Orissa Review * June - 2006
A Cult to Salvage Mankind
The cosmic and terrestrial : both realities are The Hindu inclusiveness is nowhere as
reflected in the Jagannath cult of Orissa. The evident as in the rituals of Lord Jagannath. Even
cosmic reality of the undying spirit which romance is not excluded in the deity's schedule:
abides, endures and sustains; the cosmic reality Once in a week the God is closeted with his
of birth and death, as well as the beauty and consort Laksmi (in the ritual Ekanta). The
refinement of the terrestrial world are mirrored Sayana Devata golden sculpture used in the
in this all-inclusive mid-night ritual after the
religious practice. "The Bada Singhara Dhupa, is
visible and invisible both not only suggestive but
worlds meet in man", even explicit.
sang the British poet
T.S.Eliot in the Four Over a year Lord
Quartets. We may say Jagannath, like human
that the Jagannath cult is beings, is engaged in
designed to reflect both multification activities.
the visible, this-worldly On one occasion
realities as well as the (Banabhoji Besha) He
cosmic phenomena. sets out on a picnic trip,
Hence, the cult reflects a to an idyllic forest land,
life style of a god who has which is suggestive of the
numerous human God's love for natural
attributes. beauty. On the other
occasions (seven times in a year), the Lord goes
This makes the God and the cult unique.
for hunting expeditions. During the summer
Several traits characterize the God: the
everyday rituals of bathing, brushing of teeth, he goes for boat rides for twenty-one days
dressing-up and partaking of food materials. consecutively, which is known as the Chandana
But the traditions like the Car Festival (Ratha Yatra. The God also supposedly subdues a
Yatra) and the adornments (Beshas) sets the venomspewing wicked serpent as celebrated
deity apart, suggestive of aristocracy and in the Kaliya Dalan Besha, as if to suggest that
refinement. the wicked and evil-minded are to be sternly
Orissa Review * June - 2006
dealt with. The God's love of pomp is only too especially in the basic requirement of food. No
evident in the Ratha Yatra during the rainy philosophic approach in individual on social
season. life can sustain without this basic premise. And
In several ways Lord Jagannath Jagannath culture stresses this in practice.
resembles human beings. Man is compelled to There are other rituals and traditions
perform myriad duties on earth, and this which make a social philosophy explicit. An
message is brought forth in the Jagannath ideal is brought home when the king of Puri
temple rituals. Numerous activities are (the Gajapati) sweeps the chariots during the
attributed to the Lord eloping with a women Car Festival. A king-any king-symbolizes
and marrying her, boat rides and hunting power, wealth, honour, influence; he is held in
expeditions, swinging with consort Lakshmi, high esteem by the multitude. But whatever
wearing sraddha-costume for a sober ritual, may be the king's status he must have the virtue
modifying an enraged spouse with sweetmeats, of humility; a sense of values. Unless the king
enjoying family happiness with elder brother submits humbly to higher values, he will fall
Balaram and sister Subhadra (as reflected in short in performing his duties. The Jagannath
the Krushna-Balaram Besha), trampling a cult has been spreading this message for
malevolent serpent, going for a picnic etc. A centuries.
vast variety of activities indeed ! And yet the The range of feelings reflected in the
idol is still. And though on two occasions the rituals is also quite wide. The Ratha Yatra
Lord's idol moves from the pedestal, the God's symbolizes the God's love for pomp and
image of unbroken placidity persists. The ceremony. But there are rituals which evoke
message is clear as sunlight: even while many other feelings: pathos and suffering and
engaging himself in manifold activities the God death.
has an inner calmness, an absolute detachment.
He is involved and yet aloof ! And that is the The Sraddha Besha held in early winter
core message of the Bhagavat Gita. for three consecutive days reflects the austerity
of a bereaved soul. Sraddha is a ritual in
A life style is evident in the cult of the remembrance of a departed person and hence
Puri God: a profound though joyful approach pathos is inherent in this practice. Jagannath is
to life. But this approach has taken into account supposedly observing the rite for King
a basic premise without which no philosophy Indradyumna who built the first temple for the
may sustain an ideal social atmosphere. This God. The deity wears white, befitting the mood
is reflected in the handling of the Mahaprasad on this occasion.
at the Ananda Bazar, (the market place within
the temple complex) and elsewhere. Even a Sickness too is a very common failing
low-caste person has the same right on the of all human beings, and the God also
Mahaprasad as the high-born, and shares this supposedly gets bed-ridden for fifteen days at
sacred food with him, even from the same a stretch during the early rainy season. This is
earthen pot or banana leaf. This is suggestive a period when the God's usual diet is replaced
of universal brotherhood. This practice accepts with medicines and restoratives. The
and spreads the ideal of equality of mankind, helplessness of man on earth, for whom
Orissa Review * June - 2006
suffering is inevitable, even inherent, feeling, aesthetic beauty, celebration. But
characterizes the God. everything must be charged with holiness, must
Even death is not excluded in this be sattwik: food must be sanctified by
religious practice. Death is inevitable; and this incantations, adornments must reflect taste, joy
inevitability is incorporated in the Jagannath rides or pleasure trips must have significance.
cult. The only difference is that while man A poet of the 16th century, A.D. Jagannath
doesnot know exactly on which day or month Das declared in his transcreated "Oriya
he would depart from the earth, a particular Bhagavata", Jagate thiba jete dina, Ananda
month is being specified when the God karuthiba mana that is (fill your mind with
supposedly dies. When Asadha (the third joy so long on earth). Most of the rituals in the
month in the Indian calendar) falls twice in Puri temple reflect a celebration of life.
succession in a year the God embraces this Pleasures of life therefore are not
inevitable reality known as death. That this excluded in the Jagannath cult; but what is
invincible metaphysical reality is included in stressed in many ways is to transmute pleasure
the Jagannath cult shows its philosophical into joy. Mahaprasad is tasty as well as sacred.
approach. The message is to elevate pleasure to a sublime
And yet the negative elements do not level. This is the only way to save mankind.
predominate the worship of the deity. Religions which overlook the basic
While admitting the inevitability of nature of the mankind are based on false
death, the immortality of the soul is accepted promises, since man's essential nature is to seek
by the Brahma substance, which is transferred joy. Abstinence may also be an ingredient in
from the old images to the new. What this quest; but a feeling of joy is what the
predominates in this cult is a sense of joy and human soul longs for. The Jagannath cult shows
celebration. The essential nature of the creator, the way.
sat, chitt and ananda, that is holiness,
wakefulness and joyfulness are reflected in the
practices and rituals. All the blessings of life Sarat Chandra lives at Bijipur, Bada Sahi,
are accepted here: good food, finery, romantic Berhampur - 760001.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Tribal Origin of Holy Triad
Dr. Chitrasen Pasayat
No human society exists without the belief in identity. Though there are differences between
supernatural entities like gods, spirits and the these religious faiths, they are not a mere
like. The consideration of such powers invokes collection of people belonging to diverse faiths.
the study of religion, which includes other There has been continuous borrowing and
aspects like rituals, ceremonies and crisis imitation of elements among themselves due
situations in a society. The religious phenomena to co-existence over the years. Also, there is
are deep-rooted in each and every known an inner force to maintain the distinctiveness
human society / among t hem. In
community on this ot her words,
earth. In this sphere changes are obvious
of life, man interacts and found in social
with the supernatural life. It is mo re
beings. Scholars visible in a
have tr ied to progressive society
conceptualize the because of the
religious phenomena continuous actions
in order to and reactions of
underst and the different forces and
intricacies between factors both internal
the religious beliefs and practices on the one as well as external. In all probability, our
hand and the style of life on the other, prevailing religious concept is receiving a new dimension
in a particular society. Needless to say, religion taking into consideration the present need and
takes into consideration three aspects, namely dynamic situation due to influence of the age/
(a) beliefs in the supernatural entities, time. The concept of Jagannath is mysterious
(b) specialists who creates such beliefs, and and the present paper is an humble attempt to
(c) deities who receive it in various forms. In bring to light the tribal aspect of the deity. In
India, there are people belonging to different other words, in the present paper, our emphasis
religio us faiths like Hindus, Muslims, is to understand the Jagannath cult from tribal
Christians, Buddhists, Jainas and innumerable perspective. The present study suggests that
tribes. They are maintaining their own religious in the evolution of the cult of Jagannath, the
Orissa Review * June - 2006
importance and significance of the tribal or deity, for some scholars the word Jagannath
principle cannot be ignored if noticed minutely. has been found mentioned in some places. For
Now, we have two main tasks: to say whatever instance, Ramachandra had once advised
is known about Jagannath in Orissa from tribal Bibhisana to worship Jagannath. Some scholars
perspective and to trace primitive survivals as opine that the vedi or antarvedi as referred to
the contribution of pre-history to modern Oriya in the Mahabharata is nothing but the
society. The origin and antiquity of the concept ratnavedi i.e. raised stone platform or pedestal
of Jagannath is shrouded in considerable on which the deities are seated in Puri temple.
mystery. There is no positive evidence to know Jagannath is also known as Daru Brahma or
how and when this concept has come into the prime soul enshrined in wood. Some
existence particularly in Puri and Jagannath has scholars co-relate this Daru with that of
come to be worshipped there and also has Apurusham Daru mentioned in the Rig Veda
become one of the prominent deities of the (X.155.3) and hold the view that worship of
Hindu pantheon. It is not easy to understand Lord Jagannath started well before the
whether Jagannath was a Hindu deity or a tribal Christian era. In this context, it may be
deity later on converted/transformed into a mentioned that for the first time Jagannath has
Hindu deity. This process of change may be been cited in a religious text titled Gyanasiddhi
understood through processes like Tribalisation (Vajrayana treatise) authored by Raja
/ Sanskritisation / Hinduisation / Aryanisation Indrabhuti of Sambala/Sambalpur who was a
etc. great devotee of Lord Jagannath in the eighth
The literary meaning of Jagannath century AD. Also, the Niladri Mahodaya
(Jagat+Nath) is the Lord of the Universe. He narrates in detail the rituals and customs of the
is called Devadhideva (Lord of Lords), deities in the Puri temple. The most famous
Rajadhiraj (King of Kings) and Purushottam Oriya work of Adikavi Sarala Das is Oriya
(Purusa+Uttama i.e. the Supreme Purusa). Puri Mahabharata that belonged to the 15th century
is known as Jagannath Puri that is the abode of AD. Therein, the poet has lucidly narrated in
the Lord of the Universe. In fact, Puri is detail the legendary origin of Lord Jagannath.
synonymous with Lord Jagannath and vice Besides, a good number of inscriptional
versa. At times, it is popularly known as Sri- references testifying to the popularity of
kshetra, Sankha-kshetra, Purushottam- Jagannath are found in and outside Orissa. In
kshetra, Nilachala and Niladri. This pitha finds this connection, mention may be made of
mention in the ancient Puranic literatures Neulapur inscription of Subhakar Dev of 780-
namely Vishnu Purana, Agni Purana, Brahma 800 AD, Baramdeo Temple inscription of 840-
Purana, Padma Purana, Naradiya Purana, 1088 AD, Satana (Madhya Pradesh) inscription
Bhagavat Purana, Skanda Purana, Kapila of 10th century AD, Nagpur stone inscription
Purana or Kapila Samhita, Kalika Purana etc. of 1104 AD, Govindpur inscription of 1137
Also, in other ancient Hindu religious scriptures AD, Nrusimha, Markandeswara and
like Tantra Jamala, Rudra Jamala, Bamadev Pataleswara temple inscriptions at Puri of 1113
Samhita, Niladri Mahodaya etc. one finds the AD-1238 AD, Dasagova Copper Plates of
references of this religious pitha. In the Sanskrit 1192 AD-1211 AD, Nagari Copper Plates of
Ramayana and the Mahabharata though there King Anangabhima Dev III of 1230 AD,
are no clear and specific references to this pitha Lingaraj temple inscription of 1230-38 AD,
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Kapilas inscription of Narasimha Dev of 1238- darsan of Lord Nilamadhaba. Tracing the route
64 AD, Srikurmam temple inscription of to the shrine of Nilamadhaba, he returned to
Bhanu Dev II of 1310 AD, Simanchalam Avanti and informed Raja Indradyumna the
temple inscription of 1319 AD. Thus, whereabouts of Lord Nilamadhaba. The king
researches clearly indicate and substantiate that accompanied by Narada, set out for Odradesa
this pitha has a hoary antiquity. to pay homage to the deity. But at the boundary
According to the most popular legend, of the country he came to know about the
the Savaras in the hill tracts of Orissa miraculous disappearance of the deity. He
worshipped the deity originally enshrined in became extremely sad. Narada consoled him
the Puri temple. It is mentioned in the Utkala by saying that the deity would appear in the
Khanda of the Skanda Purana that one form of a daru i.e. sacred wood. After few
Vidyapati was instrumental in locating days, Lord Nilamadhaba appeared in a dream
Nilamadhaba, the predecessor of Lord of Raja Indradyumna and as per his
Jagannath. As per this tradition, there was a instructions, Raja and his attendants brought
ruler named Indradyumna in Avanti rajya the daru from the seashore next day and placed
(kingdom) in the Satya Yuga. He was a great in on the Mahavedi with respect. As directed
votary of Lord Vishnu. He sent one Vidyapati, by the Lord in the dream, Raja Indradyumna
the younger brother of his Kulaguru (family ordered for fashioning beautiful images out of
priest) to Odradesa/Udradesa to find out the the daru. But strangely enough, no carpenter
exact place where a tribal chief called was available for the purpose. At last,
Viswabasu was worshipping Lord Vishnu in Viswakarma (the Divine Builder) appeared in
the name of Nilamadhaba secretly. Coming to the guise of an old Maharana (carpenter) and
Odradesa, Vidyapati took shelter in a Savara agreed to take up the work on the condition
hamlet situated very near to the Nilasaila or that he would be allowed to remain isolated
Nilagiri (Blue Mountain). He concealed his and undisturbed inside the temple for twenty-
identity and motive of coming to that place. one days. Raja agreed to his condition but after
He tried his best, but could not locate the place few days when the sound of the Maharana's
of worship. Somehow he could manage to (carpenter's) tools became thinner and one day
marry a tribal maiden called Lalita, the only no sound was heard, Rani Gundicha became
beautiful daughter of Viswabasu and motivated curious and impatient to open the doors. She
her. In response to the repeated request made insisted the Raja and when the doors of the
by Lalita, finally Viswabasu took his son-in- temple were opened, the Maharana (carpenter)
law blind-folded to a cave wherein Lord was not found inside the temple rather the
Nilamadhaba was being worshipped. Vidyapati images of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra
was a very intelligent man. He dropped were found incomplete. This legend with slight
mustard seeds on the ground on his way. After variations is also mentioned in the Brahma
a few days, the seeds germinated which helped Purana and in the Oriya Mahabharata of Adi-
Vidyapati to trace out the secret cave wherein kavi Sarala Das.
the deity was being worshipped. Thus, winning Various epigraphic and historical
over the friendship of the Savara chief and evidences also attest this legend, which
subsequently marrying his only daughter the associates the Savaras with Lord Nilamadhaba.
willful young Brahmin was able to have a It speaks of the immigration of Hindus into
Orissa Review * June - 2006
the tribal hinterlands of Orissa and Hinduisation populations constitute a sizeable section of the
of a tribal deity. Perhaps, this was due to the total population in Orissa. Their population is
migration of the Vedic Brahmins from north roughly 23 per cent of the total population of
and central India to eastern parts of the country the State. Orissa occupies a unique position in
like Orissa and consequential spread of the the ethnographic map of India for having the
Brahmanic/Hindu culture. In due course of largest number of tribal communities. Being
time, the tribal deity of Orissa has passed one of the fascinating ethnographic States of
through the process of Hinduisation. In this the country, it has been the homeland of as
process of Hinduisation and royal patronage many as 62 tribes numbering about 81.45 lakhs
extended to the tribal deity, the Brahmins populations as per 2001 census. The tribal
played the most significant role. They defined population of Orissa constitutes about 22.13
and codified the duties of the original per cent of the total population of the State
worshippers i.e. tribal people / Savaras in the and about 9.66 per cent of the total tribal
Hindu system of worship i.e. temple worship population of India. Among the various factors
at Puri. Raja also felt the necessity of their seva that contributed to the evolution of Jagannath
(services), particularly in arduous nature of cult in Orissa, primitive tree worship of the
seva during Anasara / Anavasara, Ratha yatra, aboriginals formed an important aspect. The
Pahandi, Nabakalebara etc. Their services deities of Puri, which are made of log, generate
were essential for the promotion and extension an immediate impression and give an indication
of Jagannath cult in and outside the State. that they might have been aboriginal in
Needless to say, out of various agencies character and origin. In course of time, the
responsible for changing the religious canvas native hill tribes of Orissa came in gradual
of Indian tribes, Hindus would perhaps claim contact with the Hindus. As a result of this,
to be the oldest dating back to many centuries. there was a continuous interaction of two forces
They had set an example of high-spirited leading to a synthesis of religious beliefs that
religious reform or conversion which was later characterized the growth and development of
followed/adopted by many others including Jagannath cult in ancient Orissa. Though at
Christian missionaries in various parts of India present Orissa contains substantially a large and
particularly during second half of the 18th varied tribal population, only the Savaras and
century. There is no denying the fact that for Gonds figure in the epigraphic records.
Mahendragiri mountain range in south Orissa
several centuries the tribes in some parts of
was a stronghold of aboriginals like the
India lived in remote hills and forests, almost
Pulindas and the Savaras.
uninfluenced by the main currents of history
and cut off from the mainstream of social, The Pulindas believed in the tree
economic, political, religious and cultural life worship, which is said to be a pre-Aryan
of Indian society. In this background, it was concept. The Savaras belong to the Proto-
initially the entry and working of particularly Austroloid tribe who were also originally
Brahmins into the tribal areas that the Rajas, worshippers of tree. In the subsequent history
emperors and different Governments in of tree worship, this assumed the shape/form
different period of historical development of linga worship. In other words, in course of
started paying attention to them. It would not time, they became worshippers of Sivalinga
be out of place to ment ion that tribal whom they adored as Sthanu or branchless
Orissa Review * June - 2006
trunk. Thus, the Pulindas and the Savaras are daru (Ado Yad Daru Plavate Sindhoh Pare
believed to be the worshippers of tree in the Apurusam, Tada Rabhasva DurhanoTena
Vindhya and Mahendragiri mountain ranges Gachha Parastaram - Rig Veda, X.155.3).
from the earliest times. The Skanda Purana According to t he 14th century Vedic
reveals that the worship of Sivalinga emerged commentator Sayana (1300-1380 AD), this
out of tree worship, which was the faith of the daru represents the wooden image of Lord
aboriginal people of Kalinga. This was widely Purushottama. This view is also attributed by
prevalent among the aboriginals of ancient a 15th century tradition as recorded in the
Kalinga. The tree worship was later on Kondavidu copper plate grant of Ganadeva of
transformed into Siva worship where the tree the time of Gajapati Kapilendradeva. This
or log of wood represented linga. It is believed tradition attests that Jagannath resembles the
that the Pulindas and the Sailajas emerged as log of wood as spoken of in the Sruti (Sa
the Sailodbhavas. In ot her words, Bhagavan Srutyukta Daru Akrtih). It is
Sailodbhavas originated from the tribal stock believed that the Savaras worshipped a deity
of the Pulindas and the Sailajas. Under the named Kitung who had ten synonyms. One of
influence of the Brahmanical school, the the familiar synonyms was Jaganta or
Sailodbhavas called Lord Siva as Sthanu as Jaganelo. In south Orissa, particularly among
mentioned above. It may be surmised that they the Savaras inhabiting the Mahendragiri region,
were the worshippers of the Sthanumurti, the deities are made of wood. It is widely
which, in course of time, replaced the primitive believed that, even to-day the savaras worship
tree worship. Thus, the Savaras and the a log of wood that they adore as Jaganta or
Pulindas, who were the traditional worshippers Jagannalo. The resemblance of the names
of Siva, seemed to have been gradually Jagannath and Jaganta and the log of wood as
Hinduised under the influence of t he the common medium of worship for both the
Brahmanical school and absorbed the Vedic deities very well indicates the significance of
concepts in their socio-religious system. In this the tree worship as a common religious practice
process of development, the tree worship of among the aboriginals in Orissa which has
the tribal people got itself assimilated in the subsequently mingled in the Purushottama
Vedic worship of Rudra. In this context, Jagannath cult of the Hindus at Puri. According
influence of Mattamayura School may be to another tradition recorded in the Skanda
worth mentioning. Under the influence of the Purana, the Savaras who were the original
Saivite teachers of this School the Sailodbhavas
worshippers of Jaganta made of wood, were
became devo ut worshippers o f Uma-
also devout worshippers of Madhava i.e.
Mahesvara. They propit iated and also
Nilamadhava, the predecessor of Lord
popularized the cult of Madhava
Jagannath. The legendary association of the
(Nilamadhava) in Orissa, which was
Savaras with Nilamadhava, the predecessor of
considered part and parcel of the Jagannath
Purushottam Jagannath, as narrated in the
Skanda Purana lends support to t his
Later on, worship of this Sthanumurti presumption. This suggests us to believe that
seems to have mingled with the worship of Jaganta of the Savaras had been transformed/
Lord Purushottama Vishnu. In the Rigveda, converted into the Hindu god Jagannatha, who
there is a passage that refers to the Lord of is no other than Madhava or Krishna. With
Orissa Review * June - 2006
gradual process of Hinduisation, the Savaras This process of interaction and intermingling
were influenced by the Brahmanical form of of the tribal and non-tribal cultures led to
Hinduism and incorporated the Brahmanical Hinduisation of many tribal deities in the Oriya
principles in their socio-religious life. The society. As discussed earlier, the Pulindas and
Hindu invaders who had settled amidst the the Savaras were beyond the pale of Hindu
tribal people, in course of time, adopted and civilization in the proto-historic period in
worshipped this tribal deity in order to enjoy different parts of Orissa. But in course of the
their confidence and seek the cooperation of Hinduisation, the Brahmanical form of
the latter in their settlements. So much so, Hinduism deeply influenced their life and
gradually the deity was Hinduised being thought.
transformed from a formidable tribal cult into Some scholars have suggested that
Jagannath cult and worshipped both by the Saktism in Orissa has also incorporated the
tribal people as well as the non-tribal people. principle of tree worship of the hill tribes into
Over the years, this aboriginal deity originally its fold. They opine that the figure of
worshipped by the Savaras of Orissa has Khambeswari resembles the figure of Subhadra
played an important role in the folk religion of the holy triad (Jagannath, Balabhadra and
and the regional cultural tradition of Orissa. Subhadra) at Puri temple because both are
In this context, there is an interesting similar in their iconography as well as
tradition recorded in the Vizagapatnam plates iconology. It is pertinent to note here that the
of Anantavarman Chodagangadeva of the year worship of Khambeswari is known since the
1119 AD. This tradition reveals that Raja fifth or the sixth century AD and it is believed
Kamarnava conquered the Mahendragiri region that her Hinduised iconography might be taken
towards the close of the fifth century AD, as the prototype for the development, which
acknowledged a tribal deity of the Savara tribe led to the Subhadra figure at Puri temple.
as Siva-Gokarneswara and worshipped as his Stambheswari, the goddess of the post / pillar,
Ista Devata i.e. the tutelary deity of his family. was or iginally an abor iginal goddess
Bestowed with grace by the deity, Raja worshipped by the tribal people and their rulers
Kamarnava climbed down the mountain, killed in west Orissa and Ghumsar region of the
the Savara chief and conquered Kalinga. This Ganjam district of Orissa. Among the Mother
attests to the fact that historical processes have Goddesses/Sakti she was in the past one of the
always affected the nature of beliefs in Indian important deities, who was patronized and
population. Invaders, who settled as rulers, had supported by many royal dynasties and the
always played significant role in this regard. people at large. Under the influence of the
Generally, the rulers had a strong role of Brahmanical school, the aboriginals identified
reinforcing a particular faith. Besides, ruler's the Stambha with the mother goddess. The hill
religion used to fetch privileges while that of tribes who believed in matriarchy were
ot her's subjected to oppression and generally worshippers of Sakti. The worship
suppression. It would not be out of place to of Sakti or the female principle is the primordial
mention that a verse in the Bhagavata Purana factor in the creation and reproduction of the
informs us that the Kiratas, the Hunas, the Universe. It occupies a unique position in the
Pulindas, the Abhiras and other tribal people religious system of India. As a result of the
were influenced by the worship of Lord Vishnu. fusion of the Vedic concept of Uma with the
Orissa Review * June - 2006
cult of Stambha, there emerged the worship Bhadrambika contributed to the evolution of
of Stambheswari (Mother Goddess) in tribal Subhadra, the central wooden image in the
surroundings. The earliest reference to Jagannath triad. Very recently, the noted scholar
Stambheswari is found in the Teresingha Sasanka S.Panda has opined that Samlei of
copper plate of king Tust ikara. Sambalpur, Lankeswari of Suvarnapur,
Paleographically, it is assigned to the fourth / Subhadra of Puri and Panchambari
fifth century AD. Tustikara ruled over Bhadrambika might be the same goddess.
Kalahandi, Boudh, Sonepur / Suvarnapur and Thus, in course of time, Stambheswari was
Ghumsar regions during that period and given a prominent place in the Hindu pantheon.
Stambheswari was popular atleast from the She was adopted and worshipped by the Hindu
time of Tustikara, who had styled himself as invaders who had settled amidst the tribal
Stambheswari Padabhakta. This copper plate people in Orissa. Summararily, the aboriginal
reveals that Raja Tustikara in order to cure his deity Stambheswari has been acknowledged
ailing mother worshipped the feet of Goddess as member of the documented theology of the
Stambheswari, the Ista Devi of his family. Oriya society due to their constant contact with
the tribal people. At present, such goddess is
In course of time, this cult became very
wo rshipped at Suvarnapur, Balangir,
popular among some ruling families of the
Sambalpur and Aska etc. as an important deity.
early medieval period in Orissa. For instance,
Originated directly fro m the primit ive
the Bhanjas of Khinjilimandala and the Sulkis
background Stambheswari or Khambeswari
of Kodalakamandala had recorded in their
gradually crept into the mainstream of
charters that they achieved success and
Jagannath cult as Subhadra.
prosperity by the grace of Stambheswari/
Khambeswari. She was the tutelary deity of It is also very interesting to mention the
the Sulki royal family (600-800 AD) of similarities between the renewal of tribal ritual
Kodalakamandala (Dhenkanal-Talcher region) of the post, representing Stambheswari or
and the Bhanja kings (9th century AD) of Khambeswari and the Nabakalebara ritual of
Khinjilimandala (Sonepur/Subarnapur, Boudh deities at Puri. According to the tradition
and Ghumsur region). Under the royal followed in the Jagannath temple at Puri during
patronage of the Bhanjas the worship of Nabakalebara, the Patimahapatra leads the
Khambeswari became very popular in the party of Daitas to find out the daru for the
Ghumsur region as revealed by their four deities and goes to the Saktipitha
inscriptions. In the 17th century AD, the Bhanja (Mangala) at Kakatpur. There he is told in a
kings regarded Khambeswari at Aska as the dream by goddess Mangala the exact location
presiding deity of the Dakshina dwara (south and appearance of daru. It is believed that two
gate) of their kingdom. The Somavamsis were groups of the sevakas (servitors) of the Puri
also influenced by this cult. As revealed from temple originated from the Savaras. In this
the Muranjamura charter, Panchambari co ntext, mention may be made of
Bhadrambika was the tutelary deity of the Patimahapatra and Daita. As per the available
Somavamsis. They identified this deity tradition narrated earlier, Patimahapatra is the
Bhadrambika with Stambheswari when they descendant of Vidyapati (Brahmin) and Lalita
came in contact with the worship of the log of (Savara). Thus, he may be called the head of
wood as Stambheswari. Most probably, this the half-Savara Brahmins. Daitas are the
fusion of the Stambheswari cult and descendants of Savara chief Viswabasu and
Orissa Review * June - 2006
they are a special section or group of non- be out of place to mention that the Sirpur stone
Brahmin priests in Puri temple. In case of the inscription of Rani Vasata refers to Narasimha,
renewal of the tribal deity Stambheswari, the an incarnation of Vishnu as Purushottama who
goddess herself appears in a dream through emerged out of a Stambha (pillar).
the medium of the priest called Bhejini and All these similarities between the
indicates the spot where the tree is to be found.
Nabakalebara ritual of Lord Jagannath and that
The tree to be selected must display certain
of the tribal deity Stambheswari suggest us to
features, which are similar in both the cases.
believe that there is a close link between the
In case of the tribal custom the new tree is
Hindu deities of Puri temple and the tribal deity
worshipped with the sacrifice of a sheep or a
Khambeswari. It would not be out of context
goat before being cut off. The chief priest of
to mention that the Savaras i.e. Daitas also
the tribal deity called dehuri always performs
play a distinct role in the daily worship of Lord
the first stroke on the tree. In case of the daru
Jagannath in Puri temple. As noted earlier, they
of the deities also the sacrificial ritual is
are the descendants of the Savara chief
symbolically performed/observed and the chief
Viswabasu who was the first worshipper of
priest called acharya makes the first stroke.
Jagannath in the form of Nilamadhava in the
In both the cases the tree should fall to the east
hoary past. Daitas are known as the close
and should not touch the ground in any case.
relatives of Lord Jagannath and entrusted with
The tradition that the logs should be carried in
certain important seva (services). During the
a special hand-made wooden cart exclusively
anavasara ceremony of the deities, it is not
pulled by human hands and should not touch
the ground is followed in both the cases. The the Brahmins but the Daitas who perform the
Maharanas (carpenters) in a closed room do worship. Anavasara refers to sickness of the
the carvings of the images of deities secretly. deities. During this period of seclusion, the
No body except the Daitas and t he Vedic offerings and rituals are not performed
Patimahapatra are allowed to enter the place and the deities are placed in a place called
where the figures are being carved. The anasara pindi. They remain there secluded and
Maharanas are to lead a pure life i.e. purity of unexposed to public view for a period of fifteen
mind and body and also observe certain nisthas days. During this period, Daitas perform
or principles during this period. In case of tribal certain secret rituals of the deities. These rituals
custom also, the carpenter is to abstain himself are known as anasara nitis, which no one is
from drinks, drugs and sex and to lead a pure allowed to witness. Obviously the deities
life. Just as the sacred Brahma is inserted into would like to see their close relatives at the
the images at Jagannath temple, Puri before time of sickness. Since the Daitas claim
their consecration, five metals namely gold, Jagannath as a member of their family, they sit
silver, iron, copper and brass are inserted into together with the deities and take the gnyatisara
the post of the tribal people before it is (the dishes taken by members of the same
consecrated. The images of Jagannath, family together). They also play significant
Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarsan at Puri roles at the outset of the Ratha Yatra i.e. car
temple are crude and have an aboriginal look. festival. During this period the deities are not
Similarly, the post representing Stambheswari worshipped in the Vedic line but in the tribal
is also crude and sometimes the figure of line. Even the deities are dressed in the Savara
Narasimha (an aspect of Jagannath) is carved costume. The deities move towards the Rathas
on the post in a very crude form. It would not (chariots) in north-west direction whereas in
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Hindu process, the procession moves towards reference of ethnic unity with Savara tribe. The
eastern direction. Hence, it is believed that the present generation of some Daitas prefer to
northwest movement of the deities towards the establish marital relationship with the Karanas
Rathas indicates the impact of the Savara of the Oriya society, apparently with a view to
convention / tradition on the Ratha Yatra. making their tribal origin less known and
After the Nabakalebara ceremony, the thereby have elevated their social status in the
Daitas as descendants of Lord Jagannath claim overall social hierarchy in Oriya society. In a
on the articles used by the deceased Jagannath. traditional Oriya society, the so-called
After disposing of the old figures/images of Brahmins do not partake food if touched by
the deities in the Koilibaikuntha, situated on the low caste people. Usually persons of all
the northwest side of the temple the Daitas take castes are seen enjoying Mahaprasad sitting
bath and observe mourning because of the death in one place in a row. It is the established
of one of their clan. They weep and cry for the practice that the moment Mahaprasad is
death of Jagannath and for ten days they remain served, no Hindu of the so-called high castes
in a state of ritual impurity observing all sorts objects to pertake it even from the same plate
of obsequies prescribed in the Hindu with any person of the so-called low castes.
dharmasastras. On the tenth day, they cut their All the devotees irrespective of castes accept
hairs and nails and shave their body and take the vegetarian food (bhoga) offered by the
purificatory bath in the Markandeya puskarini Daitas. They are one of the dominant classes
(tank) of Puri. The fact that the Daitas of non-Brahmin sevakas of the temple at Puri.
(Savaras) even today consider Lord Jagannath They have emerged as a pressure group to fight
as a member of their clan and observe all sorts for their rights and exert tremendous pressure
of obsequies is a clear indication of the tribal on the temple administration and even dictate
origin of Lord Jagannath. In other words, terms and conditions at times. However, as an
tradition as well as present practices clearly important aspect of Oriya culture, Jagannath
points to the tribal origin of Lord Jagannath. is indispensably associated with the social life
But how the tribal deity Nilamadhava has come of the Oriya people from birth to death.
to Puri to be worshipped as Jagannath is a References :
mystery, which is yet to be solved. With the
1. Eschmann, A. (1978), "Hinduization of Tribal
older mode there would always remains older Deities of Orissa: The Sakta and Saiva Typology,"
beliefs and ways of life. It becomes difficult in A.Eschmann, H.Kulke and G.C.Tripathy (eds),
to say precisely when a given stage passed and The Cult of Jagannath and the Regional
another took over. Needless to say, Lord Tradition of Orissa, Manohar Publications, New
Jagannath is a synthesis between the Hindu and Delhi, p.79-97.
non-Hindu tribal culture. The process of 2. Panda, S.S. (2005), "Some New Facts About
interaction was mutual. Not only did Hindus Goddess Samlei", Orissa Review, September-
(immigrants) influence aboriginals in Orissa but October, p.84-88.
also the newcomers took over some indigenous 3. Pasayat, C.S. (1998), Tribe, Caste and Folk
and even aboriginal beliefs and customs. To Culture, Rawat Publications, New Delhi/Jaipur.
day, it is practically difficult to believe that
Daitas belong to the Savara tribe, however
loosely defined the term tribe may be. It is also Dr. Chitrasen Pasayat is the Asst. Administrator in the
ridiculous to speak of a Daita tribe with no Sri Jagannath Temple Office at Puri.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
It is generally accepted as tradition that Adi the dham, where the mahavakya of Samveda,
Sankaracharya fo unded four mathas Tatwam Asi (Thou Art That) has to be realized.
(monasteries) as seats of Hindu religion at four After staying some days there, the Swami
ends of India- the Sringeri matha on the visited Rameswar and Sringeri. In this
Sringeri hills in the south, the Sharada matha place(Sringeri), a vedic sage has to realize the
on the Dwaraka coast in the west, the Badrinath significance of the saying of Yajurveda, Aham
matha at Badrinath in the north, the Govardhan Brahmansmi (I am One 'With Brahman).
matha at Puri in the east. These are the four His last journey was, of course, to Puri.
major spiritual centres of Hinduism in India. Puri is also known as Nilachaladham,
Swami Nigamananda (1880-l935AD), a Purusottama dham and Jagannath dham.
great saint of modern India, after his initiation Rigvedic mahavakya 'Pragyanam Brahman
into sanyasa, was instructed by his guru Swami (or Pragyanam Ananda Brahman) is to be
Sachidananda to visit all these spiritual centres realized in this place. In other three
(dhamas) to realize the deeper significance of monasteries, the soul is equated with Brahman,
the four great sayings of Vedas and but here the real identity and nature of Brahman
Upanishads. Each dhama is known for a is to be realized.
mahavakya (great saying), which has to be Swami Nigamananda visited these four
understood and realized by each sanyasin. dhamas and realized the great sayings of the
He visited first to Badrinath scriptures through intense sadhana. He
accompanying his guru Swami Sachidananda. attached more importance to Jagannath dham.
They stayed in the Jyoti matha (i.e. the He established a spiritual organization named
Badrinath matha) for some days. The great as Nilachala Saraswat Sangha at Puri in
ancient sage, Vyasadeva had meditated in August, 1934 and became its President.
Badrinath (also known as Badrikashram). Here Brahman, the ever blissful, has manifested as
Nigamananda was taught by his guru the Daru-Brahman-Jagannath. Another great
method of realizing the great saying, saint, Yogiswara Kalipad (1902-1966 A.D.)
Ayamatma Brahman which means 'This Self has stated that Puri, the abode of Daru
is Brahman'. Brahman, is a Mahadham.
Swami Nigamananda continued his
journey without his guru. He visited the Sarada Mahimohan Tripathy lives at 56, Suryanagar,
matha near the Dwarakadhish temple. This is Bhubaneswar-3
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Offering Bhoga to
Dillip Kumar Samantaray
The kings who were ruling over since the Jagannath Vallabh, Khaja, Gaja, Pheni,
Ganga Rule (13th century A.D. onwards) Luni Khuruma, Sweet Khuruma, Bada Poori,
Orissa were considering themselves as the Kakatua Jhilli or Bada Jhilli, Bada Naadi, Sena
servant (Rautta) of great lord. The same Naadi, Kakara, Hansa Keli, Candra kanti, Bada
paraphernalia as is found in a royal household, Kadamba, Vasanta Arisa, Paga Arisa, Maricha
Ladu, Magaja Ladu, Amalu, Dalimba,
is also discernible in the temple of Jagannath Parijataka, Mandua Vallabha Kora, Gopal
Mahaprabhu with much splendour and Vallabha, Amruta Rasabali, Bada Kanti,
magnificance. The items of Bhogas that are Mathapuli, Papudi, Bundia Khiri, Khechudi,
offered daily to the deities are many and varied Plain Arna, Dal, Dalama, Kanika, Ghee Arna,
and they are offered with royal dignity and Mahana Bhoga Jenamani, Suji Gaja,
ceremonial purity. Balibamana Muga, Suara Pitha, Podapitha,
Makhana, Khali root i, Khua Manda,
Bhogas are of two kinds : - (i) Those Chhenapitha etc.
that are cooked and prepared inside the temple
kitchens are called "sankhudi". They are The bhogas are offered to the deities
prepared out of rice, black gram and other prepared by the Suaras very deliciously in
season times accordingly.
vegetables (ii) Those that are prepared outside
the kitchen but inside the temple specified for 1. During Baisakh and Jyestha, (in April,
the purpose are called Nisankhudi Bhogas. May and June) the deities are offered the
These constitute Bhogas made out of flour, following bhogas like - (i) Dahi Pakhala
wheat, ghee, candy etc. This divine kitchen of (watered rice with curd), (ii) Saga, (iii) Chhena
Mandua, (iv) Biri pitha (cakes prepared out of
Lord Jagannath is one of the biggest and
black gram) (v) On pana or Visuba Sankranti
splendid kitchens of the world which can feed day the Gheuties made of flour, curd, cheese
one lakh people at a time. There is a popular and molasses) is offered in the morning and
proverb that : delicious drink in the evening.
"Sada rasa vyanjana nana yati 2. During the month of Asadha (during Car
Chhapana Bhoga lage dinarati", Festival, June-July) the deities are offered a
special drink called Adharapana (Adhara
"Multifarious dishes of six-fold tasters means lips) as the drink sweetness the divine
fifty-six bhogas are offered day and night". lips.
The Bhogas which are being offered to 3. During the month of Sravana (Jhulan
the Mahaprabhu daily are illustrated below as Yatra i.e. July-August) the deities are offered
such : Amalu and Khiri.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
4. Dur ing the month of Bhadraba, Kakatua Jhilli, Kanti, Enduri, Jinger tonic, fried
(Janmastami i.e. August to September) the green leaves, fried rice, dal and curries.
deities are offered the same food as mentioned Forenoon - The deities are offered Bhoga
above. Mandap Dhupa. It includes Rice, Vegetable
5. During the month of Kartika (October- curries and cakes.
November) The deities are offered Lunilia Midday-afternoon - They are offered
(salty parched paddy) early in the morning Oriya cooked Ghee Arna (made of rice, salt,
which is called Bala Bhoga. ghee and orange juice), Dal, curries (Besara
6. During the month of Pausa (December) Mahura) cakes, sweet Kakara, Arisa, Maricha
the deities are offered Pahili Bhoga, i.e. the Ladu, Pomegranates, Bada, a drink prepared
First Food offered rather early in the morning. out of black peeper, banana etc.
It is a delicious Khechedi preparation. The Evening - The Sandhya Dhupa consists
episode runs that as Mahalaxmi, the divine of cooked rice, and watered rice, Mathapuli,
consort moves to her father's house, Yosoda, Kantipuli, Jenamani, Parijataka, Mandua,
the mother of Lord herself prepare this Rasavali, Suaridal and other curries etc.
delicious Khechedi to the utmost satisfaction
of her son. Evening - The platters are called
Badasinhara Dhupa or Sayana Dhupa. It
7. On Baula Amavasya day the Gaintha consists of sweet watered rice, Bananabada,
cake, new mango blossoms, powdered rice plaintain fry, Bhoga Kshiri (a liquid made of
fried with ghee and Nadi mixed with ghee are rice, milk, sugar and spices) Chadhei neda
offered. green coconut and bettle (sandal paste instead
8. During Makara Sankranti day, on 13th of lime and without tabacco).
or 14th January the deities are offered Makara This type of food which are offered to
Chaula (i.e. fresh uncooked rice well moistered the deities (Mahaprabhu Jagannath, god
and mixed with milk, jinger, black peeper, Balabhadra, goddess Subhadra) and after
candy, coconut, cheese camphor, raisin, ripe Naibedya the devotees take His prasad and
banana etc. distribute it to others who become very happy.
During Dolayatra, in the month of It gives us pleasure, peace and harmony, as
February-March the deities are offered because in the acceptance of prasad by the
Chhenagaja, Khanda Vari, Canaladi devotees there is no partiality and it create
(Ambakasi) Dahana chori, Arisa and Kakara. fellow feelings. This greatness and traditional
Dhupas (Divine Meals) system is called Shree Shree Jagannath Cult
in which we create among ourselves friendship
Morning - For morning refreshment, the and universal brotherhood. As a whole Shree
deities are offered the following platters, Gopal Shree Jagannath Mahaprabhu is the symbol of
Vallabha, Fried Paddy, Sugar coated Coconut, love, peace and equality.
butter, Khuamanda, Papudi, fruits like Banana,
Guava and Coconut chips etc.
For morning meals which is called Raja Dillip Kumar Samantaray lives at Gangaram Nua Sahi,
Dhupa, the deities are offered as following as Puri, Orissa.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Chhatradanda - Shree
When King Indradumna, the king of Avantee, of other planets, and the flowers are also
wanted to know where the real Brahma was, presented by other beings from outer space who
he sent his ministers all over India to find out, come to see this Brahma.
but they returned without success. So to Orissa,
From this record of the o rigin of
known as Utkal, at that time, another minister
Bidyapati was sent. He was told by the tribal Mahaprasad, found in t he palm-leaf
people of Puri. "On the beach in the Neelagiri manuscript Niladri Mahodaya, we can
cave, Brahma is to be found." He was being ascertain quite clearly that this present day
worshipped by their tribal leader Bishwabasu. Jagannath Temple is not only an attraction for
So Bidyapati came and met the chief. But in- people of this world, but for the inhabitants of
spite of all his probings, no information was other spheres, or Lokas, as well.
divulged, no place was even shown, so secret When king Indradumna heard from
and sacred was this Brahma to Bishwabasu. Bidyapati that Brahma was at Puri, he
The minister was feared to stay on for many immediately went there, and wanted a temple
years. With the hope of discovering this
to be built by him. His wish was fulfilled, but
Brahma, Bidyapati married the chief's daughter
then he wondered which deity was to be
worshipped there. He dreamt that a log of
Afterward, Bidyapati was stunned when wood would be floating near the beach. Out
Bishwabasu would return from his worship of of this log, the deities must be made. The dream
Brahma. He gave Bidyapati very fine rice came true. In procession the wood was taken
prasad and other delicacies, curries and fruits to the temple. But again the king wondered. In
not found in Puri at that time. Biswabasu which shape should the deities be carved ?
himself would be smelling of heavenly
Nobody could offer the king any suggestions.
camphor from his arati. Bidyapati saw rare
flowers that were not in season in Puri at that At last an old man came and volunteered
time. So he asked his father-in-Iaw. "Sir, where himself to carve the deities. When asked what
did the fine rice and all these rare flowers come his name was, he said emphatically, "My name
from ? is Viswakarma, the Divine Architect ! I am
Bishwabasu replied. "The rice you are from another world." People all around laughed
getting is Prasad' offered to Brahma by Devas at him thinking him to be a fool. However,
Orissa Review * June - 2006
King Indradumna assigned the work to him. came. These events are also documented in
Viswakarma made three conditions. ancient epics, palm-leaf scripts, and in texts
written by scholars and sages of the past. Some
1) He must be confined in a room where
are as follows :
he would work for 21 days.
1) Manima Daka Sloka from Niladri
2) He would not take any food or drink
during this period.
3) He must not be disturbed.
Ishwara Thakur, Manima !
Once this was agreed to, Viswakarma Anantakoti Brahmanda
entered the closed chamber. Everybody Ishwara Thakur, Manima !
suspected a trick, as there was no sound of
any carving. The queen also became
suspicious, thinking that the old man might Ishwara Thakur, Manima !
even have died. Out of great anxiety the door In the daily rituals of the temple this sloka
was opened before 21 days were up. There is recited at the time when Lord Jagannath
was no body there. The old man vanished. Only retires to bed. The meaning is this :
a voice was heard, "Oh king ! worship these "Oh Lord Jagannath !
unfinished deities I have carved. You have You are king of kings !
broken your promise. I came from Devaloka You are master of many universes !
only to make the full form of the deities you You are the controller of all creations !"
wanted to have !"
The khuntia worshipper who recites this
It means the divine craftsman himself sloka then scatters flower petals up into the air
came down to earth to help make the TRIO to welcome all the divine beings who have
known today as Lord Jagannath, Lord come that evening to observe this ritual.
Balabhadra and Mother Subhadra. They have 2) Kadachit Kalindi sloka by Saint
been worshipped in Jagannath Temple, Puri for Adishankar in his Sanskrit verses "Jagannath
more than three thousand years. Astaka"
As these stories about the origin of "Rama, Samvu, Brahma, Surapati
Jagannath Temple reveal, Lord Jagannath is a Ganesharchhit Padam
mystic deity. There are many phenomena Jagannatha Swami, Nayana Pathagami, Bhavatume "
sorrounding him which cannot be explained The meaning is :
by modern science. Not only do sages, seers
and people from different parts of the world Even Gods like Rama, Shambhu (Siva),
come to see him, but also inhabitants of other Brahma the creator, Surapati, the king of Gods,
spheres as well. As he is considered the master Ganesh, the god of wisdom, who all belong to
of the universe. He attracts all. There is Devaloka, worship Lord Jagannath at Puri.
documented evidence to support many of these 3) "Jatta Chhaya Lokamatra
occurrences in the form of eyewitness reports Tribhubana Janata Badhate
and objects left by divine beings when they Na Tritap"
Orissa Review * June - 2006
This means that the inhabitants of all Paranormal events occur on earth when
Lokas, or spheres are under the protection of beings from these other regions are present.
Lord Jagannath. This sloka is taken from According to the Loka they come from, they
Brahma Geeta (writer not known) appear in different ways.
4) From Kapila Samhita 1. Patala Loka
"Sarba Rahasya Purusottamasya This is a sphere of the underworld which
Deva Na Janati Kuta Manusya." supports life on earth. It is said Vasuki, the
The meaning is that the mystery of Lord snake who holds the world in proper balance,
Jagannath cannot be known by the Devas, so lives in Patala Loka. He comes to Jagannath
what to speak of man ! Temple only during special darshan times. If
he is present, there will be a loud rustle in the
5) From Skanda Purana crowd.
"Byomatit Byomarupa Prakasa 2. Talatala Loka
Byomakar Byapino Byomarudha."
When inhabitants of this Loka come,
The glory of Lord Jagannath is described there will be rays of light of various colours
here. He can take on any shape. He is as which can be seen by the naked eye. These
limitless as the sky itself. He is even beyond beings come in disguise of blind, lame, one-
that. eyed, or other deformed persons. They carry
The whole cosmos of life is divided into flowers in their palms to offer to the deities, in
many spheres or Lokas. These are described the crowd this can be seen easily.
in the palmleaf scripts Lokabimarsa, 3. Rasatala Loka
Lokatattwa and Lokamimansa. As life evolves
from lower to higher forms, consciousness If a strong wind passes through the
becomes more individualised and expansive. crowd and a hot place becomes cool suddenly,
The main Lokas are 21 in number. They are as beings from this Loka have come. They often
follows : come also as children and sing loudly during
Kirtan, even though they know nothing about
The Underworld Lokas : all these things. They smile in the crowd after
1) Patala, 2) Talatal, 3) Rasatala, 4) Bitala, seeing the deities.
5) Mahatala, 6) Atala, 7) Bhutala 4. Bitala Loka
The Earth Lokas : Beings from Bitala Loka come as birds
8) Loka, this earth, 9) Pitruloka, 10) Matruloka although not as vultures, who signify bad days
11) Pretaloka, 12) Bhutaloka, 13) Jakshaloka, ahead when they are seen.
14) Swargaloka, 5. Mahatala Loka
The Higher Lokas Beings from this sphere come as animals
15) Divyaloka, 16) Kinnara Loka, such as cats, monkeys and dogs. As dogs can
17) Gandharvaloka, 18) Devaloka, not enter the temple, if one is spotted inside, it
19) Suraloka, 20) Vishwaloka, 21) Goloka is said to have come from this Loka. If this
Orissa Review * June - 2006
happens, it is felt that the food that day was temple of Lord Jagannath at dawn when there
cooked in an impure way. All offerings must is less rush. If one finds a man having a similar
be stopped and the food to be prepared again. face to one's father, he is from Pitruloka. If
This dog is called Kutama Chandi. He always one feels attracted to some unknown person,
disappears mysteriously. he is certainly related and has come down from
6. Atala Loka this Loka. Inhabitants of Pitruloka come to the
earth as human beings.
Sages and saints with long beards who
are deep in meditation often come from this 10. Matru Loka
sphere. They even walk into the temple with These beings give the same signs of their
half-closed eyes. Only when looking at Lord presence here, but they are from the mother's
Jagannath Himself do their eyes open fully. side of one's family.
7. Bhutala Loka 11. Preta Loka
Those who sweep the temple floors, Those who commit suicide come to this
make garlands for the deities, prepare the wicks Loka after death. This is the region of bad
and lamps, make the earthen pots for the spirits and beings of evil demonic nature. They
kitchen, and fetch the water are often from this come inside the temple, but only to the outer
region. Their duties are not hereditary, but are
portions, not into the inner altar of the deities.
done purely for spiritual pleasure.
They criticise, joke, and make noise or other
8. Loka, this Earth disturbances in spiritual gatherings there. Their
Ordinary people from all parts of this coming is signaled by a bad smell, like that of
visible world come to Jagannath Temple with a dead body.
a vast variety of wishes, both worldly and 12. Bhuta Loka
spiritual. The word Loka means people. Before
birth all came from other Lokas, according to This Loka is similar to Pretaloka, only
previous habits and activities. They wish to go having the confused inhabitants who have taken
to higher Lokas, by dint of their human birth. their lives by consuming poison.
Inside the temple they come under the influence 13. Jaksha Loka
of beings from these other spheres, who are
People in a crowd wearing gorgeous
also present there, whether they are aware of
dresses are often Jakshas in disguise. They
them or not. Actually, the very purpose of
human birth is to pass through all the Lokas have come to this earth for worldly comforts
by degree. It is also told in ancient scriptures and bad motives, such as how to collect money
of India that the gift of human birth is the from those present in the crowd. They wear
greatest boon God gives. In no other Loka can gold ornaments and precious gems to impress
a being progress spiritually. That is why devas others.
and demonic spirits both long to return to earth. 14. Swarga Loka
9. Pitru Loka Swarga means Heaven. Beings from this
These beings are the ancestors from the sphere have this sign. In darkness suddenly
father's side of one's family. They come to the there will be light. Many people present may
Orissa Review * June - 2006
experience a divine feeling without any visible Baruna, God of the Ocean, Vayu, God of Wind,
reason at all. Not flowers but petals only will Laxmi, Goddess of Wealth, Saraswat i,
be found scattered on the floor afterwards. Goddess of Wisdom.
15. Divya Loka The sign of their presence is complete
When divine beings of this Loka come, tranquility and peace in the midst of a huge
auras of different colours will fill the crowd. It would appear as if nobody at all was
atmosphere. Even in darkness, these can be there. After they go, flowers of different
seen slightly. Some of the temple lamps varieties are usually found scattered on the
(Dipas) may be mysteriously extinguished at floor of the temple.
that time. Beings from Divya Loka do not come
19. Sura Loka
in form, but only as light and auras. There are
other signs, but mortal man can not have Sura means strength, especially the
concrete experiences of them. divine strength of mother. Beings from this
16. Kinnara Loka Loka come to the temple during darshan time,
known as Sahana Mela. They come in a big
When Kinnaras come to the temple, they rush so that the crowd is forcibly pushed aside
come as dancing girls. They may be seen for them to precede to the deities without any
visibly if one's third eye is open. They are eight difficulty.
in number, the Asta Sakhis : Rambha, Urbasi,
Menaka, Tilottama, Manjujosi, Rochika, 20. Vishwa Loka
Mochika and Sundaree. Those who come from Vishwa Loka
They come as Devadasis also, only to think that Lord Jagannath is just like a human
dance before Lord Jagannath before He goes being. The worshippers of the temple who are
to bed. They are decorated in flowers only, no in charge of decorating the deities with flowers,
ornaments. sandal and beautiful dresses and take great
17. Gandharva Loka pleasure in doing such spiritual things are often
from Vishwa Loka. They seem to be worldly,
During devotional singing these beings with homes and family life like ordinary people
are always present, both inside and outside the
but they are born to serve Brahma, the
temple. They sing in chorus spiritual songs
known as Bhajans, meant only for the deities.
