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Lord Jagannath
Lord Jagannath is believed to be the deity form of Lord Krishna. The lord always appears together with his brother Balarama and sister Shubhadra.
Lord Jagannath is believed to be a deity form of Lord Krishna. Sri Jagannath is also believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the second in the Holy Hindu Trinity of Gods (Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswar). Amongst the Vaishnavas, Lord Jagannath is considered to be the most merciful Lord in the world.

Lord Jagannath, along with his siblings, Balarama and Shubhadra are the prime deities of the Temple of Puri. The oldest and most famous Jagannath idol is in the Jagannath Temple of Puri, in Odisha. It is one of the four Holy ‘Dhamas’ of India including temples at Rameswaram, Dwaraka and Badrinath.

Etymology of Lord Jagannath
The term Jagannath is a Sanskrit term; a compound term where ‘jagat’ means universe and ‘nath’ means master.
Iconography of Lord Jagannath
The image of Lord Jagannath has no legs and only stumps of arms. Jagannath appears together with his brother Balarama and sister Shubhadra. The latter two images are also devoid of hands and feet. These three images are worshipped in all the Jagannath temples, situated mostly in the eastern part of India.

Legends about Lord Jagannath
A traditional story is associated with the deity of Jagannath. Lord Krishna appeared before King Indradyumna and ordered him to carve a deity from a log that he would find washed up on the seashore. A mysterious old Brahmin carpenter appeared before him to make the idol of the deity. The carpenter insisted that nobody should disturb him during the making of the paragon of the deity. He enclosed himself within an isolated room in the palace and continued with the carpentry. The King waited anxiously outside the room and it took a very long time. Then a moment came when the king could hear no sound from the room. King Indradyumna was very impatient and apprehended the worst had happened inside the room. He opened the door with great anxiety and found the deity in half-finished condition, while the carpenter has vanished.

The mysterious carpenter was none other than Lord Vishwakarma himself, who was the architect of the Gods. The king was extremely agitated as the deity was without arms and legs. He was much repentant as he had disturbed the carving. King Indradyumna was only pacified when the divine sage Narada appeared before him and explained that the form of the deity is the legitimate form of the supreme personality of God and after that Jagannath, Balarama and Shubhadra were worshipped with great veneration.

Ratha Yatra Festival of Lord Jagannath
The Ratha Yatra festival, the parade of the chariots of Lord Jagannatha, Shubhadra and Balarama, is yearly celebrated at the home of Lord Jagannatha called Jagannatha Puri. As the legend goes, every year Lord Jagannath, accompanied by His brother Balarama and sister Shubhadra leaves the temple to visit his aunt. The three of them are pulled in huge stringed chariots (Rathas) and the king of Puri himself sweeps the roads with a golden broom for the Lord of the World to pass. The deities stay there for seven days and are taken back to the original temple with another procession. It is believed that observing the Ratha Yatra and pulling the ropes of the chariot leads one to salvation from the cycle of birth and death.

Jagannath Temple – History & Legends
The sacred city of Puri and Jagannath Temple have found mentioned in various Hindu scriptures and canonical texts such as Skanda Purana, Brahma Purana, as well as Narada Purana. There is even a mention of the Lord Jagannath in Rig Vedas.

History & Legends Behind Jagannath Temple
According to the legends, Lord Jagannath was originally worshipped as Lord Neela Madhaba by a tribal chief named Viswavasu secretly in the dense forest. When the King Indradyumna learned about this, he sent his high priest Vidyapati in search for the deity. When all his efforts to locate the deity failed, he married Viswavasu’s daughter and requested his father-in-law to show him the place of worship. Viswavasu obliged and took him blindfolded to a seclude cave in the midst of a forest where he used to worship.

The wise Viswavasu dropped mustard seeds on his way to the cave which germinated and helped him find the cave later on. On hearing from him, the King rushed to the cave to witness and worship the deity but the deity has disappeared. The disappointed king built a magnificent temple on the shore and fasted until death. In his sleep, he has a vision of Lord Jagannath who advised him to follow the fragrance of a tree on the shore and make wooden idols out if it.

Accordingly, the king got the image of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Chakra Sudarshan made out of the wood of the divine tree with the help of Vishwakarma and installed them in the temple.



LORD JAGANNATHA – History and story of Lord Jagannath as told in the Skanda Purana
Shri Jagannath, lord of the Universe, is the supreme solace and saviour of countless devotees around the world. Since time immemorial, His monumental and magnificent Shrine located in Puri (Orissa), one of the four major Dhamas of India (Jagannath Puri Dham), has been a most sacred centre of pilgrimage and worship.

