Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!


By Tarakanta Mohanty
From Orissa Review June – 2004

Everybody knows that when the 'Prasad', cooked in the temple of Lord Jagannath is offered to Goddess Bimala it becomes Mahaprasad. What is the eagerness of devotees of Lord Jagannath to get this Mahaprasad waiting hours long to get it in the temple of Puri!? By taking Mahaprasad, they feel that they have earned ‘punya’.

Even the dried Mahaprasad named as Nirmalya has great demand. The people of Orissa preserve it to take even an iota of Nirmalya after performing daily Puja. In Orissa households it is required at the time of Nirbandha or (marriage negotiation). Even the bride and bridegrooms promise by holding Nirmalya that they will stick to this negotiation and not betray each other.

Moreover at the time of death, the Nirmalya and holy basil (Tulsi) with water is poured in the tongue and throat of the imminent deceased persons with the belief that by taking these items after their death their soul will remain in peace and there will be no 'Yamadanda' (Rod of Punishment) of Yamaraj (the demigod of justice). This is primarily the Hindu conviction.

There is a legend behind Mahaprasad. It is in Tretayuga, that after beheading Ravana the ten-faced monster in Lanka Lord Ramachandra, Laxman and others had just returned to Ayodha and the Ayodhyavasis were eulogising their heroic deeds.  Urmila, the consort of Sri Laxman was silently listening to the great events.

All were unanimous that Laxman was instrumental in the killing of Indrajit. All were discussing that Indrajit was so powerful and got a boon that only that person who has not taken food for fourteen years continuously and who has not slept for fourteen years uninterruptedly could kill Indrajit.

There was a meeting inside the palace in the evening to know the truth behind this matter.

Lord Rama questioned Laxman, ‘Oh Laxman since you have not taken food for fourteen years, what happened to those food packets, which I gave you at Panchavati during our stay?’ Laxman replied, ‘Oh Lord, I have kept all those packets in the hole of a Sami Tree at Panchavati’.

In order to verify this, Lord Rama said, ‘Hanuman go you now to Panchavati and bring back those food packets which have been preserved in the hole of the Sami Tree.

The wise Hanuman developed some curiosity on this matter. He thought, my Lord is fully aware of my strength. He knows that I had brought the Gandhamardana mountain in one hand, when Laxman was unconscious due to the arrow of Indrajit.

He became hesitant to bring those food packets, but at last he performed the journey from Ayodhya to Panchavati. Hanuman saw that those food packets were intact but when he attempted to lift the packets he could not lift even one and at last he returned to Ayodhya and with humble words told his master, that he was unable to lift the food packets.

Lord Rama could know that due to Hanumana's ego he could not lift those food packets. At last Laxman said, ‘Oh Respected brother, I will fetch those packets from Panchavati’. Laxman with his powerful arrow could bring back those food packets and all were accumulated in front of Lord Rama.

Lord Rama was surprised and asked Hanuman to ascertain whether the food items supplied to Laxmana for fourteen years had indeed been kept intact. Hanuman counted and informed that seven packets were missing.

Lord Rama was eager to know from Laxman about those missing packets. Laxman most humbly replied, ‘My dear respected brother and Lord! I shall presently clear the mystery behind it’.

Laxman said ‘When you and I heard the news of our dearest father’s death in the forest you omitted to provide me with food on that day. When we got the news that Ravana had kidnapped Sita from Panchavati on that day you did not supply the food packet. Then on a third occasion when Mahi Ravana took both of us to Patala  to offer sacrifice before Lankeswari on that day also we were fasting and took no food’.

‘On the fourth occasion, when I became unconscious due to Indrajit’s arrow I was not in a state to take food. On the day when Indrajit was beheaded I had not taken food for the fifth time. It was on the sixth occasion that when you beheaded Ravana you did not take any food’.

'You had committed Brahmahatya as Ravana was a Brahmin and he was the son of Visrarba Rishi. Lastly, when there was national mourning due to death of Ravana in Sri Lanka on the next day we joined the mourning and left Lanka without taking any food'.

Lord Rama was overwhelmed with the supreme sacrifice, dedication and renunciation of Laxman and exclaimed that Laxmana's vairagya (renunciation) is par excellence. Then he praised the supreme tyaga (sacrifice) of Urmila, on how she spent fourteen years without Laxman.

'I had gone for fourteen years in exile with my consort Sita. But see such a wife who had made supreme sacrifice! She eagerly awaited the return of Laxman for fourteen years!'

'All praise to Urmila!', Lord Rama said. 'In Ayodhya we have got three thrones, one for me, one for Sita and another throne for Laxman. I order today that the fourth throne be installed for Urmila', said Rama.

Urmila with folded hands said to Raja Rama, 'I have no desire for any throne my Lord. I may be given the opportunity to serve you. I have no other aspiration.'

Rama was supremely pleased and asked Urmila to seek any boon she desired. Then humble Urmila with folded hands said 'Iif you want to grant me a boon, then please grant that in the ages to come there will be neither any temple for me, nor I will be worshipped on any throne. I want to become an incense stick by which I will give fragrance to all. I will be at your lotus feet for ages to come as Nivedita'.

Lord Rama was so overwhelmed with such devotion of Urmila that, he uttered, 'Oh Urmila' ! I grant you this boon that in the Iron Age (Kalikala) when I will be worshipped at Puri Temple, Goddess Laxmi will not be installed by my side. Laxman in Tretayuga has become my younger brother and in Kalikala he will be elder brother Balabhadra.

You will be Mahaprasad and by your fragrance you will spread divine flavour and be worshipped. Any Prasad which will be offered to me will be offered to Goddess Bimala and oly then it will become Mahaprasad and will be taken as such by devotees.

You will remain as Mahaprasad and Nirmalya for years to come. Devotees will worship you and they will earn Punya. So Treta's Urmila is the Bimala in Kalikala.

Glory to Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra and Devi Bimala!!

Lord Rama further said, 'In Kaliyuga, you will be worshipped as Annabrahma'. Urmila further prayed, 'When you will be on Ratna Singhasana I will come in Bay of Bengal as a wave, the ripple (Urmi) to touch your golden feet'.

Lord Rama granting this boon and said 'Oh Urmila! Your selfless love and sacrifice is unparalleled and par excellence; it will be immortalized forever.’


Jai Jagannath !!
Jai Balabhadra !!
Jai Jai Bimla Devi !!


Jai Sri Radhe !

Jai Guru !