If an ordinary person's singing is especially 21. Goloka
sweet one night, or soft sweet music is heard
From Goloka come Sri Krishna himself
in the midst of silence, a Gandharva is present.
and the gopis. Even though there might be a
According to Nada Shastra, there are ten types
big rush inside the temple, everybody will love
of divine sounds that may be heard inwardly,
the two highest being the sound of the flute the gathering. All present will feel attracted
and OM. towards something unseen and smell soothing
fragrances all around. In the crowd there will
18. Deva Loka be more ladies than men. Most significant of
Many gods come to Jagannath Temple all, all will hear a mysterious sweet laughter
to pray every night, such as Indra, God of Rain, in the air.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
There are other spheres of Lokas also, 1. the Flag by Hanuman from Mahatala
such as : Loka.
1. Shiva Loka - the abode of Shiva 2. the Chariot itself by a being from Bitala
2. Vishnu Loka - the abode of Vishnu Loka.
3. Brahma Loka - the abode of Brahma 3. the Rope by Vasuki from Patala Loka.
4. Asura Loka - the abode of demons 4. the Wheels by Mother Vimala from Sakti
5. Yama Loka - the abode of Yama, the
king of death 5. the Entrance by Gatekeepers Jaya and
6. Naga Loka - the abode of snakes Vijaya from Divya Loka.
7. Graha Loka - the abode of planets 6. the devas sorrounding the Chariot being.
A. From Shiva Loka : Shiva comes on Ram, Laxman, Krishna, Nrusingha,
Snana Purnima day to see the Bathing Narayan, Chintamani, Yoga Maya and
Ceremony of Lord Jagannath. He comes Kubera, all from Devaloka.
in disguise of a sage with trisula. 7. The sages all around the chariot being.
B. Lord Vishnu comes to see Dola Festival, Narada, Vyasa, Suka, Parasar, Rudra,
or Colour Day held in the temple during Vashista and Viswamitra, all from
Holi celebrations in the beginning of Pitruloka.
Spring. He comes as any other devotee
but he would have with him big garlands, The chariots of Balabhadra and Subhadra
to be offered to Lord Jagannath. are guarded by many divine beings also.
C. Brahma comes during Chandan Yatra, Aesthetic Experiences
or Spring Festival. He stays for twenty- Some of the most mysterious phenomena
one days. He can be identified with one reported from time to time by the people of
who recites Vedas in front of the deities. Puri, especially the worshippers (Sevakas) of
D. From Asura Loka : Asuras, or beings of Jagannath Temple, are as follows :
demonic physical instincts come at the 1. Not only do people from all over the
time of rice offering, especially at the world come to see Lord Jagannath, but so do
time of mid-day Bhoga. gods and goddesses. It is believed that these
E. Yama; the King of Death: Someone from devas are most fond of seeing the last ceremony
his Loka comes when a dead body is of the day known as Pahuda, in which
found in the premises of the temple. Jagannath retires to bed. This occurs some time
after midnight. Three beautiful beds made of
On Rath Yatra day every year, not only ivory and decorated with the sweetest-smelling
do people come from all over the world, but flowers, especially white jasmine, are brought
also beings from all Lokas and planets. Lord before the deities. Flowers are scattered all over
Jagannath's chariot, known as Nandighosha, is the beds to the sound of devotional music, and
guarded by the following devas : three miniature golden forms representing
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra are laid twenty-two steps leading to the temple. The
down on the beds to sleep. Then arati-the whole night was passing and her heart becomes
offering of a lamp is done, the flowers are very agitated. It was almost morning. The
scattered all around overhead to be collected sevakas were coming fout rom the temple.
by the gods and goddesses as a token of Lord Devas from all corners of the world had come
Jagannath's blessing. So it is also the duty of that night, as was the custom every night to
all the gods and goddesses to be present at the consult with Jagannath, the Lord of the
time of this ceremony every night. Universe. Now they were going out to execute
One day goddess Charchika of the his will. Only Charchika was left standing at
distant village of Banki arrived late to the the gate. If a deva neglects his duty, he may
function. She was excused by Jagannath, who cause harm to others and must be replaced.
excuses all mistakes, but Balabhadra did not The sin of too much pride is almost
excuse her. "Mother, do you think that the irremediable. Just as Charchika was
rituals of this temple should take place remembering this, Balabhadra came back with
according to your convenience ? You have the sad news no t to allow her inside.
become too proud these last few days. Get out! Balabhadra delivered the message of Lord
You cannot come to see the Pahuda Ceremony Jagannath. "A proud deva should not be
any more." admitted. If you wish to redeem yourself,
Charchika was not prepared to take this render service in the home of Bitarachha
insult from Balabhadra and in anger she replied. Mahapatra, the head priest to whose function
"I am not the proud one. You are the one who you came late, and not to me. Bitarachha
is ostentacious, being gorgeously dressed, Mahapatra alone can exonerate you, if he so
bedecked with royal robes, golden ornaments, desires and is pleased with your service."
and sweet-smelling flowers. I have eight hands, Balabhadra explained, "By the practice
but you with no hands think you are doing of virtuous deeds an ordinary man ascends
everything. Who is the proud one ? You please upwards and may eventually attain the status
let me enter so that I may meet my Lord. Why of a demigod. Such a good soul may be
are you ostracizing me for such a little offence ? regarded as equal to god himself, but only
After that Balabhadra became even because of his goodness, not his high position.
angrier and lost his temper. "Your misbehaviour Do you know this, Mother ?" Charchika
to Bitarachha Mohapatra, the chief priest is of replied, "Yes, I have done wrong. I myself will
grave concern. I am ordered by him to prevent take on the task of serving this man Bitarachha
you from entering the temple any more. How Mahapatra, even though I am a goddess of the
can you do and protect your area Banki, even highest order.
with your eight hands with weapons, if you
It is the right punishment for a degraded
have no discipline ?" Charchika replied, "Oh,
then please go and ask him to forgive me ! I goddess. I will be serving a man who is himself
will not have nay peace if I am deprived of the a servant of Lord Jagannath. Let me leave this
Lord's vision. I will be happy again only when place before others come out."
I am redeemed. " Charchika was left standing Disguising herself as a young widow in
there at the bottom of Baishipabachha, the a white saree, Charchika left the temple for
Orissa Review * June - 2006
the house of Bitarachha Mahapatra. As she They would ask her, "Why did not you
approached, she saw the old man sitting on go to the temple and have darshan of Lord
the front steps. So she quickly covered her face Jagannath ?" When so many people come from
with a sari piece and respectfully stood at some distant places to see Him, you are living nearby
distance. The old man looked up and thought, and do not go ? "Charchika said sadly," It is a
"who is this lady ? I can see only half of her matter of luck, sometimes one is not destined
face, but she looks so young and radiant! I have to meet him. I will visit the Lord whenever he
never seen her in this area before. "Thinking showers his mercy on me."
like this, he called to her. "Mother, have you
One day a huge storm hit Puri with heavy
come to our house or are you looking for
rain. The whole town was enveloped in
someone in this neighbourhood." The soft
darkness. Bitarachha Mahapatra struggled to
motherly appearance of Charchika made
find his way home and finally reached the door,
Bitarachha Mohapatra regard her as a mother.
knocking loudly. Charchika responded
Charchika pleaded, "I pray that you anxiously. "Oh, what a treacherous night to be
accept me in your house as a servant, as I have out! When it fell dark I lit a candle and sat
no other means of survival, father. As I lay flat waiting, expecting you at any moment. That
on the ground before Lord Jagannath, he candle has just now gone out."
himself ordered me to serve here in your
The head priest had come from the
temple and was completely rain drenched. He
The old man was astonished and with handed over the Mahaprasad to Charchika and
tears in his eyes, he answered." This is your went to change his dress. But there were no
own home, you are so like my own mother. A matches to light the candle in his room. Neither
son can never be reluctant to provide shelter to did he bring a candle from the temple, as it
his mother." Thus Charchika become the maid- was raining too heavily.
servant of the head priest Bitarachha
With surprise he asked "How did you
Mahapatra. Gradually she became accustomed
light that candle, when there were no matches
to the household affairs of the family and took
full charge of the puja room herself, cleaning and all the neighbours had already gone to
the brass puja articles, changing the dress of bed ? Can you light another one ?" Charchika
the deities daily and lighting the lamps. So replied, "Yes there is a way. Allow me to light
perfectly did she act out the role of mother the room." She immediately assumed her
that Bitarachha Mohapatra hardly thought of original form. She stretched one of her hands
his own mother, who had just recently died. to the top of the temple where a lamp was
Time passed. Bitarachha's wife was old and burning and with it she lit the priest's candle.
ailing and so she was very pleased with On seeing this divine vision, Mahapatra
Charchika's help and go od manners. almost felt senseless. He could not believe his
Sometimes people wondered about Charchika, eyes. How could this maid servant assume such
"who is she ? Where did she come from ?" a divine miraculous form ? And so vast and
Sometimes Charchika would be overcome with glorious it was. The whole town of Puri could
feeling when there was talk of Lord Jagannath, be accommodated within the space between
what was the reason for this ? her feet. A deep sense of awe and wonder
Orissa Review * June - 2006
overcame him. Charchika came back to her priest, Bitarachha Mahapatra, she asked him
normal form in a moment's time, and the room what he wanted. He answered that he had no
was lighted. Mahapatra felt as if his eyes had demand for any worldly things, but only
betrayed him and he was going mad. wanted to see her again. She said, "Go to your
"Do not worry, father," Charchika said. puja room," and then vanished. He went there
Bitarachha Mahapatra told her, pleading, "Oh and saw emerging from the floor a framed
Mother! Please reveal your real identity. I will stone image of the devi herself .
not leave your feet until you do so." Such rare Even today, some six centuries later, this
display of God's divine grace thrilled the priest holy image is there and puja is still being done
through and through. His body became numb. to it daily by the descendants of Bitarachha
So Charchika disclosed everything to him, Mohapatra, the head priest of Jagannath
especially the reasons why she was cast out of
2. By head priest Pattajoshi Mahapatra,
Mahapatra exclaimed, "Oh Mother,
in the year 1810.
please go back to your original abode. I will
obtain due permission from the Lord for your Vibhisana was one of the brothers of the
reinstatement." With such assurance of demon king Ravana in Lanka during Tretaya
Mahapatra, Charchika disappeared from Yuga. Yet he took shelter at the feet of Lord
Bitarachha's house. It was after midnight and Rama. After the death of Ravana, he was made
the rain had stopped. It was as if everything king of Lanka. He always felt that Rama was
had occurred in accordance with God's plan. the Supreme Lord, and it is believed by the
Charchika once again approached the people of Puri that he comes every day to Lord
main gate of the temple and Balabhadra offered Jagannath, feeling that He is Sri Rama Himself.
her a welcome smile. Because of this, Like all the devas, Vibhisana comes to see and
Charchika realised that one can not retain even enjoy the last ritual at midnight, known as
his position as a demigod if he does not fulfill Pahuda Arati.
his assigned duties and commitments for the
It was in the year 1810, when there was
upliftment of the world, for these are the duties
no electricity and the town was dark at night.
of the demigods. Lord Jagannath ordered, "I
When returning home through the horse gate
am now very happy with you. I will assign
you an additional responsibility, that of caring of the temple, head priest Pattajoshi Mahapatra
for my own car during Ratha Yatra, the great felt somebody walking beside him. The person
Festival of Chariots. Even though the regular was not visible owing to the darkness, but he
Sevakas are there to look after Nandighosa, was so huge, it seemed his head was touching
you will be its deva." the sky. Pattajoshi Mahapatra was totally
overwhelmed. Out of fear, he questioned,
Charchika was silent and only nodded
"Who are you, Sir ?" The answer was, "I am
her head affectionately, then left. It was already
Vibhisana from outer space. I come here daily
morning and Bitarachha Mahapatra appeared
to see the last ritual of Lord Jagannath."
before the deities to offer his regular service.
This event occurred in the year 1368. Before Still the head priest doubted him. He
Goddess Charchika left the house of the head asked again, "Please give me some proof that
Orissa Review * June - 2006
you are from the outer space !" So Vibhisana to return to his house at 2 A.M. after attending
gave him the huge golden armlet he was the last Pahuda Ceremony of the temple. It was
wearing and vanished. Even now, almost 200 his daily habit to bring from the temple used
years later, this ornament given by Vibhisana flowers and garlands. These he would later
of Devaloka is worshipped in the residence of offer t o lo cal deit ies such as Mothers
Pattajoshi Mahapatra's family. It may be seen Dakshinakali, Shyamakali and Baseli. On his
and verified. The ornament is the size of a way home, he would throw petal to the smaller
wheel of a bullock cart. It could never have temples as he passed by.
been used by a human being. However, one night he forgot to offer
3. By a Mekap worshipper in the temple, any to Shani Temple, the temple of planet
in the year 1890. Saturn. Suddenly he felt someone following
him in the darkness. Dogs also barked and
The Mekap worshipper in Jagannath sensing the presence of some being Khuntia
Temple is in charge of the deities' dresses and looked back. He saw only the head of someone,
the store room known as Ratna Bhandar. Inside but not clearly visible. As if in a humble way,
this sealed room are kept costly pearls, the voice requested, "Just a leaf of the garland
diamonds, emeralds, golden necklaces and used by Him, I am Shani ! (the god of planet
many other precious ornaments used to Saturn).
decorate the deities during Suna Vesha or
He vanished at high speed when only a
Golden Decoration. The deity in charge of this
leaf from the garland was presented to him.
store room is Loknath, who is a form of Lord
Khuntia stood dead still and speechless. Later
Shiva Himself. It is told that anyone who is on when he told his friends of this event, they
greedy and tries to steal any ornaments from said, "Khuntia, you are saved ! He would have
here will one day suffer from leprosy and caused you many difficulties had he not been
everybody in his family will also die. obliged. He is the planet Shani, who comes to
This actually happened once, in 1890. Lord Jagannath, but usually in the disguise of
One Biswanath Mekap stole from the store a lame man or a one-eyed person or someone
room some ornaments, thinking nothing would with a deformed body. You were lucky to meet
happen. In his dream that night, two cobras him, but still we hope you will not meet him
entered his bedroom and he was bitten. His again !"
wife heard someone saying in a loud voice, " 5. By a decoit (thief) from Bihar State, in
We have been sent from Nagaloka by Lokanath the year 1910.
Shiva to punish him."
A thief from the state of Bihar wanted to
Biswanath Mekap died of snake bite and steal the costly Chitta, which Lord Jagannath
all his family members died prematurely and wears everyday over his third eye. The present
he was left heirless. value of this rare gold ornament studded with
priceless gems would be millions of rupees.
4. By Padmanav Khuntia, a worshipper of
This thief was known as Bihari Daku. He went
Jagannath Temple, in the year 1902.
to the temple daily to learn every detail about
Padmanav Khuntia was a very humble the timings of the rituals, as the deities were
sincere worshipper of Lord Jagannath. He used guarded closely. Finally he came to know that
Orissa Review * June - 2006
after Pahuda, the last ritual of the day, nobody worshippers in the present day. He did not have
is allowed inside the temple. So he made a any educational degrees or diplomas but he
plan. Wearing a black cloth, he hide himself had profound knowledge of the ancient epics
inside the temple one night, just behind the of India. Many people coming from different
sealed doors of the inner sanctum. He was with parts of India revered him as their spiritual
the divine trinity, but with evil motive. After guide. He only ate Mahaprasad, the rice meal
all left, he stealthily climbed the altar where offered to Lord Jagannath. One day for some
Lord Jagannath is worshipped. When he was reason his sons did not bring it from the temple.
about to take off the divine Chitta from the Even though he had not taken any food all day,
forehead of Lord Jagannath, he felt as if bitten he never revealed his hunger. Only his wife
by a thousand snakes ! knew. As she looked sad, Singhari consoled
The next morning worshippers and many her, "He will give, He will send !" But at
other pilgrims saw Bihari Daku lying dead on midnight who would give ? All slept, his wife
the temple floor, surrounded by five cobras, also.
who were also dead. The most aged worshipper After sometime there was a soft knock
present there said, "From Patala or Naga Loka at the door. On opening the door, the old man
devas come up as snakes to guard the deities found a banana leaf in which there were seven
while asleep. types of temple cakes ! Nobody was there. The
6. By Hazuri Balabhadra, grand son of the next morning when he narrated this happening,
great hero and worshipper of Lord nobody believed him. All day long this miracle
Jagannath, Chakhi Khuntia, in the year of Lord Jagannath was very much in mind. The
1940. next night a voice told Singhari in a dream,
"Did you eat everything that was given ?"
"I was standing on the roof of my house
where the temple is more visible," reports 8. By Harihar Guru, who was one of the
Hazuri Balabhadra. It was 5 A.M. I have greatest worshippers of Jagannath Temple.
forgotten the date, but the month was July. I He was called Prakruta Panda, a real
saw strange rays of light coming from the worshipper; for the help he rendered to all.
Chakra on top of the temple, like a clear line This event occured in 1969.
of brilliant light leaving the temple at high Harihar Guru lived in recent times but
speed. This lasted for more than 10 minutes. he was one of the most honest, simple and
Out of great curiousity, I asked my sincere worshipper ever to serve Lord
father, He replied, 'You are very lucky. Only Jagannath. In spite of his limited income, it
you saw the vehicle of some other devas was his habit to help poor people. In fact, he
coming to Lord Jagannath.' "I am thrilled even became poor himself, helping others.
now when I tell you this !" This story was told
He used to come daily to the temple at
to the father of this writer in the year 1940.
4 A.M. by t he west gate, known as
7. By Jayaram Singhari, a worshipper of Byaghradwar or "Tiger's Gate". One morning
Jagannath Temple, in the year 1963. he saw three beautiful ladies also going through
Jayaram Singhari was considered one of the same gate. They had a divine fragrance
the most learned men in the society of around them and were nicely dressed,
Orissa Review * June - 2006
decorated with flowers but no ornaments. Their mood. As the master of the universe leaves
faces were veiled. It was raining heavily at that His body, all cry, out of deep sadness.
moment, but Guru could not see them wet, even In the early morning hours of the next
though he was completely drenched and day, people found the dead body of Ray. This
shivering from the cold. The three ladies happened in the year 1969. The notes he had
seemed to be going inside as if there were no written of what he had seen was found beside
downpour. Their saris were dry and there was the body.
no sign of their foot prints on the earth.
10. By worshipper Harihar Khuntia, the
Seeing all of this, Guru approached them father of the writer, in the year 1970.
to ask who they were. They simply vanished !
Harihar Khuntia lived to the robust old
Only the sound of soft laughter was heard.
age of 97. He was the spiritual teacher of
When he narrated this episode to his friends,
pilgrims coming from Calcutta (Kolkata).
he was told that the ladies were divine beings
When at Puri he would spent most of his time
from Kinnara Loka.
inside the temple, sometimes sixteen hours a
9. By Krishna Chandra Ray; an Oriya man day. When in Calcutta, he would spend most
from Khurda District, in the year 1969. of his time discussing how Lord Jagannath is
Koili Vaikuntha is the place where old worshipped by all, even by the gods and
deities are buried during Nabakalebara Yatra, goddesses. He was answering to all their
or the great festival of Metamorphosis in which querries. One day there was a very sceptical
man sitting next to him. He putting all sort of
the deities are changed and new ones made.
odd questions to him.
This occurs only after a gap of atleast twelve
years. Dayitapatis, who are considered to be One do ubtful man from Bolpur
the kith and kins of Lord Jagannath, carry the questioned him, 'Is our Kali of Kalighat Lord
old deities out, just like dead bodies. Nobody Jagannath ?' The reply was spontaneous, "You
except them can see this procession. It is said take these flowers I have taken from Lord
that if anyone else sees this event, he will die Jagannath and give it to the goddess Kali ! You
immediately. will see Him in Her. Actually it was done and
the next morning he came running and
Krishna Chandra Ray from Khurda
shouting, "I have seen Him, I have seen Him !"
district considered this to be an act of blind
belief, a silly superstition. So on this special 11. By worshipperJairam Singhari, in the
day he hide himself inside the temple at year 1972.
midnight. When the Dayitas carried the old After Pahuda, the last ceremony of the
deities to Koili Vaikuntha, he saw it all from day, no one is allowed to be inside the temple.
the branch of a tree. The Dayitas returned after Many divine beings come to attend the Lord
burying the deities. The whole atmosphere was at this hour. In the year 1972, Jairam Singhari,
dark and frightening. Ray heard the sobbing a worshipper, who was decorating the deity
of ladies. He saw rays of different colours, but daily, narrated about this occurrence. He saw
nobody was there. It had been told that beings two ladies mysteriously entering the west gate
of other Lokas come in the most sorrowful of the temple after the doors were sealed in
Orissa Review * June - 2006
the night. They were quietly talking to each worshipper will be reprimanded by the deities
other. From their talk, Singhari overheard that themselves. Some sign of disapproval or some
the name of one was Manjujosha. Later he read bad things must happen. The priests who are
in a reference book called Amar Kosha that the direct worshippers of the deities do not feel
she is one of the eight dancing girls of Kinnara that the images are lifeless wood. Rather they
Loka, a space beyond this earth. are much more vibrant with life force than man,
as they (the deities) do not belong to this world,
12. By worshipper Laxman Mudali in the but other higher spheres where energy is
year 1985. stronger.
On the alter of Ratna Singhasana of the Once a worshipper forgot to do puja to
temple, seven gods and goddesses are Neela Madhava when he was serving the five
worshipped. They all come from spheres deities. When he returned home, he came to
beyond this world. know that his wife has gone mad. She was
Name of Deities Sphere Belonging To found repeat ing only the name "Neela
Madhava, Neela Madhava," over and over
1. Lord Jagannath Vishnu Loka or Golaka, the
abode of Srikrishna.
again. After three days the worshipper realised
the fault he had committed. As ordered in a
2. Lord Balabhadra Shiva Loka, where Lord Shiva dream, he held a yagna or holy fire ceremony.
Only after that was performed his wife was
3. Lord Sudarshan Swarga Loka or Heaven, the cured of madness. As soon as she regained her
abodes of divine beings. senses, she asked, "Did you forget Neela
4. Lord Neela Kinnara Loka, or abode of Madhava on that day I went mad ?
Madhava divine dancers. According to the
palm leaf script, Indira 13. By Ganesh Mishra, in his book "Santha
Nilamani Tattwa, Neela Mala", about a happening in the 18th
Madhava is a dancing deity. century.
5. Goddess Subhadra Sura Loka-All Suras derive There was a very poor Brahmin whose
strength from Divine Mother. habit was to recite the Bhagavat Geeta to the
6. Goddess Lakshmi Deva Loka -the abode of divine people who would be interested to listen to it.
beings with only divin e His wife was very much annoyed as she was
qualities. without meals often. The husband would say,
7. Goddess Saraswati Bhu Loka, or the Earth. "I have Lord Jagannath to help" But where is
(Or Bhudevi) One of the names of Saraswati He ? One day she was totally upset. Her
is Bhudevi, as she is made of husband was away teaching the essence of
clay for Saraswati Puja every Geeta to the people. In fact his wife was dying
year. of hunger.
The worshippers known as Puja Pandas She saw a black man carrying rice,
perform puja to them daily. These are Puja vegetables and milk shouting, "Where is Geeta
Pandas, one for Lord Balabhadra, one for Panda's house ?" The wife, as her name was
Goddess Subhadra, and one for Lord Jagannath Geeta Panda, came out trembling. The young
and the other four deities. If there is any mistake man told her, "Kindly accept all these offered
in the recitation of slokas or in the text, the by one of your friends."
Orissa Review * June - 2006
"No please stay a little longer, you can compelled him to go to the house of the friend
eat. My husband will be coming now." "No, I whosoever he was. He under took his journey
have many works, I can not stay." to Puri. It was night already. Their two little
When the brahmin was told about all sons were crying for food. They came just near
these by his wife, he became almost senseless. the temple. Bandhu Mohanty consoled his wife
With weak voice, he said "You, poor lady, you saying. "My friend's palace is too big. He is
saw Him, yo u are so lucky' Oh Lord very rich but it is not right to enter his house
Jagannath !" now as it is night. We will go tomorrow."
14. By Ganesh Mishra, in his book "Santha All slept, being weak, hungry, tired and
Mala", about a happening on July 7- 1902. sad. But his wife did not sleep.
Dasia Bauri from Dandamukundapur, in Suddenly, on a golden tray many kinds
the district of Puri, Orissa took a coconut to of food were brought by a robust man whose
be offered to Lord Jagannath through the priests colour was very black. He left the place very
of the temple. But they out of mockery did not quickly. She fed her sons and when Bandhu
accept the fruit. Dasia was extremely sad, Mohanty was awake from his sleep, he was
cursing the heritage of the worshippers. thunder-struck, hearing everything from his
Out of pure devotion he stretched his
hands and prayed,"Oh Lord, kindly accept this But the golden plate was missing from
coconut". He was standing outside at the Lion's the temple and found with them. This made a
Gate of the temple. People saw two hands great noise in the small town. The police
emerge from within the temple to take the arrested all the family members and they were
coconut from Dasia. It was He who blessed produced in the court before the king for severe
Dasia in the presence of many. punishment the next day.
15. Recorded in Madala Panji, the temple The king dreamt that very night of Lord
record book in 1818. Jagannath. As if giving order, the Lord said to
him, "Oh King ! When guests come to you, do
This is another true story of a devotee you not entertain them ? So release Bandhu
named Bandhu Mohanty of Jajpur to prove how Mohanty at once; he is my devotee." It was
Lord Jagannath descends from His throne to done, and he was given service as a cook in
help His devotees. the temple.
Bandhu Mohanty was very poor and as Even now, descendents of Bandhu
such he had no support to maintain his family, Mohanty are the main cooks in the kitchen of
consisting of his wife and two sons. His wife the temple and they daily offer food to Lord
asked him out of agony one day that why he Jagannath on a golden Tray.
was not going to his rich friend of whom he
was so proud. The friend about whom Bandhu 16. By Godavari Pujapanda on April 2,
Mohanty mentioned was Lord Jagannath, but 1890.
his wife did not realise the essence of what her A Puja Panda worshipper is one who
husband was saying all the time. So his wife does puja and offers food to the deity. While
Orissa Review * June - 2006
doing so, in the course of offering, he hold in the temple. I went to eat food prepared by
water in his palm. A priest cannot sanctify the Vedamata with love and loyalty. How can there
offering unless the deity is reflected in the water be any reflection if I am away from my
which he holds. devotee. Now I am in the temple, so offer the
Once it happened that no reflection was food."
seen for some unknown reason. This disturbed Immediately, t he Puja Panda was
all. Nobody, not even the king knew why the informed about the dream of the king, and
deities were angry. Was the Puja Panda everything went well again.
insincere ? Was the food not cooked with
purity ? Not knowing what to do the
worshippers remained sitting on the altar where
Lord Jagannath is seated. The king was
determined not to touch water until he could
know the cause. He dreamt as if Lord Somanath Khuntia lives at Manikarnika Sahi, Hazari
Jagannath was telling him, 'Oh king, I was not Lane, Puri - 752001.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
The Life of Lord Chaitanya and His Sankirtana
Movement in India
"If by chance we get the association of a pure undergoing more rigorous methods. The
devotee, then by his mercy our illusion Srimad-bhagavatam states, "In this age of Kali,
becomes over. Therefore it is advised that people who are endowed with sufficient
everyone should seek association of saintly intelligence will worship the gold-
persons. And by saintly person's instructions, co mplexioned Lord by performing t he
the darkness of ignorance can be removed." Sankirtana-yajna, the sacrifice of chanting the
There is no question of 'loss' in devotional Holy names of God." So the Sankirtana
service. God has taken care of it as well. movement of Lord Chaitanya, the Golden
There are innumerable names for the Avatar, is not a concoction, for it presents the
Supreme Lord, both in India and elsewhere. fulfillment of what is stated in the revealed
All of them are equally good because they all scripture, just as the appearance of Lord
indicate the Supreme personality of Godhead. Buddha and other Avataras is forefold in the
But this particular Mahamantra - "Hare Vedic literature. And to fulfill the Lord's
Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, mission, all the people of world should accept
Hare Hare - Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama the holy name of God as the common platform
Rama Hare Hare" which consists of sixteen for the universal religion of mankind.
names or words are especially recommended
The Biography of Lord Chaitanya :
for this era, called Kali-yuga (the age of
quarrel), is the best for people to take adventage The advent of the holy name thus took
of them and thus follow the path of the great place alongwith the advent of Sri Chitanya.
Acharyas, the saintly teachers who attained When on the lap of his mother, he once stopped
success by practicing this system. crying as soon as the ladies surrounding him
In congregational chanting of the holy chanted the Holy name of Sri Krishna and
names of the Lord, people can come together clapped their hands. Sometimes the young
and glorify the Lord in their respective ladies took pleasure in making him cry, so that
languages to the accompaniment of melodious they could then stop him by chanting 'Hare
music. And if such performances are executed Krishna Hare Rama'. By the age of sixteen,
sincerely, it is certain that the participants will he was regarded as a great scholar of India
gradually attain spiritual perfection without called Nimai Pandit.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
He was then married and began to spread scriptures recommend only the sacrifice
the 'Hare Krishna' movement in Navadwipa. through Sankirtana for all purposes.
There some of the Brahmanas soon became Lastly the Kazi was convinced by Sri
envious and put many hindrances in his path, Chaitanya and at once he became his follower.
at length complaining to the Muslim Magistrate Indeed, the Kazi declared that hence forward
against him. The Kazi as this official was no one could hinder t he chant ing of
called, took their complaints seriously and he Harekrishna in Navadwipa, an injunction
at first warned the followers of Chaitanya not observed up to the present day. Following this
to chant the name of Sri Krishna loudly. But incident, Chaitanya began to propagate
Chaitanya asked his followers not to care the Sankirtana more vigorously than ever. In the
orders of the Kazi and they went on with their course of his preaching, he sent out all his
Sankirtana parties as usual. The Kazi then sent followers every day, chief among whom were
constables who broke some of the Mridangas Srila Nityananda and Thakura Haridasa. They
(Drums) during Sankirtana. When Lord would go from door to door and preach the
Chaitanya heard of this, he organized a civil Science of Love Sree Krishna. One day as they
disobedience movement in Navadwipa. He were walking along the main road, they came
was the pio neer of civil disobedience across two brothers named Jagai and Madhai.
movement in India and for the right cause. He Though these brothers were the sons of a
organized a procession of a huge crowd of respectable Brahmana, they had fallen to the
people carrying thousands of Mridangas and most despicable position and were meat eaters,
Karatalas (Hard cymbals) and the procession womenisers and decoits of the first order. Upon
passed through the roads of Navadwipa learning of these two, Srila Nityananda at once
without any fear of the Kazi. decided that if they could be delivered by the
At length the party reached the house of holy name then Sri Chaitanya would be all the
the Kazi, who fled upstairs in fear of the more glorified. With this in mind Srila
masses. The men assembled there showed hot Nityananda at once approached the two
tempers but Chaitanya pacified them. When brothers and requested them to chant the holy
the Kazi came down, Chaitanya had an name of Krishna. But the drunken brothers flew
amicable discussion with him about the Koran into a rage and attacked Srila Nityananda
and the Vedic Shastras. injuriously, who hurriedly left the place with
Haridas Thakura, the drunkards chasing them
The Kazi questioned Chaitanya about for a considerable distance. The next day Srila
cow sacrifice, which the Vedas prescribe, and Nityananda again went to see the brothers. But
the Chaitanya replied that the sacrifice which as soon as he approached them Madhai threw
he (Kazi) cited from the Vedas is not actually a piece of broken earthen pot at him and struck
cow-killing. In that sacrifice an old bull or cow his head, drawing profuse blood. Srila
is killed to give it a new life by the power of Nityananda was so kind towards them that
Vedic mantras. In the Kali-yuga however, such instead of protesting their heinous act, he said,
cow sacrifice is forbidden because there are "It doesnot matter that you have injured me, I
not so many learned Brahmanas who can still request you to chant the holy name of
conduct that type of ceremony. Now the God."
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Jagai was astonished and moved by Srila great fool. And because I am a great fool my
Nityananda's behaviour and he at once fell spiritual master forbade me to play with
down at his feet, begging pardon for their sinful Vedanta philosophy. He said it would be better
behaviour. But as Madhai again attempted to for me to chant the holy name of the Lord for
hurt Srila Nityananda, Jagai protected him and that would beliver me from material bondage."
implored him to also fall down at his feet. Swami and Goswami are different
Meanwhile Sri Chaitanya having heard of synonyms of the word for persons who are in
Nityananda's injury at once rushed to the spot full control of the senses. Don't think that you
to take a stiff action against t hem but cannot control your senses. Everyone is able.
Nityananda refrained him from his mission You'll get strength by this process. This
namely, to deliver the hopelessly fallen souls chanting of mantra will help you to feel the
of the Kaliyuga. The brothers Jagai and Madhai God everywhere. Don't be dejected by thinking
were, after all, typical examples of the present that you have no strength. You will get strength
day population. Because of Nityananda's by continuing this process of Kirtanam
intervention and their own sincere surrender at Sravanam, which means chanting of Hare
Chaitanya's lotus feet, Chaitanya at length was Krishna, Hare Krishna . . . . and hear some
pacified, and the brothers became welcome passages from the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad
devotees of Sri Chaitanya. Bhagavatam, utilize these two processes and
To deliver the debased population of you will find strength for your spiritual life.
Kaliyuga Sri Chaitanya appeared, and out of So in this age there is no religion other
his mercy he gave us the simple method of than glorifying the Lord by chanting His holy
self-realisation - chanting of the holy name of name and that is the injunction of all the
God. Once when the great impersonalist revealed scriptures. Everything is there in the
Sanyasi Prakashananda Saraswati asked Sri chanting of "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna,
Chaitanya why he was propogating the Krishna Krishna Hare Hare, Hare Rama,
Sankirtana movement instead of studying the Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare."
Vedanta-Sutra, which is generally understood
to be the duty of a Sanyasi, Sri Chaitanya
replied very humbly as follows :
"The reason why I perform Sankirtana instead Alok Mishra is working in the Lodha Group of
of studying the Vedanta-Sutra is that I am a Companies, Mumbai.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Impact of Orissa Land Reforms on the Land
Revenue of Shree Jagannath Temple
The celebrated Temple of Lord Jagannath at as the collection of Rajabhag dues are
Puri was constructed by Raja Chodaganga Dev concerned.
of Ganga dynasty in the 12th century A.D. In O.E.A. Act the vesting of trust
During the long span of last eight hundred years properties were not included till 1963. In 1963
many rulers of different religions starting from for the first time all the Devottara Trust
the Ganga dynasty to the East India Company properties were vested to the State Government
have administered the Jagannath Temple. They by notification. The State Government Under
have granted vast landed properties in the name S(3) of O.E.A. Act declared that all the public
of 'Shree Jagannath Mahaprabhu' to meet the religious trusts including Jagannath
deficiets on account of day-to-day expenditure Mahaprabhu Trust to be vested with State
on rituals of the Lord. Sataisi Hazari Mahal Government on 18.03.1974. The effect of
and Ekharajat Mahal were given by the vesting has serious impact on the decrease of
Maratha and the British to meet the temple revenue on the annual income of the Jagannath
expenses. Sataisi Hazari Mahal consists of 90 Temple.
villages comprising an area of 11,070.740 acres
and Ekharajat Mahal consists of 156 villages By Orissa Tenancy Act many persons,
comprising an area of 70,568.920 acres of land. specially in the town area and in village area
in collusion with unscrupulous and motivated
Orissa Land Reform Act came into force agents of different Mathas and Mahantas
in 1960. The tillers of the soil were cultivating manufactured fraudulent, forged documents to
Lord Jagannath Land under Mathas. They all Proof. themself as tenants having right of
filed different O.L.R. cases in Revenue Court occupancy as per Sec- (23),(24) (236) O.T.
to declared them as Stitiban tenant. The Act. Such fraudulent and collusive action put
unscrupulous agents of Mathas and Mahantas the Lord Jagannath Trust into serious loss of
granted fraudulent grant receipts and Pattas in immovable properties which are very valuable.
favour of fake tenants. So all the cultivable and Now it has became a problem for temple
horticulture lands of Lord Jagannath became a management to sale the land of Lord Jagannath
subject matter of litigations. As a result, all or get any revenue out of it.
the landed properties of Lord Jagannath
become disputed. Though there is provision
U/S2 (24) of O.L.R. Act that Lord Jagannath Arjuna Sahoo is a Research Scholar in P.G. Department
is a privileged Royat but it has no effect so far of Economics, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Prafulla Chandra Sahoo
Descending from your Shree Mandir to protect the virtuous ones
the deluxe abode and annihilate the evil,
across the flight of twenty two steps you seldom shirk
to stumble playfully Oh, Lord Saviour of the down-cast flock;
in the dusty grand-road to rub shoulders with the simmering sinners
Oh, Lord of the Universe; wiping off their streaming tears,
you are flying butterflies patting and guiding them to your
in the wintery grey valley dream of a paradise on earth,
of down-troddens; every rain-soaked Asharh
climbing up, where as, once in a year.
on your mighty arms
and hanging down from your
Tahia, the flowery crown
hereditary vampires are aspiring Prafulla Chandra Sahoo lives at Budhima Lane, Dutta
to buy acres of infinity overhead. Tota, Puri-752001.
Distributing liberally the bliss
of Kaivalya, the absolute salvation
to the stampeding seekers
from the moving chariot
and pouring down the monsoon frolic
in their mangroves of salty eye-lids
Oh, Lord of the Blue-hill;
you are merrily overlooking
how most of these feigning recipients
are, otherwise, harnessing
wild horses in their wishful forests.
Despite your various incarnations
on this mundane theatre
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Oh ! Lord Jagannath
Er. Niranjan Rath
You are the Omnipresent of Omniscient,
This universe exists at Your will;
You are the master of all the arts and the acts,
You are the almighty over and above all.
Past, present, and future,
Every event is by Your direction;
About the ups and downs of the creation,
You have distinct plan and vision.
You possess all the divine attributes,
You are the origin of every incarnation;
You are the law maker of time and nature,
To balance the good and evil deeds of the creation.
You are the beauty, You are the truth,
Every thing is by Your grace;
To punish the sinner, to save the saints,
Both are Your eternal duty and wish.
You exist in all, all exist in You,
You are the supreme soul;
You are in omniform, hither and thither, everywhere,
You are the controller of all as a whole.
Oh! ascendant of Nandighosh, I pray for Your mercy,
For the living being peacefully to live;
You are the Creator, You are the Savior,
Under Your care let this universe happily survive.
Er. Niranjan Rath lives at S-2/617, Niladri Vihar, Po- Shailashree Vihar, Bhubaneswar
Orissa Review * June - 2006
The Marvel of Marvels
Er. Raghunath Patra
Antique Scriptures Limbs limit figure
I pondered over limitless is He
from saints and preachers The formless in form
what I hear. (1) a grand marvel, see.(7)
Formless Brahma, With come-hither-smile
all surmise He trails all
adored in Srimandir, Who goes oh ! nigh
Sermons the Wise. (2) Skips from fall.(8)
The supreme goal of
In winkless eyes disolate ones
round like tabor love stuck devotees
beholds He all or fallen fans.(9)
far and near. (3)
A silent witness of
Devoid of hands all the deeds
executes sound none escapes His vision
Devoid of legs though cunningly hides.(10)
moves around. (4)
With beaming face
He signals all
forget ye prejudice
forget fall. (11)
Perceives taste. (5) Love ye all
high and low
Without tongue all are parallel
Converses all in calestial flow.(12)
His hands stretched
to embrace all. (6) Er. Raghunath Patra lives at Brindaban Dham, Lokanath
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Dainandina Niti in Sri
In this paper an attempt has been made to study deities, arranged for seva-puja (ritual services),
the dainandina niti (daily rituals) of the Shri arranged different types of nitis, appointed
Jagannath Temple, Puri (hereinafter referred different categories of sevakas to perform these
to as the Temple). The word niti in Oriya and nitis and administered the establishment.
Sanskrit refers to a principle, a rule or a policy. During the foreign rule, Gajapati Maharaja was
But in the Temple, this word is used in a more known as the Superintendent of the Temple.
general sense, which signifies a particular There is a list of various classes of sevakas
religious rite. The nitis in the Temple are and others associated with different types of
elaborate and complex in nature. It involves a nitis and management of the Temple in Part-3
multitude of sevas and sevakas. Hence, it is of the Record of Rights (ROR) of the Temple,
essential to understand briefly something about prepared in 1952. It is voluminous to narrate
the sevas and sevakas of the Temple. For the the details of each seva. However, for the
performance of various nitis in the Temple, a understanding of nitis in the Temple the list of
large number of sevakas have been engaged 119 categories of sevakas mentioned in the said
on hereditary basis. It is believed that Raja ROR is given below:
Anangabhima Deva of Ganga dynasty, a (1) Gajapati Maharaja, (2) Parichha or
sovereign ruler of Orissa in the 13th century Rajaguru, (3) Chhattisanijoga Nayaka
AD, had initiated a well-knitted administrative Pattajo shi Mahapatra, (4) Bhitarachha
system of the Temple. He had established Mahapat ra, (5) Taluchha Mahapat ra,
Chhattisa nijoga (36 different associations of (6) Mudirasta or Mudihasta, (7) Deula
sevakas). Subsequently, the number of nijogas Purohita, (8) Pujapanda, (9) Badapanda,
(associations) has increased but t he (10) Pushpalaka, (11) Mahajana, (12) Mudra,
nomenclature of Chhattisa nijoga is still in (13) Khunt ia, (14) Bhandara Mekapa,
vogue. Over the years, the number of sevakas (15) Palia Mekapa, (16) Akhanda Mekapa,
has also increased considerably. Gajapati (17) Changda Mekapa, (18) Khata Seja
Maharaja of Puri is the first sevaka (Adya Mekapa, (19) Pratihari, (20) Daita, (21) Pati
sevaka) of the deities. He represents the Mahapatra, (22) Patribadu, (23) Garabadu,
sovereign ruler of Orissa. As per the tradition, (24) Suarabadu, (25) Khuri Nayaka,
he had constructed the Temple, installed the (26) Mukha Pakhala, (27) Ghatuari,
Orissa Review * June - 2006
(28) Gochhikara, (29) Suna Goswami, (110) Chapa Dalei, (111) Mapa Saita Karana,
(30) Muduli, (31) Alati Balita Sevaka, (112) Tadhau Karana, (113) Deula Karana,
(32) Purana Panda, (33) Datta Mahapatra, (114) Baithi Karana, (115) Kotha Karana,
(34) Lugadhua and Panikunda Sevakas, (116) Charcha Karana, (117) Dayana Patri,
(35) Ballabha Jogania, (36) Bimanabadu, (118) Chaula Bachha Karana, (119) Matha and
(37) Anasara Suddha Suara and Suddha Suara, Byaktigata Seva. Another Seva called
(38) Hadapa Nayaka, (39) Bidia Jogania, (120) Behera Karana Seva, which was not
(40) Khatuli Sevakas, (41) Asthana Pratihari, included in the original list of the Record of
(42) Kotha Bhoga Jogania, (43) Pradhani, Rights, has been revived in 1988. Out of these
(44) Paika, (45) Lenka, (46) Suara Nijoga sevas, in the mean time, some sevas have been
Naika, (47) Suara Nijoga and Mahasuara, discontinued. These are (1) Kotha Karana,
(48) Jagia Mahasuara, (49) Badu Suara, Thali, (2) Churcha Karana, (3) Mapa Saita Karana,
Tuna and Amalu Suara, (50) Panti badu, (4) Samprada Nijoga, (5) Madeli, (6) Bhitara
(51) Amalu Tola, Pura Kharada, Gayani, (7) Binakara, (8) Rajaguru (Patuara
(52) Tolabadu, (53) Rosa Paika, (54) Bahara Seva), (9) Banua, (10) Kalabethia,
Deuli Suara, (55) Bahara Deuli Jogania, (11) Prasadabadu, (12) Patrabandha,
(56) Rosa Dho Pakhalia, Angarua, Gobara (13) Sankhua, (14) Mulia Suansia,
Pania and Rabadia, (57) Handi Jogania, (15) Badapanda, (16) Kumbhara Bisoi,
(58) Birimunda Samartha, (59) Kotha Bhoga (17) Malachula, (18) Dandibala,
Pania, (60) Paniki Pata, (61) Nikapa and (19) Gitagovinda, etc.
Gandhana Nikapa, (62) Biribuha, (63) Daudi
These sevakas do not receive any salary
Bola, (64) Chunara, (65) Sabata Nijoga,
from the Temple Administration. On an
(66) Paniapata, (67) Mandani, (68) Chaka
average, 70 to 80 sevakas perform seva-puja
Apasara, (69) Mulia Suansia, (70) Binakara,
(ritual services) every day. Each of them is
(71) Darpania, (72) Kot ha Suansia,
entitled to get a portion of the Raja bhoga or
(73) Mahabhoi, (74) Gita Gobinda, (75) Bhitara
Kotha bhoga. This is called Khei of the day.
Gaani, (76) Samprada Nijoga, (77) Dayana
Sevakas in general are paid daily remuneration,
Mali, (78) Madeli, (79) Prasadabadu,
which is known as Purashkar (cash reward)
(80) Tatua, (81) Patrabindha, (82) Bajanti,
according to the scales prescribed by the
(83) Chhat ara Nijo ga, (84) Kahalia,
Managing Committee of the Temple. Some
(85) Sankhua, (86) Parba Jatra Jogania,
(87) Chitrakara, (88) Rupakara, (89) Bania, sevakas get rewards both in cash and kinds.
(90) Tamara Bisoi, (91) Karatia, (92) Benta There is also provision for special cash reward
Bindha Paika, (93) Pat ara Bisoi, over and above the Purashkar. For example,
(94) Kalabethia, (95) Daraji, (96) Kumbhara each year after the Ratha Yatra is over most of
Bisoi, (97) Ratha Bhoi, (98) Malachula, the nijogas and also some individual sevakas
(99) Banua, (100) Chakra Dihudi, (101) Ojha use to get special cash rewards from the Temple
Maharana, (102) Ghanta Seva, (103) Ghantua, Administration for their satisfactory seva
(104) Ratha Dahuka, (105) Badhei, during the festival.
(106) Baidya, (107) Amunia Chhatara, Nitis of the Temple can be broadly
(108) Chhamu Dihudi, (109) Chapa Behera, divided into the following three parts: (1) Daily
Orissa Review * June - 2006
niti, (2) Occasional niti and (3) festival niti. to do Pahuda (niti related to closing of Temple
The fixed nitis are observed daily. Secondly, doors after the final niti is over at night) on
the periodic or according to the specialty of account of extra nitis or delay in completion
certain days, months etc. or occasional nitis of nitis. On such occasions, the question of
are observed. In this context, mention may be dwaraphita in the following morning does not
made of some specific occasions like Ekadasi arise and the nitis commence as usual only from
(elevent h day of fortnight), Sankranti, Mangala alati onwards.
Amavasya, Grahana (eclipse), Nakshatra or
The subsequent niti after Dwaraphita is
any mishaps in the Temple. Thirdly, there are
Mangala alati. Bhitarachha Mahapatra and two
various festivals observed through out the year,
other Pushpalaka sevakas perform this niti
some outside the Temple like Snana yatra,
st anding below the ratnavedi /
Ratha yatra, Chandana yatra etc. and some
ratnasinghasana. Talichha Mahapatra is
inside the Temple like Jhulana yatra. Each
entitled to perform this niti in the absence of
sevaka has his specified duty to perform in
Bhitarachha Mahapatra. As per the tradition,
these nitis having terms and times specified.
Bhitarachha Mahapatra or Talichha Mahapatra
Various nitis that are observed in the Temple
performs Mangala alati to Jagannath,
commence at about 5.00 A.M. early in the
Sudarsana, Madhava, Sridevi and Bhudevi. It
morning every day and continues till midnight.
is worth mentioning that the Badachhata Matha
The daily nitis in short are described below.
performs kirtan every day at the time of
Dwaraphita and Mangala Alati : Mangala alati. Every day, in fact, alati is
Dwara means door or entrance and perfor med seven times. These are
Dwaraphita means opening of doors and (1) Mangala alati when camphor, pithau and
Mangala alati refers to auspicious lamp 21 bati are required for the purpose. This is
offerings to the deities early in the morning. performed by the sevakas as mentioned earlier,
As per the ROR, the doors of the Garbhagriha (2) Sakala Dhupa Alati when camphor and 21
(sanctum sanctorum) are to be opened by 5.00 bati are required and this alati is performed by
A.M. in the morning. In the months of Kartika the Pujapanda sevakas, (3) Madhyahna Dhupa
(October-November), Dhanu (December- Alati when camphor and 21 bati are required
January) and also on certain specific days, the and this alati is performed by the Pujapanda
doors are to be opened much before 5.00 A.M. sevakas, (4) Sandhya alati when camphor, 21
i.e. between 2.00 A.M. to 3.00 A.M. Five bati and pithau are required and this alati is
categories of sevakas namely (1) Bhitarachha performed by the Talichha Mahapatra and Palia
Mahapatra, (2) Prat ihari, (3) Muduli, Pushpalaka sevakas, (5) Sandhya Dhupa Alati
(4) Akhanda Mekapa and (5) Palia Mekapa when camphor and 21 bati are needed and this
are required to remain present to perform this alati is performed by the Pjapanda sevakas
niti. As per the tradition, the doors are opened (6) Badasinghara Dhupa alati when camphor
after Bhitarachha Mahapatra examines the and 21 bati/salita are needed and this alati is
seals, placed on the padlocks on the previous performed by the Pujapanda sevakas and lastly
night by another sevaka known as Taluchha (7) Pahuda alati when camphor and pithau are
Mahapatra. On some days, it becomes difficult required and this alati is performed by the
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Pushpalaka sevakas. (7) Darpania, (8) Padhiari, (9) Amla Ghantuari,
(10) Bhandara Mekapa, (11) Mahabhoi and
(12) Khurinayaka and (13) Jyotisa. This does
This means removal or taking off the not mean that the deities actually take bath.
clothes, dress, flowers, tulasi etc. of the Three Pushpalaka sevakas perform this snana
previous night. The schedule time of this niti bidhi in pancha upachara paddhati sitting on
is about 6.00 A.M. in the morning. But it the floor below the Ratnavedi. They sprinkle
depends on the time taken for Mangala alati. water mixed with camphor, curd, amla and
The sevakas associated with this niti are Chandana (sandal wood paste) on three brass
(1) three Pushpalakas, (2) Khuntia, mirrors (darpana), each about two feet high,
(3) Changda Mekapa and (4) Dhoba. symbolizing the bath. Before that they also
Pushpalaka sevakas change the clothes, flowers show the tooth sticks and tongue scrappers to
and tulasi leaves of the deities worn on the the deities symbolizing brushing of the teeth.
previous night. After removal of clothes, the During this niti, the Temple astrologer (Jyotisa)
deities wear another set of clean and washed reads out the tithi and other astrological details
clothes. It is known as tadapalagi. The clothes of the day. After this niti, Garuda in the Nata
are called tadapa and uttariya like towels. mandapa takes bath for which the Garuda /
These are made of cotton worn by the deities Chunara sevakas perform the snana bidhi.
for morning bath. As per the tradition, these
Mailama and Besa :
clothes are washed by the Dhoba sevaka in the
kunda (water tank) near Bata Ganesa. This Specified time for this niti is about 6.45
Dhoba sevaka is actually Brahmin by caste. It A.M. in the morning. The deities change their
is worth mentioning that every day the deities clothes and wear another clean and washed set.
wear different types of clothes (Bastras) in Every day the deities also wear different types
different times of the day. These bastras are of flower ornaments made of different types
(1) Tadapa, (2) Uttariya, (3) Paharana, of flowers, leaves of tulasi, banana, panasa and
(4) Phuta, (5) Sirkapada / Srikapada, patuka etc. These flower ornaments are
(6) Baralagi Pata (set), (7) Srimukhabala (made (1) Kara Pallava, (2) Kundala, (3) Tadagi,
of cotton), (8) Suta luga (cotton clothes), (4) Chandrika, (5) Gabha, (6) Alaka, (7) Tilaka,
(9) Chandana Guda, (10) Suta Chadara, (8) Jhumpa, (9) Nakuasi, (10) Dayana,
(11) Gita Govinda Khandua bastra etc. (11) Adhara Mala, (12) Makara Kundala,
(13) Sripayara Mala, (14) Hrudaya Padaka,
Abakasa : (15) Kali Padaka, (16) Kaustubha Padaka,
It means cleaning of teeth and bathing. (17) Chausara Mala, (18) Guna etc. A sevaka
The time is between 6.00 A.M. to 6.30 A.M. known as Akhanda Mekapa keeps in the
in the morning for the purificatory rites of the Garbhagriha the Akhanda Baitha, which is
deities such as brushing of teeth and bath. These not extinguished and burns till Pahuda i.e. time
nitis are performed by the following sevakas of retirement of the deities to beds. For this til
namely, (1) Bhitarachha Mahapatra, (2) Palia oil is provided to the Akhanda Mekapa from
Pushpalaka, (3) Suarabadu, (4) Paniapata, the Kotha Bhoga godown of the Temple
(5) Mukhapakhala sevaka, (6) Khatuli sevaka, Administration. The following sevakas are
Orissa Review * June - 2006
associated with this niti : (1) Pushpalaka, darsan of the deities. After darsan of the deities,
(2) Changda Mekapa, (3) Akhanda Mekapa, the pilgrims do parikrama along the lane
(4) Suarabadu and (5) Dhoba etc. It is worth behind the Ratnavedi and then come out of the
mentioning that the colour of bastras/dress Bhitara Pokharia. Pilgrims are not allowed to
(clothes) of the deities varies as per tithi (day). touch the deities. If any body accidentally does
For instance, on Sunday the deities wear red so, the deities are supposed to be polluted and
pata, on Monday they wear black and white a Mahasnana takes place. In case, any one
pata, on Tuesday the clothes are called vomits or passes urine or any one is injured
Barapatia pata (combination of five colours), and blood falls inside the Pokharia that also
on Wednesday they wear blue pata, on Thurs amounts to pollution of the deities and
day they wear yellow pata, on Friday the deities Mahasnana takes place. The following sevakas
wear white pata and on Saturday they wear remain present during sahanamela :
black pata. (1) Pushpalaka, (2) Khuntia, (3) Mekapa,
(4) Tadhau Karana, (5) Gochhikara,
Sahanamela : (6) Pratihari, (7) Suarabadu and (8) some
It means sarbasadharana darsan or Temple as well as Police personnel. Though it
public darsan of the deities. As per the ROR, is conducted only for one hour, in the months
the specified time of sahanamela is 7.00 A.M. of Magha and Pousa, Sahanamela continues
in the morning. During this time, the yatris are for two to three hours in view of large
allowed to go into the garbhagriha near the gatherings in the Temple during these months.
ratnavedi to have a close darsan of the deities Besalagi :
and circumambulate with out paying fees for
After sahanamela the deities change their
the same. It takes place twice a day, once in
clothes again. This is performed between 8.00
the morning immediately after abakasa and for
A.M. to 8.20 A.M. in the morning. This time,
the second time during night immediately after
the deities wear different robes and gold
sandhya alati. However, in practice it is being
ornaments studded with precious stones to suit
held only once generally after mailama on
different festive occasions and seasons. Also,
account of the delayed performance of nitis.
the deities wear flower ornaments like Guna,
On certain festive occasions, sahanamela is
Jhumpa, Adhara Mala and Tulasi Gabha.
held after Sandhya dhupa (evening bhoga). In
the month of Kartika, it is held after Sandhya Rosha Homa :
alati. Sometimes, it is held after Sakala dhupa The time is between 8.00 A.M. to 8.30
and on certain festive days like Sri Gundicha A.M. Homa (oblation to the fire) is performed
yatra, Bahuda yatra, Niladrimahodayastami, in the Rosha ghara (sacred kitchen) of the
Nrusinghajanma, Dhulia Gundicha, Kartika deities. Thereafter, that fire is used in all the
Sukla Ekadasi (Lakshmi-Narayana vesa), chulis (hearths) for cooking the food for deities.
