Who is Lord Jagannath?
In Satyayuga, there was a king named Indradyumna who was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. King Indradyumna was honest and brave with a pure heart from birth. King Indradyumna used to protect his subjects with the spirit of charity, forgiveness, and sacrifice along with compassion towards all his subjects. King Indradyumna’s capital was Avanti.
One day King Indradyumna came to his court after completing Vishnu worship. He informed all the audience present in the meeting that in the night Lord Vishnu appeared to him in a dream and said that there is an idol of me in a cave of Nilanchal mountain, it is called Neel Madhav. You build a temple and install this idol of mine in it.
A pilgrim saint was also present in the audience of the court who had visited all the holy places of India. He told the king that there is a holy place called Purushottam Kshetra on the eastern bank and nearby there is a beautiful mountain called Nilgiri or Neeladri. There is a big banyan tree in the center of the same mountain and nearby there is a pond named Rohini Kund. It is believed that if anyone touches or uses that pond of water, then he gets salvation immediately. The Neel-Kanti-mani idol (Deity) of Lord Vasudeva is situated on the eastern bank of the same pond (Kunda).
Nearby is a village called Savar Deep on which the Sabras or Adivasis (Adivasis) live. Lord Neela Madhav is a form of Lord Vishnu. To please him, Maharajji, I lived as an ascetic for a year. The pilgrim told the king that he used to see beautiful flowers falling from the Kalpataru tree every day and listened to the melodious Vishnu mantras. There is also a belief that a crow attained salvation after drinking the water of Rohinikund.
After hearing this story, the king also got inspired in his heart. The king decided to send his most loyal and devoted priest named Vidyapati to confirm the truth of the presence of Lord Neela Madhava located in Sri Kshetra. The next day Vidyapati started his journey toward the country of Utkal.
After reaching the Nilachal mountain, Vidyapati could not find a way forward because of the dense mountain. Vidyapati got down from the chariot and rested under a tree and prayed in his heart for the blessings of Neela Madhav. So that their journey ahead is a smooth success. Then after some time, Vidyapati saw that a group of people were passing through that path and also discussing Lord Vishnu among themselves. Vidyapati went to him and introduced himself to him.
The chieftain of that tribal (sabra) group named Vishwavasu welcomed Vidyapati and gave him some fruits to eat and water to drink. Distraught with hunger, Vidyapati accepted his offerings and later Vishwavasu told the chieftain of the clan that he is the priest of King Indradyumna of Avanti. After hearing the glory of Neela Madhava from a pilgrim devotee to the king, I was sent by King Indradyumna to find that holy place. The king is eagerly waiting for the darshan of Neel Madhav Prabhu. Vishwavasu understood Vidyapati’s pious intention and guided him through the dense forest. In the end, both reached Neel Madhav and had divine darshan.
Vidyapati was pleased with Sardar Vishwavasu’s behavior and promised to be with him for the rest of his life. Vishwavasu said that when Maharaja Indradyumna would come to Purushottam Kshetra, Lord Neela Madhava would disappear and appear in the form of Sudarshana, Jagannath, Baladeva, and Subhadra. Here Maharaja Indradyumna was eagerly waiting for Vidyapati’s return. Vidyapati also wanted to return soon and inform the king about the divine place of Neela Madhava. While leaving the next day, Visvavasu offered him prasad so that he could give it to King Indradyumna.
Finally, Vidyapati reached Avanti and made offerings to King Indradyumna. Maharaja Indradyumna was very excited and accepted Neela Madhav’s offerings respectfully. Vidyapati reveals all the incidents he experienced during his journey. He told the king that for a long time Neela Madhav was being worshiped by Brahma, Indra, and all other gods.
Human beings do not see the deities, but on the divine Deity of Neel Madhav, very beautiful divine flowers and beautiful prayer sounds are heard. Could one have been able to smell the fragrant perfume on the top of Niladri hill? The height of the Neelmadhav idol standing on a golden lotus is 81 inches. King Indradyumna after hearing this truth decided to go to Sri Kshetra and planned to perform thousand (Sahasra) Ashwamedha Yagya to please Lord Neela Madhava. Then suddenly sage Narada came to bless the king. The Maharaj humbly worshiped the great sage Narad Ji first. Narada said “O Maharaj, because of all your extraordinary qualities, sages, sages, deities, Devraj Indra and Lord Brahma are also pleased.
