jagannatha as Krishna’s merciful form. Lord Chaitanya too was a great devotee of Lord Jagannatha.

Jagannatha, a Sanskrit word, is widely used in order to describe a deity form of Krishna. The word can be broken into two terms: nath which means master and jagat signifies universe. Together Jagannatha signifies "Lord of the universe". Jagannatha is one of multiple names of Krishna that were mentioned in the ancient  Vedic scriptures of India.

Scholars have come up with an interesting finding. According to them, the English word, juggernaut, widely used to describe an ‘unstoppable’ has been derived from Jagannatha.

Myths are popular amongst the people that centered on the origination of Lord Jagannatha. According to a story, once Krishna eavesdropped while the ‘gopis’ spoke about him like His pastimes, and how much they loved him. Sister Subhadra was given the responsibility to keep an eye ensuring that Krishna should not be seen nearby while they spoke to Krishna.

However Subhadra was so engrossed in listening the stories that she absolutely paid no heed that her brothers Krishna and Balarama have already approached. As the brothers listened, their hairs stood straight, their arms pulled in, their eyes grew larger and they smiled broadly out of elation. That is why Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra look very similar to each other.

The ancient most as well as most popular Jagannath deity is enshrined in the city of Puri, in Orissa,

India

. Interestingly many people like to refer the city as Jagannath Puri where each year the famous Rath Yatra festival used to take place in great festivity. Jagannath is worshipped by Hindus through out India.

The Jagannath Temple in Puri is regarded as one of the four most sacred  Hindu

pilgrimage places in India. Although the deities - Jagannath, Balabhadra (Balarama) and Subhadra (Krishna and Balarama's sister) are worshipped in the temple.

During the Hindu month of ‘Ashadha’, they are brought out onto Puri’s main street and then taken to procession by traveling three kms to the Gundicha Temple (also called to be the abode of Krishna's maternal aunt), allowing the devotees to have ‘darshan’ of the deities. This festival is known as Ratha Yatra.

There are two interesting stories associated with this deity. First is the story of how Krishna appeared to a great devotee of the lord, King Indradyumna and ordered him to carve a deity from a log he would find washed up on the sea shore. King Indradyumna found a mysterious old Brahmin carpenter to carve the deity, but the carpenter insisted that he not be disturbed while he was carving the deity. The king waited anxiously outside his room, but after some time, all sound stopped. The impatient Indradyumna worried what had happened and assuming the worst, opened the doors - only to find the deity half-finished and the carpenter gone!

The mysterious carpenter was none other than Vishvakarma, the heavenly architect. The king was distraught as the deity had no arms and legs. Utterly repentant that he had interrupted the carving, the king was only pacified when the muni (sage) called Narada appeared and explained that the form the king now sees is a legitimate form of the supreme personality of godhead. The second story here was narrated to further explain and remove any doubts and confusion.

The second reason for Lord Jagannath's appearance is the story of how Krishna was eavesdropping on the gopis as they spoke amongst themselves of His pastimes, and how much they loved him. Sister Subhadra was instructed to keep watch and ensure Krishna wasn't nearby while the gopis spoke of Krishna. But after a while Subhadra was so overwhelmed by the gopis' devotion and their stories that she became completely engrossed in listening. She didn't see the brothers  Krishna

and Balarama approaching. As the brothers listened their hairs stood on end, their arms retracted, their eyes grew larger and larger, and they smiled broadly in ecstasy. That is why Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra look like they do.

This form is worshiped by Vaishnavas as the abstract form of Krishna. The deities - Jagannath, Balabhadra (Balarama) and Subhadra (Krishna's sister) are usually worshipped in the temple, but once in every Asadha Masa (Rainy Season, usually June or July), they are brought out onto the main high street of Puri and  travel


(3 km) to the Mausimaa Temple, allowing the public to have Darshan (holy view) of the deities as they pass. This festival is known as Ratha Yatra.


The Rath carts themselves are huge wooden structures built new every year and are pulled by the millions of pilgrims who turn up for the event from all parts of the Globe. The festival commemorates Krishna's return to His home in Vrindavan after a long period of separation from the people there.

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