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Loving Play of Lord Jaghanatha

Loving Play of Lord Jaghanatha

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Published by: alcgn on Feb 20, 2010
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09/10/2010

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Chapter Six
The Loving Play of Lord Jagannatha
In his
 Brhad-Bhagavatamrta
, Srila Sanatana Gosvami has written about Lord Jagannatha andJagannatha Puri Dhama. He has picked up a personality named Gopa-kumara and everything is being described through him. While staying in Vrndavana, Gopa-kumara met some very elevated
 sadhus
coming from the southern countries. They explained to Gopa-kumara, “In Jagannatha PuriDhama, also known as Purusottama Ksetra, Bhagavan Jagannathadeva is manifested as Daru- brahma.
 Daru-brahma
 
 saksad bhagavan.
 
‘Daru’ 
means that the Lord appears in a wooden form.On the shore of the sea, upon the blue mountain known as Nilacala, stands the temple of Jagannatha. Jagannatha is very opulent, and He is also
bhakta-vatsala,
very affectionate to Hisdevotees. Residing in the land of Orissa, He personally maintains that land and manifests Hisglories there. In that
dhama
no one else cooks food for Jagannatha but Svayam Laksmidevi.Jagannatha personally eats it and His remnants, known as
mahaprasada,
are distributed toinnumerable devotees. Such
mahaprasada
is available there in Jagannatha Puri Dhama! Even thegreat demigods, headed by Brahma and siva, are greedy for it. If they can get this Jagannatha- prasada they become very happy. Even if a
caNdala
, a dogeater, touches that
mahaprasada
, it cannever be polluted. It is so transcendental that even if it falls from the mouth of a dog, it is still not polluted. Therefore, anyone can touch it and take it thousands and thousands of miles, to any partof the world, yet it never becomes polluted. You can accept it because it is transcendental. Such isJagannatha’s
 prasada
.”The
 sadhus
continued, “What shall we say about the glories of that
dhama
! Jagannatha Puri issuch a
dhama
that even if an ass enters into it, immediately he will become four-handed.
 Aho tat ksetra-mahatmyam gardabho ‘pi catur-bhujah.”
Sanatana Gosvami has written this in
 Brhad-Bhagavatamrta
(2.1.6):
“yatra pravesa-matreNa nakasyapi punar bhavah”,
“If someone simply enters into that
dhama
he will have no more rebirth.The lotus-eyed Jagannatha, with His big eyes, is casting His merciful glance over one and all. If someone is fortunate and gets His
darsana
, his life becomes successful. Such is Jagannatha.When Gopa-kumara heard the glories of Jagannatha and Jagannatha Dhama, he developed agreat eagerness to have the
darsana
of Jagannatha. He had never before heard such wonderfulglories.Gopa-kumara said, “Immediately I started to chant the glories of Jagannatha and set off on theroad to Jagannatha Dhama. When I arrived there, I paid my
daNdavat pranamas
to all the residentsof Puri Dhama, and by their mercy I entered into the Jagannatha temple.“From a distance I had the
darsana
of Purusottama Bhagavan Sri Sri Jagannathadeva—such a beautiful moon-like face, and big, dilated eyes. The forehead of His lotus-like face is decoratedwith
mani-pundra bhalah, tilaka
which is dazzling like a jewel
.
His complexion is like that of adark cloud and the sweet smiling of His reddish lips is soothing like moonlight rays. Thereby,Jagannatha showers His unlimited mercy upon everyone. Seeing the beauty of Jagannatha, thisthought came to my mind, ‘I’ll go to Him and embrace Him.’ But then such ecstasy arose in methat I could not go there. My
 
hair stood on end, my body shivered and tears rolled down from mytwo eyes. Because my eyes were filled with tears, I could not see the beautiful face of Jagannatha.With much difficulty, I went up to the Garuda-stambha and from there I had the
darsana
of Jagannathadeva. He was decorated with transcendental robes and ornaments. The more I looked atHim, the more I felt transcendental pleasure. He was sitting on His
 simhasana,
eating varieties of food. Different types of musical instruments were being played such as
khola
and
karatala
. Somedevotees were singing, some were dancing. And Jagannatha was casting His merciful glance over all the devotees. It is my good fortune that I had the
darsana
of Jagannathadeva. I became soecstatic that I lost consciousness and fell to the ground. When I regained consciousness, I openedmy eyes and looked again at the transcendental beauty of Sri Sri Jagannathadeva. I became like amadman, and again the thought arose in my mind, ‘I will go to Him and embrace Him.’ Butsomeone said, ‘Don’t go there.’“‘No,’ I replied. ‘Today I have obtained this good fortune of having the
darsana
of Sri Sri
1
 