Narad Ji said that O king, after doing divine service in thousands of previous births, one can attain Neela Madhav Bhakti. There is only one way to destroy avidya and attain Hari Bhakti. There are four types of devotion namely Tamasic, Rajasic, Sattvik, and Nirguna (Pure Devotion). One can enter Satyaloka through Sattvik Devotion. Indralok is attained by Rajasic Devotion. Pitruloka is attained by Tamasic Devotion and salvation is attained by Nirguna Devotion. You are one of the luckiest souls because of your pure/Nirguna devotion towards Lord Vishnu.
After learning Bhakti Yoga, the king requested sage Narad ji to accompany him on his journey to Nilanchal mountain to have a Darshan of Lord Neela Madhav. Sage Narada accepted his request and agreed to accompany him to Sri Purushottam Kshetra i.e. Nilanchal. Sage Narad Ji knew very well Shri Kshetra and its glory. Maharaj decided to start his holy journey on Jyeshtha Shukla Panchami, Pushya Nakshatra, and Friday. The king asked the important people of his kingdom to accompany him to Sri Kshetra.
At last, King Indradyumna and others people reached the border of Utkal country. Resting on the banks of the Chitrotpala river, the rulers of the country of Utkal and his followers came to invite him with great respect. The king also gladly welcomed him and praised the king as he is fortunate and most blessed to rule the land where Lord Neel Madhav accepts his service.
Then the king and all the people accompanying him crossed the Mahanadi river and reached the Ekamra forest (forest) at the place of Lingaraj Mahadev. Where Lord Lingaraj has been established by Chaturmukh Brahma. After bathing in the Vishnu shrine, Maharaja Indradyumna and sage Narada worshiped Anantha Vasudeva and Lingaraja. Mahadev Lingaraj told sage Narada that Purushottam Kshetra is the supernatural place of Lord Shri Hari. Here he (Mahadev) is always in the form of Neelkanth. He also told that the idol of Neel Kantha Mani (Nilmadhav) of Lord Hari has disappeared. Therefore they have to first establish the Narasimha Kshetra there. The Maharaja is required to perform thousand (Sahastra) Ashwamedha Yagyas. Then King Daru will see Brahma in the form of a very big tree.
Vishwakarma Ji will make four idols from that big tree. Only then can Daru Brahm be established. The next day the whole team started moving towards Shree Kshetra. Sage Narada told the king that Lord Neela Madhav has disappeared after Vidyapati’s last darshan. You can visit him in Nilanchal. You need to perform Sahasra Ashwamedha Yagya. Hearing this fact, the king arranged for a thousand Ashvamedha Yagyas to be performed. According to the advice of sage Narada, Maharaj had made the idol of Lord Narasimha out of black stone. And installed that idol under the black sandalwood tree. Sage Narada showed him a big banyan tree and told the king-
“This is the place where Lord Neela Madhav will appear in the form of Lord Jagannath to bless everyone. This tree will live for one Kalpa which is the lifetime of Brahma. Anyone can attain salvation (salvation) by touching the shade of this tree. Finally, sage Narada established the Narasimha idol at the place suggested by Brahma on Jyeshtha Shukla Dwadashi along with Swati Nakshatra.
King Indradyumna started the Sahasra Ashwamedha Yagya. Vishwakarma got the Yagya pandal built. All the gods of heaven and thousands of pundits who were well versed in the Vedas and scriptures were invited. Devendra informs the king that Lord Neela Madhav had already informed him that he would disappear from here and reappear as Daru Brahma. All the gods would leave their godly bodies and render their service to Lord Jagannath by accepting the human body. The Yagya has been started after getting the permission of Lord Brahma. Lord Vishnu and others from the three worlds were satisfied with the program of the Ashwamedha Yagya. The king successfully completed 999 Yagyas.
While performing the last yajna, Indradyumna saw the idols of Daru Brahm in his dream. He also saw a banyan tree (Kalpa Vriksha) bearing the mark of a conch-chakra on an island surrounded by a milky ocean. Under the tree was a throne of Mani Ratna on which the Lord was seated holding a conch shell and a wheel. Anant Vasudeva was sitting on the right side of the Lord and Goddess Lakshmi was sitting in the middle and Sudarshan Chakra was on the left. Brahma and other gods were praying beside him. Indradyumna believed that this was an effect on the completion of 999 Yagyas. Devarshi said “O Maharaj, within 10 days after the completion of 1000 Yagyas, God will see you at this place”
After the completion (Poornahuti) of the Sahasra Ashwamedha Yagya, the king and his family members got ready for a bath. While bathing in the sea near Bileshwar Mahadev, a man informed the king that a huge log of wood bearing the mark of a conch shell was found on the beach and which is half visible above the water. Narada told Maharaj that these are the four idols that he had seen in his dream and now they have come to appear in the form of a tree with four branches.