Kartika Sukla Chaturdasi (Lakshmi-Nrusingha This niti is performed by Pujapanda sevaka. It
vesa) and during anavasara, there is no is said that previously Deula Purohitas were
provision of Sahanamela at all. It is generally performing this niti. The other sevakas engaged
held to enable the common people to go near in this niti are Dhopakhalia and Nikapa.
the ratnavedi in the garbhagriha to have a close Generally, Rosha Homa and Besalagi nitis are
Orissa Review * June - 2006
performed simultaneously. It is worth cocoanuts. The offerings are made at Anasara
mentioning that on account of this Rosha ghara, pindi / Ballabha pindi which is the place
the Temple may be described as the biggest between the Kalahata dwara and the Bhitara
hotel on this earth. It can feed even one lakh katha in the Mukhasala. It may be mentioned
persons per day. The method of preparation is that Kalahata dwara/Kalaghata dwara/Chhamu
very hygienic and the traditional processes of dwara is the dwara or entrance/door between
food preparation for many people in a very the Garbhagriha and the Mukhasala/porch.
short time take many by utter surprise. Three Pujapandas perform this niti in a brief
Surya puja (worship of Sun God) : manner with Pancha upacharas only. Pancha
upacharas or five upacharas refers to
Surya puja is performed in the Bhitara (1) Gandha (Chandana), (2) Pushpa (flower),
bedha (inner enclosure) near the Mukti (3) Dhupa (incense), (4) Dipa (lamp) and
Mandapa. For this niti presence of the Naivedya (food). Other sevakas associated
following sevakas namely (1) Pujapanda, with this niti are (1) Sudu Suara, (2) Ballabha
(2) Suarabadu, (3) Patribadu, (4) Garabadu and Jogania, (3) Suarabadu, (4) Patribadu,
(5) Ghatuari are required. (5) Garabadu, (6) Palia Mahasuara,
Dwarapala puja : (7) Pradhani and (8) some Temple officials. It
is worth mentioning that the deities change their
It means worship of the dwarapalas or
dress at each meal and after each meal pana
guardian deities who are divine gatekeepers at
(betel nuts) are offered to them as a part of the
the Jaya Vijaya dwara which is the entrance/
door between the Mukhasala/porch and the
Natamandapa of the Temple. This puja is Sakala dhupa (morning meal):
performed by a Pujapanda sevaka. It means morning food offerings. The
Gopala Ballabha Bhoga : word dhupa is commonly used in the Temple
The word bhoga in Oriya and Sanskrit to mean the offering of a bhoga to the deities
means enjoyment. This word is commonly especially Sakala Dhupa (morning meal),
used in Orissa in the context of food offerings Madhyahna Dhupa (midday meal) and
made to the deities in the Temple. Every day Sandhya Dhupa (evening meal) when the nitis
and through out the year, fifty-six varieties of performed are a little elaborate. It is worth
dishes (Chhappan bhogas) are prepared and mentioning that alati is offered at the end of
offered to the deities. Apart from this, several each Dhupa. The prescribed time is about
other varieties of dishes are also prepared and 10.00 A.M. in the morning. This bhoga is
offered on the occasion of different festivals. known as Kotha Bhoga or Raja Bhoga.
Similarly, on specific occasions, special drinks Previously, the Raja (Superintendent of the
are also offered to the deities. The prescribed Temple) used to bear the entire cost of materials
time of this niti is about 9.00 A.M. in the for preparation of this Bhoga. At present, the
morning. This may be termed as the morning cost is shouldered by the Temple
breakfast of the deities, which consists of khai Administration after the Temple was taken over
(sweet popcorn), kora (coconut sweets), khua by the Government. All the raw materials like
laddu, ripe banana, curd and chipped rice, wheat, ghee, sugar, fuel, kudua (earthen
Orissa Review * June - 2006
pot), vegetables etc. required for the cooking The food is simply called Prasad when
of bho gas are supplied by the Temple it is offered to the deities. But after certain nitis
Administration. Three Pujapandas perform the performed in the Bimala temple, this very
Bhoga puja with Sodasa upacharas which Prasad becomes Mahaprasad. The bhoga after
means that the puja has 16 aspects namely being offered to the deities is re-offered to
(1) Asana (seat of image), (2) Swagata goddess Bimala and then it becomes
(welcome), (3) Padya (water for washing the Mahaprasad (Maa+Prasad). Thus, Bimala
feet), (4) Arghya (offering of flower, chandana temple plays an important role in giving
etc.), (5) Achamanya (water for sipping), extraordinary religious and spiritual sanctity
(6) Madhuparka (ghee, Madhu or honey, khira to the food offered to the deities. In this regard,
or milk, dahi or curd offered in silver or brass there is a beautiful story. After the construction
vessel), (7) Achamaniya, (8) Snana (bathing), of the main Temple and before installation of
(9) Bastra (clothes), (10) Avarana (jewels), the deities in it Goddess Bimala was occupying
(11) Gandha (scent and chandana), (12) Pushpa this Temple during that intervening period.
(flower), (13) Dhupa (incense stick), (14) Dipa When the deities arrived there, they had to
(lamp), (15) Naivedya (food) and (16) Vandana obtain permission from Bimala to enter into
(namaskara or prayer). This puja is performed the Temple. She allowed the deities to occupy
in the garbhagriha. Three Pujapandas worship the Ratnavedi on the condition that the bhoga
three deities respectively. But the Pujapanda of Jagannath after being offered to them each
who worships Jagannath also worships Sridevi, time every day has to be re-offered to her. As
Bhudevi and Sudarsana. Nilamadhava is not per the condition agreed upon, the Prasad of
worshipped separately, as he is considered to the deities is again offered to Bimala in each
be identical with Jagannath. It is worth session and then only the same Prasad becomes
mentioning that there are seven images seated Mahaprasad. The glories of Mahaprasad have
on the Ratnavedi. After bhoga, the same is been described in the Padma Purana and the
distributed as Khei (dues) among the sevakas Bhagavata Purana . It is believed that instant
of the day including the Gajapati Maharaja. liberation is achieved by taking Mahaprasad.
The following sevakas namely (1) Pujapanda, So, it is also called Kaibalya. It is worth
(2) Suarabadu, (3) Paniapata, (4) Pradhani, mentioning that while eating of cooked food
(5) Pratihari, (6) Palia Mahasuara, is prohibited on sacred tithis (days) like Ekadasi
(7) Pantibadu, (8) Garabadu, (9) Rosha Paika, (eleventh day of the fortnight), Sankranti and
(10) Palia Patri, (11) Changada Mekapa,
during upabasa (religious fasting) etc, there is
(12) Muduli, (13) Chandana Ghatuari,
absolutely no restriction in taking Mahaprasad
(14) Palia Mekapa, (15) Palia Khuntia,
on these occasions. Sakala dhupa consists of
(16) Hadapa Naika, (17) Bidia Jogania,
Kanika (sweet rice), Khechudi, Dali, vegetable
(18) Sudusuara, (19) Gochhikara,
curries, saga (green leaves), pitha (cakes) etc.
(20) Dakshinighara Pratihari, (21) Ghantua,
Various preparations of black gram like Bada
(22) Baijayantri, (23) Dhukudidwara Pratihari,
Kanti, Sana Kanti, Mathapuli, Hamsapuli,
etc., are engaged in this niti. After Bhoga puja,
Kakatua Jhili, Ada Pachedi, Saga, Khechudi,
alati is offered to the deities. This is known as
Pithapuli, Bundia Khiri etc. are offered to the
Sakala dhupa alati, which is offered by the
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Mailama and Bhoga Mandapa Bhoga: dhupa/Madhyahna dhupa. On certain
The prescribed time is about 11.00 A.M. occasions, Bhoga mandapa puja is also
in the morning. After Sakala dhupa, the deities performed twice or thrice a day i.e. after Sakala
change their clothes and again puja takes place dhupa, Madhyahna dhupa and Sandhya dhupa
in Bhoga Mandapa, a place behind the Garuda to meet the high demand of pilgrims and as
stambha of the Nata mandira. Huge quantity per the necessity of Mahaprasad.
of bhoga such as rice, dal, curries, cakes of Madhyahna dhupa (mid-day meal):
different kinds, saga etc. is offered to the
The time is between 12.30 P.M. to 1.00
deities. Pujapandas perform Bhogapuja with
P.M. in the afternoon. Three Pujapanda sevakas
Pancha upacharas only as discussed earlier. The
Temple Administration does not bear the cost perform the Bhoga puja in the Pokharia (the
of this bhoga. Traditionally, this bhoga is space around the Ratnavedi in t he
offered in order to provide sufficient Garbhagriha) with Sodasa upacharas in the
Mahaprasad to different Mathas (monasteries), same manner as in the Sakala dhupa. This time
other institutions and private individuals who the bhoga items are more in number than that
eat Mahaprasad as their principal meal. In of Sakala dhupa. The same categories of
other words, the Suaras (authorized cooks) of sevakas as in the Sakala dhupa are engaged in
the Temple prepare sufficient quantities of food this niti. As it has been noted earlier,
in the Rosha ghara on commercial basis for Madhyahna alati is offered to the deities by
pilgrims and others. It would not be out of place the Pujapanda sevakas after the Madhyahna
to mention that one should be pure in mind dhupa.
and body while taking Mahaprasad. No Madhyahna Pahuda :
outside food is taken along with it. As a mark
of utmost regards to Mahaprasad it is taken After the Madhyahnna Dhupa, the deities
by sitting on the floor. Care is also taken to see enjoy a siesta, called Pahuda. It is worth
that the water does not fall on the feet when mentioning that if nitis have been performed
hands are washed after eating Mahaprasad. It in time and if time permits, then only the deities
is not an exaggeration to mention that retire for afternoon nap. Kalahatadwara /
Mahaprasad is free from caste discrimination Kalaghatadwara, Jaya Bijaya dwara and
prevalent in orthodox Hindu society. Persons Beherana dwara / Dakshini dwara (south gate
belonging to all caste do partake Mahaprasad of the porch/Mukhasala) remain closed. This
from the same plate without any caste niti is performed generally between 1.00 P.M.
hesitation. The sevakas associated with this niti to 1.30 P.M. in the afternoon.
are (1) Pujapanda, (2) Mahasuara, (3) Suara, Sandhya Alati (evening lamp offering):
(4) Changda Mekapa, (5) Palia Mekapa,
(6) Palia Pushpalaka, (7) Bhoga Mandapa After opening of the doors, the Sandhya
Pratihari, (8) Suarabadu, (9) Khunt ia, alati is offered to the deities by the Taluchha
(10) Patribadu etc. On most of the days Bhoga and Palia Pushpalaka sevakas. If there is no
Mandapa puja is normally performed once a Madhyahna Pahuda, then the Sandhya alati is
day after Sakala dhupa. But on festive offered after the Madhyahna dhupa and after
occasions, it is performed after the Dwipahara the change of clothes.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Sandhya dhupa (evening meal): Suarabadu, Ghatuari, Muduli, Palia Mekapa,
The time for this niti is between 7.00 Palia Padhiari, Garabadu, Hadapa Naika and
P.M. to 8.00 P.M. in the evening. The puja Palia Khuntia.
upacharas and manners i.e. Sodasa upacharas Badasinghara Besa:
are similar to that of Sakala dhupa. The items After chandanalagi, the deities are
of this Dhupa are mostly Pakhala (watered dressed up again which is known as
rice), pitha (cake). It includes varieties of Badasinghara besa. This time they wear
puddings; confections and delicacies called Baralagi pata (silken robes). Some portion of
Kanla puli, Takua, Mathapuli, Bhogapitha, the Gitagovinda of Jayadeva is woven into the
Gotali, Kakara, Amalu, Jhadeineda, Kadamba texture of these robes. The deities wear flower,
and Subasa Pakhala. After this Bhoga puja, flower garlands and floral headgear. This besa
again alati called Sandhya dhupa alati is is very attractive to look at. It is worth
performed by the Pujapanda sevakas. This alati mentioning that Jagannath Ballabha Matha
is also known as Jaya Mangala alati. supplies flower ornaments like Tilaka and
Sahanamela (public darsan of the deities): Jhumpa for this besa of the deities. Similarly,
As per the provision sahanamela is the Emar Matha supplies Chandrika and
arranged thereafter. Nowadays, Sandhya dhupa Chausara, made of flowers for this besa of the
very often takes place at a very late hour at deities.
night on account of the delayed performance Badasinghara Dhupa:
of nitis, and consequently sahanamela at that This is the last bhoga of the day offered
late hour is ignored. As it has been mentioned around 11.00 P.M. at night. For this, bhoga
above, this is free darsan when no body is puja is performed by the Pujapanda sevakas
required to pay any fee for going into the following the principle of Pancha upacharas,
Garbhagruha (sanctum). Excepting at the sitting on the floor down the Ratnavedi. This
scheduled time of sahanamela, no pilgrim is time the quantity of bhoga is much less and
allowed to enter into the Bhitara Pokharia or the items are Pakhala and Kanji, some fries
Garbhagriha without payment of proper like Kadalibada and sweets like khiri.
Paramanika fees. Thus, the pilgrims are Thereafter, the Badasinghara Dhupa alati is
offered an opportunity of sahanamela or offered to the deities by the Pujapanda sevakas.
sarbasadharana darsan of deities in the
evening hour also. If there is no sahanamela, Khata Sejalagi and Pahuda:
then the subsequent niti called Mailama The time of this niti is around 12.00 at
follows. mid-night when the bedsteads of the deities are
Mailama and Chandanalagi : arranged. The Pushpalaka sevakas carry the
idols of Sayana Thakura from Bhandara ghara
This time the deities change their clothes to Ratnavedi and place the idols near Jagannath.
and anointed with chandana mixed with This is a metallic conjoined idol of Purusa
camphor, kesara and kasturi. This niti is (Vishnu) and Prakruti (Lakshmi). Then follows
performed by the Pushpalaka sevakas. Other offering of Paida (green coconaut), pana
sevakas needed at the time of this niti are (betelnuts) and camphor alati to deities. It
Orissa Review * June - 2006
would not be out of context to mention that Temple police, officials and sevakas keep
Bada Chhata Matha performs Kirtana at the watch at night.
time of Pahuda alati offered by the Pushpalaka In brief, this is the dainandina nitis (daily
sevakas. Earlier, at the time of alati, the Bhitara rituals) observed in the Temple. It is usually
gayani, a Temple Devadasi (lady sevika) used not possible to follow the time prescribed for
to sing devotional songs from the Gitagovinda each niti because of various practical
standing at the Kalahata dwara. Presently, this difficulties. As per the tradition, unless a
seva has been discontinued after her death. particular niti is performed, the next one cannot
Thereafter, Sayana Thakura is taken to the Jaya take place. As a result of this, punctuality
Bijaya dwara where paida, pana, pushpa and fluctuates to ensure attendance of various
camphor alati are offered to Sayana Thakura. categories of sevakas required for a particular
Thereafter, the idol is taken to the bedstead of niti. Also, on specific festive days, additional
Jagannath and then to the Bhandaraghara. nitis are performed. Accordingly, changes in
Thus, the deities retire to their beds, after which timings and alterations in the routine nitis are
follows sealing of locks on the Kalahata dwara, made.
Jaya Bijaya dwara and Dakshina/Beherana
dwara. Taluchha Mahapatra puts the seal. The
Temple premises are vacated of sevakas and Sarmistha Pasayat lives at Qrs.No. VA-24/2, Unit-II,
visitors, which is called sodha. Only a few Bhubaneswar.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Sri Jagannath Temple at Puri - An
In the later half of the 7th Century, as the With the establishment of the temple type
surviving examples show, the temple structure by about the 8th century A.D. the people
in its medieval aspect was beginning to assume proceeded to embark on an era of temple
a prescribed form. building.
The principal architectural features of the Orissa, a land of many holy shrines,
temple are as follows : Through out the greater famous for the divine powers of the deities
part of the country, the sanctuary as a whole is occupying them, for the artistic embelishments,
known as the Vimana of which the upper and the architectural skill and sculptural richness,
pyramidal or tapering portion is called the occupies her rightful place. The present capital
Sikhara, meaning tower or spire. Inside the widely known to art-lovers the world over as
Vimana is a small and generally dark chamber the 'Temple City' was a Laboratory for daring
or cella for the reception of the divine symbol. innovations and bo ld experiments in
This cella is the Garbhagriha and is to be architecture and temple designing in the period
entered by a doorway on its inner and usually from the 8th to the 13th century A.D. Surviving
eastern side. In front of the doorway is a specimens o f temples here mark the
pillared hall or mandapa. Some of the earlier evolutionary stages through which temples
temples indicate the mandapa as a detached have passed. Milestones in architectural
building isolated from the sanctuary by definite ingenuity have been left behind in temples like
open space as in the Kailashanatha temple at the Mukteswar, the Rajarani and the Lingaraj
Canjeevaram and built about 700 A.D. A little temples itself. However it is only in the
later it became the custom to unite the two Jagannath temple at Puri that Orissan genius
buildings, thus forming an intermediate has blossomed more fully. The genius also
chamber or vestibule called antarala. Leading shines best at Konark, which shows art par
upto the main hall or mandapa is a porch or excellence.
ardha-mandapa while there may be a transept "The Jagannath temple surmounts a
on each side of this central hall known as the mound 20' high called Nilagiri. As the whole
Mahamandapa. The most complete of the mound is now covered by building, I
illustrations of the fully formed and coordinated could not ascertain whether the eminence is
temple structure are the 10th Century examples due to a sand-ridge, or the rubbish of the ancient
at Khajuraho. Buddhist structure over which the present
Orissa Review * June - 2006
temple has been built" - (The Antiquities of of the Konark Temple complex but was
Orissa by R.L. Mitra Vol.II). The outer walls, brought to Puri by the Marathas.
Meghanada Prachira, enclose an area of 665' The four gateways lead to flights of stairs
x 644' (R.L.Mitra). They are build of dressed leading to the inner enclosure. The eastern gate
laterites, thickness of walls uniform, but the leads to the famous twenty-two steps popularly
height varies from 20' - 24' because of variation known as the 'Baisi Pahacha'. At the top of
in ground level. the flight of stairs are double walls eleven feet
Four gates mark the outer walls, which apart. The exact function of a double wall is
were perhaps added about three centuries after not clear but it was either intended to fill up
the construction of the main temple, during the the space between them with hard earth to form
reign of Purusottama Deva apprehending a solid compact wall, or to allow defending
foreign aggression. The eastern gate, the soldiers to move freely around the boundary
Simhadvara is the main gate leading from the without exposing their body.
Badadanda. The gateway is guarded by two The main temple, and also most other
imposing lions in a crouching position. On the lesser temples are located in the inner enclosure
side pilasters of the door there are a couple of measuring 420' x 315'.
statues of guards, Jaya and Vijaya by name.
The Vimana or the main temple rises
The gateway breaks the monotony of the from a plinth measuring 80' square. The
walls mounted by battlements and is a square Vimana rises in a sheer perpendicular to a
structure with a pyramidal roof. The door height of 35' above the plinth after which it
frames are of black chorite 'Muguni', richly curves inward. The stonework rises to a height
carved in bands. Doors are made of heavy sal of 192'. (In comparison the Lingaraj Temple
wood ? The other doors though built on the of Bhubaneswar rises to a height of 160' on a
same plan are not as grandiose and rightly square base of 66'). The body of the temple
carved. The norhern gate is guarded by a has been covered with a liberal coat of lime
couple of elephants mounted by mahounts, mortar that masks the details of rich carvings.
'Hastidvara'. The southern gateway is guarded It is only now being unmasked for a general
by horses 'Asvadvara'. The western gate had view though the presence of rich carvings
no special guardian and is known as the underneath the lime mortar was known as early
'Khanjaduara' which would mean it was as R.L. Mitra's survey of the Temple. Temple
intended to be a service entrance. Records mention the first thorough repairs to
Aruna Stambha - Sun Pillar have been carried out in the reign of the Surya
It is a monolithic pillar of black chlorite, Vamsi king Prataparudra. The temple was
'plastered and whitewashed'.
set on a pedestal of the same material 7'9"
square and 6' high. The pedestal is richly carved Basing their opinions on the plain look
and are of unsurpassable beauty. The pillar of the Jagannath temple many European art
itself, is a sixteen - sided pillar being 25' 2" critics, including Stirling and Fergussan speak
high from the pedestal to the bottom of the of a general decadence in the art of sculpture
capital. The capital itself is 2'6" high and is in Orissa during the period, the Jagannath
surmounted by a squatting Garuda. The total temple was built. Yet strangely the Sun temple
height from the ground level to the top of the at Konark built only fifty years later and
capital is 33'8". This was originally a portion twentyfive miles away bears ample and rich
Orissa Review * June - 2006
testimony to the undying art traditions of the decorated with delicate sculptures. The body
region. of the structure above the plinth is 15'6" high
The Jagamohana or the porch also rests and also bears a superabundance of rich
on a plinth 80' square 6' high. Its body rises carvings, on red standstone. The door frames
on either side of the doorway are of green
vertically to a height of 31'6" after which there
chlorite luxuriously adorned with delicately
is overhanging cornice projecting nearly 5' from
chiselled carvings. Two pilasters support a red
the wall. The cornice was originally totally
sandstone architrave bearing the Navagraha.
unsupported but after some damage to the
Contrasting the richness and profusion of the
cornice R.L. Mitra has referred to some repairs
exterior, the interior is spartan in its plainness
and re-enforcements with mild steel rail and
and is devoid of any attempt to relieve the
wrought iron architraves, which may be seen
monotony of the bare walls, save the four
even today. The Jagamohana is split into a
pillars suporting the wall. The roof of the
central nave and two aisles by solid square
Bhogamandapa is pyramidal in shape made
pillars. The walls at their thickest are 18'. It
of overlapping stones. There is a covered
has four doorways one towards the sanctum
passageway connecting the Bhogamandapa
14'4"x8'10", one to the south 13'8" x 6'6", one
with the kitchen complex so that offerings
towards the Natamandapa in the east 14' x 7'
cooked in the kitchen may be brought to the
and the fourth towards the north.
Bhogamandapa by the Lord's servants without
The Natamandapa or the Dancing Hall being defiled by unwanted touch. As a
belongs to a much later age than the main reassembled structure it is remarkable for lack
temple and the porch. While the exterior of any physical evidence showing its
measure 80' square, the interior measures 69' dislocation from the original site quite a
x 67'. Four rows of plain, square pillars divide distance away.
it into a central nave and two aisles. The pillars It is not possible to discuss the other
bordering the nave are 4' square and 16'8" high. temples within the inner enclosure of the
The two rows of pillars dividing the two aisles Jagannath temple complex. That they throw
on either side are squares of 3'6" and rise only many interesting sidelights goes without
12'8". While the length of the nave and the saying. The main temple complex i.e., the
aisles is 69' the nave is 16' wide, the aisles near Vimana, Jagamohana, Natamandapa and the
to it are 10'6" wide and the Natamandapa are Bhogamandapa, in t heir own right as
generally bare of any art or decoration, though architectural specimens have few parallels in
of late pattachitra type of paintings have been India. A complete removal of plaster which
made on the eastern walls. shields the sculpture, rich or otherwise, from
The Bhogamandapa was originally a the critical gaze of art historians and scholars,
part of the Konark temple complex. It was is in good progress. If the specimen of the
dismantled and reassembled by the Marathas Lingaraj temple built before it, and the Sun
in the 18th century. The Bhogamandapa or the temple built after it provide any indices, they
Hall of Offerings is the eastern most structure cannot but be truly remarkable.
of the main temple complex. Though almost a
square like the other structures, it is smaller in
size and measures only 58' x 56' and strides a The author was a student of Ancient History &
Archaeology and is presently working as Manager, State
plinth 7'6" high. The plinth is profusely Bank of India (Main Branch), Cuttack.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Jagannath : The Epitome of Supreme
In the comological trinity, Visnu is the name representations show him sleeping above the
given to the cohesive or centripetal tendency. Ocean on the coils of the Serpent Remainder
All that in the universe tends toward a centre, (Sesa-naga) or standing with four arms and a
toward more concentration and more cohesion. number of attributes as the ruler of Sattva, the
More existence, more reality, all that tends cohesive or centripetal tendency.
toward light, toward truth, is the Visnu The worship of Visnu or Vaisnava cult
tendency. Visnu pervades all existence, hence was prevalent in Orissa long before the advent
He is known as the of Shri Chaitanya. The
Pervader. The name 9th-10th century grants
Visnu comes from the of Dandi Mahadevi and
root visir, which means Tribhuvana Mahadevi,
"to spread in all two renowned queens
directions," to pervade. of the Bhauma Dynasty,
As the inner cohesion tell that they were great
through which followers of Vishnu.
everything exists Visnu Shrimad Bhagavata
dwells in everything, had already been
owns everything, defeats translated into Oriya
the power of before Shri Chaitanya
destructio n." He is came to Orissa. With the
Visnu, he overcomes all. rule of Chodaganga
All the qualities Deva in 1078, Orissa
and attributes which are also came in contact
inherent in the nature of the pervader and which with the Alvar School of Vaishnavas. Rai
are found in his mainfestations are simbolized Ramananda was a learned Vaishnava poet who
by the different qualities and attributes of his flourished even before Shri Chaitanya came
image. The significance of the icon of Visnu is to Orissa.
explained in the Puranas and several minor The Padma Purana describes twenty-
Upanisads. The t wo most common four epithets of Vishnu (Kesava, Narayana,
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Madhava, Govinda, Visnu, Madhusudana, have been found and exacavated in the valley
Tribikrama, Vamana, Sridhara, Hrisikesa, of the river Prachi not far from Puri.
Padmanabha, Damodara, Sankarsana, In the beginning of the present millenium
Vasudeva, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, therefore when the worshippers of Jagannath
Purusottama, Adhoksaja, Narasimha, Achyuta, felt the necessities to explain to themselves and
Janardana, Upendra, Hari, Krisna). others this strange form and wooden character
In Orissa, Narayana, Madhava and of their deity, they naturally thought first of
Krisna forms of Visnu have gained immense Nilamadhava which was the most common
adoration. And all these forms have been form of Vishnu in those days. Initially the Lord
symbolized in the form of Lord Jagannath. was worshipped by Viswavasu, a Chief of the
Lord Jagannath has been undoubtedly taken Sabara race. Bidyapati, a Brahmin emissary
as the epitome of Supreme Lord Visnu. of king Indradyumna of Malava wanted to have
a darsan of the Lord. He discovered the Lord.
He is the beloved Krisna Gopinath, He
But the Lord vanished and a divine voice was
is Madhava, and He is Purusottama. He is the heard to the king that the Lord would now no
outcome of many shapings and reshapings by more be visible to the peo ple in his
the religious cross-currents of this land. Nilamadhava form which was appropriate only
The peculiar iconography of the wooden for the golden age of humanity (Krtayuga) but
images of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra would instead assume a new shape more
with their thick and massive heads and stumps suitable to the prevailing time to be worshipped
emerging out of the middle of the head; devoid as a deity made of wood.
totally of the legs, speaks of its tribal origin Why the wooden images of Jagannath
and character even to a layman. Long after the etc. have exactly these peculiar and uncommon
total integration of the Jagannath figures into features, has also been explained either as the
Hinduism, their iconography persistently will of Visnu who himself appeares as
reminded the people of their origin. carpenter to fashion the images or as a result
During the period when the wooden of the uncalled for curiosity of Gundicha, the
image or images of Jagannath were accepted legendary queen of Indradyumna, who opened
in the Hiduistic fold, the most popular Visnu the doors of the Carpenter's Workshop after
images in Orissa were those of Madhava, who the lapse of fourteen days whereas they were
was also known as Nilamadhava, since those to remain shut up for three weeks, an act which
images were carved out of the black chlorite - offended the divine carpenter so much that he
black or blue being the body hue of Vishnu. disappeared leaving the work unfinished.
Madhava, (as it is said earlier) is a standing The effort to explain the strange form
form of Vishnu with four arms in which he and unusual substance (wood) of Jagannath
holds (beginning from the upper left) a conch, which at no stage seem to have just been taken
a mace, a lotus (in Orissa, however, this lower for granted is the beginning of the speculations,
right mostly displays the varada-mudra) and not only about the origin of Jagannath, but also
a discuss respectively. A number of such about his true nature. Leaving aside here the
images belonging to the 8th - 10th centuries question, how this woo den image was
Orissa Review * June - 2006
identified with Visnu, we may recall that who became the son of Devaki in the Dvapara
Jagannath has very often been characterized Yug not the other way round.
as the Buddha incarnation of Visnu in the That Jagannath is the avatari from whom
Orissan literary tradition. Sarala Das, (first half all the ten avataras have emanated is
of the 15th century A.D.) refers to this propagated vigorously in the 17th century also
identification several times in his Odia by the poet Dinakrusna Das in his work
Mahabharata. This tradition persisted and 'Rasakallola' and especially by Divakara Das
flourished in the works of the Panchasakha in his Jagannath Charitamrita who declares
(beginnng of 16th century A.D.) and others. Krisna to be only the 16th part (one Kant) of
Buddha is not the only form of Visnu, Lord Jagannath.
with whom Jagannath is identified. There are Kavindra Upendra Bhanja, the greatest
sufficient evidences in the cult practices to of the Oriya poets, writting in the second half
show that atleast in a certain phase of his of the 18th century, describes the images of
development, Jagannath has really been Jagannath etc. as shapelss, devoid of form
considered as identical with Narasimha, the being the svarupa of Visnu. Jagannath, to him,
man-lion. The Purusottama Mahatmya of represents the Nirguna (non-qualified) form of
Skanda Purana for example, mentions God.
Narasimha as a combined form of all the three
deities, Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. Thus the development of the concept of
Jagannath is also the history of the development
It was the Krisna incarnation, however, of philosophical speculations in Orissa.
which was to succeed in the end partially due
to the reason that, the cult of Krisna became Book References :
increasingly popular in the beginning of 11th 1. Nandita Krishna - The Art and Iconography of
and 12th centuries in Bengal and Orissa owing Vishnu Narayana, Publisher - D.B Taraporevala
to the tremendous influence of Bhagavata Sons & Co. Pvt. Ltd, Bombay, 1980
Purana. Latest by 1250 A.D. there stood three 2. T.A. Gopinatha Rao - Elements of Hindu
images in the temple of Puri, which were Iconography, Vol - 1, Part I & II, Publisher -
Motilal Banarasi Das, Jawahar Nagar, New
identified with Krisna, his elder brother
Delhi - 7, 1968
Balarama and their sister Ekanamsa. The
identification of Jagannath with Krisna was so 3. Kamapala Das, Matsya Purana, Ed. by Balaram
Das, Nityananda Pustakalaya, Cuttack, 1955
popular that Sarala Das was inspired to evolve
an interesting story about the material 4. Kamapala Das, Vishnu Purana, Edward Press,
identificat ion of t he wooden image of Cuttack, 1915.
Jagannath with the dead body of Krisna.
Gradually, the relationship between
Krisna and Jagannath was changed. The Oriya
poet Karttika Das, writing a little later in the Jayanti Rath is the Curator-in-charge, Numismatics
same 16th century, tells us that it was Jagannath Section, Orissa State Museum, Bhubaneswar-14.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Beshas of Deities
In Oriya and Sanskrit, the word Besha means and uttariya. This besha is done everyday after
dress or adornment. It is a very common feature Mangala Alati for the abakasa rituals.
observed in all the temples that the deities are
2. Badasrungorara Badasinghara
dressed and decorated in suitable manner.
Besha : This besha is usually made of different
Similarly, every day from the Mangala Alati
types and colours of flowers. Deities are
to Ratri Pahuda, the deities on the Ratnavedi
decorated with flower ornaments like Adhara,
of Shri Jagannath Temple, Puri wear and enjoy
Jhumpa, Gava, Chandrika, Tilaka, Alaka,
different types of dresses, which include Suta
bastra (cotton) and Pata bastra (silken clothes) Guna, Hruda pallava, Kara pallava, Tadaki and
namely Tadapa, Uttariya, Paharana, Phuta, a number of flower garlands. Most of these
Srikapada/Sirkapada, Baralagi-pata(set), are prepared with leaves of tulasi. Deities wear
Srimukhabala, Chandanaguda, Chadara and Pata bastra (silk clothes) known as Khandua.
gold ornaments studded with precious stones, Extract from the famous Sanskrit work the
flower ornaments, Tulasi leaves, Chandana, Gitagovinda of the most celebrated poet
camphor and musk etc. Flower ornaments Jayadeva is found woven in the texture of this
namely Kara pallaba, Kundala, Tadagi, Khandua. This is the last besha of the deities
Chandrika, Gava, Alaka, Tilaka, Jhumpa, done everyday before the night Pahuda i.e.
Nakuasi, Dayana, Adharamala, Makara closing of the doors when the deities retire to
kundala, Sripayara mala, Hrudaya pallaba, beds. It is worth mentioning that on the
Kali padaka, Kaustubha padaka, Chausara following early morning Mangala Alati is
Mala and Guna etc. are made out of different offered to the deities when they are in this
types of flowers, leaves of tulasi, banana, besha.
panasa etc. In this article, a few important 3. Chandana Besha: The word chandana
beshas of the deities are briefly discussed means sandalwood. The sweet scented paste
of this wood is applied to the body of the deities
1. Abakasa or Tadapa Uttari Besha: in the month of Baisakha and Jyeshtha. This
Abakasa means the brushing of teeth and besha is done for 42 days during Chandana
bathing rituals of the deities. The clothes, which yatra beginning from Akhsya Trutiya tithi.(third
are worn for this purpose, are known as tadapa day of bright fortnight of Baisakha).
Orissa Review * June - 2006
4. Rukmini Harana Besha: On Jyeshtha 8. Chitalagi Besha : The word Chita
Sukla Ekadasi tithi (the 11th day of bright means decoration of forehead with special
Jyeshtha), Krushna had married Rukmini. materials like chandana, musk and gorachana
Therefore, on this day Jagannath wears a etc. But in Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri three
suitable dress to look like a bridegroom. magnificent Chitas (ornaments of t he
5. Ganapati or Hati Besha : On Snana foreheads) made of gold, diamond, sapphire
Purnima tithi (the full moon day in Jyeshtha), and emerald are put on the three principal
the bathing ceremony of the deities is observed deities on Sravana Amabasya. Connected with
on the Snanavedi. Thereafter, the deities are this is the decoration of Rahu Rekha. It is also
dressed like Ganesa who bears the head of an an ornament of the head. This is removed from
elephant (Hati). Lord Jagannath and the head of the deities on the day of Snana
Balabhadra appear like Ganesa or black and Purnima and is again put on in the month of
white elephants respectively. Sravana.
6. Naba Jaubana Besha : Immediately
after the day of Snana Purnima, the deities
remain secluded for 15 days. On the eve of
the Ratha Yatra they are gorgeously dressed
and decorated and give darsan to the visitors.
They put on very charming robes and look like
persons at the commencement of their youth
7. Suna Besha : Suna besha takes place
on Asadha Sukla Ekadasi tithi (the 11th day of 9. Banabhoji Besha: It is done on
the bright fortnight in Asadha, when the deities Bhadraba Krushna Dasami (the 10th day of
are brought back from Sri Gundicha temple to the dark fortnight in Bhadraba). The deities are
the Singha dwara of the Shri Jagannath Temple. dressed like cowherd boys, as if they are going
Deities are dressed in this besha when they are to attend a picnic.
still in their respective Rathas (chariots). They 10. Kaliyadalana Besha: On Bhadraba
are decorated with different types of gold Krushna Ekadasi tithi (the 11th day of the dark
ornaments like gold diadems, hands and feet
fortnight in Bhadraba), Jagannath is dressed
made of gold and the like. Jagannath holds a
like Krushna killing the Kaliya serpent. As per
gold Chakra (Disc) in his right hand and a silver
the Puranic lore, Kaliya was the venomous
Sankha (conch) in his left hand. Balabhadra
serpent/vipor living in Jamuna river. It was a
holds a gold Hala (plough) in his left hand and
source of great danger to the people and
a gold Gada (mace) in his right hand. This
Krushna had killed it. This besha takes place
besha is also known as Bada Tadhau Besha
to remind this Puranic incident. The actual
and Raja Besha. This besha is also done on the
days like Dasahara, Kartika Purnima and Pousa scene of killing Kaliya is usually dramatized
Purnima (Pushyabhiseka Besha). in the sacred tank of Markanda in the Puri town.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
11. Pralambasurabadha Besha: It is done connotes that half of his body is Bishnu and
on Bhadraba Krushna Dwadasi tithi (the 12th the other half is Siva.
day of the dark fortnight in Bhadraba), when 16. Thiakia Besha or Lakshmi-Narayana
Balabhadra is dressed as if killing the demon Besha : This besha is done on Kartika Sukla
Pralambasura. According to the Puranic story, Ekadasi tithi (the 11th day of the bright fortnight
Pralamba was a demon who was killed by in Kartika). It is said that the worship of
Balarama. So, Balabhadra wears this besha. Lakshmi and Narayana has gained popularity
12. Krushna - Balarama Besha: This in this Temple since the visit of Ramanuja to
besha is done on Bhadraba Krushna Trayodasi Puri.
tithi (the 13th day of the dark fortnight in 17. Bankachula Besha : This besha is done
Bhadraba). Jagannath is dressed like Krushna on Kartika Sukla Dwadasi tithi (the 12th day
and Balabhadra is dressed like Balarama. This of the bright fortnight in Kartika). This is
besha attests the deep impact of Krushna cult similar to that of Lakshmi-Narayana besha with
in the Shri Jagannath Temple, Puri. This is also addition of golden headgear.
known as Giri Gobardhana besha, which
reminds us the lifting up of the mountain
Govardhana by Krushna.
13. Bali-Bamana Besha : On Bhadraba
Sukla Dwadasi tithi (the 12th day of the bright
fortnight in Bhadraba), Jagannath is dressed
like Bamana (dwarf). Notably, Bamana is the
fifth incarnation of Bishnu. According to the
Puranic story, Bishnu had appeared in the form
of a Bamana (dwarf) and through his ingenuity,
outwitted the demon king Bali and pushed him 18. Adakia Besha or Tribikram Besha:
down to the Patala (inferno or nether world) This besha is done on Kartika Sukla Trayodasi
with his foot. (the 13th day of the bright fortnight in Kartika).
14. Radha-Damodara Besha : This besha This is also called Tribikram besha.
takes place from Aswina Sukla Ekadasi tithi 19. Dalikia Besha or Lakshmi-Nrusingha
(the 11th day of the bright fortnight in Aswina) Besha: This besha is done on Kartika Sukla
to Kartika Sukla Dasami tithi (the 10th day of Chaturdasi tithi (the 14th day of the bright
the bright fortnight in Kartika). Radha is the fortnight of Kartika). This is also known as
female counter-part of Krushna who is Lakshmi-Nrusingha besha. This besha unfolds
otherwise also known as Damodara. the truth that the powerful Nrusingha cult is
15. Hari-Hara Besha : When the Radha- given due recognition and importance in this
Damodara besha of Jagannath continues, we Temple.
have the Hari-Hara besha of Balabhadra. In 20. Nagarjuna or Parasurama Besha :
this besha, half of the body of Balabhadra looks This besha is occasionally done in the month
blackish while the other half looks whitish. This of Kartika, when there are six days of
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Panchaka. Deities are dressed like warriors by the Badachhata Matha. This flower appear
on the extra day. In the recent past, this besha on earth from this month onwards. It is believed
was last done on 16-11-1994. The previous that the deities are dressed with this besha in
four dates were 26-11-1993, 03-11-1968, 16- order to perpetuate the memory of a devotee
11-1967 and 26-11-1966. who had brought the lotus flowers from a long
21. Ghodalagi Besha: During the period distance to decorate the deities. Pudding is
from Margasira Sukla Sasthi tithi (the 6th day offered to the deities when they are in this
of the bright fortnight in Margasira) to Magha besha. It is done on any Saturday or Wednesday
Sukla Panchami tithi (the 5th day of the bright between the new moon day of Magha and
fortnight in Magha i.e. Basanta Panchami), Basanta Panchami.
deities wear winter clothes. 25. Gaja Uddharana Besha: This besha is
22. Sraddha Besha: Jagannath puts on this done on Magha Purnami tithi (the full moon
besha in the month of Margasira for three days. day of Magha). This besha depicts a story in
Sraddha means the offerings made out of love. the Puranas as to how Bishnu saved a helpless
Such rites observed for the departed souls elephant from the clutches of a crocodile. At
(parents and forefathers) are called Sraddha. one time in the past, a crocodile attacked an
In the month of Margasira, Jagannath performs elephant. Finding no other way out to save his
the Sraddha in favour of Nanda, Basudeva and life, the helpless creature implored the mercy
Dasaratha. In Tretaya yuga, Bishnu was born of Bishnu. His prayer moved Bishnu to
as the eldest son of Dasaratha, the king of compassion and the latter hurled his chakra to
Ayodhya and was named Ramachandra. Again cut the attacking alligator into pieces. Jagannath
in the Dwapara yuga, his birth took place as who is identified with Bishnu wears this besha.
the son of Basudeva in a prison in Mathura, 26. Jamalagi Besha: From Basanta
wherefrom he was mysteriously taken out and Panchami (5th day of the bright fortnight in
delivered to Nanda, the king of Braja, who Magha) to Dola Purnami, (full moon day of
nourished him like his own son and came to Phalguna) deities wear modified Ghoda
be known as the second father of Krushna. (winter dress).
23. Chacheri Besha: In the month of Sevakas who are specially engaged for
Phalguna, Chacheri besha takes place. this purpose traditionally are called Pushpalaka
According to the age-old tradition prevailing or Singharis. They know the traditional ways
all over India, people play with phagu i.e. of dress and decorations.
coloured powder and throw this powder over
the friends and relatives. Jagannath is the best
representative of the people and he is also
shown as sharing the experiences of the people
by playing with red powder.
24. Padma Besha: Padma means lotus and
the dress materials for this besha are made of Sabita Barik and Shobha Barik lives at 151, Vijaya Vihar,
lotus flowers, which are traditionally supplied Nuagaon Road, Sisupalgarh, Bhubaneswar.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Sri Jagannath Temple : The Nerve Centre of
Dr. Janmejay Choudhury
Jagannath cult exercises unique influence over If Lord Jagannath was tribal in origin, at
the socio-religious-political life of Orissa. what stage and how was He metamorphosed
During the Ganga and Surya rules, Jagannath, into a Hinduised deity ? The legends regading
so to say, became the state deity. Jagannath the origin of Jagannath, which have been
cult is an amalgamation of diverse religious recorded in various sources such as
cults like tribal religion, Brahminical Mahabharat of Sarala Das, Deula Tola of
religion, Buddhism, Saivism, Saktism, Nilambar Das, Skanda Purana, Brahma
Tantricism and above all Vaishnavism. Purana, Narada Purana, Padma Purana, Kapila
Lord Jagannath holds a unique Samhita etc. suggest the tribal as well as
place not only in the history of Brahminical links of the deity in the initial state.
Orissa, but also in the lives of its According to Sarala Das's Mahabharat, the
people. To the millions of the dead body of Lord Krishna,
Hindus of Orissa, Jagannath is transformed into wooden form,
their nearest kith and kin. But landed at the Puri sea shore.
the origin of Lord Jagannath, Jara Sabara, an aborigine,
the presiding deity of the
picked it up and
holy city Puri, around
whom the religious life of
S u b s e q u e n t l y,
Orissa has evolved from
hoary past has been shrouded in
king of Somavansa, got
myths and legend. Analysing the
three wooden images made out
legendary association of Jagannath with a class
of aborigines called Sabaras, the peculiar nature of the log and built a temple for the deities.
of the wooden icon of the deity and his According to Deula Tola, Indradyumna, the
associates, Balabhadra and Subhadra, and king of Malava, got a piece of sacred wood,
association of a class of non-Brahmin priests which was the matamorphosed shape of god
called Daitas who are presumed to be of tribal Nilamadhaba from the Sabara Chief named
origin with the worship of the deity, some Viswavasu, and out of the wood he carved three
scholars hold that Jagannath was originally a images. Both the stories suggest the Vaishnavite
tribal deity. origin of Jagannath. But Indradyumna, the hero
Orissa Review * June - 2006
of these legends remains a legendary figure, as a Vaishnavite. Anangabhima Dev-III, his
and his historicity cannot be founded on any successor, during whose reign construction of
safe ground. Some have identified him with some parts of the Temple were completed, in
the Indradyumna of original Mahabharat and his 6th regnal year in 1216 A.D. called himself
considered him to be very ancient figure of the "Son of Purushottam" or Jagannath. In his
pre-Christian era. If we accept the version of Puri inscription of 1237 A.D., Anangabhima
Sarala's Mahabharat, we may feel inclined to Dev proclaimed Lord Jagannath, as the
identify him with Indrarath, the Somavamsi Emperor of Utkal and himself as only his Rauta
king of tenth Century A.D. But identification or representative. Jagannath, identification as
of Indradyumna with Indrarath is at variance the State deity or Rastra Devata, was complete.
with the long-accepted tradition that Yajati I In the changed context, the traditional tie
the remote predecessor of Indrarath, built the between the State and Jagannath has snapped
Jagannath Temple at Puri. According to the through the people of Orissa, still continue to
Temple chronicles, when Yajati Keshari, who look upto him as their Ista-Devata.
was a Saivite by faith, came to occupy the Some Scholars trace a Buddhist origin
throne of Orissa, he enquired of the priests of of the trinity of the Jagannath temple. It is said
Puri, 'Where is the Overlord' ? Whereupon the that the tooth relic of Lord Buddha is preserved
priests informed him that the great God in the image of Jagannath, that the three deities-
Parameswara was kept hidden in Sunupura for Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra represent
fear of defilement in the hands of the invaders. Buddha, Dharma and Sangha respectively, that
Yajati Kesari retrieved the idol of Jagannath all Snana Yatra and Ratha Yatra of the Sri
from under the earth and installed Him in a Jagannath temple are of Buddhist origin and
newly constructed temple in order to that the sharing of Kaivalya on equal footing
legitimatise his rule in the eyes of the people. by all castes is due to the Buddhist impact.
Anantavarma Choda Ganga Dev, of the Eastern There are some literary evidences of co-relation
Ganga Dynasty also followed the same between Lord Jagannath and Buddhism.
tradition. Chodaganga Dev hailed from the According to some scholars, Jagannath is a
South, with Mukhalingam as his Capital. The common epithet of Buddha. In Tibet, one of
Shiva Gokarneswara on Mahendragiri, was his the names of Buddha is Jagannath. Jayadeva,
family deity or Ista devata. But in course of the twelvth century Vaishnava poet who
the northward push of his empire, for strategic according t o so me scholars, identified
reasons he shifted his capital from Jagannath with Krushna or Vishnu also
Mukhalingam to Cuttack and reconstructed the accepted Buddha as the ninth incarnation of
Jagannath Temple of Puri to legitimise and Krushna or Vishnu. Sarala Das, the fifteenth
stabilise his authority over Orissa. The famous century poet, in his Mahabharat, regarded
Vaishnava Saint Ramanuja (1056-1136) visited Jagannath as an embodiment of Buddha. He
Puri during his reign and is said to have wrote, "To deliver mankind, Jagannath has
introduced the Pancharatra System in the manifested himself in the form to Buddha",
worship of Jagannath, Chodaganga Dev, who Daru Brahma Gita of Jagannath Deva says, "to
was described as a Shaivite in his earlier assume the form of Buddha, the lord gave up
inscriptions, soon began to proclaim himself his hands and legs." Some Oriya Vaishnavas
Orissa Review * June - 2006
regarded Chaitanya as the partial manifestation Krishna with Radha, and identified Radha with
of Buddha. In the Chaitanya Bhagavata of Kamala or Lakshmi, the consort of Narayan.
Iswar Das, Chaitanya is reported to have said, Jayadev regarded Jagannath as Krishna.
I am Chaitanya in form of Buddha." Dr. Subhadra was treated as Lakshmi in the Ganga
Eschmann holds that in his earliest form as an period, and even afterwards. The Purushottama
image Vishnu, Jagannath was known as Mahatmya of Skanda Purana and Vishnu
Nrushimha, the Lion incarnation of Vishnu. Her Purana referred to the female wooden image
contention is based on the fact that the between Jagannath and Balabhadra as
Nabakalabar ritual considers the Jagannath Lakshmi. Some Scholars are of opinion that
figure to be Narasimha. She says, "Narasimha the image of Jagannath has striking similarity
is that iconological aspect of Jagannath, which with that of Ekapada Bhairava with one foot
recedes in the later theology; it can be easily which is a manifestation of Siva, whose was
associated with tribal cults and was probably prevalent during the Bhaumakara period. Some
instrumental for the development of Jagannath Tantrik texts refer to Puri as a seat of Shaktism,
iconography." Vimala as the Shakti and Jagannath as his
Most of the scholars accepted that Bhairava. The prevalence of Saivism at Puri is
Jagannath was known as Purushottama. proved by the existence of such Saiva shrines
Vishnudharma, an unpublished Sanskrit of Markandeswara, Pataleswar and Lokanath.
manuscript of 3rd century A.D. says that The prevalence of Shaktism at Puri is borne
Krishna was known as Purushottama in the out by the worship of Vimala inside the temple,
Odra country. Vamana Purana, a work of and the existence of Saptamatruka image. The
sevent h century A.D., refers to t he 'Utkal Khanda' of Skanda Purana describes
Purushottama deit y of Puri. Subhadra as the Shakti of Jagannath.
Anargharaghavanatakam of Murari Mishra is Basically the pre-Aryan autochthonous
a work of the middle or later part of ninth visionaries have laid the foundation of the
century A.D. describes Purushottama deity of Hindu spiritual thoughts. Even the concept of
Puri with his female consort, Kamala on lap. 'Soul' or the Divine ground is borrowed from
The Sarada Devi temple inscription of Maihar the autochthonous seers and savants. The
(Satna district of Madhya Pradesh) which is uniqueness of Lord Jagannath lies in the fact
assigned to the middle of the tenth century that originally a Deity worshipped by the
A.D., also refers to the Purushottama deity of autochthonous Sabaras, came to occupy the
Odra country, located on the sea-shore. The highest position in the Hindu Pantheon and
literary and epigraphic sources affirm the came to be known as the Purushottama and in
reputation of the Purushottama deity of Puri the process the cult absorbed all the major
in the tenth century A.D. The name religious movements and philosophy which had
Purushottama though an epithet of Vishnu, has swept the Indian sub-continent and has evolved
Tantrik significance according to some a syncretism which is unique in character. This
scholars. It represents the erotic aspects of small treatise while emphasises on the
Vishnu. Purushottama is to be found with autochthonous origin and isolates the tribal
Laxmi, the female erotic partner. Jayadeva, in stands in the highly sophisticated cult,
his Gitagovinda, dealt with erotic sports of highlights the elements of the Nathsidha cult,
Orissa Review * June - 2006
and other various cults like the Buddhist Jagannath, the political unification of Orissa,
Tantric, the Sakta, the Shaiva and the various into one unit was brought about which
denominations of the Vaishnavites. While this ultimately helped full blosooming of Orissan
work seeks to achieve nothing new, it highlights culture, during the Solar Dynasty. Jagannath
the all absorbing aspects of the cult of the came to symbolise also the nationalist
Jagannath, which makes it so universal. Even aspirations of Orissa, during the 19th and the
Guru Nanaka had composed soulful hymns in early part of 20th centuries, when Orissa was
praise of Lord Jagannath, when he had visited lying dismembered under three separate
the temple. The sufi Muslims like Salbega and administrative units, namely, Bengal, Central
Javan Haridas were great devotees of the Lord. Provinces and Madras. So it will be no
The iconography of Jagannath has enabled exgaggeration to say that Temple of Jagannath
every denomination to see the God of his heart's has veritably been the nerve centre of Orissan
desire in Him. The all embracing liberalism of culture.
the cult of Jagannath has also very intimately
influenced the Orissan culture.
Orissa, in the pre-Chodaganga period
was divided into four district cultural and
political divisions, namely, Utkal, Kangoda, Janmejaya Choudhury is the Lecturer in History,
Kalinga and Ko sala. Centering round Sri Jagannath College, Kaipadar, Khurda.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Laxmi-Narayan Discord in
Durga Madhab Dash
The cult of Lord Jagannatha is an eclectic wealth. She is the symbol of affluence and
system. It has assimilated in its fold divergent prosperity of the universe. Having adopted in
religions. It is also inclusive of myriad creeds herself all the mystic powers of Mahakali and
and manifold sects of the world. Jagannatha in Mahasaraswati, she is venerated in the temple
this sense is not a sectarian deity. The images as the primordial divine force. In the belief of
of the Jagannatha triad do not approximate to the devout Vaishnavites, the main protagonists
the divine forms of any known gods and of the Jagannatha religion, Mahalaxmi is the
go ddesses of t he primary divine force
Hindu pantheon. Yet of the cosmic
in the common belief creation and
of the devotees, Lord therefore she is
Jagannatha is worshipped as one
identified by t he of the principal
name of Narayan and images in t he
His chief consort by Jagannatha temple.
the name of A number of
Mahalaxmi. Like the festivals where
enormity of t he Mahalaxmi is
Jagannatha cult, His primarily involved are celebrated in the temple
temple is also known by different names like of Lord Jagannatha. One such festival is the
'Badadeula', 'Nilachala', 'Srimandir' and so on. car festival of the Lords. The car festival,
Every name, for all practical purposes, has a following the universal import of Jagannatha
significance of its own. Of these names, the cult, is not merely a function of the Hindus. It
name of the temple as Srimandir is most transcends all barriers of space and belief. It
popular among the devotees of the Almighty involves multidimensional activities linked to
Lord. In this sense, Mahalaxmi is adored as many other rituals of the temple. Every such
the divine proprietress of the sacred temple. ritual is the expression of common human
As described in 'Durga Saptasati', behaviour in our day-to-day life. The Laxmi-
Mahalaxmi is worshipped as the goddess of Narayan discord is one such function arising
Orissa Review * June - 2006
out of the famous car festival of the Lords. endearing appeal to Lord Jagannatha. This is
This is observed in the temple on the twelfth most common in the case of a wife in her loving
day of the car festival. The discord is related and dutiful behaviour towards her husband. The
to a dialogue between Mahalaxmi and display of her passionate conduct is all a fuss.