Jagannathadeva. That was my long cherished desire and it has been fulfilled today. My life has become successful. He is the Lord of my heart, so I must go there and embrace Him.’“I had marched forward only a few steps when the doorkeeper came and beat me with a cane.He checked my entrance and did not allow me to go near. So I accepted that it was the mercy of Jagannatha to get such a beating. When I came out of the temple I received a large amount of 
mahaprasada
. Then, when I went inside the temple again, I remained there the whole day, justgazing at the beautiful face of Jagannatha. I have no language to express the beauty I beheld. So Istayed there for some days and met many
 sadhus, mahatmas,
and saw many festivals. I completelyforgot Vrajabhumi.“Jagannathadeva is very merciful to His devotees, and He was giving them different orders. Ihave personally experienced it. I developed an intense greed to constantly see the beauty of Jagannatha and nothing else. Whenever I had some bodily or mental distress, I would go to thetemple of Jagannatha. Just by looking at Him, I was cured immediately. So I stayed in thatwonderful Jagannatha Ksetra for some days.“One day, all of a sudden, I met my Gurudeva who had previously given me a
mantra
inVrndavana. Gurudeva said, ‘The
mantra
you received from me will fulfil all your desires, and youshould understand that to chant this
mantra
is also
 jagannatha-seva,
service to Jagannatha. Becausethe chanting of this
diksa-mantra
will fulfil all your desires, if you desire to get KrsNa, this
mantra
will also fulfil that desire. It is such a
mantra
. Always think of KrsNa. Always think of His beautiful syamasundara form, His transcendental qualities and
lilas
. If you do so, this
mantra
willfulfil your desire to get KrsNa.’ Having spoken thus, all of a sudden, Gurudeva disappeared again.“Then I became very agitated and restless, ‘Oh, Gurudeva disappeared.’ But when I saw the beautiful form of Jagannatha, my mind became pacified once again. After staying there for a fewdays, again the thought arose in my mind, ‘I’ll go to Vrajabhumi.’ But by the mercy of Jagannatha,as I wandered in Jagannatha Dhama Ksetra, the ocean appeared to be the Yamuna River. When Isaw the Cataka-parvata, it appeared to be Govardhana Hill.”
Varieties Of Lila
Gopa-kumara said, “Jagannathadeva had many servitors and sometimes He would cut jokes withthem. Sometimes He would engage in loving play with them,
 prema-krida
. Many devotees chant,dance and do
nama-sankirtana
before Jagannatha. They also offer prayers with a devotional heart.Hearing this, the remembrance of Vrajabhumi came to my mind and I became very impatient to gothere. A while later, upon meeting some
 sadhus
and hearing the glories of Jagannatha, I enteredinto the temple. When I saw the beautiful form of Jagannatha, and especially His face, all mythoughts of returning to Vrajabhumi went away.“One day, very early in the morning, I got up and went to the temple. Because I had this desireto go to Vrajabhumi, I entered the temple to get permission from Lord Jagannatha. I petitioned theLord, ‘Please give me permission to go to Vrajabhumi.’ But as soon as I looked at His beautifullotus-like face, I forgot everything. In this way, one year passed. Then I met some
 sadhus
who hadcome from Mathura. When I heard from them, memories of Mathura and Vrndavana came to mymind again. That night Jagannatha appeared in my dream and gave me this order,
bho gopa-nandana ksetramidam mama yatha priyamtatha Sri-mathurathasau janma-bhumir visesatahbalya-lila-sthalibhis catabhis tabhir alankrtanivasami yathatrahamtatha tatrapi vibhraman
“Jagannatha said, ‘O Gopa-kumara, this Purusottama Ksetra is very dear to Me. It is as dear asMathura, My appearance place. This is also My appearance place. In that Mathura-maNdala I havemanifested all My boyhood
lilas
. Similarly, I am also manifesting varieties of 
lilas
here. This is asgood as Mathura. You can see all My
lilas
here, so why are you feeling distress in your heart? You
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