The king ordered many competent Sculptors to build the Viagra. Now it was the turn to make the idol of God out of wood. Many great craftsmen came. The king’s craftsmen made a million efforts. But no one could even stick a chisel in the wood. When the king was discussing with Narada on making idols (Shri Murti), suddenly a divine sound (divine voice) was heard, a voice from the sky that “an old brahmin will make idols. Then Lord Vishwakarma, the skilled craftsman of the three worlds, came disguised as an old man. He told the king that he can make the idol of Nilamadhav, but at the same time, he also put his condition that he will make the idol in 21 days and will make it alone. No one can see them being made.
His condition was accepted. People kept hearing the sounds of saws, chisels, and hammers. Suddenly after 15 days, the sound stopped coming from the room. King Indradyumna’s queen Gundicha could not stop herself. When she went to the door, she did not hear any sound. She panicked. He thought the old craftsman had died. He informed the king about it. No sound was being heard from inside, so the king felt the same way. Ignoring all the conditions and warnings, the king ordered the door of the room to be opened. After fifteen days the king opened the doors of the closed platform and surprisingly, as soon as the room was opened, the old man was missing and 3 unfinished idols were found lying in it. Lord Neela Madhav and his brother had small hands, but their legs were not made. Whereas Subhadra’s hands and feet were not even made. Considering it the wish of God, the king installed these unfinished idols. Since then till today all three siblings exist in this form.
All Vedic pundits praising the king said “Lord Vishnu appears as Jagannatha in the form of Daru Brahma in the Purushottam Kshetra declared in the Rigveda (10- 155-3). It is a Vedic truth that the composition of all Deities is already fixed and no human can design the Daru idols (Idols). So one can easily attain salvation through Daru Brahma Shree Jagannath’s Darshan. Now the king decided to build a grand temple on the northern empty side and Decided to install Shri Deities.
Sculptures and necessary stones were brought from different parts of the country for the construction of temples. He spent a lot of money to make the temple stronger, unique, and more beautiful. The rulers of different parts of India sent their idols and money to successfully complete the construction of the grand temple. Finally, he was able to build the huge and attractive temple at Neeladri. Such a wonderful and unique temple will not be found anywhere in the world. Narada informs the king that he needs to travel to Brahmaloka to invite Sri Brahma along with the Sapta Rishi to establish the Deity of Daru Brahm. Narad Ji told Indradyumna that you can reach Brahma Loka with the human body because of your good deeds and devotion. King Indradyumna arranged for a divine vimana and both started their journey towards Brahmaloka.
Meanwhile- Queen Gundicha, wife of Indradyumna, built a temple for the protection of the four Viagra. The name of this temple is Gundicha Temple which is also known as the birthplace of Lord Jagannath. It is situated near Indradyumna Talab. Finally, his chariot reached Brahmaloka. He found that Brahmaloka was much brighter than the Moon. Gayatri Mantra and Veda sound waves were being heard by the Brahma sages. He got permission to enter through the main gate of the assembly then he reached the main place where Shri Brahma ji was sitting in the yoga posture of meditation and all the other gods were praising him.
Sage Narada and the king prostrate to him. Narad ji told him the reason for coming from Bhuloka to Brahmaloka. Indradyumna narrated the whole story in a nutshell and said “O Brahmadeva, you are now well aware of my intention. As per the advice and guidance of Narada I have performed 1000 Asvamedha Yagya. It is during the conclusion of the last Yagya that Sri Jagannatha, Sri Baladeva, Devi Subhadra, and Sri Sudarshana appeared in Srikshetra as Daru Brahma. We have come here to invite you to install all the idols by you in this new temple. We have built a temple at Nilachal for all four deities. is constructed.
Lord Brahma said- O Maharaj, you are an important and dear devotee of Lord Vishnu. You have done a priceless job by building a great temple for Shri Jagannath. But since your arrival in Brahmaloka from Bhuloka, twenty-one divine ages have elapsed till now which is also called one Manvantara. During this long time all your children, relatives, descendants, and many kings were born and perished. The temple remained covered with sand for many years. But now the ruler of Kalinga has cleaned the temple and installed a temporary idol of Madhav.
Brahma ji also told an important secret to everyone “During my first fifty years (First Paradhe) the Neel Kanthamani idol of Shri Hari was visible in the Purushottam Kshetra. From today, in the second fifty years of my life in the Shwet Barah Kalpa (Second Paradhe), Lord Jagannath has appeared in Bhuloka from this morning. He will remain as Daru Brahm for the next fifty years of my life i.e. till the end of my life.
