Lord Jagannath

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== Lord of the universe ==
 
[http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31808&articlexml=the-speaking-tree-The-Eternal-Mystery-Of-Lord-16072015018071 ''The Times of India''], Jul 16 2015
 
[http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31808&articlexml=the-speaking-tree-The-Eternal-Mystery-Of-Lord-16072015018071 ''The Times of India''], Jul 16 2015
  

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Attributes, qualities

Lord of the universe

The Times of India, Jul 16 2015

Ashok Vohra

The eternal mystery of Lord Jagannatha

The cult of Jagannatha, the `Lord of the universe,' is an enigma. The question of whether it is an aboriginal Shavara cult which worshipped logs of wood as Lord Nilamadhava; a Vaishnavite cult devoted to the worship of Vishnu in His incarnation as Krishna; a Mahayana Buddhism cult; Jaina Tirthankar cult; Shaivite cult, or a Tantric cult -has so far not been settled. Some see God as Purushottama ­ the Supreme Self, the vedic Brahmn, Supreme Consciousness; the tantric tradition conceives Him as Bhairva and still others believe that God is the redeemer of the fallen ­ the Patitapabana of the Mahayana tradition.

Even the mantra `Aum Klim Krishnaye, Gobindaye, Gopikajanavallabhaye Namah' which is chanted to worship Lord Jagannatha does not help us solve the riddle. The term `Aum' is the vedic syllable which refers to Brahmn, Ultimate Reality . `Klim' is used in the tantric tradition. `Krishna', `Gobinda' all refer to the Vaishnavite tradition.

The three figures with their round heads, with stumps for arms and rather shapeless bodies are made of wood.According to General Cunningham these figures represent the tri-ratnas ­Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha respectively. In Buddhist tradition dhamma is always represented as female.Even the pedestal on which the trinity now stands is called Ratnavedi, home of the jewels.

According to the Vaishnavite tradition the three figures are those of Krishna, his sister Subhadra and brother Balabhadra. Subhadra, the daughter of Yashoda, saved the lives of Krishna and Balarama from the mighty hands of Kan s sa. She was then known by the names of Yogamaya or Yoganidra. She is also known as Ekanamasa ­ the one who is One ­ advaita, and not the part of any other ­ akhanda. She is regarded as the creator of kala, time.

The worship of brothers and sister is unique. In Indic tradition through worship of God and His consort, His power is widespread; the worship of God and His sister is rare. Even on the occasion of Ratha-jatra, Mahalakshmi does not accompany the Lord. He is accompanied by His sister, brother and the Sudarshan chakra. This indicates the importance given to filial love rather than passionate love, conveying that human beings must love each other like brothers and sisters.

Another exclusive feature of Lord Jagannatha is that the deity is carved out of wood. In all other temples the deity is carved in stone or metal. It never changes its material form.However, Lord Jagannatha and His companions discard their wooden bodies and take up new bodies made of new wood every twelve years. The ceremony of change of the body-material is called `nabokalevara'. The old material body is burnt in a pit in the backyard of the present temple.

That is why Jagannatha is also called Darudevata ­ the wooden God. The trinity's large, wheel-like eyes dominate their visage. The imagery of the large eyes of Jagannatha indicates that He is keeping a watch on all creation and nothing is hidden from the Lord. The icon does not resemble any person or other being that we have seen or can imagine.

Indradyumma, the king who built the present temple, when offered a boon by Lord Jagannatha, humbly replied “My Lord, grant that my family might become extinct so as not to leave behind even one person to claim, in the distant future, that this temple was built by an ancestor of his!“. This is a supreme example of complete surrender, the absolute negation of one's ego and negation of the individual self to realise the universal Self. So is the Jagannatha cult despite the unsolved mystery of its origin.

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