Jagannatha. Countless devotees enjoy the ritual In the end, it ultimately turns out as much ado
at the time of Lord's entry into the temple after about nothing. The disharmony at last
the Bahuda Yatra. As the ritual ensues, dissipates like the transient morning dews in
Mahalaxmi does not open the doors of the the usual passage of time. Mahalaxmi adapts
temple at the Jay -Vijaya entrance. Jagannatha, herself to the ongoing situation and finally wins
as a result, is stranded outside. Balabhadra is over her husband. This is wife and husband
however taken inside the temple. He is as usual relationship in the usual go of life. This spirit
seated on the Ratnavedi, the divine platform is depicted in a picturesque way in the famous
of Jewel. It is said, Mahalaxmi stoops to this Laxmi-Narayan dialogue, full of realities in
action out of awful anguish. Her anger is filial behavior. The general theme of the
caused due to the fact that she was not allowed dialogue, as followed in different parts of India,
to accompany Jagannatha during the Gundicha is almost the same. But the style and rhythm
Yatra, although the Lord took his sister, of the dialogue are different in different parts
Subhadra in pomp and ceremony. Stranded where the car festival is celebrated. The
outside, Jagannatha entreats Mahalaxmi to dialogue was once prevalent only in Oriya. But
open the door of the entrance. He gives out as things now prevail, the dialogue is written
several explanations in the forms of insistent in different languages. In some places, the ritual
appeals. The flared outburst of Mahalaxmi and of Laxmi-Narayan dialogue is not at all
the humble appeals of Jagannatha Mahapravu observed. The images, after the Bahuda Yatra,
thus constitute the Laxmi Narayan dialogue. are straightway taken to the sanctum sanctrum
This is an important ritual of the Temple. The of the temple. The Laxmi-Narayan dialogue
dialogue is contained in verse form. The ritual where it is in vogue, has been, by and large,
pertaining to the dialogue is celebrated in the formulated conforming to the themes and
temple for about an hour. Thereafter, with contents of 'Deulatola' of Sisu Krushna Das,
Mahalaxmi's permission, the doors of the 'Bramha Puran' and 'Skanda Puran', the sacred
temple are made ajar and the Lord is taken treatises on Jagannatha religion. In some
inside in a grand procession to adorn his seat places, the dialogue as published by Hari Arjun
on the divine platform. This is the mystic Company is also ceremoniously followed for
background of the famous Laxmi-Narayan observance of the ritual. The dialogue is always
dialogue. recited in verse form. But, the Ragas followed
The purpose of this endeavor is to make are different in different parts of Orissa.
a realistic study on this dialogue. An attempt In the expressions of some devout poets
is made here to present the gist of the dialogue of Jagannatha religion, the Lord's attitudinal
in a prosaic order. Mahalaxmi flares her violent disposition is not to the liking of the common
outbursts like an angry wife neglected by her people of the society. How can he neglect
husband. However harsh and rasping her Mahalaxmi, his chief consort while moving out
outbursts may appear, they are symbolic of an on the divine sojourn ? The poets say,
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Mahalaxim's presence in the Lord's chariot Digapahandhi, district, Ganjam (Orissa),
would have added to the glamour of the car Jagannath proffers a fitting explanation in this
festival. regard. The Lord says to Mahalaxmi, "Hey,
In Jagamohan Ramanyan, Mat ta Devi ! Isn't it the fact that you are the divine
Balaram Das, the eldest of the five illustrious proprietress of the temple ? In fact, you look
devotees of the Panchasakha Age, describes after the routine rites of the peripheral deities
this mystic sequence from the point of view of of the temple. If you go out, the rites of the
a common man's feelings. He says in a temple will be in an awful shambles. How can
common man's voice, "Hay, Hari ! You didn't then you move with me ? Hey, Devi ! You are
take Mahalaxmi while going on the divine Chanchala in your action and usual behaviour.
sojourn. Instead, you let your sister follow your Think for a while; can you remain with me in
gracious company. How could you do this, Oh, the Adap for so many days at a stretch ?
the most adored Lord ! Didn't you thereby ? Indeed a very cogent and incontrovertible
dishonour your consort ? You appeared with explanation ! Mahalaxmi has all knowledge
Subhadra on the stone platform of Gundicha about the rationale of the Lord's explanation.
Ghar braving an unusual custom. Didn't you,
But she is not prepared to admit it as a
my supreme Lord"?
justifiable reasoning. After all, she is the Lordly
In Nila Sundar Gita, the devout poet, consort of Jagannatha and, for that reason; she
Sekhar Das while presenting the cosmic is to exert her domineering control on her
pastime of the Lord in Kaliyug has depicted beloved Lord ! This is the spirit of the entire
the theme of the dialogue with a similar altercation in the Laxmi-Narayan discord. The
accusation through Arjun, the illustrious devout poets of Jagannatha religion have
companion of the Lord in answer to several viewed this episode from their own visionary
questions, brought forth by the latter in his appreciations. But everywhere in Orissa, where
perennial anxiety of gathering wisdom. One the car festival is observed, the theme of the
such question pertains to the Lord's neglect of episode is one and the same.
Mahalaxmi, which from a common man's
viewpoint, is avowedly disheartening. Arjun Thus, the Lord, unmindful of other
says to Bhagawan, "Hey, Natabar ! My people's reactions, is bent upon his own
illustrious companion ! Are you aware of the decision. And the Lord finally goes out in his
general reaction of the people around you ? divine mission as per his own plan. It is in this
They disapprove your sojourn with Subhadra background of facts that the car festival begins.
on the occasion of the car festival. Your The Lord at last reaches the Gundicha
consorts, Sridevi and Bhudevi, detest your Temple, accompanied by his elder brother,
action. Which also stands less prudent to my Balabhadra, his sister Subhadra and the cosmic
own conscience and to the conscience of your weapon, "Sudarsan". The images are then taken
devotees." Arjun speaks out in this way from the chariots in a divine procession and
disapproving the Lord's boisterous sojourn. finally alighted on the stone platform of the
In the poetic work known as "Laxmi Gundicha temple. The festival continues here
Naraya Kali" by Kali Charan Kabisurya of for a period of long seven days.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
On the Herapanchami day, Mahalaxmi thereafter, the ritual of offering "prasad" is
after paying her obeisance to Nilamadhaba, the celebrated. The servitors now fasten the holy
moving idol of Lord Jagannatha, leaves the cloth known as 'Tera' on the entrance of the
massive temple and proceeds to Gundicha Temple. Gratified with the Lords' fabulous
Mandir to have the 'darshan' of the Lords on large heartedness, Mahalaxmi returns to the
the stone platform. However, her main purpose temple through Hera Gouri Street. This is how
is to invite Jagannatha Mahaprabhu back to his the ritual of Hera Panchami is performed in
divine abode soon. Mahalaxmi travels in a the Gundicha Temple during the car festival
palanquin in a grand procession. As she reaches period.
the place where "Nandighosa", the chariot of On the ninth day, the Lords resume their
the Lord, is parked, some Servitor-Daitapaties back journey to the main temple. This is known
come along from the Gundicha Temple to the as Bahuda Yatra of Lord Jagannatha. When
palanquin of Mahalaxmi in a similar grand the three chariots are halfway through,
procession and offer their scared obeisance Mahalaxmi, extraordinarily euphoric, appears
while receiving Mahalaxmi on her way. The on the Bhog Mandap of the main temple and
servitors perform this ritual as the emissaries steals a glance of the chariots moving along
of the Lord. Mahalaxmi is thus taken into the towards the grand temple. In the process of
temple where the Lords are worshipped. this ritual, the idol of Mahalaxmi is taken out
Thereafter, a different rite takes place in in a procession, conducted by Gajapati
Gundicha Temple. Mahalaxmi's palanquin is Maharaj, to the chariot of the Lord Jagannatha.
brought near the Gundicha pillar in front of Here again, she welcomes the Lords.
the main entrance of the temple. Here, goddess Jagannatha as usual offers her a garland-
Mahalaxmi, after paying her obeisance, invites "Ajnya Mala" -as a mark of his earnest concern.
the Lords to come back to their divine abode. After the sacred observance of the ritual,
In a Sanskrit verse of Ka1i Charan Kabi surya, Mahalaxmi moves back to the temple. As the
Mahalaxmi's invitation to the Lords is nicely three chariots in the usual process reach the
depicted. Mahalaxmi says, "Oh, the great Lions Gate of the temple, Mahalaxmi again
Lord ! The four armed cosmic Divine ! Be appears on the' Chahani Mandap' to confirm
gracious enough to come back to the grand that the Lords have arrived near the entrance
temple with your worshipful elder brother and of the massive temple. Everything is alright so
loving sister. You have stayed away from the far. Having reached the Lion's Gate, the Lords
temple for a long time. I have personally come give their audience to the eager devotees. The
over here to extend my warm invitation. In your servitors perform some more rites over here,
absence, the temple looks vacant." while the Lords and Subhadra are still seated
As the rit ual next follows, Lord in their respective chariots. The ritual of Sayana
Jagannatha, having gracefully acknowledged Ekadasi is observed during this period. The
the invitation, sends out through his servitors Lords and Subhadra are then taken to the
one of the garlands adorning his exalted self. temple. Mahalaxmi's expectations are outraged
Mahalaxmi receives the garland known as" during this period. She expected the Lords back
Ajnya Mala" of the Lord in expression of her to the sanctum sanctorum soon after their
deep love and profound graciousness. Just arrival at the Lion's gate. The delay caused in
Orissa Review * June - 2006
the process of various ritualistic observances your fair complexion. Mahalaxmi is least
is unbearable to the self-conceited and moved by his cajolery words. She replies
impatient Mahalaxmi. So she denies the entry saying, "I do not like to hear your words of
of the Jagannatha Mahaprabhu in to the encomium. Hey, Niladribihari, go away from
sanctum sanctorum out of anguish as narrated the temple now; go away with your loving
above. The Lord, by now, is quite aware of sister. If you leave the daughter of Nandaraj
his own slip-ups. He explains his predicament alone, she will be forlorn and greatly distressed.
and the circumstances leading to the delay in See the face of your incorrigible sister; she has
his arrival in the temple. no mark of honour in her face. Don't you know,
how she moved out first and mounted the
According to the dialogue prevalent in
chariot on her own? She is like a way-ward
North Orissa, Mahalaxmi, hearing the voice
cow entirely unmanageable. She cannot correct
of Jagannatha, orders her maidservant to close
her behaviour even if she is admonished for
the door of the entrance at the Jaya-Vijaya gate.
her aberrant ways."
She orders "Hey, Sakhi !, listen. I hear the voice
of the Lord outside. It appears, he has arrived Subhadra does not mind the piercing
in the temple now. You move forth and close words of her self-conceited sister-in-law. After
the door of the entrance. The Lord should not all, she is like her own mother in the line of
be allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum. respectable relationship ? But lo ! To the Lord
Let him remain outside. himself, all those were serious aspersions.
However, Mahalaxmi before giving this Mahalaxmi again says, "Oh, Lord! The
order allows Badathakur to enter the sanctum way you behave is your strange style of
of the temple. After all, he is her elder brother- mannerism. I know, you cannot mend your
in-law. How can she disrespect his elderly manners. This is what your caste has actually
self ? This sequence has been beautifully taught you over all these years. Having stayed
described in the Laxmi-Narayan dialogue in Gopapura for long, you have picked up
published by Hari Arjuna Company. As per many unusual habits and the one, you exhibit
the relevant verse on this score, Mahalaxmi now, is the display of your obsessive mind".
says to her maid servant, "Listen Sakhi ! Let The Lord still maintains his calm. He
my elder brother-in-law enter the temple. But swallows all her aspersions without a word of
the black hued Lord should stand outside and reaction. He does not mind what his consort
get drenched in rain". says. In defence he only proffers his
explanation cozily trying t o convince
Hearing all this, the Lord, stands outside
Mahalaxmi on the po ints of his own
like an unfortunate offender. To appease her
infuriated consort, the Lord speaks in the next
verse of the same dialogue, "Oh, the lotus eyed, In the words of the devotee-poet, Sridhar
the daughter of the ocean, open the door of the Das, this is be the go of life in the dealings
entrance; I am immensely distressed. Show me between a husband and his wife. The quality
your splendorous face and mitigate my distress. of adaptability is the sine-qua-non of a happy
I have brought for you this gorgeous piece of married life in household relationship. When
chitrameghi silk. This, I believe, will best suit the wife is intransigent, the husband should be
Orissa Review * June - 2006
flexible and calm going and adjust himself to commitment since then? Why then you
the disparaging situation. pointlessly exhibit your fury on the flimsiest
grounds ? While moving along in my usual
Now, undisturbed despite the continuing
elegance in the divine procession of the festival,
acrimony, the Lord as depicted in the Brahma
I admit, I might have delayed in going to the
Puran, makes an appeal to Mahalaxmi, "Hey,
temple. But I confess my embarrassing
Devi ! As you know, in Satya Yuga,
indiscretion. So now be pleased to open the
Indrayumna built the temple. He was the fifth
door and I enter sanctum sanctorum without
descendant of Lord Bhama. He consecrated
any further fuss in the continuing
our images on the Ratna Vedi in all devotion.
His queen Gundicha was no less a devotee of
mine. Satisfied with their devotion, I called In the same lyrical presentation, the Lord
upon them to ask for a boon each. You know continues, "Hey, Indirey ! My beloved, the
very well, Indradyumna initially did not ask divine benefactress of all devotees in this world,
for any boon. After all he was an invincible irrespective of caste, creed and religion; you
emperor. He was not in want of anything in visit the places of your devotees with a spirit
his world. Why should he need a boon from of enormous compassion. In the same spirit, I
me ? However, when I persisted in my wishful set off on my divine sojourn only once in a
blessings, the king said that if I still insisted, year to give audience to my devotees and to
the boon should be such that, after him, there avenge their sorrows and atone their sins. Hey,
should be no survivor in his dynasty to claim Indirey ! My divine sojourn is not for any other
the temple as his own. Indeed ! A stupendous reason. Still, if you do not open the door, I
boon ! The queen was flabbergasted at the shall go back to Adap (Gundicha Temple) and
king's flamboyance. She had no other live there forever."
alternative. And so, adopting me as his son, Mahalaxmi knows very well that the
she wanted me to make a commitment, that I Lord cannot leave the temple under any
should, once in a year, visit, her place and this circumstance. He has a bigger commitment to
visit shall, in future, be known as Gundicha live here and give his audience to the demi-
Yatra after her name. In compliance of her gods and his devotees every day. She is aware
wish, I am committed to visit Gundicha Temple of all the divine responsibilities of the Lord in
once in every year as you know very well. So, his own temple. So, she least bothers about his
Oh, Devi ! You should not misunderstand me cautionary remarks. Feigning her indignation
for my car festival, which is sacredly tied to a further, she continues to say, "It is alright that
divine commitment. This version is also you set off on your divine mission. But why
included in the Deula Tola of Sisu Krishna Das. did you leave me alone ? You may or may not
say; but I know the reason. In the name of the
Now, the Lo rd's submission to
festival, you went out to meet the cowherd
Mahalaxmi, as described in the lyric is of some
women with whom, as the world says, you
Bachanikas prevailing in the ex-zamidari areas
are in deep love in actual dispensation.
of Ganjam district is considerably
overwhelming. The Lord says, "Hey, Devi ! A strange accusation ! She dubs the Lord
have I ever deviated from my words of as immoral in his disposition. In fact, this is
Orissa Review * June - 2006
the type of accusation, a wife usually hurls at intervenes in the divine altercation. He speaks
her husband when t here is slightest out to Mahalaxmi, while enjoying t he
misunderstanding in the heedful attention of transcendental situation, "Hey Bhadre ! if my
the latter. Mahalaxmi reflects a common brother, Jagannatha is a wrongdoer for lapses,
women's sentiment. Whatever be the religious if any, I too am not free from your accusation.
implication of the Laxmi-Narayan dialogue, it Our darling Subhadra accompanied us because
is the mirror of a common women's usual of the candid wish of both the brothers and not
reaction to her husband when there is slightest of Jagannatha alone. Subhadra cannot remain
neglect on the part of the latter. The accusation without her brothers. And so, you were left in
of the wife may appear to be harsh and the temple for the genuine reason best known
damaging. But one thing is sure that, in every to you. After all, you are the divine proprietress
such accusation, the wife has the flair to of the grand temple. Mind not my brother's
highlight the enormity of her husband's mistake, if any. Now open the door and let my
greatness. This is romanticism in t he brother enter the sanctum of the temple." With
meaningful layout of a negative disposition. these words of Badathakura, the arrogance of
As depicted in the dialogue prevalent in Mahalaxmi breaks down like bubbles on the
some places, Mahalaxmi says to Jagannatha, surface of water. Mahalaxmi now comes
"Oh, the crown potentate of deceivers and forward and offers the sacred light to her Lord.
tricksters, go back to the cowherd women of She finally receives the Lord at the Jaya-Vijaya
Gopapura; they may be waiting for you. If you Gate. And all the images are at last seated on
hold up, they may be angry with you. Hey, the Ratna Vedi, the platform of Jewel as before.
Muralidhar ! You have looted their love; you Now, there is ululation all around in the
have looted their all with the captivating note temple. The devotees say "Haribole" at the
of your magic flute. How winsome your potent pitch of their voice. In the midst of drums,
fluit is ! Even Brahma and Siva are captivated cymbals and other musical instruments
by its wondrous sound. You have brought for blowing, t he ritual of Laxmi Narayan
me many gifts, as you say. Give them to Radha; Bachanika is ceremoniously concluded.
She will be very happy to receive them from
your divine self".
Having exhausted all her anguish through
several blames, Mahalaxmi gradually calms
down. As described in the dialogue published Durga Madhab Dash lives at C-80, Palasapalli,
by Hari Arjun Campany, Badathakur at last Bhubaneswar.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Siddha Mahavir Temple at Puri
The temple of Siddha Mahavir is situated at a Siddha Mahavir is considered as one of the
distance of about one Km to the north-east of Asta-Mahaviras of the Kshetra (Puri town).4
the Gundicha temple of Puri. This is a small On the other hand, Dr. Braja Kishore Sahu has
temple dedicated to Siddha Mahavir referred that God Siddha Mahavir is one of
(Hanumana). From the architectural point of the real protectors as well as controllers of the
view the temple is not so important but from Kshetra.5
the religious point of view, it is one of the Architectural features of the temple :
important shrines of Orissa. It is believed that
Tulasi Das, the famous author of Rama Charita The temple of Siddha Mahavir consists
Manasa, stayed here for sometime when he of two structures such as Vimana and
visited Puri.1 On the basis of tradition, it is Jagamohana. There is an open flat mandapa
further believed that Hanumana after retirement recently erected in front of the Jagamohana.
from active service of Lord Rama desired to This temple is built in sand stones, which
settle in this shrine. 2 The kshetra of locally called as Baulamala and Kanda
Purosottama is noted for the installation of Patharas. It faces to east.
several Hanumana images in the late medieval (A) Vimana :-
period in order to arouse the martial spirit of
The Vimana of the Siddha Mahavir
the local people to defend the Jagannatha
temple is a Pidha Deula and its height is about
temple from the repeated Muslim onslaughts.3
35 feet from the road level. It has four vertical
The Ramananda Sect made arrangement for
parts such as pistha, bada, gandi and mastaka.
the installation of Hanumana images in this
The pistha of the Vimana is 2 ½ feet in height
Kshetra. Hence, there are a series of Hanumana
and it is completely undecorated. The bäda of
shrines noticed in the different parts of the
the Vimana is panchanga type i.e. having five
Kshetra of Jagannatha.
fold divisions viz Pabhaga, tala jangha,
The shrine of Siddha-Mahavir is an bandhana, upper jangha and baranda. The base
important place, where the presiding deity is of the bada is square of 22 feet on each side.
greatly revered by the local people who are All the component parts of the bada are devoid
believers of t he Ramayana Cult. of decorative ornamentations. The three sides
Dr. Bichitrananda Mohanty opines that God central niches of the bada are housed with
Orissa Review * June - 2006
parsvadevata images of Yamaraja, Male deity been kept on the same pedestal as the vije
(Keshari) and Devi Anjana. The upper prat ima for ceremonial occasions. The
Garviksha of the northern side is decorated presiding deity of the temple is very attractive
with a war tour scene (a row of soldiers holding to visitors and it is the best specimen of the
war implements in their hands). fine workmanship. The background slab of the
The pyramidal superstruct ure is deity is decorated with trefoil arch; makara
surmounted on the gandi of the Vimana and it heads at the base and Kirtimukha motif at the
consists of 3 flat shaped pidhas. The centre of apex. This slab is also relieved with scroll
each pidha is projected with jhäpa-simhas in works, flower medallions and various scenes
all sides of the gandi. Small dopichha lions from the Ramayana. R.P.Mohapatra has
are fixed in the corners of the kanthis or referred that the temple though of later
intervening recesses between the pidhas. workmanship its presiding deity, a huge
Diminutive Mahavir figures in different Hanumana image deserves special mentions
postures are also inserted in the kanthis between as an excellent work of Orissan art.7 Inner walls
the pidhas of gandi. Dopichha simhas are fixed of the sanctum are completely undecorated and
on the top of the Kanika pagas of gandi. Deula it is recently covered with china plates. The
Charini figures are inserted in the four cardinal top of the presiding deity is surmounted by
directions of the beki above rahas. They are pyramidal roof, which is supported by four
acting as the supporting elements of the massive circular pillars.
mastaka. The sanctum has one doorway towards
The mastaka of the Vimana consists of the Jagamohana and it is devoid of decorative
beki, ghanta (bell shaped member) above which ornamentations. The images of Gaja-Lakshmi
there is another beki, amalaka sila, khapuri, and Navagrahas are completely absent in their
kalasa, ayudha (chakra) and dhvaja. respective places. The eastern side outer wall
of the Vimana ( towards the Jagamohana) is
The sanctum preserves a large image of relieved with Jagannätha 'Trinity'.
Mahavir (Hanumana) as the presiding deity of
the temple. The image is about 6 feet in height. (B) Jagamohana or Mukhasala :
He holds gada in left hand and a massive rock The Jagamohana of Siddha- Mahavir
boulder (Gandha-Mardana Parvata) in right temple is a pidha deula and its height is about
hand. The deity has been installed on the 30 feet from the road level. The structure of
decorated masonry pedestal of 2 feet high. The the Jagamohana has four vertical parts like
slab of the presiding deity is carved with a the Vimana. The pistha of the Jagamohana is
series of diminutive Hanuman figures in 2½ feet in height. The base of the bada is
different postures. They are locally considered rectangular and it measures 35 feet in length
as the asta-mallas such as Sugriba, Jambu and 18 feet in width. There is no decorative
bahana, Bali, Angada, Susena etc. These moulding in the walls of the bada. The northern
figures are also believed to be the eight advisers sidewall of the Mukhasala is decorated with
of Lord Rama during his expedition to Lanka some sculptural panels such as the mounted
to fight against Ravana for rescue of Sita.6 A elephant scene, horse procession scene and the
brass image of Hanumana (Mahavira) has also abhisheka scene of Puri king. A mounted
Orissa Review * June - 2006
elephant and two cavaliers are relieved in Sculptures :-
marching posture in the wall. It is thickly The temple of Siddha Mahavira is
covered by lime mortar. The entrance doorway partially adorned with different sculptures and
wall of the Jagamohana is inserted with two scenes. The three sides central niches of the
large panels depicting a Panchamukhi Ganesha bada of Vimana are housed with parsvadevata
and a Sikshadana scene. images of Yamaraj, Keshari and Devi Anjana.
The pyramidal superstructure surmounts The image of Yamaraja is t he
on the gandi of the Jagamohana and it consists parsvadevata of the southern side niche of the
of three flat shaped pidhas. The centre of each Vimana. The two handed image of Lord Yama
pidha is projected with a Jhapa simha on all has been installed on the plain pedestal. He is
the four sides of gandi. carved in seated posture on the backside of
The mastaka of the Jagamohana consists buffalo, the conventional mount. Lord Yama
of Khapuri, Kalasa, Ayudha (Chakra) and displays gada in right hand and kala phasa in
Dhvaja. Two jhapa simhas are projected on left hand respectively. The background slab of
the deity is decorated with trefoil arch.
the northern and southern sides of the kalasa
respectively. Inner walls of the Jagamohana are A statue of a male figure is locally
fully covered with china plates. The worshipped as Keshari noticed in the western
Jagamohana has one doorway towards east. side parsvadevata niche of the bada of Vimana.
The door-jambs of the Jagamohana are devoid R.P.Mohapatra has identified it as the image
of decorative ornamentations. The figures of of Hanumana.8 This image is not completely
Gaja-Lakshmi and Navagrahas are also designed in the form of Hanumana. The two
completely absent in their respective places. handed image of Keshari has been installed on
Two lions are installed on the both sides of the the decorated pedestal. He holds gada in left
doorway of Jagamohana. They are acting as hand and akshamala in right hand. He is also
the dvarapalas of the temple. wearing the garland of beads in his body. Six
diminutive Mahavir (Hanumana) figures are
(c) Natamandapa :- finely carved on the pedestal. Two female
The Natamandapa of the Siddha- figures are flanked on either side of the deity.
Mahavir temple is an open flat roof Mandapa, They are displaying flywhisks in their hands.
which is supported by octagonal pillars. The The background slab of the deity is decorated
height of the flat roof is about 15 feet from the with trefoil arch.
surface of the temple complex. The ceiling of Devi Anjana is the Parsvadevata of the
the flat roof is recently painted with different northern side central niche of the bada of
scenes, which mostly derived from the stories Vimana. The two-armed image of Devi Anjana
of Ramayana. There is a pedestal of 2½ feet has been installed on the double petalled lotus
high noticed in the floor of the Natamandapa. pedestal. She holds Child (Mahavir) by her two
The footprint of Lord Rama is carved on the hands. Two female figures (Sakhis) are flanked
top of pedestal for worship. The Endowment on either side of the devi. The backside head
Trust of the Government of Orissa has built of the devi (Anjana) is also relieved with trefoil
the Natamandapa of the temple in 2000 AD. arch. All the parsvadevata images are made of
Orissa Review * June - 2006
black chlorite and they are also housed in the sculptural panel. The royal procession scene
pidha mundi niches. was executed in the third quarter of the 13th
At first N.K.Bose has noticed that a
detached sculptural panel inserted into the wall The left side eastern entrance wall of the
of the Siddha Mahavir temple, which throws Jagamohana contains an image of Pancha-
interesting light on the technique of inclined mukhi Ganesha in its niche. The slab of the
plane. The sculpture depicts a temple under deity is exquisitely carved by the artist. The
the process of construction, where two masons ten-handed image of Ganesha has been installed
are still working on the top of the unfinished on the decorative pedestal. His right five hands
gandi while other four workers are carrying display chakra, snake, trident, broken tusk, and
up a rectangular block of stone over an inclined varada mudra while the left five hands hold
plane.9 K.S. Behera also refers that the presence gada, pasa, ankusa, flower and a bell. The
of three pillars to support the inclined plane, image of Ganesha measures approximately 34
whose one end rests on the ground and the other inches in length and 20 inches in width.13 He
end on the top of the temple, suggest that the wears a Sarpa-Yajnopavita in His body. His
Sakti is seated in lalitasana and embraces Him
slope was made of wooden planks.10 This
with Her right arm. She holds a lotus flower in
sculptural scene indicates the technique and
Her left hand.14 The upper portion of the slab
methods of temple construction in ancient
is decorated with foliage. The pedestal of the
deity is relieved with a Kalasa along with stalks
There is a scene of royal procession with and foliage. The slab of the Panchamukhi
two elephants inserted into a niche of the Ganesha is carved out of black chlorite. Prof.
northern sidewall of the Mukhasala of the K.S. Behera and T.E. Donaldson opine that
temple. The elephants are placed one in front the image of Ganesha was made in the middle
of the other so that only one is visible in this of the 13th Century AD and it probably comes
view. The front figure of the near elephant is from Konark Sun temple.15 Srinibas Tripathy
of royal lineage as suggested by the two has also referred that the Panchamukhi Ganesha
parasols hold by attendant figures, one on each image inserted into a niche flanking the
elephant. Three figures with hands in anjali entrance of the Jagamohana of Siddha Mahavir
mudra stand in-front of the elephants while an temple seem here was originally brought from
acrobat rolled into a ball is beneath the head of Konark.16
the near elephant. The head of the royal figure The right side eastern entrance wall of
is completely missing. Some senior priests of the Mukhasala is relieved with the sikshadana
the temple say that it is tour scene of Indra scene. R.P. Mohapatra has identified that it is
Devata. Most probably, this scene is a royal the teaching scene of Vyasadeva who is reciting
tour of Puri king. An elephant and a horse with the Bhagabata Purana among his disciples.17
their grooms are carved on the pedestal of the The guru is seated in a pavilion with his right
royal procession slab. The measurement of the leg crossed over his left and right hand raised
royal procession slab is 31 inches in length and as if imparting instructions. Facing him are
18 inches in width respectively.11 A short line three rows of two figures each. Both male and
of inscription is engraved just below the female devotees are flanked on either side of
Orissa Review * June - 2006
guru. Most of these devotees are carved in They are acting as the gatekeepers of the
folded hands (anjali mudra). The stone slab of temple.
the sikshadana scene measures 27½ inches in Date of the temple:
length and 18¼ inches in width.18 Prof. K.S.
Behera and T.E. Donaldson have referred that There is no authentic evidence regarding
the sikshadana motif inserted into a niche on the construction period of the temple of Siddha
the Siddha Mahavira temple was also brought Mahavir. On the basis of the architectural style,
from the Sun temple of Konark. 19 This the construction period of the temple can be
sikshadana panel was probably executed in the tentatively assigned to the 1st half of the 16th
13th century AD. century AD. Most probably this temple was
built by the Gajapati ruler of Orissa.
Besides these sculptures, three brass
idols of Narayana and a figure of child Krishna Now the Endowment Trust Board of the
are preserved in a shed, which constructed in Government of Orissa is managing the temple.
the right of the Jagamohana. Along with them The site of temple is also a beautiful spot for
stone images of Yama seated on buffalo, Hara- picnic.
Parvati, Radha-Krishna Yugalamurti and a Thus it is known that the temple of
huge stock of palm leaf manuscripts have also Siddha Mahavir is one of the sacred spots of
been preserved in this small apartment. the Kshetra. By the influence of Ramanuja
According to R.P. Mohapatra, the images sects, Humanana temples were constructed in
preserved in the shed furnished varying dates the different parts of the Kshetra. This temple
of workmanship. 20 Available sculptures possibly was built by the King of Puri. Out of
noticed in the temple complex are not made in available sculptures, some of them were
same period. Most of the sculptural panels, brought from the Konarka Sun temple.
which inserted in the walls of temple, were Probably, Tulasi Das, the famous author of
brought from Konark temple. Parsvadevata Rama Charita Manasa was residing near this
images of the temple were made at the time of shrine, although the architectural feature of the
temple construction. The other images in the temple is not so important but from the cultural
temple premises were executed in later period. point of view, it is one of the important shrines
The surface of the temple complex is of Puri.
about 4 feet high from the road level. A References:
boundary wall of 10 feet high has enclosed the
1. N. Senapati & D.C. Kuanr (ed), Orissa District
temple and it measures approximately 80 feet Gazetteer; Puri, Orissa Government Press; Cuttack,
in length on the northern and southern sides 1977, p191.
and 60 feet in width on the eastern and western 2. R.P. Mohapatra, Archaeology in Orissa; Sites and
sides respectively. The modern flat roof covers Monuments, Vol.1, New Delhi, 1986, p.176.
the main entrance porch of the temple complex. 3. Ibid.
A series of ascending masonry steps are
4. B.N. Mohanty, "Sri Mandire Hanumana Puja", in
provided for entry into the temple complex.
B.M. Mohanty & S.C. Mohanty (ed), Odissara
Two huge lions are installed on the both sides Deva Devi (Oriya), Vol.II, Utkal Pathaka Sansada;
of the main entrance gate of the eastern side. Cuttack, 1983, p.344.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
5. B.K. Sahu, "Sri Kshetrare Sri Mandira", in B.M. 14. Ibid, plate No.86.
Mohanty & S.C. Mohanty (ed.), Op-cit,, Vol.1,
15. Ibid, p.123.
16. S. Tripathy "Puri; City of the Lords", in Orissa
6. R.P. Mohapatra, Op-cit, Vol.1, p.176.
Review, Orissa Government Press; Cuttack,
7. Ibid. September; 2000, p.27.
8. Ibid. 17. R.P. Mohapatra, Op-cit,, p.176.
9. N.K.Bose "A temple under construction", in 18. K.S. Behera & T.E. Donaldson, Op-cit,, p.146.
Journal of Indian Society of Oriental Art, Vol.XIII,
1945, pp.10-11, also see K.S. Behera, "Tradition
in Sculpture", in Art Tradition of Orissa, Orissa 20. R.P. Mohapatra, Op-cit,, pp.176-177.
Sahitya Akademi, Bhubaneswar, 1982, p.35.
10. K.S. Behera, Temples of Orissa, Orissa Sahitya
Akademi; Bhubaneswar, 1993, pp.10-11.
11. K.S. Behera & T.E. Donaldson, Sculptures
Masterpieces from Orissa; Style and Iconography,
New Delhi, 1998, p.146.
12. Ibid. Ratnakar Mohapatra is the ICHR Junior Research Fellow,
13. Ibid, p.123. Sambalpur University, (J.V.), Sambalpur.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Lord Jagannath and Goddess Maa Hingula
Barada Prasanna Das
"Goddess Hingula" is worshipped with great
devotion by the people of the surrounding
areas. It is located at a distance of 14 K.M.
from Talcher. Goddess Hingula is believed to
be the agni(fire) in the Kitchen of Lord
Jagannath at Shree Mandir Puri.Maa
Hingula,who manifests herself in form of fire
is another name for cosmic mother.Every year
on Bishnu Damanak Chaturdashi(Chaitra Sukla
Chaturdashi), the Goddess gives darshan to Her
devotees in a state of burning fire at a spot
near Hingula temple in Gopal Prasad, one of was known as 'Shakti Pitha'. But a piece
the famous 'Shakti Pitha' in the country. identified as Brahmandreya fell at Beluchistan
of present Pakistan where shakti appeared in
There are many similarities between burning fire state. In course of time Nala Raja
Hingula Yatra and Ratha Yatra. It is said while of Vidarva region of western India became an
Gopal Prasad is the 'Puja Sthali'of the Goddess, ardent devotee of Maa who resided in his
Shree Mandir is 'Here Karma Sthali.' kingdom. In Puri when the Raja decided to
When Lord Siva had torn apart the body start 'anna prasad' Lord Jagannath responding
of Sati (Parbati), each of the 52 pieces that fell to His prayer asked him to bring Hingula to
manage his kitchen. Accordingly Puri Raja
went to Vidarva and requested him to pray Maa
to come to Puri. Nala Raja on the request of
Puri Raja brought the Goddess on his wrapper
in form of fire and in course of his journey
reached at Gopalgarh where he took rest.
The Goddess told Raja in his dream that
Gopalgarh will be Her 'Puja Pitha' and since
1575 Maa is being worshipped here through
Orissa Review * June - 2006
the Hingula yatra. Birbar Harichandan was the from far and wide irrespective of caste, creed
first king of Talcher who started the festival. and religion offer 'bhog' into the fire, but
On Sukla Chaturdashi of Chaitra month interestingly the canopy does not burn.After
the Goddess takes leave from Sri mandir nine days a puja called 'sital' is performed on
kitchen and gives 'darshan' to devotees here in the spot by Talcher king and Dehury
form of burning fire. Before some days of the (Worshipper).
Chaturdashi, Maa appears near the temple and
informs the chief 'Dehury' about the location
of the burning spot which is kept surrounded
with heaps of coal till the yatra. On the day of Barada Prasanna Das is presently working as the DIPRO,
yatra, a canopy given by the king of Talcher is Angul in the Department of Information & Public
placed above fire and thousands of devotees Relations.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Contributions of Marathas Towards
Shree Jagannath Culture
Pabitra Mohan Barik
After the end of Mughal period the Marathas followers of Sankar strongly protested the
exercised their power in Orissa. Being Hindus antisocial and inhumane activities of Vaisnavas.
they had a great respect for Lord Jagannath. As a result of this conflict the worship of
They took a special interest in the Jagannath was stopped. Interfering
temple administration of Lord immediately in this mat ter the
Jagannath. In the time of Maratha Maratha Govt. of Orissa warned
rule there was no need to shift Laksmana Nath Krisna Goswami,
Jagannath from the temple to a the chief of Vaisnavas not to
secret area as was done during introduce any thing new in the
the Mughal rule. Due to Jagannath temple. Then the
internal stability, peace and Maratha Govt. took step to
security in t he t ime of reinstall the images of Sankara
Maratha pilgrims from and Padmapada on the throne of
various parts of India came Lord Jagannath. The Maratha
to Puri to give their tribute Govt. always encouraged the
to Lord Jagannath of pilgrims to come to Puri in
universe. The Marat ha large number. Particularly
administratio n provided Sambuhaji Ganesha had
necessary facilities for pilgrims and encouraged more interest to encourage pilgrims to visit the
them to visit Puri. The Maratha Govt. had taken temple of Jagannath. Raja Ram Pandit, the
all necessary steps for better management of Maratha Governor (1778-1793 A.D.) took
the Jagannath temple. They gave respect for special interest for the development of
all rituals, customs, traditions, practices and Jagannath culture and temple. During Maratha
faiths relating Jagannath culture. Maratha administration regular funds were provided to
Government was not in favour of any change observe religious activities in the Jagannath
in the old customs of worship of Lord temple. During that time many rich persons
Jagannath. A conflict took place when the were encouraged to endow lands for the
Vaisnavas removed the images of Sankar and celebration of festival in the Jagannath temple.
Padmapada from the throne of Jagannath. The The Maratha rulers were spending 20,000
Orissa Review * June - 2006
kahanas of cowries or about Rs.6000 yearly temple that resulted increase the deficiency.
for the charitable purpose in the Jagannath The revenue from the Satais Hazari Mahal was
temple. This charity was known in the name not collected in proper way. The Parichhas in
of "Anna Chatra'. The Maratha Govt. gave that period were engaged in corrupt practice
special attention for the safety of the pilgrims and had earned money in illegal way. No
coming to visit Puri. The pilgrims in those days proper account was kept in the temple office
faced number of difficulties in their way to in this regard. So Maratha Govt. was providing
Puri. In spite of troubles the pilgrims were extra amount for proper management of
encouraged to visit Puri because of the interest Jagannath temple because of insincerity of the
taken by the Maratha Govt. to help them in Parichhas at the time of the Maratha rule. The
their journey. Pilgrims from all parts of India management of the Jagannath temple was
mostly from Bengal, Banaras, Rajasthan, vested on the hands of Parichhas. Maratha
Central Province were coming to visit Lord Govt. gave appointment four Parichhas with
Jagannath at Puri. The Maratha Govt. was also specific duties for the better management of
very liberal and broad minded in issuing Jagannath temple. First and third Parichhas
passports to Muslims to visit Lord Jagannath were the Marathas and the second one was the
at Puri. Jasrat Khan, the Naib Nazim of Deccan man of local. He was called Jagannath Rajguru
requested the Maratha Govt. to issue passport and also holding the right for the post of Deula
in favour of his Dewan coming to Puri to see Parichha. The third Parichha was known as
Lord Jagannath. In order to have a Darshan of Satais Hazari Parichha. His duty was to collect
Lord Jagannath the devotees were coming from revenue from the Satais Hazari Mahals. The
Deccan and in large number from the West king of Daspalla supplied the log to Maratha
Bengal to Puri during the period of the Maratha Govt. Free of cost for the construction of
rule in Orissa. During the period of the Raja chariots. So the king of Daspalla was exempted
Ram Pandit the pilgrims were coming from from paying any tribute to Maratha Govt. The
Bombay, Gujurat, and Maharastra and they Parichhas became corrupted as a result the
were given all assistance in Orissa for Darsan Maratha Govt. had to pay additional amount
of Lord Jagannath. to meet the deficiency that occurred in the
During the Maratha rule the temple temple treasury. The Maratha Govt. also
administration was supervised under the imposed a tax on Parichhas in order to make
direction of the Raja of Khurda. The sources up the loss. A pilgrim tax was collected from
of income of the temple were the revenue the pilgrims who were coming to visit Lord
collected from the "Satais Hazari Mahal" town Jagannath. Maratha Govt. collected more
duties and the sale of the Lord's sacred food money as revenue from pilgrim tax. The
Mahaprasad. The Satais Hazari Mahal- a vast moment when the pilgrims entered into the
area of landed property was donated by territory of Orissa, the tax was collected from
Raghuji Bhonsle of Nagpur in order to meet them. When the pilgrims were to enter into the
day-to-day expenditure of Lord Jagannath. In Puri town they had to cross a river named
the beginning the financial management was "Mittiani" in two places. The pilgrims from
very satisfactory. After some years the south, were to enter through the "Lokanatha
corruption in the financial activities of the Ghata" and the pilgrims of the North were to
Orissa Review * June - 2006
enter through the "Atharanala Ghata". The the British captured Orissa in 1803 A.D. Morar
pilgrims were giving the tax in both the ghats. Pandit and Sewaji Pandit, the Marathas
The tax collected from the pilgrims in different continued their work as Parichhas of Jagannath
places was very heavy for them. The pilgrims temple during the British rule in Orissa. Within
from northern side were giving Rs.10/- only half a century in the rule of Maratha, they did
as pilgrim tax but Rs.6/- collected as pilgrim a lot for the welfare of the temple. During the
tax from southern people. Another fee was Marathas rule the Jagannath temple attracted
collected from each man when the visitor the pilgrims at large all over India. The
entered the Jagannath temple. Jagannath contribution of Marathas towards the Jagannath
temple was a source of income for the Maratha culture is remarkable and far-reaching.
Govt. At the time of Anglo-Maratha conflict, References
a treaty was signed, which reflects the
conditions that Jagannath temple and all the 1. Pilgrimage and Puri - Nityananda Patnaik.
duties collected from the pilgrims shall remain 2. Jagannatha in History and Religious tradition of
in the hand of Maratha. The Marathas were Orissa - Dr. Gopinath Mohapatra.
giving more emphasis on the protection of the
Brahmins and Hindu deities. They also wanted
to appoint a person of their own to supervise
the Jagannath temple administration. After the
decline of Maratha rule in Orissa their
representative was continuing for some days
in his own post of Parichha in the administrative Pabitra Mohan Barik is the Lecturer in History in the
system of the temple of Jagannath even when S.H. Mahavidyalaya, Madanpur, Khurda -752054.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
The Kitchen of Srimandir :
Biggest in the World
Saroj Kumar Panda
Sri Jagannath is the Lord of the Universe. His Sri Gundicha Temple, She is said to have no
kitchen is considered as the largest and the zeal to cook and so the food is tasteless. It is
biggest kitchen in the world. It is situated south- also said that if mother Laxmi is displeased
east direction of the outer compound of with the preparations by the cooks, a dog will
Srimandir. The length of the kitchen is 150 appear mysteriously on the temple grounds. If
feet, breadth is 100 feet and height is about 20 the dog is seen, all the food must be buried
feet. It consists of 32 rooms with 250 earthen and prepared again. As no dog is allowed to
ovens within these. Around 600 cooks (Suaras) enter the temple, this dog is said to be Kutama
and 400 assistants serve here everyday for Chandi, a tantric goddess in charge of
preparing Lord's food. purification of food.
There are three types of hearths in the Four types of cooking are prepared in
kitchen of Srimandir such as Anna Chuli, Ahia the kitchen of Srimandir. Those are Bhimapaka,
Chuli and Pitha Chuli. The dimension of Nalapaka, Souripaka and Gouripaka. The
hearths where rice is prepared are 4' x 2.5' x items of Bhimapaka consist Badatiana,
2'. The rectangular space created between two Gudakhuara, Pakala Nadia Rasa, Purapitha,
rice hearths is called Ahia. All types of Dal Biripitha and Gudakanji. In Nalapaka, items
and Curry items are cooked in Ahia Chuli. like Sakara, Tianalapara, Adanga and different
There are only ten numbers of Pitha Chuli in types of sweet drinks are prepared. Souripaka
the temple kitchen which are made of cement. it ems include Mahura, Deshialubhaja,
The fire of this kitchen is known as Vaishnava Kadalibhaja, Adapachedi, Ghialabanga and
Agni, because it is the fire in the kitchen of varieties of cakes. In Gouripaka, Mugatiana,
Lord Jagannath and used to serve Vishnu Leutia, Kosala and Madhura Lalita Saga items
Himself. It is never put out. are cooked.
It is believed that Mahalaxmi cooks in In the kitchen of Srimandir, four types
the kitchen Herself; all are felt to be Her of rice are prepared. These are Salianna,
servants. As she is not attentive to the cooking Khiraanna, Dadhianna and Sitalaanna.
on the days when Lord Jagannath is said to be Sunakhila rice cooks along with ghee and
sick before Rath Yatra, the food is less tasty. Phalatabha Kharada Lavana to get Salianna.
During Rath Yatra when Lord Jagannath is in For getting Khiraanna alongwith Basumati rice;
Orissa Review * June - 2006
cow milk, ghee and Kharada Lavana are mixed Bhandar, which runs by Suara Nijoga
and cooked. Similarly plain rice mixed with Cooperative Society. The earthen pots used for
curd; Dadhianna is prepared and rice mixed cooking foods are provided by Kumbhakara
wit h Tabharasa and Kharada Lavana; Nijoga Society. The potters of Kumbharapara
Sitalaanna is prepared. and nearby areas supply these pots the temple
The food in the temple kitchen is kitchen. The required timber for the kitchen
prepared in such a pure way and with deep was previously supplied from different forests
devotion; great spiritual impact is felt, both by of the State. But after nationalisation of forests,
those who cook and those who eat. The unique the State Forest Corporation is providing
feature is that, clay pots are placed in a special timbers for cooking purpose.
earthen oven, five in numbers, one on the top Daily 5,000 persons may be fed, but on
of another. Yet the one on the top is cooked big festival days, one to ten million may be
first. accommodated. The temple kitchen of Lord
There are two wells in the temple Jagannath is therefore considered to be the
complex for the purpose of supplying water biggest hotel in the world, serving all without
to the kitchen. These are named as Ganga and reservation or previous notice.
Jamuna and both are near the kitchen itself.
The radius of the wells is more than 10 feet
and depth is 100 feet each.
All the necessary commodities for the Saroj Kumar Panda is the Principal in the Gadibrahma
temple kitchen are brought from Mahalaxmi College, Delang, Puri
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Three Great Devotees of Lord Jagannath
Bhakta Manohar Das and the Padma colour and on Saturday the colour of wrapper
Besha (Lotus dress) of Lord Jagannath of is black during the 'Ghoda Lagi' period. In case
Shriksetra, Puri. of the Besha falling on Wednesday, the Lotus
Lord Jagannath is connected with dressing is on blue wrapper covered around
numerous Besha (dressing for appearance) on Vigraha. The Chandan Lagi (Sandal paste
stipulated days linked with specific incidences offering) is made, than in Badasinhar such
those happened in the past to remember those Lotus Besha is made and the Vigraha is dressed
happenings and to accordingly at night.
inspire the devotees Lord Jagannath
perennially. The is reputed as
dressing has devotee friendly :
become the Bhakta Batsal and
ritualistic regular Bhabagrahi,
tradit ion in receiver of pure
Srimandir, Puri. devotional throught
Padma Besha (to and Bhakta
dress Lord Rakhyakari,
Jagannath with protecto r of the
Lotus flowers) is one of such important Besha, dignity of devotees for ages together. He can
Traditionally from the Sukla Sasti of Margasira not sit peacefully in the Ratnasinhasan, when
month till the Basanta Panchami, the Sri his Bhakta is tortured and unable to meet Him.
Vigrahas, seated in Ratnasinghasan of Sri There are many incidents recorded in history,
Mandir, Puri are covered with winter wrappers, Puranas and Daryata Bhakti. One and such
at night called 'Ghoda Lagi' to protect the Lord incidents is that of Bhakta Monohar Das, who
from excessive cold. On the Wednesday or was living in village Sahapur, on the bank of
Saturday, coming in between Amabasya of the sacred river Rishikulya in Orissa. The
Magha and Basanta Panchami, the Lord is period, according to the history, is during the
dressed in Padma Besha. On the Wednesday, rule of King Udyot Keshari, towards the last
the wrapper covering the Vigraha is blue in part of the 10th century A.D. in Orissa.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
This devotee, Sadhu Manohar Das, the temple to share His sevas and darshan. The
started his journey from distant village Sahapur Gajapati, called the Rajaguru, namely,
to Srikhetra Puri on foot covering a long Bhavadeva and told the contents of his dream.
distance and reached Srikhetra Puri on the The Rajaguru took Manohar Das, and the
Amabasya day of Magha month. For days Lotus packed Gamuchha to the Sri Mandir. In
together, he walked on the road to reach Puri. front of the Vigrahas he opened the knot, asked
In course of his long journey, Manohar Das, the Sevakas to offer the Lotus by taking from
on his way found a tank in the road side and the Gamuchha of Manohar Das. And Lo ! the
found beautiful hundred-petalled red lotuses lotuses, though were previously dry and black
flowering and floating on the water of the tank. in colour, could get fresh lease of life, became
It came to the mind of devotee Manohar Das, fresh, red and purple coloured and emanated
out of devotional sentiment that some flowers divine and sweet fragrance. Being put on the
can be collected for offering to the Supreme Vigraha the Lord showed smiling face with
Lord at Puri. Accordingly, forgetting the appearance as if blessing all.
distance and time factor to reach Puri, he To remember, such exchange of love
colleced some fresh lotus flowers and packed between the Supreme Lord and the devotee,
those in his Gamuchha (Red towel) by binding and to inspire other devotees, each year
through knot. He reached Puri Dham and halted Padmabesha is made on the day fixed.
at Badachhata Matha, just adjacent to the Sri Badachhata Matha offers Khiri seva to the
Mandir boundary wall of the eastern side in Lords on this day in Srimandir. That Khiri
the right side of 'Purba Dwar'. Through out Prasad is distributed next day to the devotees.
the painful and long journey, his mind and
Till Swami Rasikananda's arrival Cars of
thought was ever filled with joy that he is going
the Holy Triad could not move to reach
to offer lotus flowers to Lord Jagannath. No
Sri Gundicha Temple at Puri Dham.
other thought disturbed him. He proceeded and
reached inside the temple. The Sevakas asked Lord Jagannath of Puri Dham always
what he has knotted in his Gamuchha. He understands the devotion of His devotees. He
opened the knot and showed the lotus flowers. waited for the arrival of Muslim devotee
But alas ! Those lotus flowers were no more Salabeg and Bhakta Balia Balaram Das to
fresh. Those have already dried, some have move in his car from Lion Gate of Sri Mandir
rotted and colour changed to pale and black. to go to Sri Gundicha temple. Another such
The Sevakas beat him in cane sticks for taking incident of His waiting for His devotee Swami
rotten flowers and due to severe injury and Rasikananda in his Car during the annual Car
mental shock Manohar Das fell on the ground Featival at Puri is worth mentioning.
unconscious. The people of Badachhata Rasikananda was born in the year 1590
Matha, brought him back and put him in rest A.D. at Rohininagar situated on the bank of
in unconscious stage in the Matha. In the river Subarnarekha which is now in Balasore
dream, Gajapati, Maharaja of Puri could see District of Orissa. The boy's name was Rasika
the Lord telling him to go to Manohar Das, to Murari. His passion for the Lord was found in
take the lotus flowers from him and offer to his childhood when he was uttering the name
Him and allow devotee Manohar Das to enter of Lord Krishna constantly. Like his father, he
Orissa Review * June - 2006
was uttering the name of Lord Krishna while border of the Ex-State of Mayurbhanj, (at
sitting on a sacred place called Ghantasila present in Nayabasan Tehsil of West Midnapur
being in meditation of the calmly form of Lord District of West Bengal) and at a distance of
Krishna. At that time, the great devotee Sri 47 km on road from Baripada via Jamsola. The
Shyamananda Thakur was studying the Matha is in a very dilapidated condition due
devotional scriptures at Vrindaban, after getting to lack of maintenance and preservation.
inititation from the Vaisnava Guru Sri Jiva Once, while Sri Rasikananda Swami was
Goswami. One day, while Sri Shyamananda living as a guest of king Baidyanath Bhanj of
was sitting absorbed in meditation in a lonely Banapur, the Muslim Subedar Ahmed Baig
garden, Bhagaban Sri Madan Gopal Himself who was kept in charge of Orissa, became
appeared before him and said "Syamananda, much irritated of the devotion of Sri Krishna,
immediately proceed to Utkal where Bhakta preached by Rasikananda which was widely
Rasika Murari, who is very dear to me is acceptable to the common mass. Subedar Baig
meditating and chanting my name constantly. became furious and asked Swami Rasikananda
Initiate him in the Mantra of Sri Krishna and to pacify a ferocious and rogue wild elephant
preach my love and devotion widely". But Sri by his power of devotion to Lord Krishna. This
Syamananda though came to senses at once is the test of his devotion. If he fails, he will be
by this incident, could not at the outset believe punished severely. Rasikananda fearlessly
the command of the Lord. So in next few approached the rogue elephnat and whispered
moments Sri Gopal appeared before Sri Jiva the name and mantra of Lord Sri Krishna in
Goswami and ordained him to tell Syamananda both the ears of the elephant. Instantly, the
to immediately proceed to Utkal and initiate nature of the elephant was changed and he
devotee Rasika Murari in Sri Krishna Mantra became, peaceful, obedient and in token of
and preach the art of love and devotion. Sri respect for Saint Sri Rasikananda, the elephant
Shyamananda Goswami reached Utkal in the prostrated in his feet. On seeing this miraculous
year 1608 A.D., initiated Rasikananda ( the power of Sri Krishna mantra which Rasikand
name of Rasika Murari after initiation) and preached, Ahmed Baig became stunned, and
stayed at Utkal now in Orissa and devoted his he himself started glorifying the merit and
remaining period of the life in preaching love greatness of Sri Rasikananda Swami.
and devotion of Sri Krishna. The Matha where Thereafter, Rasikananda returned to
he stayed is now at Kanpur, nearly 4 km from Gopiballavpur. Once an intense desire to see
Rasgovindpur and at about 46 km. from the Lord Jagannath of Puri came to his mind.
