Chai Khana

Dear Diary: Bhabagrahi Lord Jagannath

Dear Diary,

Did you know , Lord Jagannath of Puri, Odisha (India) is said to be the most ecstatic form of Lord Krishna?

Mythology has it, Once, during a solar eclipse, Krishna, Balarama, Subhadra, and other residents of Dwaraka went to take a dip in a holy pond at Kurukshetra. Knowing that Krishna would be there, Sri  Radha , Krishna’s parents Nanda and  Yashoda and other residents of Vrindavan, who were burning in the fire of separation from the Lord, went to meet Him. Inside one of the many tents the pilgrims had set up at Kurukshetra, Rohini, Lord Balarama’s mother, narrated Krishna’s  life at Vrindavan to the queens of Dwaraka and others. 

The residents of Dwaraka are said to be in the mood of opulence and they worship Krishna as the Supreme Lord. But the residents of Vrindavan are in the mood of sweetness, and they have a confidential relationship with Krishna that surpasses awe and reverence because it is based on friendship and love. Rohini’s narration was thus extremely confidential, so she placed Subhadra at the door to prevent anyone from entering.

Krishna and Balarama came to the door and stood on Subhadra’s left and right sides. While listening to Rohini’s narration of Krishna’s intimate Vrindavan stories, Krishna and Balarama became ecstatic, and their internal feelings were exhibited externally. Their eyes became dilated, their heads compressed into their bodies, and their limbs retracted. Seeing these transformations in Krishna and Balarama, Subhadra also became ecstatic and assumed a similar form. Thus, by hearing about Krishna’s pastimes in Vrindavan, Krishna and Balarama, with Subhadra in between, displayed their ecstatic forms of Jagannatha, Balabhadra and Subhadra.

As per Skanda Purana, the Lord Krishna himself took the form of Viswakarma and secretly made the idols of daru (wood). Vishwakarma agreed to carve four idols for Indradyumna, on the condition that the door of the temple should be shut, and nobody should try to enter the temple or disturb the carpenter until the idols were ready. Indradyumna promised to follow these conditions and Vishwakarma began his work. However, out of curiosity, the King (or in some versions, Queen Gundicha) could not help stealing a glance at Vishwakarma’s work. Vishwakarma, upset at the breach of promise, vanished without completing the idols. Thus, Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra are still represented with incomplete limbs. 

He does not have perfect arms, still he is called MAHABAHU.

He does not have feet, but he walks straight into your heart.

If you look at him intensely once, your eyes will not look for anyone or anything else.

If your eyes swell up with tears every time you see him, then you are in love with him.

Soon you will find him within yourself and all your worldly worries are taken care of.

He is Lord Jagannath, as devotees call him BHABAGRAHI (the Lord who accepts only love as offering.)

Aum Jagannathaya Namah!


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Monalisa Dash Dwibedy

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