Hey Rajan you have not felt the change of time and have not been affected by old age. So now you can go to Shree Kshetra and start preparing for the idol installation ceremony. To prepare for the establishment ceremony, all the deities along with Indradyumna and Narada traveled to Bhuloka. After reaching Bhuloka, Indradyumna was very happy to see the temple in good condition. But at that time a king named Gala was ruling over Sri Kshetra.
Indradyumna, with the help of Vishwakarma, made all necessary arrangements to provide royal and comfortable accommodation to Brahma, the Brahma sages, all the other deities, and other rulers of Bhuloka, the Nagarajas of Patala Loka. Initially, the Gala king was opposed to handing over the temple to Indradyumna. But after seeing all the deities with Narada he repented for his behavior and ignorance of Daru Brahm. Sage Narada asked the king to make three chariots. Narada performed the installation ceremony of the three chariots. All the Sri idols were seated on their respective chariots. All the general public got an opportunity to see the idols of Darubrahm.
The sadhus and all the mahatmas were waiting for the chariots to be pulled towards the new temple at Nilachal. Brahma ji also brought a golden vimana (chariot) along with all his assistants. Maharishi Bharadwaj performed the necessary rituals under the guidance of Brahma. After this, the idols of Baladeva, Subhadra, and Jagannath were installed. Then Brahma, Narada, and Maharishi prayed. After the chariots reached the new temple, all the idols were taken inside the temple and placed on the Ratna Simhasana.
On Baisakhi Shukla Ashtami, the establishment ceremony was completed with Pushya Nakshatra. After the installation, Brahma asked Indradyumna to enter the temple to worship the deities. When the king entered the temple and he was surprised to see the idol in the form of Narasimha Swaroop (form) and he informed Brahma Ji.
The king was astonished to think that how all four idols become one Narasimha idol. Then Brahma ji told Indradyumna that- The main reason for giving his first darshan of Lord Jagannath in the form of the terrifying Narasimha form is that people should not believe that all the idols are made of ordinary wood instead of DaruBramh.
If a pure devotee visits him with full devotion, then any kind of sin can be destroyed. Narasimha Swaroop is the original form of Shri Hari. He is the supreme lord of the whole universe. He can create, maintain and destroy the entire universe. The Lord himself decided to appear in this calm and serene DaruBramh Jagannath form to bless the people.
The four idols of Darubrahma represent the four Vedas viz., Balabhadra as Rigveda, Jagannatha as Samaveda, Subhadra as Yajurveda, and Sudarsana as Atharvaveda. He exists in a different form since the creation and destruction of the universe. Brahma ji offered Indradyumna the Narasimha Mantra of Atharvaveda to preach before the Lord. Brahma prayed to the Lord with this mantra and the Lord appeared in the form of Jagannath, Subhadra, Balabhadra, and Sudarshana.
Then the DaruBramh Said “ Oh Indradyumna, I am completely satisfied with your Bhakti and Niskama Karma. You have constructed this magnificent temple and I will be staying here till the end of Brahma’s life. Your name will be attached to the temple forever. I was fully pleased with your Sahasra Aswamedha Yagnya on Jeystha Purnima, so on this day every year arrange My MahaSnana (Full Bath). That will be called Deva Snana Purnima.
On the north side of Kalpataru, there is a famous pilgrimage place known as “Sarva Tirtha Mai”, where a grand ritual is performed on the Shukla Chaturdashi of Jyeshtha month, and on the full moon day, the Bramah Daru is bathed by the Brahmins. For this, water is brought into a golden vessel. A pandal needs to be built for this bathing ceremony. After the bathing ceremony is over, take my Deity back to the temple. After this, no one will be allowed to have my darshan for the next 15 days.
After that, you need to celebrate the Gundicha Festival, in which every year on the day of Ashadha Shukla Dwitiya, our deity is carried to the Gundicha temple by three different chariots. The place where you performed Sahasra Ashwamedha Yagya. It is my favorite place. Because I appeared for the first time at that place and that is also my birthplace.
This is how you need to prepare for my Rath Yatra. I will stay for nine days at Gundicha which is located near Indradyumna Sarovar. Whoever, after taking a bath in the Indradyumna lake, sees me at the Adapa mandapa, will be a part of Baikuntha. After this, the family members of Vishwavasu and Vidyapati will be the hereditary officers to perform all the services of my Deity. After saying this, Lord Jagannath thanked Brahmaji for his presence and ordered him to return to Brahmaloka.
Hearing this, all the gods also returned to their respective worlds. Thus Lord Jagannath himself sat in Nilanchal in the form of Darubrahm to bless all human beings. As per the wish of Brahma, Maharaja Indradyumna continued the rituals and other services of Lord Jagannath in the same manner.