Baripada, t he Distr ict headquarters of He started to proceed on foot to Puri and on
Mayurbhanj district in Orissa State. There the the way he was to visit sacred places at Jajpur
wooden sandals he used to put on, his winter and other places of pilgrimages located on the
wrapper like Kantha and his Samadhi are bank of the river Baitarani. There was delay,
there. In the Year 1630 AD Syamananada as a result of which he could not reach Puri
Swami breathed his last. Dham in time. On the day of Gundicha, the
Rasikananda Swami was living in a day of Car Festival the car started moving from
Matha at Gopiballavpur on the bank of the Lion's Gate towards Sri Gundicha temple in
river, Subarnarekha, which was on the northern Badadanda. Knowing this, Sri Rasikananda
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Swami prayed from the core of his heart saying of Lord Khirachora Gopinath till his last days.
" Oh Lord, kindly favour me by staying in the Till date, the Samadhi Shrine of Rasikananda
car till my arrival, to enable me to have your is within the premises of the temple, and at a
darshan in the car during Car Festival. Kindly distance, the residence of Rasikananda is found
wait for my arrival. " Mahaprabhu Lord at Remuna. It was Narasingh Deb, the Gajapati
Jagannath is Bhabagrahi and Bhaktabatsal and King, who brought Madan Gopal's idol from
Bhaktabandhu. He waited for his sincere Chitrakut, and that Madan Gopal remained at
devotee in the Nandighosa Ratha and none of Remuna, who later on in the year 1436 A.D.
three Rathas, inculding that of His moved an after stealing Khira Bhoga for saint
inch forward. The Thakur Maharaja was Madhabendra Puri, came to be known as
perplexed at this. Even horses and elephants Khirachora. The legend says that Lord Sri
in large number, being yoked to pull the three Rama has carved this stone edol of Madan
Rathas, failed to drag an inch forward. All Gopal at Chitrakut by arrows during his stay
efforts failed. The Gajpati king prayed and took and has shown to Sita. In 1258 A.D. the temple
shelter of Lord Sri Jagannath to favour him to for Mandan Gopal was built at Remuna and
solve the situation. In his dream, Lord for arrangement of Seva Puja landed property
Jagannath told the king - "My devotee was donated by the king. In Chitrakut, Lord
Rasikananda is hurriedly rushing to see me on Brahma was worshipping Madan Gopal.
the car during the Car Fest ival. He is Madhabendra Puri one of the devotees, whose
approaching Puri and is now at Tulasichoura, Matha is still there very near to Khirachora
located very near, please wait for his arrival. Gopinath temple, Remuna, near Balasore in
After his arrival and seeing me in the car, the Orissa. This incident testifies the fact that the
car will move of their own accord in the usual Lord is even fulfiller of the sincere thought of
pulling."In fact, the dream came true when the devotees.
king received Rasikananda Swami and on his Santh Tulsi Das, the Sri Ramabhakta could
touching the cars by hands, the cars ran on the see his Lord Sri Rama in the Raghunath
road, being dragged by devotees and reached Besha and Padma Besha of Lord
Sri Gundicha Temple smoothly. The record Jagannath.
testifies the event to have taken place in the
Lord Jagannath of Sri Jagannath Dham,
year 1640 A.D.
Puri is the Param Brahma and ever friendly
On request of the king, Rasikananda to the devotees. The Lord has shown His
stayed with Sri Vigraha Batakrushna in "Kunja
Matha", located on the side of Sri Mandir.
Infact that Matha was first founded by Swami
Rasikananda left Puri for Remuna, as
Khirchora Gopinath at Remuna ordered the
Gajapati king in his dream to send him back to
render His worship. There at Remuna,
Rasikananda stayed and rendered Seva Puja
Orissa Review * June - 2006
apperance to devotees Jagannath could not tolerate such anxiety of
in the forms, t hey Tulsi Das, who was walking on foot. He
conceived in their crossed Atharnala (a road bridge over eighteen
minds and wanted to nalas) and rapidly proceeding from Puri to
see him. Lord Kashi via Batamangala. On command of Lord
Jagannath satisfied. Jagannath, Bhakta Hanuman, sat on the road
Santh Tulsi Das, the bridge over Atharanala and obstructed Tulsi
author of the great Das from proceeding to Kashi. Tulsi Das, paid
Ramacharit Manas by no heed to the indication of Hunuman and
showing him His proceeded ahead on the road to Kashi. On the
Raghunath Besha, way, in a village called Malatipatapur, Tulsi
which is enlisted as one of several Beshas. Das halted in a Tulasi Chouwara (elevated
platform having sacred basil tree in a pot) at
Realising the fact that Lord Sri Jagannath
night even in the midst of hunger and thirst.
is himself Param Brahma in appearance, Santh Tulsi Das, out of fatigue and frustration, not
Tulsi Das in his advanced age proceeded on seeing Sri Ramachandra, in Param Brahma
foot from Kashi Pith to Sriksetra Puri, the Sri Jagannath, fell asleep. While closing his
Jagannath Dham alone to see his Lord Sri eyes he saw in his dream, goddess Mahalaxmi,
Rama Chandra, armed with bow and arrows telling Lord Jagannath that no devotee returns
in Lord Sri Jagannath. This pious desire from Puri without taking Mahaprasad in the
inspired him to travel, covering a long distance form of sacred cooked rice (Avada) and curry,
with hardship. On the way in between Cuttack but devotee Tulsi Das has left Puri without
and Bhubaneswar, in a place named Tulsi taking any food and drink. She requested Lord
Talwa locally known as Tulasi Sarovar (Tulsi Jagannath to proceed himself in disguise of a
tank), he took rest in the night. small boy taking the sacred rice and cury,
Next day, he resumed his journey on foot which is called Mahaprasad and offer him to
early in the morning and reached Puri. On his pertake. Santh Tulasi Das when asked by the
arrival at Puri, he hastened to enter the temple, boy to take the Mahaprasad, told him that he
by assending the Baisi Pahacha (22 number would not take the sacred rice and curry
of steps) and stood in front of the idol of Lord without seeing Sri Ramachandra in Lord Sri
Jagannath Bije in Ratna Sinhasan (in golden Jagannath who is hailed as Param Brahma.
throne). From a little distance, he could see The boy asked him to open his Ramacharit
the Param Brahma Lord Jagannath with round Manas manuscript, which was availble with
black eyes, the Sri Vigrahra (sacred idol) Tulsi Das, written on palmleaves and bound
without hands and feet and ears, seated and in red cloth and asked him to refer to Doha
being worshipped. He could not see Param 117 - from the 5th Chowpahi to 8th Chowpahi,
Brahma, according to his conception in the which Tulsi Das, himself had written and to
form of Sri Rama Chandra armed with bow read the Balakanda.
and arrows. Being disappointed he left Puri, "Binu Pada Chalai Sunai Binukana,
without taking any food or drink. Bhabagrahi Kara Binu Karama Karai Bidhi Nana
(knower of the thought of devotee) Sri Anana Rahita Sakala Rasabhogi
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Binubani Bakata Jogi Spontaneoulsy, Santh Tulsi Das wept
Tana Binu Parasa Nayana Binu Dekha profusely and tears rolled down from his eyes
Grahai Ghrana Binu Basa Ashesa and he confirmed his version by the inspiration
Asi Samabhati Alaukika Karana of the Lord in the immortal poem, which came
Mahima Jasu Jai Nahin Barana." out from his mouth.
He is that Param Brahma, who walks "Johi Rama Sohi Jagaddisha,
without feet, hears without ears, does various Dina Hine Ananta Parbata Shesha
works without hands, tastes all sorts of items Lord Jagannath is Rama, and Rama is
and juices without mouth, touches all without Lord Jagannath. He is the protector of the poor,
skin, sees all without eyes, and smells all down-trodden and neglected, like the mountain
without nose. That Param Brahma is so exta- is being protected by Sheshanaga, (Ananta)
ordinarily mysterious, that it is unknown to upholding the same by placing the earth over
gods even. Lord Jagannath is the very said it.
Param Brahma, which you have narrated in
your above Dohas and poems. He is residing Tulsi Das became satisfied and his
in Sri Mandir being bound and tied with journey to see Lord Ramachandra in Puri in
devotional thought of his devotees. The boy Param Brahma Jagannath was fulfilled
narrating this, told Tulsi Das to return and look completely. He returned to Kasipith from Puri
again. He can see Him in the form he desired Dham on foot, meditating over the event.
and described in Rama Charit Manas. Tulasi The Besha of Lord Jagannath in the
Das being emotionally charged and shape of Raghunath is called Raghunath Besha.
overwhelmed by the words of the boy, resumed Sri Raghunath Besha, is too expensive, but it
his return journey to Puri, came running and lasts for a period of seven days and lakhs of
reached Puri, ascended the Baishi Pahachas devotees throng to Puri and get Darshan of
and prostrated before the Lord sitting in Ratna Sri Raghunath Besh in Ratna Sinhasan of Lord
Sinhasan and in the process, Tulsi Das lost Jagannath.
consciousness. Regaining his senses, he looked
at Lord Jagannath with folded hands in standing
position. He became surprised to see Sri
Ramachandra with bow and arrows in hands
in the Ratna Sinhasan, in place of Lord
Jagannath. He begged excuse and prayed the
Lord to forgive him as he could not recognise Somanath Jena, a retired Addl. Secretary to Govt. of
Him and could not realise his own version Orissa, lives at Walliganj, Baripada, Mayurbhanj,
written in Ramacharit Manas. Orissa - 757002.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Lord Purushottama in the Ganga
Inscriptions of Orissa
The history of the Gangas is a landmark in the to Vaishnavism and thinks that due to the
history of Orissa. The dynasty reached the influence of Ramanuja this conversion took
height of glory for its political achievements, place. It was during his reign Ramanuja3 visited
temple building activities, economic prosperity his kingdom and stayed at Puri. The effect of
and religious movements. The advent of the his visit was the change of the religious faith
imperial Ganga marked a great revival of the of Chodaganga who became a Parama
Vaishnava cult in Orissa. Under the royal Vaishnava.
patronage of the Ganga rulers the fame of
Secondly the influence of his queens
Purushottama Jagannatha reached the pinnacle
should not be ignored. His chief queen
of glory. The cult of Vaishnavism took an
Jayamgonda Chodadevi was the daughter of
important form with the construction of a
Virochoda and grand daughter of the great
temple for Lord Purushottama at the sea-shore
Kullotunga Choda. Virochoda erected a Vishnu
temple at Sarvavaram, and nine inscriptions4
Anantavarman Chodagangadeva the of this temple record grants by Anantavarman
founder of the Ganga dynasty occupied Utkala Chodagangadeva's younger brother
and shifted his capital from Kalinganagara to Paramadideva and his wives and refers to the
Kataka. Anantavarman like his predecessor, god as Purushottama.
was a great devotee of Siva and assumed the
Lastly the construction of a temple for
title Parama Mahesvara. But in the Korni
god Purushottama at Puri by Chodaganga proof
copper plate grant1 dated 1112 A.D. he changed
his inclination towards Vaishnavism. Line 17
his attitude and appeared to demonstrate
of the Nagari plates5 of Anangabhima III states
religious universality by applying to himself
that Chodaganga built a temple for the great
titles such as Parama-Mahesvara, Parama-
god Purushottama at Puri on the sea-shore of
Vaishnava and Parama-Brahmanya. In the
the Bay of Bengal. The plate further describes
Narasimha and Markanda temple inscriptions
that Lord Purushottama had been in worship
of Chodaganga the name of Purushottama2 is
at Puri for many years before the conquest of
found to have been mentioned.
that region by Chodaganga, but that Saivite
Many scholars have spoken of a Somavamsi kings, who were supplanted from
conversion of Chodagangadeva from Saivism Utkala by the Gangas, had neglected the
Orissa Review * June - 2006
erection of a temple for the Vaishnavite deity. Draksharama temple inscription8 he stated
Purushottama-Jagannath of Puri was originally himself as Parama Vaishnava and Parama
worshipped by the aboriginal Savara people Mahesvara as well as Purushottama Putra,
in an inaccessible forest on the Nilachala and Rudra Putra and Durga Putra. In this context
that the priest of king Indradyumna of Avanti, we think that the formation of a Jagannath Triad
who popularized the god, received information by Ananagabhima during his early years proves
regarding the deity and his worship from a his ritual relationship with the three dominent
Savara named Viswavasu. So the identification deities of Orissa, Purushottama at Puri,
of this deity with the Brahmanical god Vishnu Lingaraj Siva at Bhubaneswar and Durga or
apparently earlier than the beginning of the 12th Viraja at Jajpur
century when Chodaganga conquered Utkala It was only under the king Anangabhima
country, and the construction of the great III that the god Purushottama at Puri became
temple of Purushottama Jagannath at Puri by the official state deity of the Ganga empire. In
Chodagangadeva has reflected his great the Bhubaneswar Inscription9 which is dated
devotion to and popularization of the Vaishnava 1230 A.D., he has been declared as a son and
cult. deputy of Lord Purushottama and similarly
In the Chattesvara temple inscription6 of pronounced his dominions as Purushottama
Vishnu, the victorious general of Anangabhima Samrajya and he was the servant of the god
III, king Chodaganga has been praised as a Purushottama.
king in whom the glory of the "Narasimha In the same year his wife Somaladevi
avatara of Vishnu manifest itself'. As we know made a valuable donation to the God Vishnu-
from other records that Chodaganga ancestors Allalanatha at Kanchipuram. The inscription10
were all staunch devotee of the god Siva and record the gift of the village named
Chodaganga's himself was one such in the Udaiyakamam in Antarudra Vishaya by
earlier part of his life but later on a devotee of Somaladevi, for offering and worship to the
Vishnu alone for the above-said reason. god Allalanatha while she was at Abhinava
The next important ruler of Ganga Varanasi Kataka. The inscription is dated in
dynasty who patronized Vaishnava cult was the 19th regnal year of Anangabhima. He is
Anangabhima III. In many of his records he described as the son of Lord Purushottama and
has described himself as a deputy of the Lord a Parama Vaishnava who regularly observed
Ekadasi-vrata and constantly meditated at the
Purushottama. In the Nagari plate7, he assumed
feet of his Lord and the grant was made by the
the title Anankabhima-rautta-deva, and by
command (adesa) of Lord Purushottama.
assuming this title he considered himself a mere
deputy of the god Purushottama Jagannath of During the same year Anangabhima had
Puri whom he regarded as the real Lord of the consecrated a temple for Purushottama in his
kingdom. He is the first imperial Ganga newly founded capital Abhinava Varanasi-
monarch who is so far known to have assumed Kataka 11 and donated land t o several
the subordinate title Rautta and claimed Brahmanas. It is therefore quite logical that in
theoritically atleast to have been a feudatory one of his last inscriptions dated 1238 A.D. he
of the god Purushottama Jagannath. In the declared his regnal year or Anka as the regnal
Orissa Review * June - 2006
year of Lord Purushottama. The sources leave mere deputy of Lord Purushottama, was
no doubt that Anangabhima acknowledged Bhanudeva II. In his Puri Inscription15 he called
Jagannatha as the overlord of Orissa and himself as Bhanudeva Rautta and declared his
remained as his deputy. According to the own regnal year as the prosperous and
temple chroniclel2, king Anangabhima had even victorious reign of Sri Purushottamadeva. He
renounced his royal consecration (abhiseka) considered himself as a deputy of the god in
because he considered himself only as the the matter of ruling the Ganga dominion. The
deputy of Purushottama Jagannatha." epithet' Visvambhara-bhara-vahana-
The next ruler Narasimha I, the son and mahaniya' which is applied to god
successor of Anangabhima III, followed the Purushottama in our record point to his
deputy ideology of his father, and like him he identification with Vishnu who is believed to
also declared himself as a son and deputy of carry the burden of the earth in the form of the
Purushottama, the Lord of the Universe. In one tortoise. He describes Lord Purushottama as
of his inscriptions13 at Kapilas he stated that the Lord of the Ganga dominion. Further for
the king succeeded in subduing by the power the first time in one of his inscriptions at
of his arms enemies in numerous battles at the Srikurmam16 t he god of Puri is called
command of the god Purushottama. The god Jagannatha.
is none o ther t han Lord Purushott ama Reference:
Jagannath, who is worshipped in the temple of 1. JAHRS-Vol-I-P.l13ff
Puri, to whom Anangabhima dedicated his 2. Cultural Heritage of Dhenkanal- P.133
empire. Further it describes him as Parama 3. OHRJ-Vol-VI-P.299
Mahesvara, Durga Putra and Purushottama 4. The Cult of Jagannatha and the Religious Tradition
Putra, who built a temple for Lord Siva at of Orissa -P.24
Kapilas hill. But it is not surprising in view of 5. Epigraphia Indica, Vol-XXVIII-P.235ff
the fact that his father Anangabhima himself is 6. Epigraphia Indica, Vol-XXIX-P.15
also called both Parama Vaishnava and 7. Epigraphia Indica, Vol-XXVIII-P.235ff
Parama Mahesvara as well as Purushottama 8. S.I.I., Vol-IV-No.1329
Putra, Rudra Putra and Durga Putra in one 9. JASB, Vol- XVII-P.21
of his inscriptions14 in the Siva temple at 10. Epigraphia Indica, Vol- XXXI-P.94ff
11. Epigraphia Indica, Vol- XXVIII-P.235ff
The Kapilas Inscription compares 12. The Cult of Jagananth and Religious Tradition of
Narasimha I with the great Boar (Vishnu in his Orissa-P.153.
Varaha incarnation) that raised the Vedas and 13. Epigraphia Indica, Vol-IV, No.1329.
world from the ocean. He was the first king of 14. S.I.I., Vol- XVII-P.195.
Orissa who used the title Gajapati or the Lord 15. JASB, Vol-XVII-P.195.
of the Elephants. This title became the most 16. Epigraphia Indica, Vol-V, P.351.
popular royal title in Orissa under the later
Gangas and especially under the Suryavamsis.
The next important ruler of imperial Bharati Pal, Assistant Curator (Epigraphy), Orissa State
Ganga dynasty who considered himself as the Museum, Bhubaneswar.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Sakta Pithas of Purusottama
Prabhas Kumar Singh
Saktism played a very prominent role in the The ancient sacred texts enumerate
development of Indian religions. The all Uddiyana, Jalandhara, Purnagiri and
pervasive sakti became so powerful a cultural Kamakshya as the earliest sakta pithas of India.
force that all the religious thoughts in the Scholars like Sylven Levi, P.C. Bagchi, D.C.
mainstream and folk religious faiths had to Sircar and few others have identified Uddiyana
acknowledge its profound influence. With the of the Hevaraja Tantra and Odra of Kalika
widespread efflorescence of sakti cult, there Purana with Swat Valley of northwestern India
emerged numerous manifestations, sakta where Katyayani is the presiding goddess and
pithas and vast masses of literature in support Jagannath is the tutelary god. But in fact there
of the sakta principle. The sacred centres of is no archaeological evidence in the Swat valley
India were spotted with sakta centres (sakta to justify the view points of scholars. Jagannath
pithas). The royal houses in acknowledging is the original god of Orissa and Vimala, Viraja
the significance of the emerging religion and Katyayani are his consorts. Vimala is the
patronized it and people accepted it with heart pitha devi of Puri, Viraja, the pitha devi of
and soul, as there was no caste or sex restriction Jajpur and Katyayani of Chausasthi Yogini
in this faith. As a result of emergence of temple of Hirapur (Near Bhubaneswar). The
numerous manifestations of sakti, the sacred Sanskrit Mahabharata refers to Odra, Utkala
places in India were associated with them and and Kalinga in several contexts. The sakta
these places came to be known as sakta tirthas importance of Odra or Uddiyana is
or pithas. The literal meaning of pitha is the substantiated by the Kubjika, Pranatoshini and
seat (asana). The sacred places which contain Yajnarnava tantras with the illustration of
the seat of the devi are sakta pithas. The sakta Jagannatha as Bhairava and Viraja as Bhairavi.
pithas, the favourite abodes of devi are virtually The Yajnarnava tantra relates Uddiyana and
the places of pilgrimages. According to noted Ekamra as a Sakta kshetra. Uddiyana can be
scholar J.N. Banerjea and others, a pitha sprang identified with Purushottama Kshetra (Puri)
of wherever a limb or severed part of Sati's and Ekamra with Bhubaneswar.
body fell as per the Daksha Yajna story. Of
course there are certain sakta centres, which Puri is a holy city in the whole world
though not linked with the limbs of Sati are and referred with many synonyms in Puranas
also called sakta pithas. and old Sanskrit texts as Srikshetra, Samkha
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Kshetra, Purusottama Kshetra, Nilachala, of Siva traditionally associated with each
Niladri, Jagannatha Kshetra etc. Out of these goddess presiding over a sakta pitha of her
Puri is more popularly known as Purusottama own. The yantra of Purusottama consists of
(best synonym of Lord Jagannath). Although an eight-pettalled lotus with the Vija Mantra
Purusottama kshetra has been recognized as a "Klim" in the centre. The priest first worships
great centre of Vaisnavism, it is also recognized Purusottama with Lakshmi and proceeds
as a sakti pitha (pada pitha) where the foot of thereafter to worship the eight saktis of Vishnu
sati fell down according to Daksha Yajna story. (Vimala, Utkarshini, Yajna, Kriya, Yoga,
It was also a centre of Saktism of India as Prahvi, Satya and Eshana). Vimala is regarded
att ested by lit erat ure, tradition and as one of the Asta Chandis of Purusottama
archaeological remains. Matsya Purana refers Kshetra. The other seven are Ramachandi,
to Purushottama Kshetra as a sakta pitha with Harachandi, Vaseli, Varahi, Alamchandi,
its presiding goddess Vimala. In tantric lore, Dakshina Chandi, Jhadeswari.
lord Jagannath is considered to be a Bhairava
In Purusottama Kshetra Jagannath and
and Vimala is worshipped as Mahadevi. In the
Vimala are regarded as Madhava and Durga
Devi Bhagavata, Vimala is considered to be a
respectively. During Dusshera festival the
kshetra sakti. Vamana Puarana referes to
images of Durga and Madhava are brought to
Purusottama along with Viraja as a sacred
Vimala temple for propitiation. A sculptural
centre. According to Tantra Chudamani, the
panel of Sun temple at Konark depicting
naval portion of Bhagavati fell in Utkal and
Jagannath, Siva Lingam and Durga altogether
therefore this kshetra came to be known as
symbolizes syncreticism of Vaisnavism,
Viraja or Navikshetra where the name of Devi
Saivism and Saktism. The worshiop of
is Vimala and Jagannath is Bhairava. Tantric
Madhava and Durga in the Madhavananda
literature Rudra Yamala glorifies Jagannath as
temple in the Prachi valley further substantiates
adorning the Mahapitha. Another tantric
the prevalence of Durgamadhava worship
literature Kalika Purana refers to Odra pitha
tradition in Orissa.
as a famous sakti pitha which was the
celebrated centre of goddess Katyayani and The origin of Vimala at Purusottama
god Jagannath. Vimala has been mentioned as Kshetra is shrouded in obscurity. She has been
presiding goddess of Purusottama kshetra in the pitha devi much before the emergence of
the list of 108 pithas found in the Pranatoshini Lord Jagannath. It is pertinent to mention here
Tantra. In the Puranic list of 108 names of the that the Bhogas of Lord Jagannath become
mother goddess in Namastottra Sata, we come Mahaprasad after those are offered to Vimala.
across the expression Vimala Purusottama. In The present t emple of Vimala, a four-
the list of Mahapithas and Upapithas given chambered structured shrine dating back to the
by the author of Sivacharita also we come imperial Gangas, like most of the edifices lying
across Nilaparvata or Nilachala where Vimala within the Jagannath temple compound, was
is the presiding devi and Jagannath is Bhairava. most probably built on the foundation of an
The saktas consider Vimala the real presiding earlier sakta shrine dedicated to the same
deity of Srikshetra and that Lord Jagannath is goddess. According to noted scholar H.C. Das,
merely her Bhairava (the terrific manifestation the iconographic features and artistic imagery
Orissa Review * June - 2006
of the goddess bear the art tradition of given an important part in the mode of worship.
Bhaumakara period when most of the sakta The tantric panchamakaras are identified in a
tantric pithas emerged in Orissa. The literary manner that divests the individual items of their
traditions assign her origin to the Puranic gross sensuality. Matsya is replaced by green
Period. However, Vimala is the earliest sakta vegetables mixed with hingu, mansa is
dieity of Purusottama kshetra. replaced by adapacedi (ginger), green coconut
water served in bell metal pots substitute for
There are other sakta temples inside the
madya, Mudra is replaced by kanti, a podding
Jagannath temple complex. Tho se are
prepared with sugar and water and maithuna
dedicated to goddess Bhubaneswari and
is replaced by dancing performed by devadasis
Lakshmi. The fore-armed Bhubaneswari is
and the offering of aparajita flower (conceived
seated in vajraparyanka on a lotus cushion.
as the yoni).
Her front right hand shows varada while the
left hand displays abhaya. The uplifted back The image o f Subhadra with the
hands hold ankusha (goad) and nagapasa. She Jagannath trinity probably has sakta origin. She
has three eyes and has a crescent moon in her is no other than Ekanamsa, often considered
crown. The four-armed Lakshmi assumes a to be the personification of Durga as well as
similar vajraparyanka pose and likewise the sister of Krishna and Baladeva. Once
displays varada and abhaya with her front set absorbed into this predominantly Vaisnavite
of hands. Both uplifted back hands hold a lotus. trinity her association with Durga is still
Within the bhogamandapa of Jagannath temple apparent in the Car Festival, however her
it self is an image of Mahisamardini. chariot is decorated with nine representatives
Mahisamardini or Kanaka Durga is also the of goddesses who are either aspects of Durga
palace deity, the personal deity of the king of or her incarnation Navadurgas. In Brahma
Puri and her image plays a major role in the Purana, Ekanamsa is identified with
Durga Puja festival. Katyayani. Subhadra has been regarded as
Parasakti, Yogamaya, Kampilya Vasini,
The sakta environment of Purusottama Ekanamsa, Bhubaneswari, Mahalaxmi and also
kshetra is also apparent in the believe that the in many other forms of supreme power of the
shrine is protected by asta saktis namely, Sarva world. She is worshipped in Bhubaneswari
Mangala, Bhubaneswari, Indrani, Patta Mantra (hrim), which implies that she is the
Mangala, Chamunda, Durga, Vimala and lipta (gnana) sakti of Lord Jagannath. Learned
Lakshmi. Sakta influence is also visible in the scholar Sasanka Sekhar Panda has opined that
mode of worship of Lord Jagannath that is Goddess Samalei of Sambalpur is worshipped
partly Vedic and partly Sakta/Tantra with the in the same Bhubaneswari mantra as in the
incorporation of various Nyasas like sristi, case of Subhadra. The uniconic form of
sthiti, samhara nyasa, matrika nyasa, kesa goddess Samalei like the present anthropoid
vinyasa, etc. and yantras such as Sri and form of Subhadra seems to be identical.
Bhubaneswari, kriyas (mudras) and Samalei initially worshipped and later absorbed
vijamantras. Equally interesting is the yogic into Hindu fold by the Somavamsis who were
tantric system of impelling the satkaras ruling over Orissa from the upper Mahanadi
(satcakrabheda) of the body which is also valley from their capital city Suvarnapura in
Orissa Review * June - 2006
the 9th/10th centuries A.D. Noted scholar B.C. Bali Harchandi
Pradhan and Herman Kulke hold the view that Bali Harchandi has been depicted in
the iconography of Subhadra resembles that Tantra sashtra as one of the protector Chandis
of the iconography of goddess Khambeswari. of Shrikshetra and one of the powerful sakta
So Subhadra existed in the Jagannath triad at tantric goddess of Chilika (along with Kalijai,
least during the Somavamsi period. She was a Bhagavati, Tara, Durga, Narayani, Kalika,
sakta deity and was adorned as Katyayani, Hingula and Charchika) is enshrined in the west
Durga and Bhadra Kali. Thus, it seems that of Srikshetra near the mouth of the lake. She
the central placement of Subhadra in the is mentioned frequently in the invocatory verses
Jagannath triad is an indication of the pivotal composed by poets in Oriya literature. She is
position of the sakti in the great sakta pitha also very prominent in legend and tradition.
Purusottama. During the regime of Bhoi dynasty, a tantrika
In course of the growth of Saktism in named Pratak Kapalika attained enlightenment
Purusottama kshetra a number of sakta shrines (siddhi) in this pitha. Sri Ramachandra Deva,
were constructed, highlighting the sakta the founder of the Bhoi dynasty was attracted
character of the Jagannath kshetra. Among the to this tantrika for his miraculous power. He
sakta shrines mention may be made of constructed the present temple in honour of
Ramachandi, Baliharchandi, Vaseli, Varahi, the deity and granted land for her daily rituals.
Alamchandi, Dakshina Kali, Syama Kali, This goddess is also regarded as goddess of
Jhadeswari, Saptamatrikas, Bata Mangala, etc. water and navigation, who protects the
some of which deserve a little discussion to boatsman and fisherman, when confronted with
justify Puri as a sakta pitha. danger in the sea. The goddess is eight-armed
Ramchandi Mahisamardini on the demon in therimorphic
form which is assigned to the illustrious
The shrine of Ramchandi is located on Bhaumakara period.
the mouth of the dead river Banki Muhana in
Puri town. She is traditionally associated with Varahi
the legend of the daru of Jagannath. It is A beautiful image of Varahi at Bali Sahi,
believed that she protected the sacred daru Puri town is four-handed holding a fish and a
when floating in the mouth of Banki Muhana skull cup in the upper two arms, while the
through the sea. She is further believed to be lower right one is in abhaya and the lower left
the protector goddess of the fishermen and the holds a child on her lap. She is worshipped by
naval crews. It is a six-handed Mahisamardini the Brahmin priest with non-vegetarian food,
image of chlorite stone. She holds sword, arrow particularly fish. The image with bold
and trident in her right hands, shield, bow, in workmanship emitting celestial smile and grace
her two left hands while the third one twisting looks elegant. It is dated to the Bhaumakara
the head of the demon. This goddess can be period.
compared to the images of Dakshina Chandi Saptamatrikas
at Bhubaneswar and Sikhara Chandi of Patia
near Bhubaneswar which is assignable to A set of Saptamatrika images near the
Bhaumakara period. Markandeswara tank are assigned to the epoch
Orissa Review * June - 2006
of Somavamsis. The Madala Panji relates the times. The successive royal dynasties have left
construction of the Saptamatrika temple by one behind their cultural and religious influence on
Bhimakesari of Kesari dynasty. This is the this sacred centre.
definite evidence to indicate that Puri was well- Select Bibliography
known as a sakta pitha by the 9th and 10th
centuries A.D. 1. Pradhan, B.C., Origin and Development of
Syama Kali 2. Donaldson, T.E. Hindu Temple Art of Orissa, Vol.
Syama Kali was the presiding deity of I & III.
the old palace of Puri. She was probably 3. Donaldson, T.E. Tantra and Sakta Art of Orissa,
established at Bali Sahi, Puri town by the Bhoi Vol. I.
dynasty after it shifted its headquarters from 4. Panigrahi, K.C. History of Orissa.
Khurdha to Puri. The deity is four-handed, 5. Panigrahi, K.C. Archaeological Remains at
holding khadga and severed human head in Bhubaneswar.
upper right and lower left hand respectively. 6. Behera, K.S. The Evolution of Sakti Cult at
The upper right and left are in varada and Jajpur, Bhubaneswar and Puri.
varada mounting on a dead body respectively. 7. Sircar, D.C. The Sakti Cult and Tara.
She is worshipped in Dakshina Kali mantra
8. Sircar, D.C. The Sakta Pithas.
and confirms to the dhyana of first mahavidya
Kali. 9. Das, H.C. The Sakta Pithas.
Bata Mangala 10. Panda, S.S. Antiquities of Sri Jagannath:
Amazing Findings, Orissa Review, Vol. LXI.
The goddess Mangala is so popular in No.4, Nov. 2004
Orissa that she is worshipped both in folk and 11. Mitra, R.L. Antiquities of Orissa
anthropomorphic forms. Bata Mangala of Puri 12. Sahu, N.K. Buddhism in Orissa
is enshrined on the gateway to Srikshetra on
13. Mishra, K.C. Cult of Jagannth
Jagannath road. She is believed to guide the
pilgrims to Sri Kshetra. She is worshipped in 14. Eschmann, H. Kulke and G.C. Tripathy, The Cult
the mantra of Durga and is the same as of Jagannath and the Regional Traditions of
Mahamangala, Sarva Mangala and Mangala.
She is beautiful, two-handed and three-eyed 15. Singh, P.K., 'Samalesvari Temple of Sambalpur'
Orissa Historical Research Journal, Vol. XLVI,
goddess seated in padmasana with smiling
No. 2, 2003
face holding consciously pasa and ankusa.
Thus Purusottama kshetra was earliest
sakta pitha of India. Taking into account the
numerous legendary accounts of different
times, the antiquity of this kshetra can be traced
from the time of Mahabharata. This was a P.K. Singh is the Assistant Curator (Archaeology
great centre of pilgrimage from the ancient Section), Orissa State Museum, Bhubaneswar.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Lord Jagannath in Costumes
Orissa is glorious and boastful because of with different events of His incarnations, major
presence of Lord Jagannath at Puri. He is the Veshas relating to His incarnation as Lord
Bada Thakura, the Chief among Gods, His, Krishna. These Veshas draw the attention of
temple is known as Bada Deula, the Chief countless devotees and visitors every year and
temple among temples and the path in the deities look so beautiful that one cannot
front of His temple is called retract his attention from the magnetic
Bada Danda, the Chief attraction of the eyes of Lord.
pat h way. The sea
The deities in the temple are
washing the shore of
decorated in three ways,
His Khetra is called
that is by cloths, by gold
ornaments and by flowers
the great ocean.
with Tulasi. Daily from
The food offered
Sunday to Saturday the
to Lord is known
deities are decorated with
different colours of Silk
Hence His greatness
cloth, which represent the
cannot be narrated in
colour specified for that
words. To add to his
day of the week. The Silk
greatness, the deities in the
cloth used for the purpose
temple (Lord Jagannath, Lord
called as Khandua on which Gita
Balabhadra and Mother Subhadra)
Govinda verses are woven written
are adorned with ceremonial costumes
by an eminent devotee and Sanskrit poet
on various occasions throughout the year.
These ceremonial costumes are 36 in numbers
out of which 20 are considered most important. Sunday : red colour of the sun during
There are two Veshas, which take place outside the dawn, who is the main planet of the day.
the temple while rest 18 nos take place inside Monday : white colour the colour of the moon
the temple on Ratna Bedi, where deities take who influences the day. Tuesday : cloth mixed
their seats. All these Veshas of deities are linked with five colours (Pancha rang Jodi) signifies
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Mars's influence on this day. Wednesday : Singharis. Singhari Niyoga known as
green colour means the Mercury's influence Pushpalikas actually dress and decorate the
on this day. Thursday : Yellow or Golden deities with cloth, flowers and ornaments used
colour Jupiter's influence is felt. Friday : White for vesha on Ratnavedi. Mekap Niyoga is in
colour venus influence is felt on this day. charge of cloth and ornaments used for Veshas.
Saturday : black colour signifies Saturn's They supply these to Singharis at the time of
influence on this day. Veshas.
On specified days, all these veshasare Besides daily decoration of deities, there
performed at night before the deities go to bed are many important decorations of Lord which
(Pahuda). It is known as Bada Singhar Vesha are performed during every year as detailed
means the dress of great divine love. Really it according to the month in which that occur.
is an auspicious moment of the day. After paste January
of sandal wood's on His body and forehead
(Chandan Lagi) the Silk Patas called (Khandua) On the full moon day of Pausa (Pusa
Purnima) Deva Abhisek or Rajavesa is
on which His favorite Gita Govinda stotra is
observed with golden ornaments. In this Vesha,
woven, are covered to decorate the deities. Gita
Lord appears, like a royal king.
Govinda and Dasavatar songs are sung by the
devotees assembled at the moment. Along-with February
cloth dress, deities are decorated with fragrant- (a) Padma Vesha is done on any Wednesday
flowers ornaments locally known as Adhara, or Saturday between the new moon day of
Jhumpa, Gava, Kundala, Alaka, Guna, Magha and Basanta Panchami. Padma means
KarapalIav, Hrudapallav, Chandrika with lotus flower, the availability of which is remote
Alaka Pati and garlands. His daily Vesha is in the month of Magha because of winter
really attractive. One cannot realise it unless season. There is a legend behind this Vesha.
he sees this vesha. Lord appears to be in a cool Long ago, a great saint devotee of Lord named
and pleasant mood at this moment. On the Manohar Das desired to offer lotus flower in
following early morning after lamp offering this winter. Because of his Bhakti Bhava (deep
(Mangala Alati), the Bada Singhar Vesha done devotion towards Lord) it could be possible.
on the previous night are opened and a special From that day this Padma Veshas made of Sola,
type of cloth (Tadap) with white colour and Jari, and Jhalak powder like white lotus flowers
orange colour border are used to dress the are used for decoration of deities on Their
deities to take bath in the morning. After bath heads and arms. A special type of pudding
the deities are dressed with silk patta, gold called Padma khiri is offered to deities on this
ornaments and flowers everyday. day. Only with this Vesha on Ratnavedi, deities
Daily decoration of deities in the temple go to sleep and on the following day morning
is performed by His Sevakas Khuntia Niyoga, after Mangal Alati devotees get chance to see
Singhari Niyoga and Mekap Niyoga. Khuntia this Vesha.
Niyoga is in charge of collecting flowers (b) Gaja Uddharan Vesha is done on the full
offered by the devotees and supplied by the moon day of Magha. This Vesha depicts Lord's
temple itself. They hand over the flowers to kindness not for human beings only but for
Orissa Review * June - 2006
animals also. Once an elephant while taking To get soothing to his body with cool air, the
bath in a river was attacked by a crocodile. deities are fanned with a special type of fan
The elephant finding no other alternative known as Alata.
prayed Lord Vishnu to save him. Lord saved June
him by sending His Sudarsan Chakra. This
prayer of elephant is known as Gaja Uddharan. On the full moon day of Jaista Purnima
This stotra has really a miraculous effect. One (Snan Purnima) the deities are decorated with
who enchants before Lord with devotion of a beautiful Vesha known as Gajanana Vesha
mind, he gets rid of his obstacles like elephant or Hati Vesha. There is a legend behind this
from crocodile. This Vesha is made of Sola Vesha. Sri Ganapati Bhatta a great devotee of
and deities are decorated in a life like manner. Lord Ganesha from south India came to Puri
to see Lord on this day of Snan Purnima. On
March this auspicious day he, however could not see
From 10th day to the 14th day of bright Lord Ganesha on this Snan Mandap. He was
fortnight day of Phalguna, the deities are disappointed. But Lord Jagannath is great, He
decorated with a Vesh known as Chachari is Antrayami, He could know the heart of His
Vesha. This Vesha symbolizes love, devotion, devotee. In order to appease the desire of
adornment of beauty and peace. On the 15th Ganapati Bhatta, Lord manifested Himself in
day (Dola Purnima ) the deities are decorated the form of Lord Ganesha. Since that day, this
with finest silk patas, many gold ornaments, Vesha is being observed on the day of Snan
and fragrant flowers, this Vesha is known as Purnima.
Raj Vesha, sole king of universe and Trilok July
(Martya, Swarga, and Patala)
On the 11th day of bright fortnight of
April Asadha, the deities are decorated with gold
The 9th day of bright fortnight of Chaitra ornaments on the Chariot during Car- Festival.
is observed as Ram Navami means birth day This Vesha is known as Suna Vesha. This is
of Lord Sri Rama, in-carnation of Lord one of the important and famous Veshas
Jagannath in Tretaya Yuga. As lotus flowers observed during the year and many devotees
are available in plenty, the deities are decorated from all corners of the country used to come
with lotus flowers of white, pink, and red on this day to see Lord on the Chariot with
colours in addition to sweet smelling flowers. gold ornament Vesha.
This Vasha is known as Rama Raja Vesha. August
May Jhulana Yatra, the festival of swings falls
From 3rd day of bright fortnight of in this month (Sravana). All Veshas such as
Baisakh till 42 days (during this hard summer) Banabhoji Vesha, Kaliya Dalana Vesha,
the deities are decorated on Ratna Vedi with Pralambasura Vesha and Krishna Balaram
sandal wood paste mixed with musk and Vesha which connect to the lila of in-carnation
campher and sweet smelling flowers available of Lord Krishna are held in this month inside
in the season. Alaka and Chandrika made of the temple on Ratna Vedi. The main attraction
flowers are used to make this Vesha beautiful. of this Vesha is that the deities are decorated
Orissa Review * June - 2006
with silk Pata, gold ornaments, flowers of rainy (full moon day) the Raja Rajeswar Vesha is
season (Kadam and lotus etc.). celebrated. These Veshas are mostly with gold
September ornaments. The deities are decorated
occasionally with one Vesha known as
On the 12th day of bright fortnight of Nagaryuna Vesha, when 6 days of Panchaka
Bhadraba, Bali Bamana Vesha is celebrated on falls in the month of Kartik. This Vesha was
the Ratna Vedi. Lord Jagannath is decorated observed in the year 1993.
in such a manner that he looks smaller and
dwarf like, which commemorates His 5th November
incarnation on this earth in which he defied the On the advent of winter season from 6th
egoism of king Bali. day of bright fortnight of Margasira to 5th
October bright fortnight of Magha, the deities are
decorated with Ghoda Lagi Vesha means
On 10th day of bright fortnight of Aswin bodies of deities are covered with colour
i.e. Vijaya Dasami (Dasehara), Lord is woolen cloth specific for these days. From the
decorated with Raja Vesha (in royal dress) with decoration it can be understood that as if the
bow and arrow as in Ram Avatar. On this day deities are actually feeling cold.
he defeated the demon Ravan in Tretaya yuga.
From 11th day of Aswin, Rai Damodar
Vesha commences till the 10th bright day of In order to pay homage to His parents
Kartika (November). Rai Damodar Vesha (Nanda, Vasudeba and Dasaratha), Lord puts
means to celebrate the love of Radha and on plain white cloth with a small yellow border
Srikrishna, during Krishna Avatar. to perform Shradha Ceremony on 13th, 14th
and 15th of dark fortnight of Margasira.
From 11th day of Kartika towards last
five days is observed as Panchaka and during Through His various types of Vesha,
this period the deities are decorated daily with Lord delights the mind and heart of the
different Veshas known as Laxmi Narayan devotee. The greatness of His pastime is
Vesha. On 11th day, the deities are decorated boundless whether God is decorated with Vesha
with royal garb, golden ornaments, hands, and or not; but His black face and eyes are the
legs with Ayudha. This is known as Thia Kia. embodiment of all beauty and pleasure which
On 12th day, the deities are decorated with are unsatiable point for a devotee despite seeing
Banka Chuda Vesha. On the 13th day the Him for hours together.
deities are decorated with Adokia or known
as Tribikram Vesha. On the 14th day the deities
are decorated with Dalkia. This Vesha is known Bhagaban Mohapatra lives at Sri Gundicha Vihar,
as Laxmi Nrushingha Vesha. On the 15th day Sarbodaya Nagar, Puri -752002
Orissa Review * June - 2006
A friend In Need......
Jajpur is a holy place. It is an important place beseeching His divine grace. He had no worries
in the history of Orissa as well. The river what so ever as he considered Lord Jagannath
Baitarani flows by its side. On auspicious days, a friend ever vigilant of his condition and ever
a dip in this river is as holy as that in the river ready to mitigate his misery.
Ganga. Here the presiding deity is Devi Biraja, But nothing goes on well forever. One
the saviour goddess of the area. She is revered year the rains failed miserably. Months of
as the most benevolent goddess who mitigates Asadha and Sravan passed by without a single
all the misery and hardship. The place is drop of rain. No corp grew on vast tracts
considered a sacred Pith of Devi Durga of land. People's misery had no end.
because when Lord Shiva carried the They did not have a morsel of food
corpse of Sati, Her navel fell here. for days together. A great famine
King Yajati of Keshari dynasty held ensued and people started dying.
a great yagnya here and invited Misery and despair were quite large
Bramhins from distant a place every where. Needless to say
like kanauj. He also Bandhu Mohanty's condit ion
constructed Dasaswamedh started worsening day by day.
Ghat on the bank of river His family went without food
Baitarni to commemorate for days.
this great yagnya. Jajpur
continues to be a spiritual Bandhu's wife was a
and cultural centre of pious lady and had great
Orissa to this day. faith in her husband. But
the plight of her children
Long long ago here unnerved her and she
lived a poor but devout man called implored her husband
Bandhu Mohanty. He had no land and property saying,"you have always been telling of your
at all. His family consisted of his wife, two friend at Puri who is not only rich but very
young daughters and a son. Being poorest of kind and generous. Should he not help us in
the poor he lived almost on alms. But he was a our hard days ? How can I tolerate the condition
devout Bhakta of Lord Jagannath and of my children who have not even a morsel of
Orissa Review * June - 2006
food for so many days? My good husband, let someone appeared where Bandhu Mohanty's
us not make any delay, and proceed to Puri". family was resting and called aloud Bandhu's
But Bandhu Mohanty was not willing to name. Bandhu Mohanty woke up but could
embarass his friend the Lord for his own sake not mark if it was he who was being called. At
but finding no other way he agreed with his last there was a call, "oh, the friend from Jajpur,
wife. So one day the family started on their don't you here the call ? Please come". Being
sojourn to Puri. He carried his son on his sure it was him who was being called, he went
shoulder and held a daughter's hand. His wife to meet the man. He saw a Brahmin told him,
carried the other daughter in her arms. It took "Your friend has sent this Mahaprasad by me.
them full four days to reach the Lord's place, All of you partake of it to your heart's content.
Srikhetra. Tomorrow morning some arrangement will be
made for you." Saying so he handed over the
It was evening when they approached the big Thali to Bandhu Mohanty. Bandhu's
temple of Lord Jagannath. The temple was surprise and happiness had no end when he
illuminated with bright light and stood majestic saw the Thali overflowing with Mahaprasad.
with all its splendour and glory. But there was There were fine rice, various types of curries,
great rush at the entrance of the temple. lots of condiments, Khechudi, Payas, Nadi,
Pratiharis were controlling the crowd. Their Amalu and Sarapuli etc. He woke up his family
sacred canes were touching the head of every members and all of them partook of the
Bhakta as a token of divine blessing. As Mahaprasad to their hearts content. Then
Bandhu Mohanty and his family members were Bandhu Mohanty washed the Thali clean and
almost in tatters they did not dare to enter the went to return it to the Bramhin. But, no body
temple, lest the Pratiharis drove them away. was there. The Bramhin had vanished in the
So he bowed to Patitapaban with all reverence meanwhile. Thinking to return the Thali next
and walked away to look for a shelter for the morning he wrapped it in a rag and kept it near
night. He however reached Pejanala and his head. He bowed in silence to his Lord for
decided to spend the night there. (A huge His graciousness and went to sleep.
quantity of rice is cooked daily for Lord's
Bhog. The drained out rice gruel gets Next morning Lord's temple was opened
accumulated at Pejanala). His wife asked him to the chanting of hymns and devotional songs.
as to why they had come to this place instead Sevayats started arriving to attend to the daily
of going to his friend's house. Bandhu Mohanty chores of the Lord. The Bhandar Mekapa
repiled that his friend had a lot of guests that- opened the Ratna Bhandar to bring out various
night so it would be convenient to meet Him pots and pans needed for the daily Nitis of the
the next morning. After a long journey his Lord. But to his great suprise he did not find
children were obviously very hungry. Bandhu the gold Thali in which Bhog is offered to the
Mohanty, brought some rice gruel and asked Lord. He was terribly upset as he perfectly
his wife to feed the children. He and his wife rembered to have kept the Thali inside the
also took some rice gruel and went to sleep. Ratna Bhandar last night and looked the door
firmly. He immediately raised a hew and cry
It was dead of the night. Ghastly silence and declared that Lord's gold Thali had been
was pervading all over the place. Suddenly stolen away by some miscreant. Everyone of
Orissa Review * June - 2006
the temple was aghast with the news and there King Prataprudra was then staying in his
was a great uproar inside the temple. All the royal palace at Khurda. So in the dead of the
Sevayats were examined but no clue could be night Lord Jagannath boarded the great Garuda
found about the missing Thali. So the Dewan and flew over to Khurda. The King was fast
immediately sent out sepoys to every nook and asleep, so He appeared before him in a dream
corner of Puri town in search of the Thali. and narrated the whole incident. He ordained
One sepoy while passing by the side of that Bandhu Mohanty should be released
Pejanala saw Bandhu Mohanty and his family forthwith and made a Sevayat in the temple.
lying there in a corner. Out of curiosity he Arrangement should also be made at Srikhetra
approached them and to his great surprise saw for his stay with dignity and honour. The king
the gold Thali kept there wrapped in a piece should also apologise for the injustice.
of rag. Bandhu Mohanty tried to narrate the No sooner than the king had heard all
last night's incident before him. He tried to this in his dream he hastened to Srikhetra to
convince the sepoy of his innocence but the do whatever the Lord had desired. He
sepoy was thoroughly unmoved. He was immediately released Bandhu Mohanty from
convinced that no one other than this man was the jail, prostrate before him and apologised
the thief who had somehow managed to steal for all the injustice done to him. Bandhu
away the Thali from the Ratna Bhandar. The Mohanty and his family members were bathed
sepoy arrested Bandhu Mohanty and dragged in scented water, given finest garments to wear
him to the temple. Every one hurled abuses on and were led to Ratna Singhasan for the Darsan
him and some also dealt blows to this person. of the Lord. The King appointed him a
He was branded a thief and lodged in a cell of Kharasodha (Keeper of accounts in the temple)
the King's Jail. and arranged a house at the south gate of the
Bandhu's plights had no end. He was temple for his stay. This appointment was
utterly distressed but he did not lose hope in hereditary and was to continue for generations
the graciousness of Lord Jagannath. He prayed to come.
Him with all his heart beseeching Him to give Bhakta and Bhagban are inseparable. The
him strength to withstand the ordeal. He knew unflinching devotion of Bandhu Mohanty for
that he was innocent so he completely Lord Jagannath had its effects on Lord Himself.
surrendered himself to the lotus feet of Lord The Lord never forsakes His true devotee. He
Jagannath and waited. is really a Friend in need.
On the Ratna Singhasan Lord Jagannath
felt disturbed. How could a little act of his
kindness not been understood by His
Sevayats ? A true devotee was being harassed
for no fault. It was He who took Mahaprasad
to Bandhu Mohanty in the gold Thali. Had all Lokanath Mishra lives at Plot No.4936, Tankapani Road,
the people concerned gone out of there wits ? Bhubaneswar - 14.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Administration of the Puri
Temple Through Ages
Prof. Jagannath Mohanty
Lord Jagannath is held in high esteem and great The King Ramachandra Dev of the Bhoi
affection not only by the Hindus, but many Dynasty established a small Hindu Kingdom
saints and philosophers from other religions on the ruins of the vast Gajapati Empire with
like Salbeg and Kabir from Muslims, Nanak its Capital Khurda. He soon strengthened his
and Ranjeet Singh from among Sikhs. His position and kingdom and reinstalled Shree
adoration is limited not only to Orissa but also Jagannath in the temple at Puri. Due to his
to India, even the world through ISKON cult. popularity he was called by the people as
Although it was well managed by the hundreds Abhinav Indradyumna. The successive
of people engaged under Chhatis Nijogi under Gajapat i Kings continued to be the
the direct administration and supervision of Superintendents of the Jagannath Temple and
Gajapati Kings belonging to various Hindu managed the administration of the Temple.
dynasties, Sri Jagannat h's Temple was Subsequently, Orissa came under the control
efficiently managed and all kinds of rituals and of the Marathas who kept the management of
festivals were organised as per schedule. After the temple under their direct supervision. Of
construction of the temple now in existence course, the day-to-day affairs of the temple
since the 12th Century A.D., the famous Ganga were managed by the Parich as appointed by
monarch Chodaganga Dev confirmed the old the Maratha Rulers.
endowments of Shree Mandir and laid the
The Britishers invaded Orissa in 1803
strong foundation of administration which
continued smoothly till the time of Prataprudra and the Temple management was taken over
Dev during whose reign administration of the by the East India Company. But as in the past
temple declined gradually. However, on the Parichhas managed the daily affairs of the
death of Mukunda Dev, Orissa missed the last Temple. In 1906 as per the Regulation-4,
independent Hindu King in 1568 A.D. Then administration of the Temple was vested with
the Afghan power ruled Bengal including the Collector, Tax nominated by the British
Orissa for a brief period. But in the year 1568 Government. In 1809, the Superintendence of
the revengeful Afghan General Kalapahad the temple was vested to an assembly of the
desecrated and plundered its treasures not only three Pandits. After three years this
of the Shree Mandir, but also a large number management was transferred to the Raja of
of temples in the coastal districts. Khurda also called as Gajapati Raja of Puri
Orissa Review * June - 2006
who was hereditary Superintendent of the compromise and prepare a deed accordingly
Temple since 1840 with absolute authority which provided.- that Pattamahadei was
subject to the control of the Britishers. In 1843 required to appoint a manager for the Temple
the British Government decided to get rid of till her grandson Mukunda Dev attained
the Temple Administration and transferred the maturity. The Temple administration, however,
full authority for the maintenance of the temple did not improve and Mukunda Dev died in
to the Raja along with an endowment viz. the 1921. Raja Ramachandra Dev suceeded him
Satais Hazari Mahal yielding a revenue of and removed a Government Officer in Gazetted
Rs.17,420 at the time of occupying Orissa, rank from the management of the Shree
Some other villages under the Ekharajat Mahal Mandir. There were often complaints of law
were also t ransferred t o Raja for t he and order and misuse of power and property
maintenance of the temple. By this the British of the Temple.
