Shri Jagannath Mahaprabhu

To look at the Sun, it is more comfortable and appropriate to glance through a prism or a
coloured glass than by one’s naked eyes. Similarly, it is always advisable to view God
through the eyes of Saints and realisation of Bhaktas, who are enthralled by His matchless munificence and bewitching beauty.

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s message of Divine Love for Bhagawan Sri Krishna has
spread far and wide, to impart a unifying force between countries, regions and climes. Prabhu Nityananda’s son Sri Virbhadra Gosain also brought about a deluge of Krishna Bhakti through Vaishnavism in the North-Eastern states, especially in Manipore.

Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanya with his devotional tears of ecstasy and horripilations
when tried to chant the divine name of Jagannath could only mutter °F °F °F °F, çF çF çF çF (Ja Ja Ja Ja, Ga Ga Ga Ga) from his heart. Such intense was his love for Daru Brahma Lord Shri Jagannath.

His Sri Jagannathashtakam, a rendering in Sanskrit on Prabhu Sri Jagannath extolling the love of Gopinis in Sri Vrindaban is unique and immortal.One who once in the form of His Lila enthralled the forest on the bank of river Yamuna by his uniquely divine music, one who is the bumble-bee tasting the necter of the soul entrancing, bewitching facial beauty of Gopinis , one who’s Lotus Feet is ever worshipped by Lakshmiji, Shiva, Brahma and Ganeshji, may that Prabhu Jagannath appear before my sight.One who is the crown of Brahmas whose eyes resemble the bloomed petals of lotus, One who lives on Niladri (the Niladri mountain in Puri), One whose lotus feet rest on the crown of Sri Anantadev, One who is steeped in bliss of embracing Sri Radharani, may the same Lord Jagannath enthral my sight.

We quote below only a very few experiences of two Bhaktas, which are sanctifying and soul enchanting.

1. Years back in a Saturday Class being held in the premises of the Shastra Dharma
Prachar Sabha, a question was posed that, when one sends some offering to God in terms
of money or in kind through an agent or a messenger, he never comes to know if the
offering really reaches Him. Does such an exercise go totally futile?

The answer that was given was printed in the pages of ‘Bharatajira’ the Bengali weekly,
mouthpiece of Shastra Dharma Prachar Sabha, several years back. That Sri Hari appreciates the depth of one’s earnestness and not the material cost of the
offering is proved through a true incident, reproduced below :

Once a Panda of Sri Jagannath Dev from Puri in Orissa, happened to visit Joynagar and
announced that those aspiring to send some offerings to Lord Jagannath may send the same through him, who in turn will reach the offerings to Lord Jagannath.
The Panda knew that daughter of the King of Joynagar Vishnupriya was a great Bhakta, and expected some valuable offerings from her side.

In the palace, of course, the situation was different. Vishnupriya seated on the gorgeous cot was totally absorbed in thoughts of her Ever Loving Master, Govinda. No sooner the news of Sri Jagannath’s Panda’s arrival reached her ears than she felt exceedingly glad. She felt extremely grateful to Lord Sri Jagannath for sending His representative, because her earlier plan to go to Puri had failed. “My Lord! You have so kindly sent your Panda to
accept the offering from me. I must send it through him. But, after all what can I send!” She opened her iron chest and felt that she could send some money. But in her thought
next she said, “O Lord! You have no dearth of money. You can always arrange for money at Your Will. No, no! let me rather get some golden utensils, plate and cups made for You.” With this in mind she opened the next almirah. She imagined, contemplated and visualised in her mind, that Lord Jagannath was partaking prasad in those beautiful
golden utensils. Her mind was filled with joy. But then she felt, does Lord Jagannath really has paucity of golden utensils? If He wants, He can arrange for these without hassle as per His desire.

“Then what can I offer to my Lord?” She lamented deeply in her heart. “O Lord, what a sinner and worthless I am, that in spite of Your Kind Self, having sent Your messenger, I am not in a position to send you anything. What should be done? O my Lord! Kindly do show me the path.” Suddenly she remembered the beautiful neckless she was
wearing around her neck, that was so dear to her.She immediately cleansed and wrapped it in a superb manner. But what will the Lord do with this neckless, came the next thought. She again felt depressed. Suddenly her face was lit with energy and brilliance and she murmured.“O my Lord, what should I offer You. Everything on this Earth is Yours, what can I offer You? Alas Your mind is no more in Your possession. Since the Gopis have taken it away. True, on Earth you have no wants or deficiency but the Gopis have stolen Your mind. Now, You do not have Your mind with You, so I will
offer my mind to You.” She sat down with a piece of paper and wrote– My name is
Vishnupriya, I am the daughter of the King of Joynagar. From today, I am offering my mind to You. I will refrain from indulging in what my mind dictates to me, and shall be guided by Your Kind Will. She enclosed the letter in an envelope and sent 10 Mohars (gold coins) along with to the Panda of Sri Jagannath.

The Panda felt hopeless to find his expectations belied with only ten Mohars and a piece of paper scribbled with some writings in the envelope. He threw away the paper and kept the Mohars inside his pocket. On that very night the Panda had a peculiar dream. He found that Lord Jagannath was highly displeased and angry. He asked– “Where
is the letter given to Me by Vishnupriya- ?” The Panda was terrified and replied– “I have
thrown it away.”The Lord said– “You have thrown it away, but see, I have preserved it
on My chest.” The Panda felt astonished and afraid. Blessed thou art Vishnupriya, virtuous and soul entrancing is your offering. Oh! When shall we refrain from being guided by our whims and mental subjugation? When shall we be eager to understand the Will of God! When shall we try to shed our ego to tread the path of the Shastras. When shall we be drenched in Sri Hari’s mercy and enjoy eternal bliss?

2. The second incident was narrated by Ramanuj Sampraday Acharya Sri Madhusudan
Swamiji Maharaj of Reotipur, UP, who happened to come to the shelter of Srimat Upendromohan since very early age and transformed into a sage of deepest devotion and great renown. He used to visit Puri almost every year and narrated the following incident from his personal experience.

Once he was enjoying the magnificent darshan of Lord Jagannath in the temple, when suddenly, a visibly very poor Brahmin appeared in the temple and most humbly prayed before Lord Jagannath with these words, “Baba Jagannath, you are the Lord of the Universe. We are going without food for four days– if you don’t bestow your mercy,
where can we fetch? Oh Lord! Be pleased with us, shower your graces Prabhu on us” etc. etc.

After such prolonged prayer, the Brahmin left the place. He returned to the same place after a small while. After submitting his prayer before Lord Jagannath as he reached the Simhadwar (the main entrance of the temple), suddenly a person appeared and gave him five rupees. The grateful Brahmin did not go home, and preferred to return before Lord Jagannath to express his deep-felt gratitude to Him. He said “Tu diyicho mu paichi” ”– “You have given, I have received” and counted the coins, one, two, three, four and five. He would repeat the same words and count the coins repeatedly as if he was incapable to adequately pour out his feelings of gratitude before his Prabhu Lord Jagannath.
Swamiji shared this wonderful experience of his visit with us. We also frequently experience His Infinite Graces in our walks of life but ungrateful that we are, we fail to offer such soul offerings “Tu diyicho mu paichi.” Prabhu Jagannath The Lord Himself who is the image of gratitude has expressed that He could not pay off the debt of the purest love of Gopis and has assumed this form to express His gratitude and declare across the world how He craves for nothing except for the devotional feelings of His Bhaktas. Bhagwan Sri Krishna, Lord Jagannath is gratitude incarnate.

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