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


Anyone who has ever been around Baba whenever mention of Puri or Lord Jagannatha was made would not have failed to notice how Baba’s eyes would light up at the very word. When he uttered the words “kamal nayan” or “purushottam kshetra” his voice had a special ring to it.

Once while animatedly describing something about the deities, in his enthusiasm he said “… haan ma, vahan Jagannatha, Balabhadra aur…” and suddenly paused. He rephrased the sentence “Vahan Mahaprabhu Jagannatha, Prabhu Balabhadra aur Devi Subhadra…”   

It was this loving attachment and longing that led to him to celebrate the Rath Yatra in Delhi with such zeal and enthusiasm every year. 

In memory of Baba’s special sentiment for his beloved Purushottam Sri Mahaprabhu Jagannatha, reproduced below the story of the Lord's appearance and the Rath Yatra.

Jagannath Puri dham is also known as Sri Kshetra. Sri is the Lord’s swarupa shakti, Krishna’s internal potency. Therefore, that dhama which is glorified by the presence of Sri Shakti is known as Sri Kshetra.

Those who are devotees of madhurya rasa know that Sri Kshetra is the place in which Srimati Radharani’s madhurya rasa is manifested. Only very confidential madhurya bhaktas can see this; others cannot. In the most confidential sense, Sridham Vrindavan and Jagannatha Puri are one and the same.

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu stayed there because he had assumed Radha bhava. He saw it as Vrindavan. The Chataka parvata was Govardhan for Him. The sea was the Yamuna and the garden called Jagannatha-vallabha was Vrindavan.

According to the Skanda Purana, the Jyeshtha Purnima, or the full moon day in the month of Jyeshtha (May-June) is the birthday of Lord Jagannatha. But if Sri Krishna is Jagannatha, his birthday should be on Janmashthami in the month of Bhadrapada.

What it means is that on Jyeshtha Purnima Lord Krishna appeared in His form with big dilated eyes, a round face and with His arms and legs shrunken. This is known as mahabhava prakash, the ecstatic manifestation of Sri Krishna, Balaram and Subhadra.

On His ‘appearance’ day, Lord Jagannatha alongwith His brother and sister, are ceremoniously bathed in public with hundreds and hundreds of pots of water, milk and curds. This festival is known as the Snana Yatra.

According to legend, after this, his ‘colour’ fades and he is indisposed for 15 days. The Lord does not give darshan. This period is known as anavasara. During this time, He is painted with new colours therefore He cannot give darshan.

After fifteen days, one day prior to Ratha Yatra, the Lord feeling much recuperated, gives darshan in His fresh colours and handsome appearance. This day is known as Netrotsava - Festival of the Eyes! To behold His big bright eyes and big smile after a gap of 15 days is indeed a festival for the eyes!

Then on the following day Rath Yatra, He alongwith His brother and sister go out for a drive in their grand chariots.

But the questions arises, why did the Lord assume such a unique form? A vaishnava poet from Orissa, Kanai Khuntia, has written a drama called Mahabhava Prakash.

The gist is that after His departure from Vrindavan, Krishna’s pangs of separation from Srimati Radharani, the gopis and his parents was as acute as their feelings were for Him. Sometimes, when sleeping, the Lord would cry out “Radhey, Radhey… gopi, gopi”.

Although His 16,108 wives personally served Him and took every care for His happiness, yet they saw that He cried for Vrindavan and for Radharani and the gopis. The Queens wondered what it was about Radharani that the Lord Himself was shedding tears for Her.

Once the queens asked Rohini mata, “Very often we hear Krishna crying out in His sleep, ‘Radhey, Radhey…..  gopi, gopi’  Why does He do that? What is so special about Radhey and the gopis?”

Rohini mata answered, “It is very difficult to understand. This is the sweetness of Krishna’s Braja Lila – very sweet, intoxicating madhurya-maya lila. You cannot understand it because you are all royal queens.  Alright, just to satisfy your curiosity, I will try to explain it. But if during my narration, Krishna or Balaram happen to pass by and hear of it, they will forget themselves and go mad with ecstasy. Then nobody will be able to control them.”

So all of Krishna’s wives assembled in a big hall in Dwarka. Rohiti mata suggested, “Someone should be at the door to keep a watch. As soon as Krishna and Balaram come, she should warn me and I will stop narrating. Otherwise, Krishna and Balaram will lose their consciousness.”

At last, it was decided that Subhadra would stand on guard near the door. Then Rohini maiya began to narrate the sweet nectarian Braja lila.

Although standing at the door, Subhadra was hearing the katha. Soon she went into an ecstatic trance and completely forgot herself. Her eyes dilated and she exhibited the eight
satvic bhavas on her person.  Her arms and legs contracted and she became stunned.

In the meanwhile, Krishna and Balaram arrived there and seeing Subhadra standing totally stiff, they peeped into the room. “Oh, Rohini maiya is narrating Braja lila katha.”  Then they began to also hear and soon lost themselves in the sweet remembrance of the Vrindavan pastimes.

Their eyes became dilated, arms and legs became stiff and shrunken. Thus, the three forms were standing at the door – Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra.

At that time, Devrishi Narada appeared there.  From a distance he saw these very beautiful, ecstatic forms, manifesting symptoms of Mahabhava. As he came nearer, the three wound up that bhava and resumed their original features.

But Narada muni said, “I have seen it! I have seen it! Lord, this is my prayer. May that form, Your mahabhava prakash, be manifest in some place on this earth. Let all the people in the world see that beautiful form of Yours and worship You in that form.”

Krishna grants whatever His devotees desire, so he said “Tathaastu” ‘So be it.’
And so Mahaprabhu Jagannatha, Prabhu Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra appeared in Jagannatha Puri in their unique forms.

This is the story as given by Kanai Khuntia in his book Mahabhava Prakash.

Part II


Jai Jagannath !!

Jai Jai Sri Radhey !!

Jai Guru !!