Government also sto pped payment of After Independence it was felt imperative
Rs.53,000 per annum required for t he to take strong legislative measures for
management of t he t emple. Besides improving the management of Shreemandir.
maintenances the Raja was made responsible The then Law and Home Minister while
for preservation of peace and order in the introducing the Sri Jagannath Temple
temple. (Administration) Bill, 1952 in the Orissa
Raja Birakishore Dev expired in 1859, Legislative Assembly observed, "In the absence
but his widow Suryamani Patamahadei was of any guidance from the Raja and sufficient
empowered by his last will to manage the contribution from him, the regular expenses
affairs of the Temple till the minor adopted of the temple, the scheduled and disciplined
son Dibyasinha Dev became major. The performance of the Nitis has suffered beyond
administration of the Temple was very good imagination and the Raja has practically lost
under the management of the Patamahadei. But all control over the different Sevaks and other
aft er Dibyasinha Dev to ok o ver the temple servants. Specific-endowments are
administration of the temple on his assumption regularly misapplied and misappropriated."
of majority, the condition of the management The Government of Orissa before taking a
deteriorated badly. The situation turned from comprehensive legislation passed the Act for
bad to worse and a case was instituted by the improving the temple administration and proper
Government for declaring the office of the maintenance of temple properties. The Shree
Superintendent vacant and obtaining decree to Jagannath Temple (Administration) Act, 1952
appoint new Trustees for management of the provided for the appointment of a Special
Temple. This suit was seriously taken by Rani Officer to consolidate and prepare a record of
and the people of Orissa as interfering in the rights and duties of Sevaks, Pujaris and such
administration of the temple. Particularly, Utkal other persons connected with Seva, Puja and
Gourav Madhusudan Das, in view of management of the temple. He was also
safeguarding the prestige of the Oriyas, required to prepare a record of rights for the
championed the cause of Ranee Suryamani endowments of the temple. The Special Officer
Patamahadei. Madhubabu pleaded the case so in the rank of a District Judge was appointed
strongly that Government wanted to make a and he submitted his Report on the 15th March,
Orissa Review * June - 2006
1954 that revealed serious problems in (iii) Difficulty in lease out to auction sale of
management of the temple. Subsequently, Sri land belonging to Jagannath Temple in and
Jagannath Temple Act, 1954 (Orissa Act II of outside the State.
1955) was passed which laid the foundation (iv) Unsatisfactory conduct of some Sevayats
of the present administration structure and and Pandas towards pilgrims and among
endowments of the Temple. themselves.
According to this Act, all the Temple (v) Beautification and renovation of Ananda
administration and management of Bazar and other aspects of the Temple with
endowments were vested in the Sri Jagannath funds received from NALCO and other
Temple Managing Committee with the Raja sources.
of Puri as the Chairman, the Collector of Puri
District as an exofficio member and Vice- There are some other matters to be
Chairman and Administrator as Secretary of looked into by the Government. These are the
this Committee. The Administrator carry out problems to be sorted out by the Temple
the decisions taken by the Committee and is Administration wit h more concern and
responsible to all records and property. There commitment.
are often reports in the mass media about the References
misbehaviour of the Sevaks and Pandas
1. Singh, Jagabandhu, Prachin Utkal (0) Orissa
towards pilgrims, undue delay in various rituals Sahitya Academy, Bhubaneswar. 2. Mishra, K.C.,
and untoward incidents tantamounting to The Cult of Jagannath. Orissa Sahitya Academy,
securit y and discipline of the Temple. Bhubaneswar. 3. Mahatab, H. K., History of
Particularly, after attacks of terrorists on the Orissa. Cuttack Students' Store, Cuttack. 4.
Banerjee, R. D., History of Orissa. Vol-I, Calcutta
Hindu Shrines like Akshardham in Gujrat,
Baishno Devi in Jammu, the security of the 5. Madala Panji. Utkal University Publications,
Puri temple has assumed more significance and Bhubaneswar.
urgency. In the meantime the position and 6. Choudhury, Janmajey, "Sri Jagannath Temple
powers of the Administration have been (Administration) Act, 1954, Orissa Review June,
upgraded and personnel have been
strengthened to ensure better management and 7. Mohapatr a, Sarat Chan dra, Sri Mandir,
Rathayatra Bisheshanka. 2003, Sri Jagannath
peace as well as security of the Temple. The
Mandir Prashasan, Puri.
Puri Temple administration has faced certain
challenges as follows :- 8. Mohan ty, Jagannath, Ama Sampr atik
Samasva.Anand Prakashan 2002, Cuttack-2.
(i) Paucit y of funds for day to day
management and improvement of the general
(ii) lack of security facilities -lapses and Prof. Jagannath Mohanty lives at 2935, Gouri Nagar,
loopholes are there. Bhubaneswar -2
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Administration During the
With the British occupation of Orissa in 1803 Khurda (now known as the Raja of Puri), who
the management of the Jagannath temple was was appointed as hereditary Superintendent of
taken over by the East India Company. The the temple subject to t he control and
Marquis of Wellesley in his dispatches to Lt. supervision of the British Government. With a
Col. Campbell, the Commander of the view to give up all connections with the
Southern forces, had particularly stressed the management of a Hindu temple the British
need for respecting the great sanctity attached Government in 1840 vested the Raja of Puri
to the temple of Jagannath at Puri. Before the with full and absolute authority in regard to
British army marched into Orissa Wellesley the management of the temple and its property,
had instructed that " no part of the property, and in the same year abolished the pilgrim tax
treasure, or valuable articles of any kind, which was considered to be a State sanction to
contained in the Pagoda of Jaggernnaut, or in idolatry.
any religious edifice, or possessed the priests The Britishers after their conquest of
or Brahmins, or persons of any description Orissa in 1803 A.D. had gradually resumed
attached to the temples or religious institutions the endowments of the temple of Jagannath
is to be considered as prize to any army ." For and were making a cash payment of about
the first few years the East India Company Rs.53,000/- per annum for the management of
managed the day to day administration of the the temple. With a view to sever all connections
temple through the Parichhas and annually with the temple the British Government in 1843
made up the differences between the receipts released to the Raja of Puri the last resumed
and the expenditures of the temple as their endowment, viz., the Satais Hazari Mahal
predecessor and Marathas had done. Gradually yielding a revenue of Rs.17,420.00. In 1858
the Christian Government endeavoured to get and 1863 some villages, which constituted the
rid of the minute supervision of idolatrous rites, Ekhrajat Mahal, were transferred to the Raja
which this system involved, and in 1806 the for the maintenance of the temple and all future
Superintendence of the temple was vested in cash payments by the Government were
an assembly of three Pundits. In 1809 the stopped. The Raja was also held responsible
assembly of Pundits was abolished, and the for the preservation of peace inside the temple
management was transferred to the Raja of and for maintaining such extra police as may
Orissa Review * June - 2006
be necessary outside the temple on the occasion cry that religion was in danger was raised in
of the great festivals. the vernacular press and the public mind was
Raja Birakishore Dev of Puri died in considerably agitated over the issue. The
1859 and his widow Suryamani Pattamahadei Government finally decided to abandon the
was empowered by his will to manage the case under a deed of compromise. According
affairs of the temple during the minority of his to this compromise the Ranee had to engage a
adopted heir Dibyasingh Dev. During the competent manager to manage the affairs of
Superintendence of Ranee there was a marked the temple till her grandson Mukunda Dev
deterioration in the management of the temple attained maturity. Complaints of negligence
and its properties. "She was and mismanagement continued even after the
entirely inaccessible and was Raja came of age. So a Deputy
neither seen nor spoken by her Magistrate during the lifetime of
people of business. Even her Mukunda Dev and on his death
native agents never heard her in 1926, the management of the
voice. Her wishes were known temple was transferred to his
only at third hand. She spoke successor Raja Rama Chandra
only to her maids who reported Dev.
her commands to a set of male With the removal of senior
servants called Bisois through government officers of gazetted
whom the Mukhtars or the rank from the management of
agents learned her pleasure and the temple the administration of
informed the world without." the temple fast deteriorated.
Corruption was rampant After the achievement of
among the employees of the independence it was felt
temple estates and the tenants necessary to take legislative
were worst affected. Things did measures to save this unique
not improve when Raja Dibyasingh Dev came religious institution of all India fame from utter
of age. In 1878 Dibyasingh Dev was implicated confusion and ruin.
in murder and was punished with transportation While introducing the Shri Jagannath
for life. The management of the temple was in Temple (Administration) Bill in Orissa
utter confusion. This led the Government Legislative Assembly, the then Minister of Law
institute a suit in 1885 for the purpose of and Home observed, "In the absence of any
declaring vacant the office of the guidance from t he Raja and sufficient
Superintendent, which was nominally held by contribution from him for the regular expenses
the convict Raja, and of obtaining a decree to of the temple, the scheduled and disciplined
appoint new trustees for the management of performance of the nitis has suffered beyond
the temple. This suit was hotly contested in imagination and the Raja has practically lost
which Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Das, the all control over the different sebaks and other
renowned lawyer of Orissa championed the temple servants. Economic rivalry and moral
cause of Ranee Suryamani Pattamahadei. The degeneration of the servants and sevaks has
Orissa Review * June - 2006
divested them all sense of duty and co- Temple and its endowments shall vest in a
operation. Specific endowments are regularly committee called Shri Jagannath Temple
misapplied and misappropriated. Strikes Managing Committee constituted as such by
amongst various classes are of common the State Government. It shall be a body
occurrence. The non-availability of the corporate, having perpetual succession and a
Mahaprasad, coveted and adored by millions common seal, and by the said name sue and
of pilgrims, at the appointed hours is always be sued". Section 6 provides for the constitution
there in t hese days. The lapses into of the committee with the Raja of Puri as the
unorthodoxy has resulted in extremely Chairman. No person who does not profess
unhygienic conditions inside the temple and the Hindu religion shall be eligible for
commissions of heinous crimes even within the membership. The Collector of the District of
temple precincts is not rare, even the image of Puri is an ex-officio member and is designated
the deity has been at times defiled and its as the Vice-Chairman of the committee. Section
precious jewellery removed." For better 19 and 21 deal with the appointment, powers,
administration of the temple and its properties and functions of the Administrator of the
the Government of Orissa as a preliminary step temple who shall be the Secretary of the
towards undert aking a comprehensive Committee and its chief executive officer and
legislation passed "the Puri Shri Jagannath shall, subject to the control of the Committee,
Temple (Administration) Act, 1952, providing have powers to carry out the decisions in
for the appointment of a Special Officer to accordance with the provisions of the Act. The
consolidate and prepare a record of right and Administrator shall be responsible for the
duties of Sevaks, Pujaris and such other custody of all records and properties of the
persons connected with the seva, puja and temple.
management of the temple and also to prepare Referred Records/Books
a record of rights for the endowments of the
temple. A Special Officer of the rank of a 1. Krupasindhu Mishra, Utkal Itihas
District Judge was accordingly appointed who 2. L.S.S.O Malley Puri District Gazetter
submitted his report on the 15th March 1954, 3. Final Report on Ekharajat Mahal (1953-1965)
which disclosed serious mismanagement of the 4. Statement of Objects and Reasons, The Orissa
affairs of the Temple and in consequence Shri Gazette
Jagannath Temple Act, 1954 was passed.
Shri Jagannath Temple Act, 1954 (Orissa
Act II of 1955) forms the basis of the existing
administration pattern of the temple and its
endowments. Section 5 of the Act states that Prafulla Pattnaik lives at Guru Nilay, Balabhadra Lane,
"the administration and the governance of the Puri.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Worship of Lord Jagannath
Though it is horns of dilemma to reconstruct interest spectrum. The worship of Lord
the history of Orissa from the treasure house Jagannath was started in a very traditional
of antiquity one typical aspect of this antiquous manner by the tribes. So scholars like B.M.
history has been Orissa's assimilation with the Padhi, J. Padhi, K.C. Mishra, S.N. Rajguru
tribal cultures. The history of the tribes must and a few others have admired that the theory
be viewed in an orthogonal relationship to of tribal origin of the worship of Jagannath is
Indias core- accept ed by
values. In the them as the God
context of called Jagant.
Orissan history This is no doubt
the worship of the origin of the
lord Jagannath worship of
shows t he
in t e lle ct u a l
in t e lle c t u a l
the arena of
R. D. Banerjee
religious segments. V. Ball was the first
suggested that it is a modern Hindu Tirthas &
archaeologist to come up with findings of pre-
Historic evidences of Orissa (1875) which one among the four dhamas in India. D.C.
reveals the fact that in ancient times or most Sarkar has rightly pointed out that Purusottam
remote past Orissa was not a civilized region. Jagannath at Kambukshetra, like Venkate-swar
Mostly it was populated by the non-Aryans Ballaji at Tirupati, Minakshi at Madurai,
among whom the savaras were the most Vindhyabasini at Mirzapur, Kamakshya at
dominate in the field of social harmony, kinship Guwhati of Assam and a number of Gods and
and in the political organization. Specifically Goddesses in different regions of India were
it should be clarified that 'Savara' is a genetic originally worshipped by the aboriginal
term applied to all the tribal folklore of Orissa. inhabitants of the locality and gradually
The racial homogeneity and the great deal of tantamounted with a God of recognized
language similarities, thus gives Orissa an Brahminical pantheon.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
The Skanda Puran and the Purusottam 'Kambu katakare Niladri Nagare
Kshetra Mahatmya recognize the worship of Pahanti sankha bajila
Jagannath as Neelamadhab by one tribal, Kambu chakradhar derarajankar
Viswavasu Savara in the Nilachala (Nil Hills). Nidra turite bhajila'
There is a stout resemblance which raised in
The worship of the Jagannath may be
the Prachi Mahatmya that, Jagannath was
divided under three heads:-
worshipped by the tribals. It is a strong support
to the notion that in the present scenario on the (1) The daily rituals or 'Nitis' which are fixed
bank of the river Prachi there is a village in the and observed everyday as routine course.
east side of the river called, 'Savarapalli' and (2) The special "nitis" according to the
Viswavasu savar belongs to this village. In fact specialty of certain days (i.e. Thursday,
the Niladri Mohodaya mentions the Lord
Amavasya, Ekadasi, and Naksastra vandapana
Purusottam saying "Not the learned in the four
holy scriptures but the man who believes, is
dear to me." Jagannath is the God for all. (3) The various festivities are celebrated
through out the year both inside and outside
Once upon a time the worship of Lord
the temple. The worship of Jagannath generally
Jagannath was performed by the savaras, but
such practices has been dwindled down with done by the sevakas known as Pujapanda,
the coming up of the Daitas ; who are the Suaravadu, Pratihari, Paliamahasuar, Paniapta,
inhabitants of the savar clan. Gradually they Pradhani, Panliadu, Jaravadu, Rosava paika,
have developed by their birth and became Paliapatri, Cangada mekapa, Muduli, Candana
expert in reciting the Vedas, Mantras and ghatuar, Palia khuntia, Hadapa Nayak,
Slokas and had awareness of the daily rituals Bediajogania, Gochikara vaijayant ri
of Sri Jagannath. In Orissan culture the gap Dhukudidwaram etc. It can be said, that, Orissa
between man and the supreme Devine has been is a rare specimen at a reversed sanskritisation
bridged in Jagannath Culture & Jagannath so far as the institution of Jagannath culture is
Himself is a highly humanized deity. Like the the flow from the tribes to the Hindu groups.
human aspect the daily rituals shows that how All above the priests known as the Daitas
He gets up from the bed, takes His bath, descendants of savar tribe , and the Paties
changes the attire, takes up public grievances, hybrid off springs of Aryan-Dravidian sources,
takes breakfast and lunch, enjoys an afternoon have made their association established with
nap, decorates Himself before going to bed, the function and worship of Lord Jagannath
goes for hunting, uses cosmetics, goes for right from the inception of this institution.
boating during summer, covers Himself
The term chhatishnijoaga gives the
sufficiently for the winter, falls sick once a year.
present Daitas, a privileged identity, which is
All these are human qualities. He is considered
qualitative, and conspicuous at any time or
as omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient
under any circumstance. Since the time
means super human Purusottam. Supporting
immemorial the method of worshipping
this a poem of poet Dinakrushna Das's
Jagannath Janana recognizes with 'ka' Anuprasa management attitude depends critically on
means the starting letter of each line of each social values and indigenous practice of
stranza is 'ka', like management which exemplify the successful
Orissa Review * June - 2006
blending of traditional values. The Daitapatis human-touch given to the life of the Deities by
association with Jagannath has been a tradition the tribals. The worship of Jagannath by the
and a pluralistic nature of hist orical Daipaties is very secret. Narayan as Jagannath,
interpretations. Thanks to this hiatus , the Bhubaneswari as Subhadra and Vasudev as
worship of Jagannath culture is synonymous Balabhadra.
with the culture of Orissan people. Amazingly The car festival of Lord Jagannath is
Raja Mansingh notifying 'Orissa' is no fit concerned in the world context as the symbol
subject for conquest as "from end to end it is of intellectual tradition of Orissan History. In
on region of pilgrimage." the month of Jyestha the car festival of lord
However the Jagannath tradition is all Jagannath held at Puri with a great pump.
pervasive as is marked in the land of Orissa, Which shows the universal worship of human
depicting three colours White, Yellow and society, irrespective of caste, creed, colour and
Black. The three deities signify the approach sex. From the nook and corner of the world
of Oriya's that is universalism as a matter of people come forward to the destination of Puri
principle of co.existence. Since the ancient, and offer their mass worship by opening up
period passing to the medieval period and in their hands upwards. On the three cars
course to the present, the form of Jagannath Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra represent
worship has been coied by the different ways their power and blessings for the shake of the
of religious interpretation. The religious impact human civilization. As for the attire, the
of Jagannath upon society was there in Duttamahapatras and the Suddhasuras are in
medieval period. Example can be taken Sri charge of applying only white flowers, sandal
Krushna Chaitanya the first fan of Sri Jagannath wood paste and herbal ointments; Tulsi
was overwhelmed with emotion and danced garlands and a lot of amenities to the body of
out of joy. He lost control of his senses when the devinities. The system of Chhapanpauti
he beheld the image of Jagannath seated on bhoga is used every day for worshipping the
Asthan. The first darsan (sight ) and devotional deities which is a vital aspect of Orissan
worship of Lord had a lasting effect upon Culture. In the world context where there is
Chaitanya's mind. In a state of deep trance, he no religious shrines or any temple where such
realized his indisoluble bond with Jagannath. type bhoga system is used for the God. In the
The most typical worship of Lord Anandabazar each and every day, thousands
Jagannath is when Jagannath cannot be seen of pilgrims are eating the prasad bhoga, called
for fifteen days called as the Anavasara or as Mahaprasad. Every rituals and the aspects
Anasara or Nirodhana commences from of the Jagannath worship is the vital segments
Jyestha purnima and ends with the Ashadha in the history of Orissan Culture.
amavasya. The literary meaning of the Anasara In this paper the Jagannath worship has
of Lord Jagannath is it really denotes a period been exemplified as the core backbone of the
of indisposition of the deities during which Orissan Culture. So far Purusottamkshetra is
period only the kith and kin of the Deities enjoy famous for its catholicity over the human
the special and exclusive rights to nourish them civilization. The Mahaprasad bhoga concept
back to normal health. This is symbolic of the is the symbol of universal brotherhood like
Orissa Review * June - 2006
'Basudheiba Kutumbakum' that has Souvenir, Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Samiti,
marginalized consideration of caste and creed Bhubaneswar, 2005, p-23.
and sex primarily because of its origin and 5. Ibid.
evolution is the back bone of the tribal cultural 6. P. Mukherjee, History of the Chaitanya faith in
segments. The syntheses and eclectism have Orissa, New Delhi, 1977, p.47.
been the forte of Jagannath. So the worship of 7. J. Padhi, op.cit. p.46.
Jagannath is the melting pot of all religious
8. H.S. Pattanaik, op.cit. p.25.
ceremonies and principles of Hindu
communities. 9. P. Sahoo, Sreekshetra; As a tourist destination.
Orissa Review, 2005, Nov. p-7.
Notes & References : 10. Ibid.
1. K.C. Tripathy., The people of Orissa Souvenir, 11. P. Mukherjee, op.cit. p.49.
Orissa Sahitya Academy Bhubaneswar, 1982,
2. L.K. Mohapatra., The people of Orissa Souvenir,
Indian History congress, Utkal University, 1977,
Pareswar Sahoo is the Ph.D Research Scholar, P.G.
3. J. Padhi., The Origin of Jagannath worship at Department of History, Utkal University, Vanivihar
Puri, Basundhara Orissa Sanskruta Academy, Bhubaneswar.
Bhubaneswar, 2003, p-33.
Suma Sahoo is the Research Scholar in History P.G.
4. H.S. Patanaik, Jagannath - Tribal Syndrome : A Department of History, Utkal University, Vani Vihar,
vital aspects Orissan culture, Utkal Vaibhav Bhubaneswar.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Distinctive Lifestyle of
Sarat Chandra Mohapatra
Puri, though a small temple town, attracts large people more exposed to the nature which has
number of people from different parts of India, generated a broadness of mind and heart.
many of whom wish to settle down here for its Normally, Puri people mean the original
status as the ultimate place of salvation. It is inhabitants of Puri, mostly consisting of the
thus evident from the fact that when the priestly order, artisans and others connected
population of the town was only about twenty with the great temple. The localities like
three thousand in 1840-41, it has now touched Markandeswar Sahi, Harachandi Sahi, Bali
more than two lakhs in 2001. The colonies of Sahi, Daitapada Sahi, Dolamandap Sahi etc.
the Temple town Puri can well be divided into are inhabited by the temple servitors and other
two parts-of the earlier residents and the later- castes directly or indirectly connected with the
day inhabitants. The earlier small population temple. A major segment of them are Jatri
of the town was centering round the temple of Pandas, Gumastas and Dhulias. Flow of
Lord Jagannath of whom, most were the pilgrims from different parts of India in almost
servitors of Sri Jagannath Temple. But at all seasons has afforded the scope of
present, the new inhabitation has extended in entertaining them and earning their livelihood.
all the four directions for miles together. They are used to be conversant in different
The very ground around Puri for ten regional languages to guide the pilgrims of
miles is to the Hindu mind of such sanctity as different states.
to absolve from the deepest sin all who proceed The general occupational structure and
thither. It is, as depicted in different sacred the socio-economic condition determine the
texts, the heaven upon earth and each and lifestyle of the people of a particular locality.
everything of this land is holy. In the eyes of Puri being a cosmopolitan culture entertains
certain foreign scholars: "It is to India what various classes of people. The traditional class
Jerusalem was to the whole land of Israel." of persons of Puri consists of Temple Sevayats,
As far back as in 1632 AD William Supakars and others as stated earlier. But the
Bruton has described Puri Town as 'Garden most significant are the artisans, which consist
City'. Thus the natural scenario with a green of carpenters (Badhei), Painters (Chitrakaras),
belt all around with sand dunes has made the Potters (Kumbhakaras), Stone- carvers
Orissa Review * June - 2006
(Pathurias), Applique workers and other with sacred mark on the forehead make them
artisans engaged in manufacturing of different distinct from other people.
handicrafts like Patta Paintings, Palm-leaf Puri District Gazetteer records six
carving, Seashell products etc. All such artisans thousand male adults as priests, brahmins and
have linkage with the Jagannath Temple and pilgrim guides who roam throughout India
the products have tourist's attraction. Their enlisting pilgrims and rendering required
economic activities are more oriented and hospitality to them. Pilgrim guides are attached
influenced by the lifestyle of Sevayats. The to different Pandas who act as the hereditary
carpenters (Badheis) of Puri are engaged in intermediary between the Lord and the
the construction of the massive chariots devotees.
(Festive Car) every year .Similarly the Tailors
(Daraji) stitch the cloth for the chariots (Festive Their clientele spread all over India and
Car) and flag (pataka) for the temple, the divided amongst themselves. As such there is
jewelers (Bania) are associated with the professional rivalry, which is a part of their
preparation and repair of ornaments of the lifestyle. Many a time such activities embitter
the social life and annoy tourists and pilgrims.
temple Lords, t he carriers (Bojhia) of
Mahaprasad all entertain a sense of pride being The most noteworthy part of the lifestyle
associated with the service (Seva) to Lord of Puri people is to earn livelihood without
Jagannath Temple. much investment or labour. Their convincing
capacity to the pilgrims is the main source of
The lifestyle of artisans is imbued with
their income. Their children usually follow the
a super sense of imagination. The artists have
footprints of their father and attach less
succeeded in giving form to their inner aesthetic
importance to formal education.
realisation. Celestial beings with fully
developed body, swelling busts, rounded hips, Pleasure seeking is the basic principle
delicate curves and divinely ecstatic face with of the life style of Puri people. Collective
an expression of grace and elegance cast a activities with feast and merrymaking is their
memorable impression of the viewers. usual way of spending leisure and recreation.
The local life style of Puri people consist of
Similarly other artistic products contain Sanga (friends), Bhanga (taking Canavis
a perceptible touch of imagination indicative Indica), Sangeeta (music), Pangata (feast). This
of stabilised traditional skill and expertise. is called Mauja (recreation) in singular term
The Brahmins play an important role in and the traditional Puri people is somewhat
rendering different religious service to the philosophical in substantiating the validity of
pilgrims like Sradhha, Sankalpa, Jagnya etc. mauja in following words -"Marigale Pani
The Brahmins of nearby Sasan villages around Patrie paibu mauja paibu kahun? (After death,
Puri use to sit on Mukti Mandap and offer one is only entitled to get a spoon of water as
prescription (Byabast ha) containing homage; but can he get recreational pleasure
purificatory advice (prayaschita Bidhi) for like this ?). The cultural centres of Puri grown
different social sins. The gifts and donations through unbroken tradition of the town are 'Jaga
of the pilgrims constitute their livelihood. and 'Akhada'. Such forums are meant for
Dhoti, Chadar and napkin are their usual dress training the youths in physical exercises,
Orissa Review * June - 2006
gymnastics, music and other social and ritual Some of the traditional Puri people, though
services of the Temple during 'Sahijata' minimal in number, nurture a fond habit of
commencing from the birth of Lord Rama and domesticating or patronising pets and playing
His coronation after killing demon Ravana. with them. Such pets include birds like Para
Each Sahi has traditional mode of participation (pigeons), Gobara (a small brown- coloured
spread over seven cantos of great epic bird), parrot, animals like monkey, Neula
'Ramayana'. The lifestyle of the youths of (Mongoose) and even bulls. Occasionally they
tradit ional families of Puri are shaped organise various contests among them. They
considerably by such youth organisations. With look after the pets with much affection and
the commencement of winter, the Sahi youth care.
go to Jaga for massage, wrestling and other
physical exercise. During such period they are The daily rout ine of a tr aditional
refrained from taking any intoxication and common Puri man begins with going to Jaga,
observe complete celibacy (Brahmacharya). taking full body massage and bathing in pond,
Thus Puri's traditional youth maintain a taking heavy breakfast and going to respective
muscular and well-built body. Jagas also impart profession to the temple or Lion's Gate for
musical lesson particularly Odissi, Chhanda, motivating pilgrims for Darshan of the deities,
Champu etc. with Mrudangam. Usually then going to home for food and fiesta and in
collective feasts are arranged in such Jagas, the afternoon go to Jagas to paste and take
which is one of the major attractions to Canavis Indica (Bhanga), go for open air toilet
participate in Jaga activities. The apex bodies (Pokhari Pani) and bathing in pond. Habitually
of such Jagas are Akhada, Kota etc. Apparently they wear Dhoti and Punjabi and walk in
such organisations have been set up as military majestic style with swinging shoulder called
mechanism against invaders. The Puri people, 'Mani Bimana Chali'.
mostly the youth mass, participate and play a The dialects of Puri people is peculiar
major role in different festive events such as with a commanding personal touch usually
Ratha Jatra, Chandan Jatra, Jhulan Jatra etc. qualified by some obscene words called 'Do-
On the occasion of one noteworthy festival akhari' by which they don't mean anything but
Chandan Jatra, during which the festive deity it is their style of speaking. Sometimes people
Madan Mohan go with a procession with their take exception to it. However, they have the
divine associates Panchu Pandava to Chandan unique quality of establishing friendship with
Tank for pleasant boating, Puri people in unknown man within no time.
general and youth of Jagas in particular
participate with great enthusiasm which is a They are respectful to the elders and
distinctive lifestyle of Puri people. Jhulan Jatra lovable to the youngsters but become arrogant
is another popular festival where Odissi music while dealing with other professional rivals
and 'Gotipua' dance are not able items while with pilgrims. They always prefer to
performed by local people. Cultural remain with friends and show more interest in
involvement has been the most prominent collective feasts in different picnic places in
feature of Puri people since centuries despite and around the town. Most of the traditional
of several odd phases in the history. Puri people are expert in cooking.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
In family life, the traditional Puri people totally oblivious of their problems but the only
are orthodox to some extent though they are distinctive factor, they usually do not get
not captives of blind-beliefs or narrowness. perturb and face it gracefully with a spirit of
This contradictory attitude was possible due tolerance. A spirit of carelessness or Nawabi
to their constant exposure to wider public life. attitude by which they take day-to-day matters
While on one hand they try to retain their with utter casual manner without considering
distinct identity that is bound to age-old custom the next consequence is another facet of their
and tradition, on t he other they make personality.
themselves comfortable with relatively modern In a world of problems, crimes, sex
lifestyle without surrendering their originality. nuisance and apprehension all around of
Rather, they encash upon modernity which is terrorist attack, the lifestyle of Puri people can
evident from the fact that some of the traditional definitely be construed as distinctive and
Puri People, in particular the Sevayats, are perhaps the only panacea for this tension-torn
equally successful in business at present while present society. A sense of fraternity, which is
keeping continued their familial profession emanated from the Supreme Lord Jagannath,
such as serving the Lord and the pilgrims. the Puri people are friendly and embrace
In general the lifestyle of Puri people are everybody with a sense of fraternity. They get
distinctive and unparallel and tension-free. distinctive pleasure in extending hospitality to
They enjoy even the adversities and usually outsiders, which is a noteworthy distinctive
do not get worried in personal problems. They attitude of Puri people.
assign everything to Lord Jagannath and Though with the onslaught of modern
believe that He will take care of everything. culture, rapid urbanisation, commercialisation,
The unworried attitude of Puri people consumerism, socio-economic traumas and
in any problem, small or big, is sometimes spread of hatred and narrow feelings, the basic
construed as traditional incorrigible lethargy. tenets of Puri culture are gradually being
They are complacent and lovers of leisure or shattered. But still considerably a sizeable
entertainment. They sidetrack the problems amount of it remains to which we may identify
particularly relating to family and get involved as the true distinct feature of Puri and its
in collective merry-making. This speaks of, people.
apparently, social irresponsibility, but if viewed
with deep insight, it is a unique mental makeup
not comparable with common psychosis of
people of other places. Usually on any small
problem, others get worried and run places for
Sarat Chandra Mohapatra is the Secretary in the
solution of the same. Not that Puri people are Sri Jagannath Research Centre, Puri-7.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Sri Jagannath Temple - A Study
of its Cosmic Symbolism
Sunil Kumar Patnaik
The temple is a sacred place, a place for of educational and medical help, and above
worship, a tirtha, a meeting of divine and all, as the center of: cultural activities, such as
earthly life and a community center. Temple the arts, paintings and sculpture, apart from
means body or embodiment. Temples enable architecture, music and dance and more
devotee to sacred and blissful experience that significantly as symbol of political power.
the yogi has attained thorough rigorous and It can well be glimpsed through the
painstaking sadhans. These experiences are temple towns of India. The culture that
often displayed on the temple walls. revolved the temples can be felt even today in
The idea of temple originated centuries temple cities like Banaras, Ujain,
ago in the universal ancient conception of god Kanchipuram, Tanjore, Madurai, Dwaraka,
in human form. Such, form required a Tirupati, Rameswaram, or Puri, etc. Here the
habitation; a shelter and this need resulted in a God is chalachala, the rituals, festivals, are
structural shrine. It is often believed that the living today. The culture that once developed
temple form is derived from the "vedic" alter with the community such as rituals and festivals
the earliest known sacred structure (vedi), and the idea of pilgrims has thus, created
which had the square as its essential form. Its network of temple-cent ers and sacred
origin goes back to the pre-Christian era, and geography, continue to emphasize t he
its evolution into a monument of the great integrative role of the temple in the sub
architectural merit is marked by conscious continent.
efforts on the part several ruling dynasties from Again t he t emple in particular
the 4th to 17th centuries A.D. Religion in India, symbolizes as an object of devotion like an
has been a powerful ideological space for image. Hence, the temple is visualized as
worship of the divine, served as super ordinate human body. Accordingly various parts of the
institution of social organisation. In the temple are termed after the names of various
medieval periods of Indian history, the role of limbs of human body with architectural
the temple as the institutional focus of connotations.
development is understood by the temples
social and economic out reach as a land owner, The Hindu temple is also considered as
organizer of rural and urban activities, provider the image of Mahapurusa. The medieval
Orissa Review * June - 2006
architectural texts like the Agni Purana and the greatest prominence under the dynastic rule of
Isanasivagarudeva Paddhati and others the imperial Gangas. .The present magnificent
elaborate this symbolism in a realistic manner. temple of Purusott ama-Jagannath was
In this way the entire temple becomes the constructed during this period. Several copper
manifested form of divinity, containing all plate inscriptio ns o f this period credit
levels of existences, all substances, tattva and "Gangesvara" as the builder of the temple and
bhuttas from the earth to ether and its structure this "Gangesvara" has rightly been identified
gains the absolute supreme changeless essence. with Anantavarmana Chodaganga Deva (1078-
1147 A.D.). lt is known from the inscriptions
In India the temple as cosmic symbolism
that Chodaganga might have invited some
can be best seen from the royal temples of
selected Brahmana Pandits or Vaisnavas,
famous Brahadisvara temple at Tanjore and
belonged to Kanchi and settled near Sri
Jagannath temple at Puri. The Brihadisvara
Purusottama Kshetra for propagation of
temple at Thanjavur (Tanjore) was completed
Dvaitya philosophy .It is also known from
in 1010 A.D. by Rajaraja I of Chola dynasty. inscriptions that towards 11.5 A.D. several
This temple for next 1000 years was the cradle Pandits, Brahmanas and Sadhus (sages) did
of Bharatnatyam through the successive settle in different parts of the empire. It is also
dynasties. This temple again marked a known that king Chodaganga Deva patronized
watershed in the history of art and architecture Vaisnavism under the influence of the great
of India. Like other monuments of 'Political Vaisnava saint Ramanuja (1056-1136 A.D.)
architecture' in India, this temple symbolized who advocated the Visistadaitya philosophy of
the new royal power of its founder. The Vedanta. It is also believed that Ramanuja
extensive donative inscriptions at the walls of might have visited Puri during the time of
the temple at Tanjore reveal an even more Chodaganga and was closely associated with
explicit political function of this temple. the rituals of the temple. For the next 800 years
Hundreds of Brahmins and temple servants this temple of Purusottarna-Jagannath is the
were brought to Tanjore, among them 400 center of art, cult and culture of Orissa.1n 1230
dancing girls, about 200 dancing masters, A.D. the Ganga King Anangabhima ritually
musicians, drummers, goldsmiths etc. Some dedicated his kingdom to the God Purusottama-
of these servants had to be maintained by Jagannath and acknowledged the divinity of
regular duties in form of rice sent from their Puri both as the sole state deity of Orissa and
own villages. For other servants and the as his divine over Lord.
maintenance of the Brahmins, villages were
Thus like that of Chola king Rajaraja,
donated to the temple all over the empire, even
King Chodaganga Deva and later
in Sri Lanka. Rajaraja and several members of
Anangabhima Deva of Ganga dynasty had
his family furthermore donated immense
made all possible efforts to make Purusottama-
treasure of gold and jewels to the temple, which
Jagannath as state deity and sovereign Lord.
at once made the temple one of the richest in
Accordingly the temple was certainly built for
the Lord Vishnu as the iconographical feature
It was during 11th-12th century A.D. that denote. Of course, there are layers of cultural
the temple town Puri might have assumed the assimilations and synthesis.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Sri Jagannath Temple at Puri is a matured The pitha (pedestal) on which the temple
Kalingan style, consisting of four structures stands signifies a square base. Based on the
called (i) Vimana (Sanctum-Santorum) square, the structure of the temple also rises
(ii) Jagamohana or Mukhasala (the porch) from the square Vastupurusamandala. The
(iii) the Natamandira (dancing hall) pitha on which the Sri Jagannath Temple stands
(iv) Bhogamandapa (the hall of offering), built commences from the existing plinth of 5'.2" in
in a row in one axil alignment facing east. height. But the major portion of the pedestal is
The main temple as discussed above buried. The square is arch type, and the pattern
based on Vastu Purusa mandala is of the of order in the Indian tradition, as laid down in
Pancharatha type having a curvilinear tower the Brahat Samhita. Based on the square, the
rising above all other monuments. It is evident structure of the temple arises in the mid-world
that the t emple is based on prescribed (antariksha) of air. The square as the
architectural design Sri Bachha Khandasala. fundamental figure of vedic sacrificial
This is one of the thirty six different examples symbolism and temple architecture lends itself
prescribed for Rekha temple in Vastusastra to many variations and still retains its
meant for pancharatha type. Vastu sastra texts, symbolism.
conventionally attributed to the divine architect Above the pedesta1, the original temple
of the universe, Visvakarman, but composed structure stands with Pabhaga. The Pabhaga
at various points of time from 5th to 17th again has panchanga divisions of Orissan
centuries, represent a growing tradition. temple style like khura, kumbha, pata, kani and
Sri Jagannath temple referred as Prasada vasanta in ascending or der. All these
in the inscriptions. The temple is variously components have decorated with rich carvings
known in Sanskrit as the prasada, vimana, like vanalata, scroll motifs, procession of
devagriha, devalaya etc. Prasada and Vimana various animals mostly war animals,
are the most commonly used terms to refer to procession of foot soldiers, etc. in the horizontal
the main and integral part of the Hindu temple. surface of Pata is carved with Giri-
Prasada, the other name of the main building, Govardhanadhari Krishna playing with Gopis,
is synonymous with Vimana. According to the Dhenukasuravadha, proceeding towards
Silparatna (a Vastu Sastra text), "Prasada please Mathura on chariot etc.
by their beauty, the minds of Gods and Men." Above the Pabhaga, the next division is
The main shrine (Vimana) symbolizes by Tala-Jangha (lower jangha) having miniature
means of its architectures, the universe, its temple replicas with Khakara-Mundis in the
manifestation and integration. It incorporate in Kanika and raha and anuraha pagas. The front
its structure all the images. This is true in every phase of these miniature Khakaramundi niches
respect in the architecture of Sri Jagannath of Kanika paga are depicted with astadikapala
temple as the temple has vertical divisions i.e. or guardian deities in their respective
the pitha (pedestal), the bada (wall),the gandi direct ions. Again the miniature
(body) and the mastaka (the head). Each Khakharamundi shrines (niches) of anu-
component signifies the divine aspect of rahapaga depicts the King's court, priests giving
celestial world. sermons to the devotees, teachers (acharya)
Orissa Review * June - 2006
teaching their disciples. The two sides of each beaded boarders, popularly known as "Bhoo
miniature shrine exhibits the image of Vishnu, motif' of Orissan art is carved. Further, above
Shrikrishna, and Radha, with the hoard of the projecting Gaja-Simha motifs are found in
cows, or playing with veerna etc. The corner all cardinal directions.
space in between the two khakaramundi shrines In the Gandi level, bhumi-amalas form
within the Tala-Jhanga portion is occupied by offsets partially running all around the temple
the giant figures of Gaja Simha, Gaja vidal surface, decorated with creepers and floral
trampling over 'apsamarapurusa' or a demon. designs. The niches provided on three cardinal
These are typical Orissan art motifs all whom directions below the baranda level contain life
depict fertility and celestial world. size images of Varaha, Narasimha and
The bandhana consists of three moldings Trivikrama-the parsadevatas.
connected at places by vertical bands decorated The most remarkable feature of Sri
with standing figures of kanyas (maidens Jagannath Temple is that on the both sides of
representing celestial beauties). each parsvadevata, shrines, in the outer wall
The upper Jhangha has pidha-mundis figures of Vishnu, four on either side are carved
(miniature temple of pidha-order), which with depicting twenty four forms of Vishnu.
contains deities including avataras of Vishnu. These twenty four forms manifestations are
In the south-east corner, Varaha and Narasimha alike in their iconographic features. They are
are found intact. In the south-west corner all standing figures with no band in the body
Balarama, north-west corner Kalki and Buddha possessing four arms and adorned with Kirita
are found in tact. These icons show the perfect Mukuta (crown) and other usual ornaments.
shape and size with serenity in their faces and The difference between any two of there
represent the mature iconographic features of images has to be made out by the way in which
Vaishnava cult. the Sankha (conch), the Chakra (wheel) the
Gada (mice/club) and the Padma (lotus) are
The recesses in between the two pagaes found distributed among their four hands.
of upper Jhanga is occupied by life-size "Rupamandana" furnishes the twenty-four
sculptures of maidens and surasundaris names of Vishnu and the corresponding
(kanyas) in different actions representing arrangements of the four ayudhas in the four
female power and piousness. Orissan hands in each case. These twenty four forms
architectural text Silpaprakas has shown of Vishnu which have been listed in the
sixteen postures for there maidens (kanyas). Silpasastras are found nowhere in any temple
The baranda over the upper jhanga is made or sculpture except in this Sri Jagannath Temple.
ten curved moldings, which are almost, equal
The next division gandi or body of the
temple proper has ten bhumis or storeys. In
On the front side of each rahapaga above architectural features and decorative details,
the baranda level contains a small niche, inside the bada shows unmistakable affinity with those
it a beautiful figure of Vishnu is exhibited and of Lingaraja Temple. But here in Jagannath
above that the chaitya window motif with two Temple we find advanced stage of development
purusa figures (demons) on either side having in the architectural style.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
The towering division mastaka consists of their identity . As we have seen the temple
of usual elements of Beki (neck), amalaka, is mean to be a monument for the manifestation
khapuri, kalasa and ayudha (chakra) attached of the divinity whose image or symbol is
with flag. As the symbol of the world mountain enshrined in the garbhagriha.
(Sri Jagannath Temple termed as meru), the Notes and Reference :
prasada carries all the worlds strata along its
exis, which is the central pillar of the temple Stella Kramrisch; The Hindu Temple, New Delhi, 1976.
visible above its curvilinear superstructure, in James C. Harle The Art and Architecture of Indian Sub
the form of beki (neck). The amulaka (ribbed Continent, Penguin, 1986.
myrobalan) and the Kalasa (finial) are the Michal Meister, Encyclopedia of Indian Temple
shapes and symbols of the vertical axis of the Architecture AIIS, 1991
temple where it emerges into visibility. Thus, T E Donaldson, Hindu Temple Art of Orissa, Liedn,
the finial extends into mid-space. The finial 1997.
rises above the high temple. The amalaka above H Kulke, Kings and Cults, Manhor, 2001.
the beki, the highest point, marks the limit K S Behera, Temples of Orissa, Bhubaneswar, 1993.
between the unmanifest and the manifest. The
N K Bose; Canons of Orissan Architecture, Cosmo,
hierarchy of divine manifestation is thus 1982.
accommodated in the monument, located
J Padhi ; The Holly Land of Puri, Puri 2003.
within its vertical axis, the cosmic pillar.
A B Mohanty Ed, Madalapanji, 2001
Thus, Sri Jagannath Temple and the
S N Rajguru; Inscriptions of the Temples of Puri and
iconographic manifestations symbolizes the
Origin of Sri Purusottama Vol.-I, 1996.
universe with Vishnu as cosmic divine. Of
course, layers of other cultural t rait s, Krishna Deva; The Temples of North India, NBT, 1997
amalgamations and synthesis are marked in the J N Banarjea; The Development of Hindu Iconography,
Jagannath cult. But the outer surface of the Delhi, 1985.
main temple signifies the various forms of the K.C. Mishra; The Cult of Jagannath. Calcutta, 1971.
deity Vishnu-Krishna in what are called the
avarna kosthas (surrounding niches). Thus, the
rite of (pradkhina) by the devotee is more a
communion by movement with the images in
the niches of the walls, than a visual recognition Sunil Kumar Patnaik is the Tourist Officer of Puri.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Raja Sankranti : The Festival of Swings
Festivals of any state reflect the culture, supposed to control agricultural operations.
tradition and history of the people. Festivals The tradition of such festivals have also come
in India are mostly associated with seasonal down to the people of Orissa in the form of
phases of the sun, the moon, birth of divinities Raja-Sankranti(swing-festival), Akhaya-
and agricultural operations. Legends have trutiya, Gamha-purnima, Manabasa-gurubara,
gro wn connecting these fest ivals with Nuakhai etc.
mythological events recorded in the Puranas
Raja is an agriculture oriented festival,
and other religious literatures. They intend to
mostly observed in the coastal districts of
inspire faith and virtuous life among the people
Orissa for three days. The last day of month
as a result of which religious impact pervades
"Jestha" is known as "Pahili Raja" and the first
the celebration or observance of all the festivals.
day of month "Asadha" is Raja Sankranti
Though festivals are deeply associated (Mithuna Sankranti) from which rainy season
with religion (faith), the main purpose seems starts. It also inaugurates the agricultural year
to be recreational. They mitigate the monotony all over Orissa which marks the moistening of
of life. Man and women tired of hard routine summer parched soil with the first shower of
work need change or relaxation which festivals monsoon making it ready for productivity. The
provide. Thus festivals promote a common second day of "Asadha" is known as "Bhuin
cause, develop social solidarity, fellow feeling Dahana". To celebrate the advent of monsoon
and mutual co-operation. They also instill self- the joyous festival is arranged for three days.
discipline and emphasizes the spiritual value Even in some places of Orissa the fourth day
of human exist ence besides providing of Raja festival is also celebrated in the name
enjoyment and recreation. of "Basumata Puja". During this festival
In ancient days most of the celebrations Mother Earth or "Basu Mata" is considered to
were agricultural in their basic character having be a menstruating woman. Hence digging of
festivals mostly related to various agricultural soil or tempering it in any way is strictly
operations. People thought certain divine prohibited. The Mother Earth is said to undergo
powers were associated with various aspects pollution due to menstruation and given rest
of human life and festivals were scheduled in just like a woman imposed with several
honour of Gods and Goddesses, who were restrictions.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Raja is also considered as one of the chief types of cake, fried rice (mudhi) and vegetable
festivals of un-married girls or the potential curry.
mothers. The women folk, especially the
While girls scatter beauty, music all
virgins, forbid all kinds of manual works during
round moving up and down on the swings
these three days of Raja-festival. They don't
during this festival, young men give themselves
carry water, cut vegetables, sweep the houses,
busy in various types of country games
sew clothes, grind grains, comb hair, walk in
bare foot etc. So, all kind of restrictions are including Kabadi competition. While 'Yatras'
imposed both for the land and the women-folk. and 'Gotipua' dances are arranged at night in
prosperous villages; plays and other
Although Raja Sankranti is celebrated all entertainment programmees are also conducted
over Orissa, it is more enthusiastically observed by amateur artists in relatively less prosperous
in the coastal districts of the State. The un- places.
married girls or virgins observe the restrictions
prescribed for a menstruating woman. On the The communal mode of worship, from
first day of Raja Sankranti they rise before the time immemorial, has taken the form of
dawn,do their coiffure, anoint their bodies with festivals. All communal worships have tended
turmeric paste and oil, then take the purification to assume the form of festivals. Festivals
bath in the river or tank. Bathing for rest two always involves the community, a gathering, a
days of the festival is strictly prohibited. During mela or a fair. It is the expression of a
these three days girls are seen in the best of community on a festive and relaxed mood.
their dresses and decorations, eating cakes and Festivals are an inextricable part of Indian
rich food at the houses of friends and relatives. society. There are some festivals like Rakhi-
They move up and down in the swings rending purnima, Holi, Diwali, Durga-puja, Shiva-ratri,
the village sky with their joyous impromptu Makara-sankranti which are observed all over
songs. The swings are tied to the branches of India though their mode of celebrations are
Mango or Banyan trees and decorated with different from state to state. On the contrary,
garlands of different flowers. The virgins of there are also certain festivals which are purely
the village gather there on this festive occasion regional and sectarian. In India the months are
and one of them is elected as Dolo-rani (queen count ed on the basis of solar or lunar
of the swing). When the queen takes her seat movements. While the month is calculated, in
on the swing, the virgins move her forward solar system, from Sankranti to Sankranti, that
and backward with chorus of charming songs. is counted in lunar system from Purnima to
These songs are full of jolly spirit of girl-hood Purnima (full-moon). The number of festivals
days and refer to glorious future, happy love observed in Orissa are many compared to other
and would be marriage with suitable husbands. regions of the country. Amongst them Raja-
Special varieties of cake prepared out sankranti, Kumara-purnima, Prathamastami
of recipes like rice-powder, molasses, coconut, are some of the festivals which are specifically
camphor, ghee etc goes in the name of Poda- meant for the young.
pitha (burnt-cake ). The size of the cake varies
according to the number of family members.
Cakes are also exchanged among relatives and Pravukalyan Mohapatra is a Bhubaneswar based
friends. Young girls do not take rice during freelance journalist, and lives at Qr. No: V/R 3/2,
this festival and sustain only with different Unit-3, Bhubaneswar-751001,
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Buddha - Jagannath in the Evolution Process
Dr. Harihar Kanungo
When we look at the history of 'Buddhist that is considered as the beginning of the
Literature' we find that before Buddhism was preaching and the spread of Buddhism in 'Odra
preached by Gautam Buddha the tribal people State'. In course of time, Buddhism became
of 'Bhasa' and 'Bhana' who were living in the national religion of the whole of 'Odra State'
Odrabhumi1 of ancient 'Savaristhan'2 had because of Buddha's unique and attractive
accepeted 'AHETUBAD' -AKRIYABAD' or religious advice and this trend continued till
'NATHIKABAD'3 as their national religion. of the reign of the Soma dynasty. During that
'Odrabhumi' was considered and demarcated period the unchallenged influence of
as the connecting link between the Buddhism was felt all over Utkal,
Northern and the Southern India Kalinga, Toshal, Koshal and
as per the history of that Odra. Mostly the tribal people
time. It can't also be denied like the Savaras and others
that Goutam Buddha went to speaking the Nagavamsi and
the coastal region of South Mundari dialect were living in
India to preach Buddhism, Utkal at that time.4 History
although the truth in this of the period also reveals
regard is not yet discovered. that Lord Jagannath, the
There is no doubt that the prime deity of the Nagas
contemporary Odra state and Savaras had already
started from the boundary been incarnat ed and
line o f Magadh. Two worshipped by that time.
merchants of Utkal named The great resemblance of
'Tapasu' and 'Vallika' had the the Lord's face, eyes and
good luck to become the Buddha's disciples in the structure with that of a serpent establishes
the eighth week of his enlightenment. the fact that he was the God of the Nagas and
Subsequently the Bhasa and Bhana the Savaras. As a matter of fact the face of the
communities, then living in Odradesh accepted idol of Lord Jagannath is a reflection of the
Buddhism by giving up their own religion: i.e. face and eyes of a serpent and this practice is
Ahetubad, Akriyabad, and Nathikabad. In fact maintained on every Navakalevara. 5 the
Orissa Review * June - 2006
'Bastupuja' (Astakula Naga and Naguni Pali nor Sanskrit, but of Savara Origin.6 An
Puja)performed at the time of Navakalevara analysis of Indrabhuti's work proves the fact
further corroborates this fact. A keen that he struck a balance in the emotional and
observation of the body of Lord Jagannath's religious levels of the Nagas and the Savaras
face, which resembles with the image of the and created an atmosphere of unity among
serpent while the lower part of the idol indicates them by the image of the Lord Jagannath.
a Khamba or a log, which is being worshipped Really the Buddhists and Indrabhuti, the chief
by the tribals (Savara). The so called proponent of Vajrayan are remembered for
imagination of Khamba or Sthamba worship using the Lord Jagannath in order to bring co-
by the Savaras alongwith the serpent face of ordination among Natha and Naga alongwith
the Nagas gives a clear picture of the unity Jagant, the God of the Savaras. This could
among the two chief inhabitants Naga and bring unity of thought and religion among the
Savara of Odra State. Such types of integration Oriyas. This unique image of Lord Jagannath
of image was possible by the Buddhist. Thus and the nomenclature helped the Oriyas to
in the form of this image, the Buddhist could remain united as a race and established the Lord
combine both the religions and the languages or Buddha as a deity with all pervading power
of the Naga and Savara races. in the world. This recognition was so wide and
strong that it could command respect from
This type of tremendous discovery could
every corner of the world towards the unity
only be possible at the beginning of the
and integrity of Oriyas in the name of
civilisation by the Buddhists. This is proved
Jagannath. The ruling class used the term
by the fact that the mention of Lord Jagannath
Jagannath to bring unity among the people and
is found for the first time in the Buddhist
used it to expand their power and authority.
Literature. Indrabhuti, the king of Sambala
This resulted in bringing Lord Jagannath from
(AD.717), the famous preacher of Buddhism
the forests to the close quarters of the capital
(Vajrayan) had brought the Lord Jagannath to
by the state power. The synthesized image of
light. It is described in his Gnyanasiddhi.
Lord Jagannath who was primarily meant to
"Pranipatya Jagannatham Sarvajina bararchitam bring both religion and social unity one day,
Sarva budha mayam siddhi byapinam gaganopamam." became the medium of strengthening army and
(Indrabhuti - Gyana Siddhi, 1st Canto, Sloka No-1) influence of different rulers.
It is evident from these lines that It is learnt from the historical facts that
Indrabhuti tried his best to bring unity and being migrated from Sripur region of
integrity among the Savaras and the Nagas by Mahakosal, the Kings of Soma and Pandu
such a synthecised image of Lord Jagannath dynasties, at first established their kingdom
as Buddha for the first time. Because, prior to with capital at Sonepur. They gradually spread
this we never find the mention of Lord their kingdom all over Orissa. By the grace of
Jagannath in any literature or writing. Lord Jagannath they could win the hearts of
Therefore, Dr. Benimadhav Padhi described in the Oriyas. In the contemporary society of
his book 'Daru Debata' that the Lord Jagannath Orissa, Lord Jagannath became the only God
has the Savara origin. In his opinion it is of the people. It is described in Kalikapurana
justified that the Lord Jagannath is neither from (5th centry AD) that "Jagannathmodresam
Orissa Review * June - 2006
tatra Pujayet".7 In other words Jagannath is beloved God of Bhagavat Dharma. Paying due
universally accepted and worshipped as the regards to this event the renowned poet Jayadev
chief of the Gods. (1200 A.D.)composed -
As described in Madalapanji, "Nindasi Yangya bidherahha Sruti Jatam
Sadaya hrudaya darshita Pashughatam
Yajatikeshari searched for Lord Jagannath in Keshav dhruta - Buddhaa Sarira, Jaya Jagadisha Hare"
order to win the hearts of the people of Orissa (Shree Jayadev-Geeta Govindam, Dasavatara stotram)
just after his coronation as 'Pataraja'
Madalapanji records, "Hereafter Keshari In this way Lord Buddha, the beloved
became Pataraja, the first Pata was God of Buddhists is seen in the guise of Lord
Yajatikeshari. This king was very kind and Jagannath every where. But this process of co-
generous. He asked the monks and the ordination took a lot of time to emerge to the
Brahmacharins, Brahmins of the whereabouts present state.
of Lord Jagannath of Orissa.8 Inspite of the hard efforts made by the
According to t his description of kings of Soma and Ganga dynasties for
Madalapanji Yajatikeshari brought Jagannath recognising Buddha in the guise of Jagannath
from Jharakhand and worshipped him in a patol as Krishna the contemporary society could not
(temple) of 38 cubits in the sea-shore. After accept it completely. Therefore, in 1500 A.D.
being transferred from Jharakhand to coastal after three hundred years of Jayadev the poet
region Buddha in the guise of Jagannath was Sarala Das described Buddha as Jagannath.9
worshipped by his original worshippers of It is clear from this description of poet
Jharakhand. This arrangement was made due Sarala Das that kings of Soma and Ganga
to the pressure from people. Inspite of new dynasties who came from outside tried their
establishment of Lord Jagannath the same old best to influence the people of Orissa to accept
Buddhist tr adit ion was followed while Bhagavat Dharma Avatarabad, but they
worshipping. accepted Jagannath only as Buddha. This sort
In 300-400 A.D. after the revival of the of people's thought is being reflected in the
Bhagavat Dharma or Avatarad duly patronised writings of Sarala Das. That is why Sarala Das
by the Gupta dynasty, it influenced the kings is widely known as "Adikavi" of the land of
of Soma dynasty who had migrated from Orissa. It is crystal clear that the people of
Sirpur of Chhattishgarh State. After coming Orissa worshipped Jagannath as Buddha till
from Sirpur they occupied the kingdom of the time of Sarala Das (1500 A.D.). In the later
Sonepur and spread the culture of Bhagavat age being patronised by the kings, Brahminism
Dharma and Avataravad. Because of their became influencial, as a result of which
influence, the people of Orissa started 'Bhagavat Dharma' became more powerful and
worshipping the Gods Nrusingha and Buddha in the form of Jagannath was given
Madhava. Although Lord Jagannath was recognition more as Srikrishna, the devoted
established in the sea shore of Puri the kings God of Bhagavat Dharma. Inspite of all these
of Soma and Ganga dynasty of later age events even now the influence of Buddhism is
became partly successful in their efforts in reflected in the way of worshipping Lord
recognising Jagannath as Srikrishna, the Jagannath as usual.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
In order to establish unity among It is no doubt the evolutionary process,
different tribes of Orissa so far as thought, the creation of Buddha and God Srikrishna of
religion and society are concerned, the image Bhagavat Dharma, was possible only because
of Lord Jagannath was used as a symbol. In of the identification of an image and symbol
this synthecised system of controversial of Buddha in the guise of Jagannath. It is the
thoughts even a sort of integration could be opinion of most of the research scholars that
maintained. In the opinion of the historians, only one image of Buddha in the form of
all the events of Mahabharata War took place Jagannath and his Dharmadanda or Chakra
in the crisis of Dwapara and Kali era. was being worshipped in the beginning.
The incarnation of Lord Shrikrishna of Consequently when the devoted God of
the epic Mahabharata took place with a Srikrishna o f Bhagavat Dharma was
specific aim and that is announced by Lord symbolised as Buddha the images of
Shrikrishna himself in the Bhagavat Gita- Balabhadra and Subhadra were being imagined
and arrangements were made for the worship
"Yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhabati bharata
Abhyuthanmadharmasya tadatmanam Srujamyaham
of the four images (Chaturdha murti).10 That
Paritranaya Sadhunam binashaya cha duskrutam is why Sarala Das started saying in his
Dharma Sansthapanarthaya Sambhabami Yugeyuge". Mahabharata regarding Chaturdhamurti of
It means the main aim of incarnation of
Lord Shrikrishna was to get rid of both the Thus the cult of Lord Jagannath is the
vices and the enemies of this earth and to give product of an evolutionary process, it started
protection and justice to the saints. On the other with the worship of the Serpent God by the
hand Lord Buddha preached and spread his Nagas, a tribal communities, which was later
religion with an aim to get rid of the fear of embodied into the Khamba (Log) being
old age, disease and death from minds of the worshipped by the Savaras belonging to a
men by giving guidance to them. Although we different tribal community. Later on Lord
do find diferences in the (incarnation) births Buddha, who was the champion of equality
and aims of these two great men of Dwapara and social justice was worshipped in the form
and Kali, they made it possible to establish of Lord Jagannath. The rulers of the state used
co-ordination through Lord Jagannath. It is the every opportunity to use the name of Lord
great poet Sarala Das,who made the successful Jagannath to bring unity among the people and
attempt to synthecise the basic thoughts of both it helped them to derive power and authority.
Dwapara and Kali through the medium of Lord The Somavamsi ruler popularised the cult of
Jagannath. This is reflected in different places Avatarabad and Lord Shrikrishna was
of his composition. incorporated in the cult of Jagannath in the form
Baudha Avatara Abasya biharibu of "Chaturdhamurti" This has been testified
Dustajana mari Santhajana pratipalibu" 1531 by the great Oriya poet Jayadev and Sarala
(Sarala Mahabharata, Musaliparva, P,109) Das. Thus Lord Jagannath is the original
"Se Jagannatha je Sansara Uddharana concept of God among the tribal people. In
Mlechhajana Uddharana Se baudha rupena"161 course of time other Avataras have appeared
(Sarala Mahabharata, Adiparva, 2nd pt.P.1056) in the form of Lord Shrikrishna and Lord
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Buddha. But they have been incorporated and Study, Jhankar, 48th year, Car festival Special
worshipped in the form of Lord Jagannath. issue, July, 1996. Prajatantra Press, Cutack ,
P.407- Kar, (Dr.) Karun akar- Ascharya
The present cult of Jagannath, the Charyachaya (Ph.D. Thesis), Orissa Sahitya
Universal God is a product of socio-cultural Academy, Bhubaneswar, 1969, P.81.
evolution, which has accomodated various 6. Padhi, (Dr.) B- Daru Debata, Cuttack Students
religions and tribal cultures inculding the Store, 2nd Edn.1975, P.32.
concept of social equity preached by Lord 7. Sahu, (Dr.) N.K. - Buddhism in Orissa, Utkal
Buddha. Subsequently during the reign of University, 1958, P-38.
Rama Chandra Dev 1 (1738 AD) the Islamic 8. Madalapanji (Rajabhoga Itihas) IInd Edition,
concepts were also accommodated in the cult 1969, Utkal University, 5 & 6.
of Lord Jagannath (Patitapabana). Thus Lord 9. "Baud RupeBije Shree Neela Kandare
Jagannath does not belong to any particular Yeka Murti Chaturdha rupa dharichhanti
religion, caste or community. He is unique and Damadare" 12131
Universal. That is why we worship Him as the (Sarala Mahabharata, Madhya Prava, 2nd part,
Natha of the Universe-Jagannath. P. 836)
Foot Notes: "Dwapara ante yethi vije karibe Jagannathe
Baudha rupa hoi vije karibe dasha Sahasra
1. Dash (Dr) Mahesh Prasad-Sakta Sanskrutira Varsa Parijante." II 89 I
ltibruta in Sakta Culture in Orissa, Orissa
Cultural Forum (Edi,) Bhubaneswar, Grantha (Sarala Mahabharata, Sabhaparva, 2nd pt.,
Mandira Cuttack-2,1980, Page-57 P.51)
2. The author says that the combined states of Salaral Mahabharata, Virata Parva, P. 454 /
Kalinga, Odra,Prachi, Magadha and Bideha were Gada Parva, P. 70/ Adi Parva, 2nd Pt. P. 1056.
known as 'Savaristhan' it extended from 10. "Baudha rupe Vije Srineelakandare
Pataliputra, the capital of Magadha to Sirpur Yeka Murty chaturdha rupa dharichhanti
(Sripur), the capital of Kosala an d to Damadare." (213)
Prakyotishpur or modern Assam, which was on
the north east of Magadha. (Padhi (Dr) Beni (Sarala Mahabharata - Madhya Parva, 2nd pt.
madhav- Daru Debata, Cuttack students store, P. 782.
June'1975, P.176 (map).
3. Sahu (Dr.) N.K. Buddhism in Orissa, Utkal
University, 1958, P.13.
4. Rajaguru (Dr.) S.N. Naga Itihas, Part-1, 1958,
5. Kanungo (Dr.) H. Muktimandapa : Its Relation Dr. H.Kanungo is a reader in History in B.J.B.
with Shree Jagannath Temple - A Historical (Autonomous) College, Bhubaneswar.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
The Date and Builder of
Sri Purusottama Jagannath
Temple at Puri
Puri,the abode of Lord Jagannath is one of the temple of 38 Hata height which became
four celebrated religious centres of Hindus, delapidated. The present temple was built by
situated on the shores of Bay of Bengal. Sri- Anangabhima deva in place of delapidated
Ksetra is not only famous for Sri Purusottama/ temple o f Yayati. According to Ganga
Jagannath, but also for the great temple, which Vamsanucharitam Champu and Raja
attracts pilgrims and visitors throughout the vamsavalis, Anangabhima II was the builder
world. The Vimana or Garbhagriha is the of this great temple.
largest as well as tallest surviving temple of
iii) With the discovery of Ganga copper plate
Orissa, raising to a height of 200 feet with all
grants Manmohan Chakraborty, on the basis
the richness and plasticity of the medieval
of a particular verse credited Anantavarmana
Kalinga Style of Architecture. The temple has
Chodaganga as the builder of the Vimana and
all the four components. i.e. Vimana or
Garbhagriha, Mukhasala or Jagamohana, Jagamohana. This view of Mr. Chakraborty is
Natamandapa and Bhogamandapa. accepted by most of the present day scholars.
Bhogamandapa and Natamandapa are the latter iv) Dr. S. N. Rajguru was of the opinion
additions to t he original Vimana and that Chodaganga started the construction of the
Jagamohana. This paper deals with the Vimana great temple, but it was completed by
and Jagamohana of Srimandira. Anangabhima II and the temple was
The Vimana is a Pancharat ha consecrated by Anangabhima III.
Rekhadeula, three storied and the thickness of The present paper differs from the above views
the walls are 5.30 meters. The Jagamohana is on the basis of some newly discovered
a Pancharatha pidha deula. These gigantic epigraphic records.
structures are standing on an elevated platform
The date of "Skanda Purana"is not yet
of 20 feet height and enclosed by Kurma-
Bedha. There are different views on the date determined. The account of temple building
and builder of Sri Purusottama/Jagannath by Indradyumna is in the chapter of 'Utkal-
Temple (Vimana and Jagamohana) Khanda'. Some scholars believe that this
chapter, 'Utkal Khanda' is a latter addition to
i) According to some Puranas (Starting the original 'Skanda-Purana', Moreover there
from Skanda Purana) t he builder was is no historicity in the Indradyumna episode
Indradyumna, the king of Malava. as it is full of unrealistic and supernatural
ii) The Temple Chronicle, Madala Panji stories. The account of Indradyumna is merely
mentions king Yayati to be the builder of a a legend than history.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Madala Panjis are believed to be edited composed long after the death of Chodaganga
during the reign of Ramachandradeva I in the in 1147 A.D. The composer had no direct
16th century. According to Madala Panjis knowledge about the fact mentioned in the
Anangabhima II had built the temple in three verse. He had composed the verse after being
years. It is beyond the imagination of the heard. In the verse the word "upeksitam"
present day historians and archaeologists that (neglected) is not a verb rather an adjective of
the construction of the gigantic Vimana was the temple (the object). The verse under
completed in three years. Moreover Ganga discussion not only admits the existence of God
stone inscriptions and copper plate grants Purusottama, but also the existence of present
which are more authentic records do not sky-high Vimana prior to the conquest of Utkal
corroborate the aforesaid view of Madala Panji. by Chodaganga.
Most of the historians (starting from Choudwar copper plate grant of
M.M. Chakrabor ty) have accepted Kamarnava 1147/48 A.D. was discovered in
Chodaganga as the builder of the present 1993 (published in Jhankar, 1994, November
Vimana and Jagamohana on the basis of a Issue, page 901-915). In Kamarnava's grant
Prasasti-verse of Dasagoba copper plate grant neither the aforesaid verse is seen inscribed nor
of Rajaraja III (1198 A.D.) The same verse is there is any mention about the temple building
repeated in all the Ganga grants of his activity of Chodaganga. A comparison of
descendants discovered so far. Kamarnava's grant with Dasagoba grant shows
"Padau yasya dharantariksam-akilam
that after fifty years the latter grant had not
nabhisca sarvadisah only followed the writing pattern, but also
srotre netrayugam ravindu-yugalam copied or repeated the laudatory verses from
murddhapi ca dyaur-asau / line no 1 to 72 of the former. This is another
Prasadam purusottamasya nrpatih clear proof that the verse under discussion was
Konama karttum Ksamah composed long after Chodaganga's death and
tasyatyadi-nrpair-upeksitam-ayam was introduced in the Dasagoba grant in
Cakretha Gangesvarah" // between the accounts of conquest of Utkal and
Bengal, copied from Kamarnava's grant.
The first half of the verse is a simple
prasasti or adoration of God Purusottama Kamaranava, the eldest son of
whose feet are the earth, navel the sky, ears Chodaganga was quite adult at the time of the
the cardinal points, eyes the sun and the moon conquest of Utkal by his father. So it was
and head the heaven. The second half is obvious that Kamarnava was the eye-witness
historically important. Scholars including to all the achievements of his father. If
M.M. Chakraborty have interpreted the verse Chodaganga had built the Purusottama Temple,
as follows. Previous ruling kings had neglected Kamarnava would have mentioned it in the
to construct a suitable palace (temple) for God grant as the most glorious achievement of his
Purusottama, thinking that who king can be father without any hesitation.
able to do such task ?, which was fulfilled by The Narasimha Temple is situated at a
Cho daganga alias Gangesvara. This distance of 65 feet from the gigantic Vimana
interpretation is not proper. In the verse the to its south-east. A series of donatory
verb "cakre" is used in "lit-lakara" (remote past inscription in Nagari and Telugu were
tense), which suggests that the verse was discovered on the walls of Narasimha Temple
Orissa Review * June - 2006
after deplastering in 1980. The earliest consecration of Purusottama/Jagannath Temple
inscription of 1113 A.D. on the door-jamb of of Puri.
Narasimha Temple admits the existence of In the present context it is needless to explain
Narasimha Temple in 1113 A.D. Chodaganga about the views of Dr. S. N. Rajguru which
conquered Utkal in 1108/1112 A.D. If
are based on misinterpretation and hypothesis.
Chodaganga constructed the Vimana after 1113
A.D. then the Narasimha Temple could not Now the deplastering of Vimana is
have existed at the time of the excavation of complete. The art and architect ure of
the foundation of the Vimana. Purusottama/Jagannath Temple (Vimana) are
seen similar with that of Lingaraj Temple at
In ancient time as the construction of a
Bhubaneswar. The only difference is in
stupendous temple rose in height, the practice
iconography. The Purusottama/Jagannath
or technical method was to sorround the temple
Temple is a Vaisnavaite temple whereas the
with great mound of earth, which acted as a
Lingaraj temple is a Saivite temple. Otherwise
platform from which the work could proceed
further. An inclined plane or earthen ramp was both temples are prototype and contemporary.
then made and along this inclined ramp large The Vimana and Jagamohana of Purusottama
block of stones were dragged up for the Temple was built in Somavamsi rule in Orissa.
construction of the upper levels of the temple. About the builder nothing can be said at present
If such a practice or a method was followed due to the lack of authentic historical records.
for the construction of 200 feet high Jagannath References
Temple, then the sorrounding temple area with 1. Conservation of Lord Jagannath Temple, Puri
the Narasimha Temple, which was in existence published by A.S.I. BBSR circle.
since 1113 A.D. would have been burried under 2. Prachina Gadyapadyadarsha, Dr. Arta Ballava
the mounds of earth for a pretty long time. But Mohanty, Utkal University, 1st Edition, 1956.
the inscriptions of 1113 A.D., 1121 A.D., 1126 3. Dasagoba Copper Plate Grant, Dr. D.C. Sarkar,
A.D., 1131 A.D., 1133 A.D., 1136 A.D., 1150 E.I. Vol. XXXI Pt. (VI).
A.D. found on the Narasimha Temple make 4. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol.
us believe that no such construction work of LXVII-1898 P P - 328 - 31.
Jagannath Temple was in progress during the 5. 'Jhankara' Nov.1994 Page 901-915, Prajatantra
reign of Chodaganga. From the construction Prachar Samiti.
point of view the present Vimana can not be a 6. Inscriptions of the Temples of Puri and Origin
subsidiary or latter temple of Narasimha of Sri Purusottam Jagannath Vol-1 Part-I and II
Temple. Dr. S.N. Rajguru Published by Sri Jagannath
Sanskrit Vishva Vidyalaya Sri-Vihar Puri-1st
Dr. S. N. Rajguru believes that the Edition 1992.
Narasimha Temple was the early Purusottama 7. Utkal Prasanga, February, 1997 Page - 3 & 4.
Temple built by king Yayati and the Vimana
8. Early Stone Temples of Orissa. Vidya Dehejia
was built in subsequent period. Similarly the vikas publishing House Pvt. Ltd Page 29 & 30.
consecration of Purusottama (at Varanasi-
9. Nagari Copper Plate Grant of Anangabhima III,
Kataka) mentioned in the Nagari Copper plate Inscription of Orissa, Vol-V, Part-I, 1st Edition
grant of Anangabhima III 1230 A.D. is Orissa Meuseum, Bhubaneswar.
misinterpreted by Dr. Rajguru as t he
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Er. Nirakar Mahalik
Tulasi Kshetra Kendrapara is one of the five the south which was once known as Uttar
holy Kshetras of Orisssa. It houses the temple Tosali or UCHA (ODRA) of Hiuen-Tsang.
of Lord Baladeva Jeu in the heart of this This deltaic region is a very fertile land formed
Kshetra. The same rites and rituals of Lord by the three major rivers of Orissa namely
Jagannath at Puri are generally followed here Mahanadi, Brahmani and Baitarani falling to
which makes Kendrapara equally attractive. It the sea.
is only 95 Km away from the state capital People of the locality are worshipping
Bhubaneswar. Literature the God of Agiculture
like Brahama. Tantra and oxen/bull for
written by Vedavyas and prosperity. In the
Padma Puran speak the medeaval Bengali
glory of this place. literature it appears that
Here Lord Lord Siva is represented
Balabhadra marr ied by a cultivat or who
Tulasi, the daughter of ploughs his field, seeds
the demon king sow, take out weeds, cut
Kandarasura and resided grass and carries it to his
here secretly. So this house on his head. We
place is called Tulasi know that the wisdom of
Kshetra or Gupta Balabhadra is that of Siva
Kshetra. It is also known of the Universe. Hence
as Brahma Kshatra, Siva - Balabhadra is the
Kandarapadi or God of Agriculture from
Kendarapada. From the the ancient times.
ancient times this Kshetra was extended from In the Oriya Mahabharat, Adikavi
Bay of Bengal (Kalinga Sagar) in the east, the Sarala Das has described the three deities -
high hill of Lalitagiri as well as the Assia Balabhadra, Subhadra and Jagannath as the
mountain range in the north-west, Holy river embodiments of Nara, Bramha and Hari
Baitarani in the north and river Mahanadi in respectively. In Jagannath Charitamruta by
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Dibakara Das he is portrayed as "shling Bija", After persuading him from Kapilas, Lord
Subhadra as 'Hling Bija' and Jagannath as 'Kling Balabhadra killed t he wicked demon
Bija'. Kandarasura in a fight and threw his slain body
According to Vedic literature, Devi all over nearby places by cutting it into pieces.
Subhadra is Kshar (Perishable) called Prakriti It is a popular belief among the local
and Baladeva, the Vedic Lord Rudra or the people that the scattered body was fallen at
Akshara of Vedant, represent "Elemental self". Asureswar, Balagandi, Kamar Khandi, Navi
Both Kshra and Akshara are sub-ordinated to Khanda which places are named after the head
Purusottama known as Jagannath, the Eternal (Aswa Sira), trunk (Gandi of Aswa) waist
Unburn as also the cosmic streaming forth. (Kamar-Khanda) and Naval (peice of Navi)
In Durga Saptasati, the triad have a of the demon Kandarasura respectively. It is
tantric eulogization. According to Tantrik also belived that t he Siva temples of
devotees Balabhadra is none other than Swapneswar at Kant ia, Lankeswara of
Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge. Gualisingh, Bileswar of Kagal were founded
Subhadra is wo rshipped as the divine by Baladeva over the face, neck and waist of
expression of Mahalaxmi, The Goddess of the demon respectively, Balagandi, the place
Wealth, Jagannath is the divine expression of where the trunk of Kandarasura had fallen is
Lord Vishnu, the Creator and Preserver of the called Kandara padi (Kendrapara). One
Universe. Not only this the Tantric devotees menhir with some Tulasi trees were existing
also worship Balabhadra as Ugratara, Subhadra there.
as Bhubaneswari and Jagannath as Before killing the demo n, Lord
Dakhinakali. Balabhadra at first killed Madhudaitya, the
There are several myths and legends chief military general of Kandarasura at
surrounding Lord Baladeva Jeu at Kendrapara. Lalitagiri through his war weapon plough. The
Legend records that Kandarasura, a demon blood gushing out from the body of the general
king, destroyer of Jajnas, was ruling over the formed a river named Madhusagar (now
area surrounding Lalitagiri and Assia mountain Gobari river) which flow towards east by the
ranges. Tulasikshetra Mahatmya reveals that side of Kandarasura Menhir and ultimately
he lived near Lalitagiri - Alatigiri and was meet the sea.
terrifying people. Lord Balabhadra defeated Lord Balaram married Tulasi, the only
him in a fight as a result of which he left the daughter of Kandarasura on the 12th day of
place, went to Kapilas mountain near the bright fortnight in the month of Magha
Dhenkanal and lived in disguise in the nearest which is observed with pomp and ceremony
mountain ranges as he was an ardent devotee every year as 'Tulasi bibaha day' (marriage day
of Lord Siva. Lord Balabhadra thoroughly of Tulasi) in the Baladeva Jeu Temple,
searched every nook and cornors of the hill Kendrapara. The place where this marriage
and lastly ploughed the hill with his plough was performed is renamed as Tulasi Kshetra.
(hala) as a result of which one perennial spring It is said that after the death of Balarama
emerged from the hill, which is now called his dead body was transformed into a
'Langal Siar Jharana' (spring of the plough). Manibigraha (stone image) which was
Orissa Review * June - 2006
worshipped by Devatas at the door of Patalpuri Gobardhana, Janardana, Purusottama,
which is identified with Lalitagiri in Dwapar Sudarsana, Balabhadra, Vamana, Vasudeva,
Yuga. When Kali yuga appeared Buddha Visnu, Narayan, Narasimha and Padmanava.
Dharma (Buddhism) spread over the area. Thus the period of Bhaumakara rule is very
Devatas kept the image of Balabhadra in important for Orissa from the religious point
disguise under water of Madhusagar (river of view. For the first time we come across the
Gobari). After Gopal Siddha Das, a cowherd name of Balabhadra in the Inscriptions of
boy discovered the stone image of Balabhadra Orissa.
near Siddha Sarobar it is worshipped at The original temple was demolished by
Kendrapara it is worshipped as Siddha Baladev Khan-i-Duran (1660-1667 AD), the then
Jeu after the name of Siddha Das, who Subedar of Orissa during the time of Moghal
discovered the deity first. Emperor Aurangazeb on 2nd April 1661 AD.
In the 13th century A.D., king He constructed one Masjid on the foundation
Anangabhima III of Ganga dynasty constructed of the dismantled temple in the year 1663 A.D.
one temple for the worship of Lord Siddha Devotees of Lord Baladev Jeu, took the
Baladeva Jeu near present Kacheri of old deity in disguise in a boat through the river
Kendrapara town which is about 60 hands (28 Govari and kept the deity in a secret place near
mtrs) high over a vedi (Mandapa) constructed Baranga (Chhedara) Jungle. Afterwards it was
previously. shifted to Balarampur village near Luna river
Some historians are of the opinion that at Sakhi Bata. So this place is sacred for the
stone image of Lord Baladeva Jeu on a plain Hindus.
and square mandapa (length 75 dhanu) was The present shrine of Siddha Baladeva
worshipped by Kalyan Devi, the queen of Jeu was constructed during the Maratha rule
Madhav Raj of Sailodbhava dynasty during 7th in Orissa (1761 AD) of Ichhapur (Kendrapara).
century. This Mandapa was renovated by 2nd It was constructed by the king of Kujanga, Raja
Indradyumna Yayati Keshari and was Gopal Sandha and Zamidar (land lord) of
consecrated by the Brahmans brought from Chhedara killah, Srinivas Narendra Mahapatra.
Jajpur. One saint (Santha) Gopi Das and Sairatak Giri
Other historians differ from the above convinced the then Maratha Chief Janoji and
views and in their opinion, one Mandapa (vedi) constructed the Jagamohan, Bhoga Mandapa
was constructed during the period of of the main temple, temple of Gundicha and
Bhaumakaras for the worship of Lord compound wall. The Viman and Jagamohan,
Balabhadra at Kendrapara and subsequently are built in pidha style of temple architecture.
reconstructed by the Ganga monarch Afterwards Mukti Mandap, Ananda Bazar,
Anangabhimadeva-III as stated above. Mention Bhandaraghar (store house), Gouranga
have been made of the Talcher Copper Plate temple, Basudeva Temple and Garuda pillar
of Sivakaradeva, t he king Gayada of were constructed inside the temple enclosure.
Bhaumakara dynasty, in which we come across Painting of some Hindu iconography was done
the name of Hari, Damodar, Haladhar, on the roof ceiling and inner wall of
Madhusudan, Govinda, Tribikram, Jagamohan. The entire area surrounding the
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Lord Baladeva Jeu temple is traditionally Chherrah Panhara etc. After the death of the
known as Tulasi Kshetra. The image of Tulasi Zamindar, his widow queen sold all the rights
Devi is worshipped in a temple near village of the temple to the then Zamindar of
Gochha on the northen side of the road from Kendrapara, the Radheshyam Narendra family.
Kendrapara to Ichhapur. Now the Chherrah panhara rituals before the
The stone image of Lord Balabhadra and Lord Balabhadra is perfor med by t he
wooden idols of Jagannath, Subhadra and successors of late Radheshyam Narendra.
Sudarsan are also worshipped according to the Bhoga like 'Rasabali' is famous in Baladeva
rituals of the temple in Lord Jagannath at Puri. Jeu temple. Besides this, the festival of Makar
Sankranti, Mahabishuva Sankranti (Pana
Tulasi Kshetra (Kendrapara) and its Sankranti), Chandan yatra, Snana Purnima,
adjoining areas were once upon a time a centre Shravan Purnima (Baladeva Janma and
of Buddhist and Saivite cultures. Some of the Magha Sukla Dwadasi (Tulasi Bibaha) are
Buddhist and Brahmanical images recovered some of the main festivals observed in the
from here have been preserved in the Indian Baladeva Jeu temple at Kendrapara.
Museum at Calcutta (Kolkata). This place is
very near to Lalitagiri, Udayagiri and Ratnagiri Tulasi Kshetra Kendrapara is very much
where famous university of Puspagiri and proud of poets, writers and artists like
Buddha Vihar flourished since 3rd-2nd century Achutananda Goswami, Madhu Das of Kantia
B.C. Therefore the entire deltaic area from Matha, Phagu Das, Bhikari Dibakar, Baikuntha
Lalitagiri to the river Mahanadi and the sea is Mahapatra, Baisya Sadasiva, Bhakta Kabi
full of sacttered Buddhist antiquity. Zamidar Gangadhar Narendra Bipra Madhuri of 16th
of Chhedaragarh also was worshipping one of century, Ramasankar Roy, Gourisankar Roy,
the Buddha images in the dense forest of Golaka Pradhan (2nd Bhanja), Kuntala Kumari
Baranga Jhada inside a temple facing north. Sabat, Bidyut Prava Das etc. There are also
The present Siddha Baladeva Jeu temple, many renowned poet and writers those have
Kendrapara was constructed on the same spot. contributed to the Oriya literature like late Arta
Now the old image of Buddha in the campus Ballabha Mohanty, Kahnu Charan Mishra,
is being worshipped as the father of Lord Surendra Mohanty. Bhikari Charan Pattanaik,
Baladeva named Basudeva. Kabi Prasad Mohapatra and renowned poet
Sit akanta Mahapatra, Dipak Mishra,
Car festival of Lord Balabhadra in the Sribatschha Nath, Nimai Charan Pani, Sukadev
Tulasi Khetra is celebrated on the 2nd day of Sahu etc., poet and dramatist Natyarathi Gopal
bright fortnight in the month of Asadha just Dash, historian Pratap Kumar Roy and
like the Car Festival of Puri. He moves in a ancestors of Vyasakabi Fakir Mohan Senapati
magnificent chariot called 'Taladhwaja'. His also hailed from this place.
chariot is 39 feet (12 mtrs) in height and 24
feet (7.5 mtrs) in diameter having 14 wheels. Cultural contribution of Tulasikshetra
Two black and two white horses are fitted in towards yatra, Drama, Ramalila, Chaiti Ghoda
front of the chariot. Nacha, Idol dance (Kandhei Nacha) Nama
Sankirtan and Pala are praiseworthy. Pala
Zamindar of Chhedaragarh was gayak Nidhi Nath, Mani Nath, Hari Nath,
performing all royal duties of Puja like Narayan Kar, Keshab Kar, Golak Das,
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Niranjan Kar, Parikshit Nanda, Rabi Mishra 5. The Cult of All - Merciful Lord - Durga Madhab
Bhagabata Panda , Anadi Nayak and about 70 Dash, Orissa Review, July, 2005.
or more Pala gayaks are pride of this place. 6. Balabhadra Upasana and Tulasi Kshetra -
Singers like Nimai Charan Harichandan, Nirakar Mahalik, Orissa Review, July 2005.
Bhajan Samrat Bhikari Bal, Violine artist 7. Kendrapara Zilla Itihasa - Pratap Kumar Ray.
Sunakar Sahu, Rakhal Mohanty, Dibakara 8. Yuge Yuge Tulasi Kshetra - Dr. Basudev Das
Sahu and many others are glory of this Tulasi Utkal Prasanga, June, 1993.
Kshetra. 9. Narayan Cult in Orissa - Priyadarsani Bakshi
References : Debendra Nath Bhoi, Orissa Review, June, 2004.
1. Sunya Puran by Ramai Pandit, D.C. Sen Banga 10. Orissa District Gezetters, Cuttack, Chief Editor
Sahitya Parichaya, Rudra Siva as an Agricultural - N.C. Behuria.
deity, Nanimadhab Chowdhury - I.H.Q. Vol.IV. 11. Kendrapara Zillah Itihasa - Pratap Kumar Roy.
2. Balabhadra Upasana - Kshirodra Prasad 12. Oriya Sahitya Sanskrutiree Tulasi Kshetra -
Mohanty, Utkal Prasanga, July 2001. Basudeva Kar, The Samaj, Nov.1982.
3. Shree Jagannath Mandir O' Shree Jagannath
Tatwa - Pandit Surya Narayan Dash.
4. Missing Link of Lord Jagannath Cult - Tribikram
Mallick, Orissa Review, July, 2003. Er. Nirakar Mahalik lives at N1/82, IRC Village,
Bhubaneswar - 15.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
The Story of Jagannath
Temple and Car Festival at
There were six districts and twenty six Princely Settlement operations of the Ranapur Ex-State
States in Orissa when it became a separate state area in the district of Puri (1943-1952 A.D)
on 1st April 1936. Ranapur was one of the observes and writes as follows : "Udhab Singh
Princely States. India achieved its built a temple of Lord Jagannath at Ranapur
independence on 15th August 1947 and after and his wife built the Mukhasala. He then built
merger of Princely States with Orissa in the the temple of Maninag Durga on the top of the
year 1948 hill. He started
Ranapur Gadjat twelve Jatras of
became a Tahasil Jagannath at
Ranapur for his
of Puri district
darsan. This Raja
died in 1363 A.D.
s u b d iv is i o n .
So the temple of
After the 1993
re-organisation and Maninag
Ranapur has Durga were built
become a Tahasil to wards t he
under Nayagada middle of 14th
In the Pre-independence era when It would not be out of place to mention
Ranapur was a Princely State, the present here an interesting legend regarding the
Jagannath temple and the temple of Maninag establishment of Sri Jagannath temple at
Durga at the top of Maninag hill were built in Ranapurgada which is as follows.
the middle of 14th century during the reign of
" Raja Udhab Singh Nerendra was a
Raja Udhab Singh Narendra (1324-1363 great devotee of Lord Jagannath of Puri and
A.D.). use to go to Sri Khetra on horse back from
Regarding the construction of Lord Ranapur every day for darsan of the Lord.
Jagannath temple at Ranapur, Mr. G.N.Singh From Ranapur the King goes to Puri enroute
in his Final Report on the Survery and Jankiagada on horse back and there he changes
Orissa Review * June - 2006
the horse for Puri and after having the darsan observed and at 8 A.M. the "Ballav Dhup" is
of Sri Jagannath returns back to Ranapur. Once offered in which the "Curd" and "Lia Muan"
open a time the king went upto Jankiagada but are included. At 12.30 P.M.the "Sakal Dhupa"
due to flood in the river could not be able to is offered to the deities which comprises of
go to Puri for darsan of the Lord. But while Rice, Dal, Curry, Sag, Besar, Mahur, Pickle
the river became normal the king proceeded and Payas. The deities go for "Pahuda bije"
to Puri and sat for 7 days under the banyan after the "Sakal dhup" and wake up at 3 P.M.
tree in the temple premises without taking any
food and water and prayed Lord Jagannath to At 7 P.M. in the evening the "Alati" is
remove all obstacles from his way which made as per the custom and tradition of the
debarred him for darsan of the Lord. Lord temple. The Bramhins called "Patri" and
Jagannath became pleased with the sincere and "Padhiary" use to provide Alati stick, Pidha,
deep devotion of the Raja of Ranapur. The Ghanti and mirror, where as the Samanta
Lord ordered Gajapati Prataparudra Dev in a Bramhin chants Mantra and observe Seva Puja
dream that out of 16 divine Kalas of Lord of the deities. A person belonging to Mali Caste
Jagannath one Kala would go to Ranapur as a use to clean the temple precinct and provides
work of boon in favour of King Udhab Singh water and Tulasi at the time of Sevapuja of the
and the devotee Raja would build a Jagannath deities.
temple at Ranapurgada and would observe the At 8 P.M. t he deities are offered
seva puja of the deities as per the custom and "Sankhudi Bhoga" in which Puli (a special type
tradition of Puri Jagannath temple. The next of cake prepared out of cheese, ghee, Biri and
morning Gajapati Prataparudra Dev met the coconut) and "Enduli" are included. After 9
Raja of Ranapur in the premises of Puri P.M. the "Bada Singhar dhupa" is offered to
Jagannath temple and offered him the duity of
the deities which comprises of "Sarapuli" and
Madhab Goswami and honoured him with Pata
"Khaja". At 10 P.M. the deities use to go to
saree on his head and the title of "Narendra"
bed which is called as "Pahuda bije".
as per the order of the Lord."
As per custom and traditions of Ranapur
Therefore we can come to the conclusion
that during the reign of Udhab Singh Narendra Jagannath temple, out of the total Bhog Prasad,
the temple of Lord Jagannath was built and the sebayat famlies are entitled to get fifty
the Nitis of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra percent, the royal family gets twenty-five
and Ma Subhadra and their Seva Puja are percent and rest of "Bhog Prasad" is meant for
observeed accordingly since that period till to- common devotees of Lord Jagannath. This
day. It is also very interesting to note here that costum is still in vogue in the temple of Sri
besides the aforementioned bigrahas of Lord Jagannath of Ranapur.
Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra three That besides t he deities of Lord
small deities also adorn the golden throne who Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Maa Subhadra
are known as "Ghar babus". the deities of Sri Harihareswar, Brundaban
As per the version of Sri Rabi Nanda, Behari Dev, Braja Behari Dev, Radhakanta
the present Chief Sevayat of Ranapur Dev, Mahalaxmi, Saraswati and Sri Ganesh
Jagannath temple, at 7.30 A.M. the "Abakash" have also adorned their respective temples and
or "Nitya Karma" of the deities are being places as "Parswa Devatas" or "associate
Orissa Review * June - 2006
deities" in the Jagannath temple precinct of For manufacturing the chariots the
Ranapur. The Devasnan Mandap is also "Katha Anukul" is performed on the day of
existing in the Jagannath temple premises "Akshay Trutiya" in the month of Jestha. The
meant for bathing of the Lords. holy timbers are generally collected from the
jungle of Barbara, Randa, Girinda,
Following the customs and traditions of Bandhamunda and Jamuganda under Ranapur.
Puri Jagannath temple twelve Jatras are being
observed at Ranapur Jagannath temple. Though After the merger of Ranapur Princely
the Samanta Bramhins were honoured by the State with Orissa it became a Tahasil and the
Raja of Ranapur, the Pujari Bramhins were not Tahasildar is acting as the ex-officio Executive
provided with any thing for their service to the officer of Jagannath temple who is responsible
for the smooth management of the Car Festival
Lord. Further the king was compelling the
at Ranapur. Therefore under the direct control
Pujari Bramhins to perform "Suar Bethi".
and supervision of Ranapur Tahasildar the
Some times while the king was customs and traditions of Car Festival is
remaining absent from Ranapur palace and was organised and maintained. The Tahasildar after
staying at Chandapur place in festive occasions providing the required holy timbers for
the Pujari Bramhins were walking the whole manufacturing of the chariots, the concerned
way from Ranapur to Chandapur carrying the carpenters of Ranapurgada, Siko,
"Bhog Prasad" in the night after the "Sandhya Rajsunakhala, Lekhanpur, Gopalpur and
Dhup" of Jagannath temple. They were also Majhian Khand are called for to start the
carrying the "Bhog Prasad" to the residence of building of Rathas. The carpenters complete
Agadhu Routray of village Jadupur who was the building of full fleged chariots before the
the Dharma Putra (god son) of Ranapur King. day of Srigundicha. The Tahasildar also
provides the holy ropes and other necessary
In 1943, Bamadev Rath, the then Dewan articles for pulling of the chariots. The Raja of
and Superintedent of Ranapur Princely State Ranapur comes out from the palace in a
had abolished the "Suar Bethi" custom due to procession alongwith Chhatra, Chamar, and
the royal power vested on him. Because, after Masal with royal splendour on the day of
brutal killing of the British Poltical Agent Srigundicha and performs the holy Chhera
Major R.L. Bazelgette on 5th Jannuary 1939 Panhara in the chariots of Lord Jagannath,
by the mob, the king of Ranapur was divested Lord Balabhadra and Maa Subhadra.
of his royal power by the British Govt. and During the reign of the kings when
due to imposition of Court of wards the Dewan Ranapur was a Princely State, the subjects were
and Superintendent was enjoyng all the powers compelled to perform "Ratha Bethi" for two
of the king in Ranapur from the year 1941 to months till the end of Ratha Jatra. (Bethi means
1945. compulsory wage-free labour done by the
During the reign of Raja Sarangadhar subjects of Ranapur and other Princely states
Bajradhar Narendra Mohapatra (1727-1754 of Orissa). No body can think of Bethi in a
A.D.) the Car Festival of Ranapur had started democracy. But in the pre-independence period
for the first time and is continuing till the the evil practice of Bethi was prevalent in all
present time. the Princely States including Ranapur.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
The subjects who perform Bethis were Andolan. In course of events the British Poltical
called "Bethia Praja" and those ill-fated Agent interferred in Ranapur agitation and was
persons were compelled by the royal killed by the mob. The young leaders were
administration to collect and carry the holy hanged due to the joint conspiracy of the British
timbers on their own shoulders and bullock- Government and the then king Krushna
carts meant for manufacturing of the chariots Chandra Narendra Bajradhar Mohapatra.
for car festival. The Bethia Prajas were also But the life sacrifice of Saheed Raghu-
collecting the ropes Dibakar have
meant for pulling yielded the result of
the holy chariots of human dignity in
Lord Jagannat h, Ranapur. The
Balabhadra, Jagannath temple is
Subhadra, Sudarsan very well existing at
and Madan Mohan. Ranapurgada and
During the reign of the Car Festival is
the Kings five performed with
chariots were built much enthusiasm
in Ranapur Princely by the people at
State. The Sepoys of the king were free to beat present but the evil custom of "Ratha Bethi"
the "Bethia Prajas" mercilessly at their own and "Suar Bethi" are no more there in Ranapur
sweet will for swift pulling of the chariots. The area.
rich and respected subjects of Ranapur were
bribing the Chowkidars, sepays and Darogas Reference:
to exclude them from "Ratha Bethi". 1. Ranapur Bidroha, Satyabadi Baliarsing.
For abolition of the evil practice of 2. Final report on the Survey and Settlement
"Ratha Bethi"," Suar Bethi", "Sadak Bethi", Operations of Ranapur Ex-State area in the
"Paridhi Bethi", "Palace Bethi", Bheti, districts of Puri (1943-1952), G. N. Sing.
Nazarana and human Sacrifice befo re
"Maninag Durga" and to protect and preserve
the human dignity of the subjects the young
revolutionary leader, Dibakar Parida and
Raghunath Mohanty had raised their voice Braja Paikray is the Additional Government Pleader.
against the tyrant King, Dewan, Daroga and He lives at 342/B, Jagamara (Barabari),
Amalas and had organised the Ranapur Praja Bhubaneswar-751030.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
The Patlinga Copper Plate Grant Inscription of
The Patlinga copper plate grant inscription describing the city of Guhesvarapataka from
brought to light in April 2006 has thrown new where it was issued. Several other Bhauma
light on the history of Bhaumakara dynasty and documents refer to Guhesvarapataka as a place
the antiquity of Athagarh region. The where the victorious Skandhavara of the
inscription was discovered in an excellent state reigning monarch is said to have been situated.
of preservation while one Trilochan Pradhan, The word Skandhavara implies a royal
a farmer, was renovating a dug well in his cantonment or a capital city. D.C. Sircar
paddy field in the revenue village of Patlinga, locates Guhesvarapataka at about the modern
near Athagarh town. Jajpur. He avers, "The kings of this family
granted lands in northern and southern Tosala,
Issued by Bhaumakara queen Dandi
the former indicating the Balasore Cuttack
Mahadevi, the Patlinga plate is the latest of all
region (sometimes with a part of the Midnapur
her inscriptions discovered so far. The Banpur
district of West Bengal) and the latter including
plate of Dandi Mahadevi had been issued in
parts of Cuttack, Puri and Ganjam districts."
the Bhauma era 187, whereas the present
charter was issued on the occasion of Vishuva Whereas other Bhauma charters mention
Samkranti in the Bhauma year 190, which "Vishaya" as an administrative division
corresponds to 926 A.D. Thus this inscription intermediate to Mandala and Khanda, the
extends the chronological limit of Dandi instant inscription carries no mention of
Mahadevi's reign for three more years. Vishaya. One of the Ganjam plates of Dandi
The inscription sheds new light on the
administrative formations of Bhaumakara
dominions. Dandi Mahadevi is said to have
granted the village called Tadata Grama
situated in Kontolo Khanda within Santa
Mandala under the Dakshina Tosali division
of her kingdom in favour of Bhattaputra
Daddananda, a learned Brahmin of Kasyapa
gotra. The charter begins with a verse
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Mahadevi records the grant of a village in the
Purva Khanda of the Varadakhanda vishaya in
the Kongoda Mandala. On the basis of this,
D.C.Sircar seems to suggest that Khanda was
designated particularly by its geographical
direction like Purva (eastern) and Paschima
(western). But the mention of Kontolo Khanda
in Patlinga inscription proves that Khandas
were also named after the headquarter town,
apart from the geographical direction.
variation. It mentions officials like
The topographical and social description Mahasamanta, Kumaramatya, Auparika,
of Kontolo Khanda in the Patlinga plate agrees Vishayapati, Tadayuktaka, Dandapashika,
with the features of the modern Konthol village et al.
within Athagarh NAC. The Patlinga village,
whence the inscription was discovered, is The early Bhaumakara kings were
situated only four kilometers away from Buddhists adorned with titles like
Konthol. The Konthol village is a populous Paramo pasaka, Paramasaugata and
habitation with an ancient Brahmin Sasan. Paramatathagata. But towards the end of
Several archeological remains of Konthol like Bhauma rule, the queens are endowed with
the ancient images of Chamunda (locally Hindu epithets: Dandi Mahadevi is styled as
known as Dakshina Chandi), Manjusri and Parama mahesvari, Paramabhattarika and
Jaina Tirthankaras corroborate the antiquity of Paramesvari. Therefore, the beginning of the
the place. end of Buddhism in Orissa can be traced to
the transition in religious affiliation of Bhauma
The Santa Manadala ('Santa' originally rulers. As stated in the Patlinga inscription,
means a holy person) can be satisfactorily Dandi Mahadevi was a devout Saivite who
identified with the present Athagarh region, granted Tadata village together with the
which is replete with ancient rock-cut caves subjects such as Tantuvaya (weavers), Gokuta
carved on the hillocks for the use of monks, (milkmen) and Saundika (vintners) to a
marking out the region as a seat of religion
Brahmin. A ruler practising Hinduism granting
and asceticism. an entire village, along with its castes, in
As regards Tadata Grama, there is no Santamandala (named so due to its religious
village extant by that name. The reason could character) to a learned Brahmin represents
be that during 18th century the Gadajat kings propagation of Hindu socio-religious order in
of Athagarh renamed several villages in a region of religious prominence. Therefore,
Vaishnavite tradition. the decline of Buddhism in Orissa, which is
When compared with other grant attributed to Somavamsi and Ganga rule,
inscriptions of Dandi Mahadevi, the Patlinga should actually be traced back to Bhauma
plate is a mere reiteration of the genealogy, times.
religious affiliation and the official hierarchical As in other Dandi Mahadevi's charters,
structure of the Bhaumakara dynasty, with no in the Patlinga inscription also, the genealogy
Orissa Review * June - 2006
begins with the illustrious King UnmattaSimha, brilliance during the Bhauma period, should
and also mentions the ascendancy of queen find proper appreciation in the gender studies
Gauri Mahadevi, and subsequently of her of ancient Indian history. The Patlinga copper
daughter Dandi Mahadevi, whose virtuous plate of Dandi Mahadevi has once again
reign has been eulogised in glorious terms. reminded us that the ethos of equality in Oriya
There has been no mention of the marital status society is deep-rooted and time-honoured.
of Dandi Mahadevi in any of the inscriptions
discovered so far. That a princess was
enthroned in the 10th century A.D and her reign
was celebrated by her subjects is a monumental
tradition bequeathed by the Bhaumakaras,
unparalleled in ancient Indian history. The fact
S.N. Girish is an officer of the Indian Administrative
that generations of royal women could rise to Service, Orissa cadre and at present posted as Sub-
the imperial throne and shine in administrative Collector, Athagarh, District-Cuttack.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Lord Jagannath - The
Emblem of Cosmic
Dr. Chinmayee Satpathy
Ek Brahman ditiya nasti. Ahom Brhmasmi. Balabhadra and Subhadra reside. The origin
The fundamental truth of Adweitabad of of Lord Jagannath can be traced into the hoary
Hinduism propagated by Adiguru past most probably to the age of pre-history
Sankaracharya is that the Atma or Soul and and the cult of Lord Jagannath is Prak-Vedic
the Paramatma are one and inseparable. When derived from the oldest civilization of the
the soul attain Nirbikalpa Samadhi the world. For which it has been rightly said that
individual consciousness is fully absorbed into the uniqueness of Jagannath Cult is that all the
supreme consciousness without any sense of old religions and sects of the world are
duality and the soul never parish as it is assimilated in this Cult. Many arguments and
completely assimilated into the counter arguments have been put
absolute. It has been rightly forth by the scholars for
said by the intellects that defining the truth regarding
Rathe tu Bamana the origin of Lord
d r u s t w a Jagannath from
punarjanma na various sources like
vidyate. In Jainism, Buddhism,
Upanisad the Soul Tribal origin or from
means Bamana where Veda & Brahminical
the Lord Jagannath sources since its very
represents the Soul. The inception.
Greek philosopher Pluto Some says the origin
has also defined that Body can be traced into the Jaina cult. Jaina
of the individual is the vehicle is derived from the word Jin which means
or the carrier of the Soul, where the body Nirgrantha i.e to conquer over wishes and
represents the Yana i.e the Chariot. The whole desires in order to attain Nirvana. The Jaina
irony is that Atmadarshan is the highest kind Gurus are called Nathas like Adinat h,
of realistions for attainment of ultimate Parswanath, Rusavanath. According to which
salvation. Jagannath is Jagat Nath that means the Swamy
According to Sanatana Dharma among or the Lord of entire universe. Jagannath Cult
the four most important holy shrines of Hindus, is the combination of the two major sects of
Puri or Shree Khetra is the most important Jainas i.e Sunyavadi and Atmavadi. The scholar
pilgrim centre where Lord Jagannath like Adiguru Sankaracharya the upholder of
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Hinduism says Jagannath is the incarnation of as Nilamadhaba the Dravidian God, who was
Lord Buddha the last Tenth Avatara (Kalki offered kacha (Raw) food by the primitive
Avatara) of Dasavatara of Lord Jagannath. tribes and with the passage of time as the Aryan
Buddha has been acknowledged as one of the elements introduced into Hinduism Jagannath
Avataras of Vishnu. Again the four dimensional he is worshipped as God of Aryan (a more
Stupa of Lord Buddha is identified with Lord civilized race) who is offered pakka (cooked)
Jagannath since he is the incarnation of Lord food. At present these two fold worship co-
Vishnu. Historians say Puri was an ancient seat exist side by side. Till today the Sauras or
of Buddhism. After the conquest of Kalinga Savaras worship trees "the Nature God" known
by Samrat Ashoka, Buddhism was widely as "Kitung" which means God for which they
spread and gained its popularity after getting donot cut trees because they believe that Kitung
the royal patronage. Chinese traveller Hiuen dwells inside the tree. Kitung is otherwise
Tsang also described that the cult of Buddhism known as Jagant and according to them Jagant
flourished in Orissa in 7th Century A D. and is the 10th incarnation of Vishnu. As it is said
in pre Christian Era Buddhism was having the word Jagannath is not a Sanskrit word nor
strong foothold in Orissa. it is a Pali word but a derivation of Austric
Regarding tribal origin of Lord Jaganath word Jagant.
it is said that Nilamadhaba was worshipped Mythology is called the language of the
by Savara King Viswabasu inside the dense primitive, because in Pre-Vedic age due to
forest of Nilagiri (the Blue Mountain). absence of literature it represented the temporal
Subsequently Nilamadhaba disappeared and reflections to attain the penultimate truth if not
reincarnated in the forms of three deities Lord the truth itself. Early Vedic religion is simple,
Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra. These natural and pure and t he Early Vedic
three deities together symbolize Nilamadhaba Mythology is the outcome of the intellectual
(Nila-Ma-Dhaba). Nila (Blue) represent Lord inputs of numbers of scholars for generations
Jagannath, Ma (Mother) represents Goddess together for which it is evolutionary in character
Subhadra and Dhaba (White) which represents which represents a dynamic process that
Balabhadra who are worshiped at Puri. The converts simple Vedic God to God of a
Savaras became known as Daitas who are the complex character by introducing various new
hereditary servitors of Lord Jagannath. They elements into it. At the initial stage the Griha
observed the funeral rites of Lord Jagannath Devata transform to Village Deity was used
during Navakalevara (when the deities to be worshipped outside the village and
changed their body) and the sole ultimately the God of mass is worshipped
responsibilities of Snana Jatra and Sri inside the temple. This signifies the merger or
Gundicha Jatra are bestowed upon these polarization of oriental primitive tribal
Daitas. The worship of Lord Jagannath by tradition, the so-called little tradition in to the
Savara is also mentioned in Darubrahma Gita great tradition of Hinduism, which exist as two
written by Jagannath Das in 16th Century AD bipolar extremes. Hindu Mythology represents
and in Deula Tola written by Nilambara Das some distinctive features of Hinduism, its
in 17th Century AD. Regarding origin of Lord strengths and weaknesses from Pre-historic era.
Jagannath historian William Hunter also The body of Lord Jagannath is made up of
remarked t hat the aboriginal people Neem Wood for which he is regarded as Daru
worshipped a Blue Stone inside dense forests Brahma (wooden image). The origin of the
Orissa Review * June - 2006
deity is also traced to the Vedic sources and Jagannath & The Human Philosophy
Bhagabat Gita. In Vedantic literature of Lord Jagannath, the so called Istadevata
Rigveda, Daru is used to indicate the material of every Oriyas whose rites and rituals are fully
from which the entire universe is made. The identified with the manly character. Sri
philosophy is the basic foundation of all Jagannath is identified as the Lord of Masses
religions and rituals and the superstructure in since the rites and rituals observed in the temple
which mythology is the ornamental use for their have wide similarity with day-to-day activities
decorations. of common man. The different rites of the
Lord Jagannath is also identified with the deities that are performed everyday in the
Bijamantra OM (the trilateral syllabi A U M). temple are Dantadhapana (cleaning tooth),
In Upanisad Pranava is called Chatuspada i.e. Snana(bath), Chandanapuspa dharana
four faces of Brahma out of which four Vedas (flower decoration), Bhojana (Eat), Sayana
have been uttered. Four Vedas represents the (Sleep) etc. The worship of Lord Jagannath
Chaturdhamurti. Lord Jagannath represents inside the temple is done in tantric method.
Sam Veda, Devi Subhadra represents Yajur Tantra means tan (body) + tar (above). The
Veda and Lord Balbhadra represents Rigveda prasada (offering) of Lords called
and Sudarshan represents Sishu Veda which Mahaprasada or Kaibalya, which is other wise
also symbolizes Dharma Artha Kama Moksha, called Arnabrahma accepting it gives liberation
the four stages of Hinduism. One Vijamantra to Jiva. It is prepared by traditional method of
along with one God and one Veda formed the steaming for preservation of nutrient value of
Yogasadhana for awakening of Kundalini food as it is done in the house of common men.
Shakti for attainment of final liberation or Besides Chhapana Bhoga is offered to the
Moksha. In Rigveda Sun is the only living God, Lords like Areesa, Kheeri, Chenakakara,
(the Soul) who has the Chariot. Most probably Gaja, Podapitha, Rabidi etc which are the
the Ratha Yatra of Shri Jagannath symbolize typical foods of Oriyas. Like common man
the same where Sri Jagannath represents the the Lords also suffer from fever for a period
Sun God. Jagannath represents the Night Sun, of fifteen days in a year after Deva Snana
the Symbol of Sunyabad (the blue/black Purnima (Cermonial Bat hs of Lords)
colour), Subhadra represents Morning Sun immediate before the Ratha Yatra. The
represents Shakti or Symbol of Power (Yellow significance of this occasion is that the deities
colour) and Balabhadra represents brightness take heavy bath and give darshan to devotees
(Day Sun). The three deities symbolize three in the Gajabesha after which the three deities
stages of senses of mind, Unconscious, Sub- are kept in Anasara (convalesce inside the
conscious and the Super-consciousness. sanctum for treatment) and given some natural
Chaturdhamurti represents Lord Jagannath, medicines, which are served only by the daitas.
Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshana, which During this time the devotees are not allowed
symbolizes the unification of three deities. To for the darshan of the deities.
understand the Supreme Consciousness, it Sri Jagannath is called the Lord of entire
needs higher sense of knowledge than any universe with whose name the Bada (grand) is
intellectual synthesis and power of reasoning always associated. He is called Badathakura
of human mind what Sri Aurovindo has called and the besa is called Badasinghara (decorated
the Supermind or t he Suprament al with flowers) whose temple is Badadeula,
Orissa Review * June - 2006
whose sewakas are called Badapanda, whose king, the height of Jagannath Temple was
prasada is called Mahaprasad, and whose 48hands. The three Rathas were pulled from
danda (road) is Bada Danda, whose dwara Singha Dwara to Balagandi. The three
(door) is called Singhadwara and the Samudra Chariots with four wheels were decorated over
(Sea) where he resides is called Mahodadhi. with gold coated Ratna Chanduas with Golden
Bowls and decorated with colourful designs
Relevance of Nabakalebara and devices. The Badyakaras used to go in
Nabakalebara symbolizes the basic front of the Rathas and the devotees behind.
human philosophy of life and death in order to At that time the Ratha Yatra was held for one
realize the eternal truth of life. As it has been day and gradually it continued for seven days.
illustrated in the Bhagabat Gita that just like In between the Ratha Yatra was not
the Atma of a Jiva takes a new birth leaving its organised for many years due to the attack of
old body so also the Lord change their old Yavanas like Kalapahada, Moghuls like
wooden body and take a new form once in Aurangjeb who tried to close the festivals
twelve years when two Ashadha months are for ever and provoked Mir Mahammad
fall in a year. The term Navakalevara implies accordingly. After seeing Lord Jagannath in
New Body (Nava means New and Kalevara dream as Allah he again ordered to continue
means Body). The bodies of the deities are the same. But during the royal patronage of
made up of Neem Wood and the Neem Tree is Marahatta kings the festival was promoted in
selected two to three months before, when the many ways. Marahatta Guru Brahmachari was
Sevakas of Lord Jagannath get the heavenly doing pahandi at the time of Car Festivals.
order from Kakatpur Mangala (the temple of Rani Ahalyabai constructed the road of Lord
the Goddess is 60km away from Puri). The Jagannath and King Bira Kishore Dev made
significance of the Neem tree is that it contains some major developments of the Car Festival.
the four symbols of Sankha, Chakra, Gada In the 12th Century the King Chodaganga Dev
and Padma respectively, from which the body employed Rathakaras and subsequently
of the Lord is made. The Lords are called Anangabhima Dev employed other Sevayatas
Darubrahma, which means Daru (the wood) in the services to Lords before the festivals.
containing Brahma (the Paramatma or the Thereafter the Ganga kings Narasimha Dev,
Supreme Soul). During the process of transfer Suryavamsi king Purusottam Dev brought
of Brahma from the old wooden body to be certain major changes to make the Ratha Yatra
kept in the new body, which is carved and in more attractive and beautiful. The woods were
the darkness the sevaka with his eyes and hands brought from Tribhuban Jungle for making the
closed bound with new cloths for which he is cars. The heights of Rathas were increased to
not allowed to feel or touch the Brahma 32hands. Suryavamsi King Kapilendra Dev
directly. It has been said that the Brahma of had constructed another dwara in Sri Gundicha
Sri Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra are rare Temple called Nakachana Dwara facing to the
Salagrams where as it is quite different in Lord sea beach. During the rein of his grand son
Sri Jagannath. Pratap Rudra Dev, Gajapati himself was
scavenging the Bada Danda during the Car
Ratha Yatra and Its Significance Festival. Chera Pahara in the Chariot was
When we cast our glance into the history started during the time of Suryavamsi king
of Ratha Yatra it has been said that during the Purusottam Dev. From that day it has been
time of Yayati Keshari who was a Soma Vansi continuing till date.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Rat ha Yatra otherwise called twelve wheels and that Jagannath is called
Nandighosa (Ghosa) Yatra or Sri Gundicha Nandighosa which has eighteen wheels. The
Yatra has a wide relevance not only in India colour of Taladhwaja is Green and Red, that
but all over the world. It is usually held in the of Subhadra is Red and Black and that of
month of July every year and continue for a Jagannath is Red and Yellow.
period of nine days when thousands of devotees Ekam Satya Bipra Bahuda Badanti.
assemble at Puri for holy darshan of three Truth is one but called by many names. The
deities, Lords Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi holy Pranava from which the three deities
Subhadra. The Nine days Yatra represents Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra originated
Nabadha Bhakti. The four main functions that where Subhadra symbolises Brahma who is
are observed during the Yatra are Pahandi Vije the Creator and Sri Jagannath symbolises
of three Lords Jagannath, Balabhadra and Devi Bishnu and Siva symbolizes Sri Balabhadra the
Subhadra and Cherapahara by the King or Mahakala o r the Destro yer. The basic
Gajapati of Puri and ultimately the Ghosa Yatra philosophy Lord Jagannath is based upon is
and Bahuda Yatra of three Lords. In Pahandi the central ideology i.e Bahu Jana Hitaya,
Vije the deities are brought by the devotees who Bahu Jana Sukhaya. Jagannath cult has crossed
take them to the three Chariots made for the over all the narrow barriers and compartmental
three deities. After performance of some rites divisions of the society on which the caste
and rituals Gajapati or the king of Puri sweep divisions rest. The fundamental ethics of
the three Chariots with golden broom and Bhagbat Geeta illustrates that the division of
sprinkle sandalwood water on the floor in order society is based upon the karma or the deeds
to purify them. After observance of all rituals of the individual concerned and not upon the
and worships to the Lords the three Chariots caste, which is ascribed to the mankind and
are pulled by thousands of devotees on the not achieved through individual dignity and
Badadanda (grand road) of Puri up to Sri self-consciousness. After all, caste is not made
Gundicha temple (aunt house of Lords). On for the welfare of the society rather it create
the ways they are fed Podapitha (specially divisions in the society. It preaches the
baked rice cakes). The deities after reaching democratic principles and universal
Sri Gundicha Temple give darshan to countless brotherhood i.e equality among the un-equals.
devotees every day with ten different Besas The positivie philosophy of Jagannath cult
continuously for eight days. Then the deities teaches us that from the Raja the supreme
return to Sri Mandir (the main temple) riding authority of the state to the Praja the common
their Chariots which is popularly known as man all are one and the same and there should
Bahuda Yatra. The sevakas who are allotted neither be any discrimination nor any
to provide different services to Lords during differentiation between the two, for which the
the Yatras are called Dahuka, Chitrakaras, cult of Lord Shri Jagannath is said to be the
Khuntia, Dolia, Pahandia etc. The three rarest of the rare cults and perhaps the best
Rathas are called by different names and are cult in the world, which embraces all sects and
different from each other so far as their colour religions.
and structure are concerned. The Ratha
(Chariot) of Balabhadra is called Taladhwaja,
which has fourteen wheels, and the Ratha of Dr. Chinmayee Satpathy lives at Plot No.708, BJB Nagar,
Devi Subhadra is called Devadalana, which has Bhubaneswar - 751014
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Jagannath Falls Sick
The Lord has fallen sick,
the result of un-usal bath kick,
Catch of cold and fever,
Forces the Lord to 'Anasarghar.'
Fifteen days of suffering,
the throne of gems weeps,
The 'Singhadwar' reels in empty,
No diet of 'Sathiye pauty.'
The disciples around suffers too,
Saultry nights sweat and woe,
The inner garments wet are removed,
The deity Kalia cared from toe to hood.
The tactics followed rigorous,
The deity is fit and famous,
The activities ceases and made to rest,
To equip future delivery the best.
He immediately after cure,
Rushes to the masses rich and poor,
In chariot he moves
Rests for a week though Laxmi rebukes.
Returns to the throne
to rule the kingdom problems prone,
The chariot bends in broken reed
the Lord is the Orissa spride.
3A, Station Square,
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Purusottama Jagannath is Purusottama
The Supreme Lord of the Universe Jagannath Narasimha Purusottamaya //) The three verses
is invariably called Purusottama, and his abode immediately follow, narrated the greatness of
Sriksetra is known as Purastama or the Lord in his Narasimha avatara. In
Purusottama Ksetra. The deep reverence to translation by late Dr. Satya Narayan Rajaguru
Lord Purusottama is found in the very it runs like this : "(Vr.1) Let the discuss-holder's
beginning of the invocatory verses of the Sirpur foot protect you-the foot whose sharp claws
Stone Inscription of the Panduvamsi queen emitted a sound like that of gunji berries
Regent Vasata, who ruled Kosala as dowager (shaken) by the gust of strong winds passing
queen in the first half of the 8th century A.D. through the long
on behalf of her spaces between
minor son each other, and
Balarjuna (later on (looked) terrific
known as (more so) with the
M a h a s iv a g u p t a jaws shining with
Balarjuna). In the flame of rays
1904, Henry (emanating) from
C o u s e n s the nails, when
discovered this they being lifted
inscription up, tore through
engraved on a thick the mass of dark
red-co lour ed clouds in the sky
stone-block of the and revealed the
Laksmi Narasimha, Sonepur
size of around four star with pearly
feet in length and two feet and a half in breadth. brilliance, like a lion who, having overcome
This inscription was edited by Hiralal. that storehouse of darkness; - the elephant,
(Epigraplia Indica, Volume- XI, PP- 184-202 jumps about scattering brilliant pearls (torn
ff). from his temples). (Vr.z) Let that Narasimha
In the first line itself the queen paid her protect you, who looking with eagerness at (his
deep reverence to god Purusottama. (Om ! own) nails, for the enemy ( Hiranyakasipu)
Orissa Review * June - 2006
who had not called Kevala Narasimha or Yoga Narasimha.
been secured for A third category of Narasimha image is called
being torn with Yanaka Narasimha, in which aspect Narasimha
these (claws), is depicted as seated upon the shoulders of
happened to see Garuda or upon the folds of Adisesa. There
him hiding are some images depicting the seated figure
through fear in of Yoga Narasimha and goddess Laksmi. Those
the cavern-like are called the images of Laksmi Narasimha.
cavity in t he Although Purusottama Narasimha has
interior of the been mentioned in the 8th century Sirpur Stone
deep hollow of Inscription of the Panduvamsi queen-regent
those (nails), Vasata, the worship of Kevala Narasimha in
with a laugh (at the upper Mahandi valley was prevelent also
his foolishness in in the Nala kingdom in the 5th-6th century A.D.
Narasimha killing Hiranyakasipu, taking shelter in
Sarsara, Sundargrah District. due to the influence of the Vakatakas of
the place where Nagavardhana, whose tit ulary deity
he could be easily crushed out) joy ( at finding (Istadevata) was Kevala Narasimha. Therefore
him out) and contempt ( at the miserable we get three Kavala Narasimha images, one
creature) he split the demon at once with the at podagad in the Umerkot Tahsil of
print of the other claw and threw him away Nawarangpur district and another two at
with wrath like dirt that had collected there. Sarguli-Deulpada and Parua-Simdapada. In the
(Vr.3) As if bearing the jaws like a beautiful foot of a hill situated to the north of Podagad
conch and the tongue like a sword, with the hill a modern temple has been constructed
face burning like the discus (and) with the where the image of Kevala Narasimha called
eyebrows (as it carrying) the mace, this form the "Bhairava Narasimha" is worshipped as the
of Vishnu born for devouring, like sins, the central deity.
demons, presented the appearance of the god Tw o - h a nd e d
of death..." Narasimha in
In the Vayu Purana and Padma Purana the pacified
we get the account of Narasimha avatara (one form is sitting in
among ten avataras of Visnu) killing the demon a graceful
Hiranyakasipu. In the Kurma Purana also we Maharajalila
find the brief account about the Narasimha posture, holding
avatara or the man-lion incarnation of Visnu. a Cakra in his
The Saura Purana also follows the Kurma right hand by
Purana in stating a short account. Noted placing it on the
iconologist T. Gopinatha Rao has found from ground and
the texts Silparatna, Vaikhanasagama and putting his left
Visnudharmottara, that the Narasimha images palm o n His
are of two types; Girija Narasimha and the right thigh. A Narsinghnath Temple, Paikmal,
Sthauna - Narasimha. Girija Narasimha is also Hara is round Bargarh district.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
his neck and occupied the capital city Pushkari (present
another on His Podagad) and burnt down and devastated their
chest, while a capital city some time in around the 5th-6th
Yajnyopabita is century A.D. The association of Yaksa with
on his body. Narasimha is found in another Nrsimha image
Four front-faced at Sarsara (Banei) in Sundargarh district also.
seated Yaksa A huge stone-block, measuring around 48" in
figures are height and 30" in breadth is found at Sarsara,
carved in a row having the image of a fourhanded standing
on the pedestal Narasimha, killing the demon Hiranyakasipu
of t his image, by placing his body on His right thigh, which
measuring is slightly raised. The lion-faced god is depicted
eighteen inches as cat-faced, which seems to be a peculiar
Parsvadevata Narsimha, Jagannath
in length and phenomenon in western Orissa. Such cat-faced
four inches in four-handed Narasimha image seated in
bredth. In the Narasimha images at Sarguli and Maharajalila on a high pedestal has been
Parua the Yaksa figures are absent. The Sarguli discovered from Maraguda in Nuapada district,
Kevala Narasimha sculpture is made of black which is dated to the 6th century A.D. Even
granite. All the three Kevala Narasimha images cat-faced and lion-bodied feline form of Lord
of Podagad, Sarguli and Parua are two-handed
Narasimha is worshipped as the central deity
and seated in the megestic Maharajalila
of the Narsinghnath temple in Bargarh district
posture. Srivatsa symbol is carved on the chest
as Lord Narsinghnath. The earliest temple at
of the Kevala Narasimha image at Parua-
Narsinghnath is believed to have been built by
Simdapada, which symbol is usually found on
Queen Vasata, the mother of the Panduvamsi
the chest-portion of the Visnu image. The lion-
king Mahasivagupta Balarjuna sometime in the
mane of the Lord is flowing from the head-
second half of the 8th century A.D. The top
portion on His back as well as both shoulders.
portion of this
His lion face is completely calm and serene.
Sarsara stone slab
A huge Kevala Narasimha image of the bearing t he
around five feet height is worshipped in the Narasimha image
Garbhagrha of a flat-roofed temple at Ramtek is designed like a
near Nagpur city of Maharashtra State, which Caitya window
is strikingly similar to all three Kevala with a squatting
Narasimha images found at Podagad, Sarguli Yaksa figure
and Parua in the Nawarangpur district of Orissa carved inside it.
State. As the temple at Ramtek is dated to the This design is
5th-6th centuary A.D. i.e. the Vakataka rule flanked by two
from Nagavardhana (present Nagardhan near lo t us-r o se tt e
Nagpur), the worship of Kevala Narasimha
mot ifs in both
might have been instituted by the Vakatakas, Narasimha sitting in Maharajalila,
when they attacked the Nala kingdom, Khariar Museum
Orissa Review * June - 2006
A pecified form of Narasimha figure, of two lady attendants. The lady near the Gada,
seated in the Lalitasana is found at Khariar wearing a Mukuta seems to be Laksmi. The
Museum in Nawapada district of Orissa which eyes of the Lord are half-closed and Jata
is four-handed. It is dated to the Sarabhapuriya forming many stripes is hanging on both
period, the 6th century A.D. as it has been shoulders. The strange characteristics of this
collected from the historic Maraguda valley figure is that, there are long boots covering both
and belongs to the Sarabhapuriya period. legs of the Lord up to knee portion. The Lord's
Another place, where we get four body is heavily ornamented with all ornaments
depictions of Narasimha is in the Narsinghnath like Hara, Keyura and Katisutra etc. The
temple at Paikmal in the Bargarh district of figure is of the height of about four feet.
Orissa. The Yoga Narasimha images, one The fourth one is the usual image of Lord
diminutive images seated in Utkutikasana Narasimha killing the demon king
worshipped by a profiled male figure in the Hiranyakasipu, which is fitted to the western
gelaba scroll of the eastern doorjamb of the Parsvadevata niche of the Narsinghnath temple.
Jagamohana and The lotus-petalled
another one in a design of the pedestal
small niche in the and the trefoil torana
baranda portion of with the Kirtimukha
the southeast side of motif in the centre of
the vimana. In both its apex occur in this
the cases, the Lord sculpture also. In
is seated in t he both sides of the top
Utkutikasana, the portion, there are two
legs being round lotus-rosette
maintained is motifs. The Lord is
required position by seen to be standing in
Narasimha killing Hiranyakasipu, Indralath Temple, Ranipur Jharial
the Yogapatta belt dvibhanga posture
going round them and the back of the body. and killing the demon by putting his body on
Another very interesting standing image his slightly raised right thigh and tearing the
of Yoga Nrsimha is found at Narsinghnath. To entrails of the demon in the claws of his lower
the north of the temple, there is a small room, hands. A gada is in his raised upper left hand,
where one four-handed figure of Narasimha is while the upper right hand is broken. A male
enshrined. It is a pacified form of the Lord figure with Mukuta on his head and both his
known as Yoga Narasimha," He is standing in hands folded in abeisance, probably Prahallad
Samabhanga and holding a Sankha and a the son of Hiranyakasipu is standing in the right
Cakra in his upper left and right hands side of the pedestal, to the proper left of the
respectively. A Gada is in the lower left hand Lord.
of the Lord, which is firmly placed on the Another exquisitely carved Narasimha
pedestal. His lower right hand is in Varada. In image is founed in the Jagannath temple at
both sides of his legs, there are standing figures Sonepur, situated near the completely
Orissa Review * June - 2006
destroyed place of the erstwhile Maharaja knee-level from the neck of the Lord. A long
(foundetary ruling chief) of Sonepur. The scarf is put round the shoulders of Narasimha,
image of Narasimha fitted to the western and hanging in both sides of his body (OHRJ
parsvadevata niche exhibits the scene of lord Vol. XLIV, No.1-4).
Narasimha killing the demon king Two images, one of four-handed
Hiranyakasipu, tearing Mahisamardini Durga
apart his belly by piercing and the ot her of
claws, while both his Narasimha killing
hands in obeisance, his Hiranyakasipu are
body is upheld by the
worshipped on o ne
Lord on his right thigh
pedestal inside a triratha
which is slightly raised,
temple, built in the laterite
the leg resting on the toe.
stone at Belsaragad in
The anthromorphic form
of Garuda in profile and
Prahallad, the son of Narasimha cult was so
Hiranyakasipu, also in popular in the upper
profile are to the proper Mahanadi valley that in
right and left of the Lord another small triratha
respectively. They both style stone t emple at
are seen standing in both Gandharla on the right
sides o f the pedestal bank of river Under in the
praying the Lord with opposite side of
both hands folded in Sindhekela in t he
obeisance. Although in Titilagarh sub-division of
this pose, Lord Balangir district also till
Narasimha has usually a to-day Narasimha is
fearful appearance; in enshrined and
case of this figure, there worshipped since the 8th
prevails a serene calmness Yoga Narasimha, Narsinghnath, century A.D. The
on his face and both his Avatara concept
eyes are closed. In the upper left and right developed in the 7th-8th A.D. and we find
hands, which are raised up, the Lord is seen diminutive figures of Dasavatara (t en
holding a sankha and a cakra respectively. incarnations) of Lord Visnu carved in both
There is an oval-shapped halo forming the edges and beneath the feet of two Visnu images
prabhamandala behind his head. The mukuta found at Saintala. Such depiction of the
is conical in shape resembling the top portion Avataras including Narasimha killing
of the pidhamundi design. Just above the Hiranyakasipu is found carved in both side-
forehead a thin band of beaded strings with a edges of Visnu images found at Dadpur in
flower-pendant in the centre is tied on the Kalahandi district and Kapilapur (Pujaripali)
mukuta. A long vanamala is hanging upto the in Jharsuguda district also. The Kapilapur and
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Dadpur images belong to the 11th-12th century of Narasimha killing Hiranyakasipu are found
A.D. The Dasavatara concept became at Daspur Surda in Balangir district, Topigaon
extremely popular all over Orissa by the in Kalahandi district and Godhanesvar in
beautiful composition of Gitagovinda by Sonepur district which testifies to t he
Mahakavi Jayadev in the 12th century A.D. popularity it was enjoying in the upper
Even during the reign of the Chauhans at Mahanadi valley.
Sambalpur, they have carved out t he This cult of Narasimha has affinity with
Dasavatara of Visnu in both side of the Saivism from the iconographic aspect as
doo rjamb of the Garbhagrha of t he suggest ed by the learned scholar late
Radhakrisna temple inside the Gopalji Math Anncharlotte Eschmann. "The represontation
precinct belonging to the 17th century A.D. of Lingodbhava where Siva appears within or
The images of Nrsimha killing Hiranyakasipu from the endless flaming lingam, usually
are also found in the Samlei, Bad Jagannath represented as a huge column, resembles the
and Radhakrisna temple Parsvadevata niches. scene of Narasimha bursting out of a pillar." It
The Narasimha image, depicting the god was probably such an association which stands
as killing the demon Hiranyakasipu is found behind an image used in the Visnudharmottara
carved in the south Raha niche of the upper Purana, where a devotee worships the Siva-
Jangha portion on the north side of the brick- lingam until he has a vision of Narasimha
built exquisitely sculptured Indralath temple appearing from it. (Visnudharmottarapurana,
at Ranipur Jharial in Titilagarh subdivision of III, 354), Eschmann further writes : "The fact
Balangir district, belonging to the 10th century that the imagery of Narasimha has been applied
A.D. to Bhairava is very interesting in the connection
of Hinduization. Bhairava being a popular god,
Images of Narasimha killing the demon he could have had to 'lend' the imagery. It is
king Hiranyakasipu are found in t he certainly an advantage of the Narasimha
Suvarnameru, Gokarnesvar and Ramesvar concept, that it is simulataneously important
temples at Sonepur town, all belonging to the in both realms : popular religion and
Chauhan period, i.e. 17th -18th century A.D. sophisticated theology." It is important to point
The Gundicha temple of Sonepur, rising to a out that the Kevala Narasimha image of
height of around sixty feet is dedicated to Lord Podagad in Nawarangpur district is
Narasimha. An image of Yoga Narasimha is worshipped as "Bhairava" by the local tribal
also fitted in its western Parsvadevata niche populace. In this context it is very interesting
of this temple. A very interesting image of that Lord Jagannath is also worshipped both
Yoga Narasimha with his consort Laksmi as Bhairava and Narasimha. In the tantric
sitting on his lap is found in the Kunjaghar tradition He is even taken as Daksina Kalika
complex, just in front of the devastated royal (Niladrou tu Jagannatha Saksat Daksina
palace at Sonepur. There is one independent Kalika Mahanirvana Tantra). The discovery
image of Narasimha under a tree near the of the uniconic anthropoid stone images of
Suresvari temple at Sonepur, which might have Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra at
been enshrined inside a temple in the remote Tentelkhunt i (Balangir district) from
past as the central deity. Even broken images underneath a mound (temple ruins) in 2004
Orissa Review * June - 2006
testifies to the fact that the Holy Triad were Indrabhti was and what was the extent of his
worshipped during the early Somavamsi period kingdom, as we lack historical or inscriptional
(probably by king Yayati). or textual evidences. But this much we know
As about the identification of Lord that Indrabhuti's kingdom was situated on the
bank of river Mahanadi. While going through
Jagannath as Narasimha it has been stated by
the Oriya history book, titled 'Anugola Itihas'
the noted German scholar H.V. Stietencron that
this scholar has come across seven tribal chiefs
"Even to-day, Narasimha plays an important
(dalapati) ruling over Angul area in the 8th -
role in the periodical renewal of the wooden
10th century A.D., the first and last Dalapatis
image of Jagannath." Jagannath is also
being Indra and Anu. As in the Samal area of
worshipped in the Nrsimha Mantra. He further
Angul district there is a place called Vajrakot
writes. "The worship of Purusottama
or Vajrakotta this place might have some
Narasimha can be traced back to Sirpur in the
connection with Vajrayana or the Tantrik
upper Mahanadi valley, the ancient capital of
Buddhism, as we get a large number images
Daksina Kosala. It is here that during the late of gods and goddesses of Vajrayana in the
Panduvamsi period we find one of the germs Talcher, Angul, Rengali, Vajrakot, Riamal and
which later developed into the composite Barkot (Deogarh) area, which were probably
Jagannath cult of Orissa .. Here it may be under the rule of Indra dalapati in the 8th
noticed only that this development is closely century A.D. A few years back also explorers
linked with the political fate of the Panduvamsi have come across a huge brick mound called
dynasty which, being driven away from the Baisipahacha in the Angul area near Odsingia
political center by the Kalachuris, was forced village (Odrasringa of the historical fame), on
to retreat into largely tribal areas of Bolangir the left bank of river Mahanadi. Therefore this
and Sambalpur districts of western Orissa." scholar believes that the kingdom of Indra was
"Tantricism and Saktism were powerful situated in between the right bank of Brahmani
rising movements at this period. These popular river and left bank of Mahanadi upto
trends could to some extent be incorporated Sambalpur town.
into the Vaisnava creed by means of the This Indra was Indrabhuti, whose
Narasimha cult. On the whole, however daughter Laksmikara was married to the son
Visnuism was slow and reluctant to adjust itself of the king of Sonepur. Laksmikara propagated
to tantric requirements. Therefore, from the 8th Sahajayane another form of Tantrik Buddhism
to the 12th century, the general trend was in and is treated as one among the Chaurasi
favour of Saivism, which was unrestrictedly Siddhas of Tantrik Buddhism. This Sahajayana
free to accept or to promote, Tantric and Sakta of Laksmikara might have influenced the
developments and which even absorbed Tantric Sahajia sect in the later period.
Buddhim to a large extent". (Stietencron : 12-13) Most probably it is during the 8th
We find mention of the terminology century, Purusottama Narasimha got
"Jagannath" for the first t ime in t he amalgamated with Lord Jagannath, the
Jnanasiddhi, composed by the tantrik Buddhist Supreme God of the Samala or Sambala
(Vajrayana) king Indrabhuti of Samalaka. kingdom of Indrabhuti and popularly came to
Scholars are yet to identify exactly who be known as Purusottama Jagannath.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
The Indradyumna episode is so 4. Anncharlott Eschmann, Hermann Kulke and Gaya
significant that some time Indradyumna, Charan Tripathy (Ed), The Cult of Jagannath and
the Regional Tradition of Orissa, Manohar
Indrabhuti and Indra Dalapati seem to be the Publications, New Delhi, 2nd Printing, 1986.
same personality. But the fact that Indradyumna
5. S.R. Nema, Political History of the Somavamsi
was a king of Malava and belonged to the
Kings of South Kosala and Orissa, Oriental
dynasty of the Pandava although Indrabhuti, Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi, 1978.
the king of Samala were of all together different
6. Satyanarayan Rajaguru, Inscriptions of Orissa,
origins. While attempting t o identify Vol.IV, Orissa State Musum, Bhubaneswar, 1966.
Indradyumna of Malava, name of one
7. Satrughna Mishra, Anugola Itihas, Sri Sri
celebrated king comes to mind of this writer, Jagannath Mandir Parichalana Samiti, Angul,
i.e. Shri Maharaja Indra, or Bharatavala of the 1997.
Pandava dynasty, son of Nagavala and
8. Thomas E. Donaldson, Hindu Temple Art of
grandson of Vatsaraja, grand-son of Jayavala Orissa, Vol.I, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1985.
of Mekala. He was ruling some time in the 5th
9. Donaldson, Ibid, Vol.III, 1987.
century A.D., who might be identified with
Indradyumna who sent his Brahmin Minister 10. The Orissa Historical Research Journal
(Hereafter O.H.R.J.), Vol.XXXV, No.3 & 4,
Vidyapati to look for Lord Jagannath. As this Bhubaneswar.
king Indrabala was married to Lokaprakasa,
11. O.H.R.J., Vol.XXXVIII, No.1-4, Bhubaneswar.
the daughter (princess) of the Amararyakula
of South Kosala kings of which dynasty were 12. O.H.R.J. Vol.XL, No.1-4, Bhubaneswar.
great Bhagavata (Parama Bhagavata), he might 13. Orissa Review, Vol.LII, No.9, Bhubaneswar,
had been allured to look for the great Lord April, 1996.
Jagannath in Odra. 14. Orissa Review, Vol.LIV, No.9, Bhubaneswar,
15. O.H.R.J., Vol.XLVI, No.1, Bhubaneswar, 2003.
1. T.A. Gopinatha Rao, Elements of Hindu
Iconography, Vol.I, Part-I, Indological Book
House, Varanasi, 2nd Edition, 1971.
2. Jitendra Nath Banerjee, The Development of
Hindu Iconography, Munshiram Manoharlal
Publishers Pvt. Ltd., Delhi, 3rd Edition, 1974.
3. R.S. Gupta, Iconography of the Hindus,
Buddhists and Jains, D.B. Taraporevala Sons &
Co. Pvt. Ltd., Bombay (Mumbai), 1972. The researcher lives at VR-23, Unit-6, Bhubaneswar.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
The Lord and His Land
Dr. Nishakar Panda
He is the Lord of Lords. He is Jagannath. He century. In Rajabhoga section of Madala Panji,
is Omniscient, Omnipotent and Omnipresent. Lord Jagannatha has been described as "the
He is the only cult, he is the only religion, he king of the kingdom of Orissa", "the master
is the sole sect. All sects, all 'isms', all beliefs or the lord of the land of Orissa" and "the god
and all religions have mingled in his eternal of Orissa". Various other scriptures and
oblivion. He is Lord Jagannatha. And for narrative poems composed by renowned poets
Orissa and teeming millions of Oriyas are replete with such descriptions where
He is the nerve centr e. The Jagannatha has been described as the
instit ution of Jaganat ha sole king of Orissa.
influences every aspect of the
life in Orissa. All spheres of Basically a Hindu
our act ivit ies, political, deity, Lord Jagannatha had
social, cultural, religious and symbolized the empire of
economic are inextricably Orissa, a collect ion of
blended wit h Lord heterogeneous forces and
Jagannatha. factors, the individual or the
dynasty of the monarch being
A Political Prodigy :
the binding force. Thus Lord
Lord Jaganatha is always Jagannatha had become the
and for all practical proposes national deity (Rastra Devata)
deemed to be t he supreme besides being a strong and
monarch of the universe and the vivacious force for integrating
Kings of Orissa are regarded as His the Orissan empire. But when the
representatives. In yesteryears when Orissa empire collapsed, Lord Jagannatha had been
was sovereign, the kings of the sovereign state seen symbolizing a seemingly secular force of
had to seek the favour of Lord Jaganatha for the Oriya nationalism.
their success in administration or participation
in war. Madala Panji the magnum opus of Lord Jagannatha being the real king of
Orissa in the days of yore, was believed to be Orissa is the richest landlord. He owns vast
compiled for the first time in the late sixteenth tracts of land in all parts of India. Hardly there
Orissa Review * June - 2006
is any important region in India where the Lord honour of Jagannath have great influence on
has no land of his own. He is the sole deity in the religious and cultural life of the people of
the country in whose favour donations of land Orissa. During the Sayana Yatra in the temple
have been made not only by the Kings and of Lord Jagannatha, the Lord goes to sleep.
Monarchs but also by the common people. During the period of this Sayana Yatra lasting
Apart from the collateral donations, a sort of for about 3 months, all ceremonies such as
spiritual dedication of life and property also marriage, sacred thread ceremony, the coming
is offered to Him all over Hindustan. of the bride to her father-in-law's place, etc.
are all suspended and during the rising
Humbleness to Lord was not a simple ceremony of the Lord (Devotthana), all these
ritual but a political necessity. The roots of activities are resumed again. All kinds of trees
Mahatma Gandhi's decision to start his are planted in various parts of Orissa during
padayatra from Puri may be traced in the the Ratha Yatra festival of the Lord because
importance of Jagannath. After formation of these days of the festival are considered to be
Orissa State, K.C. Gajapati Narayan Dev, the the most auspicious. The first fruit of any crop
Raja of Paralakhemundi, took oath as the first grown in Orissa is presented to the Lord.
Prime Minister of Orissa in 1936 A.D. One of
Ratha Yatra a special festival of the Lord
his first acts was to pay a ceremonial visit to
is celebrated in every nook and corner of the
Lord Jagannatha though there was bitter
State and in various places of India and the
dynastic rivalry existing between the kings of
World with new enthusiasm and spirit. Car
Paralakhemundi and the kings of Puri.
festival in U.S.A. and other parts of the World,
A Symbol of Social Solidarity: the Lords chariot-pulling in Gujarat and other
In our social tradition, whatever is done States bear the testimony of deep-rooted bond
for welfare of the family or the individual is of people in all walks of life with Lord
Jagannath. Only in Delhi two Jagannatha
attributed to Lord Jagannatha. This is regarded
temples have been built where the Car festival
as a rich social tradition and this tradition exists
and the other festivals of Jagannatha are
in the social life of some parts of India in
enthusiastically celebrated. Though the
general and Orissa in particular. In the marriage
foreigners are restricted to enter the Lord's
and other religious ceremonies, the house-hold
temple at Puri, it seems now that the foreigners
people take it as their prime duty to satisfy are more attracted for Jagannath Dharma. At
their guests with Mahaprasad of Jagannath the time of Ratha Yatra every year some of
before serving them with other kinds of food. them use to dance with the prayers of the Lord
This system has strengthened the bond of by playing the musical instruments. Baripada's
fraternity and has helped people in establishing importance for 'Rathayatra' stands next to that
brotherly relationship in their social life. In of Puri. Since the sixteenth century
marriages, the parties come together to take innumerable pilgrims have been forming the
oath before Lord Jagannatha to make their crowd at Baripada of Mayurbhanja district to
relation firm and permanent. The marriage see Lord Jagannatha on his chariot. Millions
invitation card is first offered to Jagannatha of followers of Iskcon throughout the World
before being distributed among the kith and celebrate the car festival of Lord Jagannath with
kins. Various festivals and ceremonies held in gaity and devotion.
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Various legends associated with Lord the non-Aryans evince the spirit of inferiority
Jagannatha still occupy a prominent place in complex. The Puri Temple, Sriksetra,as it is
religious sentiments among the people of called is the all pervading symbol of equality,
Orissa. The legend of Kanchi invasion of fraternity and secular sovereignty.
Purusottama Dev, the Lord becoming beggar The sacred food offered to God is rich
as described in Laxmipurana, the story of in quality and content. Therefore, it is
Raghuarakhsita, Balarama Das, Jagannatha popularly called the Mahaprasad, the like of
Das, Bandhu Mohanty of Jajpur, Dasia Bauri, which is not found anywhere in India. Food,
Poets Salbega, Dinakrushna Das are very the first and foremost requirement of human
popular legends of Orissa which are still fresh life and existence is not only offered to the
in the minds of the people of the State. deity but is also meant for all the people,
A Source of Religious Resurrection : irrespective of their caste, creed and position
Jagannath cult is not confined to any and they satisfy their hunger and religious
particular sect or religion. It is cosmopolitan fasting with utmost comfort. Food is available
in nature. It has integrated in its fold all beliefs in the temple always and for all. The Lord of
and practices and become universal. The the land sitting in the he Ratnavedi with ease
multiplicity of ritualistic practices in the lord's holds out His hands for giving food to His
temple leads us to divergent theories in respect hungry and devoted millions. All the seasonal
of its origin. But, as far as the religious foods offered to the deity are also made
development is concerned, the historical data available to the public. This arrangement is
from age to age revealed the religious attitude unique in a temple visited by lakhs. In the
and faith of the people as well as of the rulers Lord's eye all are equal. People with varied
operated in evolving the cult of Jagannath. The caste, creed and culture and status take His
cult is not derived from any particular religious Mahaprasad sitting together in the 'Ananda
system, practice or belief, it is a combination Bazar' the common dining place inside the
of countless religious thoughts temple. One source of administrative
discomfort for the British officials was the close
Lords were considered as the supreme relat ionship existed bet ween the Oriya
head of the state or the state deity. Jagannatha nationalism and Lord Jagannath in the closing
Dharma thereby became the mass religion years of the nineteenth century. They believed
(Gana Dharma) of Orissa.Thus,this Dharma that o nly the Oriya employees of t he
embraces all the religions and assimilated them Government were susceptible to the Orissan
in itself. It however became more popular when custom of "Mahaprasad brotherhood" formed
it assimilated Buddhism, Saivism, Saktism and by sharing the sacred rituals of Lord Jagannath,
finally the Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Lord's abode, which was an effective barrier to the smooth
the Puri Temple is the symbol of the synthesis functioning of administration. This was so
of the Aryan and the Non-Aryan cultures. Yet, because the Mahaprasad brothers are supposed
the speciality of the Jagannath Temple and the to come to each other's help and assistance
Jagannath Cult, in this synthesis, is that neither under any circumstance ignoring the code of
the Aryans have displayed their traditional legal and moral principles and even humane
feeling of aristocratic self-consciousness nor feelings. Any deviation from this rule is
Orissa Review * June - 2006
considered a worst sin one commits.It is not cultural connections associated with the people
only a betrayal of a Mahaprasad brother but of the State. Volumes of literatures were written
also of Lord Jagannatha himself. to magnify and glorify his greatness. The
Muktimandapa is the judiciary wing of religious thinkers of Orissa, the five associates,
the temple pertaining to religious matters. panca sakha, as they are popularly known like
Cases involving religious controversies in any Jagannatha Dasa, Balarama Dasa, Ananta
part of India particularly Orissa, are referred Dasa, Acyuta Dasa and Yasovanta Dasa
to the Muktimandapa. This Muktimandapa is composed their respective works highlighting
the famous seat of the learned brahmins the God's greatness. Lord Jagannath is the
associated with Jagannath temple and the epicentre in all their creations. In Bana Parva
verdict pronounced by this august assembly and Musali Parva o f famous Oriya
of Pandits, is always accepted by the parties Mahabharata composed by Sudramuni Sarala
with utmost respect. All social customs, Dasa of Jhankada, the story and the philosophy
cultural activities and religious practices get of Jagannath was the focal point in the theme
their prior sanction by reference to what is narrated there.
followed in His temple and the deviations, if In the medieval Oriya literature also Lord
any, are also made with humble supplication Jagannath has been associated with the Oriya
of His sanction. Thus, for the people,He is the nationalism. During 16th, 17th and 18th
ideal of all ideals. centuries, Lor d Jagannath was given
A Cosmic Cultural Chord : prominence in all Oriya literatures. Hardly
there was any literary activity where Lord
All greatness is associated and ascribed Jagannath was not focussed. There are
to Lord Jagannath. He is the greatest of all innumerable mentions of the glory of Lord
Gods with all greatness. 'He is the Bada Jagannath in Jananas, Bhajanas, Daskathias,
Thakur, the Chief among the Gods. His temple Chadheya Dances and elsewhere. Homage to
is the Bada Deula, the chief temple among the Lord Jagannath is paid in the prefaces of epics
temples and the path in front of His temple is and long narrative poems. Today, scores of
the Bada Danda, the chief path-way. The sea literary works on Lord Jagannath written in
washing the shores of His ksetra is called Oriya and Sanskrit are available making the
'Mahodadhi' or the great ocean. Even the cult of Jagannath not confined within the State
cremation ground here is named as Svarga of Orissa but felt through out the Sub-continent.
Dvara or gateway to the Heaven.' All the To cite a few, 'the Anargha Raghavam of
deities are worshipped if He is worshipped, Murari Misra of Orissa (8th century),
and visit to His place or Ksetra is the Gitagovindam of Sri Jayadeva of Kenduvilva
culmination of all pilgrimages and one (Orissa), Candrakala Natika of Mahapatra
achieves emancipation.. He is the king, the co- Visvanatha Kaviraj, Abhinava Gitagovindam
subject, the father, the brother and the son in of King Gajapat i Purusottama Deva,
one whole being. Gopalarcana vidhi of Gajapati King
The philosophy and thought of Oriya Purusottama Deva, Jagannatha Vallabha
centre round the philosophy of Lord Jagannath. Natakam of Raya Ramananda, Mukti
He is the pivot around which revolves all Cintamani of Kind Purusot tama Deva,
Orissa Review * June - 2006
Dvadasa Yatra tatva of Raghunandana, Ganga Badadeula, t he temple o f Lord
Vamsanucarita campu of Vasudeva Ratha, Jagannath is also a cultural centre besides a
Gundica campy of Bakravak Cakrapani profound religious habitat. It is the temple and
Pattanayaka, Gundica Vijaya campu of its priests who decide the rules and regulations
Kaviraja Bhagavan Brahma, the sthala puranas governing Hinduism and also prescribing
like Vamana Samhita, Niladrimahodayam, expiation (prayascitta) for any sins committed.
Kapil Samhita, kestra Mahatmyam, Only the temple has a final say for any sort of
Madhuranirudha Natakam of Cayani religious dispute. Thus, in the Hindu society
Candrasekhara or Yatra Bhagavatam of throughout the country, the importance of
Balunki pathi'are the Sanskrit works on Lord Lord's abode is beyond challenge. Not only in
Jagannath. Besides these Sanskrit works the India, but also in other Hindu countries like
Oriya works which glorify the cult of Nepal, Lord Jagannath rules the religious
Jagannath are ' Deulatola of Balarama Dasa, sentiments of people and the ruler.
Jagannatha caritmrt a of Divakar dAsa, Many temples for Lord Jagannath were
Dardhyata Bhakti of Ramadasa, Amarakosa built after 12th century in various places of
Gita of Balarama Dasa, Bataavakasa of Orissa and in different parts of India. Jagannath
Balarama Dasa, Daru Brahma Gita of temple in Suvarnapur of Banki Sub-division
Jagannatha Dasa, Oriya Bhagavata of of Cuttack district, Jagannatha temple of
Jagannatha Dasa, Anakara Samhita of Nanda Jajpur, Baladevajiu temple in Kendrapara,
Dasa, Chayalisa Patala of Acyutananda Dasa, Jagannath temple of Katarapa, Jagannath
Caturdhmurti varnana of Karpasindhy Dasa, temple in Binika, Jagannath temple at Savakota
Deulatola of Nilambar murti varnana of (Andhra Pradesh), Baladevji temple at Degaon
Krpashindhu Dasa, Deulatola of Nilambar of Dhenkanal District, Jagannath temple in
Dasa, Deula tola of Dama Dasa, Deula tola of Jagannathapura of Bankura (West Bengal),
Sisukrsna Dasa, Jagamohana Chanda of Jagannatha temple of Dusia, South West of
Dinakrsna Dasa, Jagamohana Ramayana of Ranchi (Jharkhand), Jagannath temple of
Balarama Dasa, Jagannatha Bhajana of Indupura were some of the temples built
Bhagirathi Dasa, Jagannatha Vandana of during 13th, 14th & 15th century. Many
Krpasindhu Dasa, Jagannatha Avakasa of temples of Lord Jagannath were also built
Kesava Bhanja, Jagannatha cautisa of during 16th century onwards. Jagannath
Ratnakara Sarma, Ksetramahatmya of Upendra temple of Patiakilla of Surangagarah,
Bhanja, Rasika Haravati of Kavismrat, Upenda Baladevji temple at Keonjhargarh, Jagannath
Bhanja, Namaratna Gita of Dinakrsona Dasa, temple at Agarpada of Balosre District,
Netrotsava Varnana of Sisu Dasa, Niladri Jagannath temple Hauzkhas, New Delhi,
cautisa of Upendra Bhanja, Nilasundara Gita Jagannath temple of Sabarasrikshetra, Koraput
of Sekhara Dasa, Niladri Mahotsava of are few examples. Besides these, there are
Lokanatha Vidyadhara, Rama bibha of Arjuna innumerable number of temples dotted all over
Dasa, Nilacala Gupta Jnana of Balarama Dasa, the state of Orissa and it is quite difficult to
Vedantasara Gupta Gita of Balarama Dasa and date them correctly.
in the 20th century Siddhanta Darpana of Lord Jagannath was the symbol and
Samanta Candrasekhara'. the centre of Oriya nationalism and ultimately
Orissa Review * June - 2006
of Hindu nationalism in pre-independence nationalistic thought process, is evident from
period. Indian nationalism was a powerful the following incident. Mr. M.S. Das, the
force during the British rule. With the "grand old man of Orissa", Utkal gaurav
assimilation of Hindu nationalism with Oriya Madhusudan Das While addressing a public
nationalism, Indian nationalism became a meeting in 1928 in the Town-Hall of Cuttack,
dominant force. There is a strong and binding recited a poem written on the spur of the
link between the Oriya nationalism and moment, in which he appealed the millions
Jagannath. This will never be snapped rather it Oriyas to recite 'Save Us Lord Jagannath' in
is gaining strength day by day. Due to the unison which would bring an end to the
intimate relationship existing between the enveloping darkness and lead the path to
Oriyas and Lord Jagannath, only Jagannath progress and prosperity.
occupies a focal position in the nationalistic "Kotie Odia Gotie Swarare daka trahi Jagannatha
thought process. This is very clearly reflected Andhara Ghunchiba nischaya dekhiba Jatira Unnati Patha"
in the literary activities of poets and literateurs
Many more examples can be cited from
of Orissa. Poems composed by Nilakantha
the literary works tracing the historic tie
Das, Purusottama Deva, Mukunda Deva,
existing between Lord Jagannath and the
plays and ballads by Godavarish Misra,
Oriyas, the subjects of his land. Lord Jagannath
Gobinda Bidyadhara, Aswini Kumar Ghose,
is not a mere deity or a reigning lord but has
Mayadhar Mansingh, Kalicharan Pattanayak
become a true guide for the teeming millions
and Radhamohan Gadanayak were pointers to
of Oriyas. He is the bond, He is the binding
this direction..At a point of time when Oriya
connection, He is the motivating factor and
language was in the verge of loosing its identity
above all He is an all pervading force engulfing
in the wake of dominant Bengali forces who
the entire socio-economic, religious and
claimed that Oriya is not a separate language
cultural fabric of his land.
(Odia ek swatantra bhasa noi), Satyabadi
Group of Writers rose to the occasion and References :
highlighting Lord Jagannath they uphold the 1. G.P. Parija, Yuge Yuge Jagannath, Sathi Mahal,
Oriya language. Cuttack, 1975.
2. History of Orissa, Vol-I, by R.D. Banerjee.
These poets were primarily committed
3. Dr.H.K.Mohatab-History of Orissa, Vol.II.
to Oriya nationalism in their heart and soul even
4. K.C. Mishra, The Cult of Jagannath, Calcutta,
after their dedication to the cause of Indian 1934.
nationalism. Gopabandhu Das in his long poem 5. The Cult of Jagannath and the Regional
Bandira Atmakatha written in Jail in 1923-24 Tradition of Orissa (Ed) 1978.
made a fervent appeal to the people of Orissa 6. K.C.Mishra, The Cult of Jagannath, 1971.
not to feel diffident because Lord Jagannath 7. G.N. Mohapatra, Jagannath in History and
himself is the leader of Utkala. Religious Traditions of Orissa, 1982.
"Bisese Utkale nahi prayojana
Utkalara neta nije Narayana"
The fact that Lord Jagannath continued Dr. Nishakar Panda is resides at Qr. No.1/008, BDA
to occupy t he central posit ion in t he Apartment, Nilakantha Nagar, Bhubaneswar-751012.
VOL. LXII NO. 11 JUNE 2006
DIGAMBAR MOHANTY, I.A.S.
BAISHNAB PRASAD MOHANTY
SASANKA SEKHAR PANDA
Joint Director-cum-Deputy Secretary
Manas R. Nayak
Cover Design & Illustration
Hemanta Kumar Sahoo
Manoj Kumar Patro
D.T.P. & Design
Manash Ranjan Mohanty
The Orissa Review aims at disseminating knowledge and information concerning Orissas
socio-economic development, art and culture. Views, records, statistics and information published
in the Orissa Review are not necessarily those of the Government of Orissa.
Published by Information & Public Relations Department, Government of Orissa,
Bhubaneswar - 751001 and Printed at Orissa Government Press, Cuttack - 753010.
F subscription and trade inquiry, please contact : Manager, Publications, Information & Public
Relations Department, Loksampark Bhawan, Bhubaneswar - 751001.
Five Rupees / Copy E-mail : iprsec rediffmail.com
Fifty Rupees / Yearly Visit : http://orissagov.nic.in
Contact : Ph. 0674-2411839
A Cult to Salvage Mankind Sarat Chandra ... 1
Tribal Origin of Holy Triad Dr. Chitrasen Pasayat ... 4
Mahadham Mahimohan Tripathy ... 13
Offering Bhoga to Great Lord Dillip Kumar Samantaray ... 14
Brahmanda Chhatradanda - Shree Jagannath Somanath Khuntia ... 16
The Life of Lord Chaitanya & His Sankirtana
Movement in India Alok Mishra ... 31
Impact of Orissa Land Reforms on the Land Revenue
of Shree Jagannath Temple Arjuna Sahoo ... 34
The Disillusion Prafulla Chandra Sahoo ... 35
Oh ! Lord Jagannath Er. Niranjan Rath ... 36
The Marvel of Marvels Er. Raghunath Patra ... 37
Dainandina Niti in Sri Jagannath Temple Sarmistha Pasayat ... 38
Sri Jagannath Temple at Puri - An Architectural Study K.K. Patnaik ... 48
Jagannath : The Epitome of Supreme Lord Visnu Jayanti Rath ... 51
Beshas of Deities Sabita Barik & Sobha Barik ... 54
Sri Jagannath Temple : The Nerve Centre of Orissan
Culture Dr. Janmejay Choudhury ... 58
Laxmi-Narayan Discord in Jagannath Religion Durga Madhab Dash ... 62
Siddha Mahavir Temple at Puri Ratnakar Mohapatra ... 69
Lord Jagannath and Goddess Maa Hingula Barada Prasanna Das ... 75
Contributions of Marathas Towards Shree
Jagannath Culture Pabitra Mohan Barik ... 77
The Kitchen of Srimandir : Biggest in the World Saroj Kumar Panda ... 80
Three Great Devotees of Lord Jagannath Somanath Jena ... 82
Lord Purushottama in the Ganga Inscriptions of Orissa Bharati Pal ... 88
Sakta Pithas of Purusottama Kshetra Prabhas Kumar Singh ... 91
Lord Jagannath in Costumes Bhagaban Mohapatra ... 96
A Friend In Need ..... Lokanath Mishra ... 100
Administration of the Puri Temple Through Ages Prof. Jagannath Mohanty ... 103
Jagannath Temple Administration During the
British Rule Prafulla Pattnaik ... 106
Worship of Lord Jagannath Pareswar Sahoo & Suma Sahoo ... 109
Distinctive Lifestyle of Puri People Sarat Chandra Mohapatra ... 113
Sri Jagannath Temple - A Study of Its Cosmic
Symbolism Sunil Kumar Patnaik ... 117
Raja Sankranti : The Festival of Swings Pravukalyan Mohapatra ... 122
Buddha - Jagannath in the Evolution Process Dr. Harihar Kanungo ... 124
The Date and Builder of Sri Purusottama
Jagannath Temple at Puri Rabi Ray ... 129
Tulasi Kshetra Er. Nirakar Mahalik ... 132
The Story of Jagannath Temple and Car Festival
at Ranapur Braja Paikray ... 137
The Patlinga Copper Plate Grant Inscription of
Dandi Mahadevi S.N. Girish ... 141
Lord Jagannath - The Emblem of Cosmic Consciousness Dr. Chinmayee Satpathy ... 144
Jagannath Falls Sick Abhilash Mohanty ... 149
Purusottama Jagannath is Purusottama Narasimha S.S. Panda ... 150
The Lord and This Land Dr. Nishakar Panda ... 156
EDITORIAL Orissa R
Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe, the greatest of the gods has assimilated in
Himself all religions, all philosophies and all religious and tribal beliefs of this
Holy Land. His annual visit to Aunt's House to give a chance to millions of His
devotees on Badadanda, the Grand Road of Puri is known as Ratha Yatra, Ghosa
Yatra, Sri Gundicha Yatra and so on. This issue of Orissa Review is solely devoted
to contain articles on various aspects of the Jagannath Cult so that it can be
collected by devotees coming from all over India and abroad. Common readers,
serious scholars, writers and researchers may get some interesting new facts in
the articles printed in this issue. The photo pages potray various activities
undertaken by the State Government for the welfare of the people of Orissa. Our
efforts will be fruitful if this Special Issue will be of any interest to readers of