In Satya-yuga there was a pious king in the solar dynasty named Indradyumna. One day after performing Vishnu puja the King came to his court and requested the enlightened audience to inform him about a sacred place where he can see, with his naked eyes, the Divine Lord Vishnu. Hearing this a pilgrim saint, who visited all the sacred places of Bharatvarsa told the King that there is a sacred place on the East coast known as “Purushottama Kshetra”, where exists the beautiful and sacred mountain Nilagiri or Neeladri by name, surrounded by various kinds of trees.

In the centre of the mountain there is a big banyan tree called Kalpa Vriksha or desire tree near a pond named Rohini Kunda. That holy pond lies to its Western end. One gets immediate salvation by touching or seeing the sacred water of the kunda. On the eastern bank of the kunda is Deity of Lord Krishna called Neelmadhav made up of pecious neel mani. His Darsan makes one immediately immortal and he can realise the transcendental reality. The nearby village named Sabar Deepaka is inhabited by Sabars or Adivasies. It is situated on the western bank of the Kunda. O Maharaja, I stayed there for one year as an ascetic, to please the Vishnu Murti, Neelamadhav. I used to see the flowers falling from the “Kalpataru” and heard melodious prayers of Vishnu. There I heard a very old story that a crow, which drank the water of Rohini kunda attained salvation or “Sarupya Mokshya”. Suddenly that matted hair saint disappeared from the view.

King Indradymna order the younger brother of his preist name Vidyapati to find this holy place as soon as possible. Vidyapati drove out his chariot towards Utkal Desha. On the way he was considering himself as a most fortunate soul to see “Neela Madhav” with his own naked eyes, whom yogis and jnanis visualise in their minds. Nearing Neelachala the thick mountain, Vidyapati could not find the way to proceed further and so he got down from the chariot and sat under a tree praying for the darsan of Neela Madhav. After a while he saw some people sitting little away, discussing about “Bhagavan Vishnu“. When Vidyapati went nearer to them, a Sabara named Viswavasu welcomed him and offered him cold water, fruits and sweets to eat. The hungry Vidyapati was pleased to accept his offerings. Afterwards Vidyapati told him that he was a priest of Indradyumna Maharaja of Avanti, who hearing the glories of Neela Madhava from a pilgrim devotee sent him to find out the sacred place of Neela Madhava, anxiously awaiting His Darsan with fasting.

Upon hearing this Vishwabasu become worried, thinking Neelamadhav, whose presence has been kept a secret, is the sustainer of our lives. It will be our misfortune if He becomes known to all people because the intimacy of our relationship would be lost. He was put into the dilemma. He began to think the matter seriously. He remembered the ordnance given by Lord Neelamadhav to him personally. King Indradyumna will come here and perform one hundred horse sacrifices after the disappearance of Neelamadhav into the earth. After that he will install deities made of wood.

Then he replied to Vidyapati that I had the news that King Indradyumna will come here, but you are more fortunate as you could be able to see Lord Neelamadhav, who will disappear before Indradyumna Maharaj’s arrival. Vishwabasu took Vidyapati by the hand and led him along a forest path. They had to climb up to a very high place along the rocky path which is wide enough for one man to pass at a time. After about two hours they reached the pond called Rohini. Vishwabasu told him by bathing in this holy pond one is assured to go back godhead. Vidyapati bathed in the kunda and offered nice prayer to the holy kunda. He then went to see the deity of Lord Nilamadhav situated nearby. Vidyapati spend the whole day before coming back. Finally they reached home. Vishwabasu fed him a royal feast and foods are very tasteful, which he never tested before. He become wondered how this shabar bring these food items which are not found anywhere in this earth, this place is very difficult and inconvenient to collect anything.

Vishwabasu said to vidaypati, “You are the royal priest; you would have very nice food in the King’s palace. I hope that you are satisfied.” Vidyapati replied he is very much satisfied and curious to know how he accomplished such wonderful things which he had never seen in the kings palace. Vishwabasu said, “My mind is not very enthusiastic to reveal this to you, but because you are my guest I must speak.” Every day, the hosts of demigods, headed by Indra come here to worship Lord Neelamadhav. They perform Sankirtan and dance in ecstasy before returning to heaven. Whatever I have given to you are the remnants left by the demigods after their worship to the Lord. It is because we subsist on the Prasad of lord that we are free from disease and old age. While hearing this, the brahmana felt a thrill of transcendental ecstasy course through his body as his eyes filled with tears. He considered himself to be most fortunate one.

Vidyapati wanted to inform the location of Neela Madhava to the anxiously awaiting Indradyumna Maharaja. On the next day after taking bath in the sea and again having the “attractive darsan” of Neela Madhava he returned. At the time of Vidyapati’s departure from that place Viswavasu gave him the prasadi garlands being offered by Indra to Neela Madhava Murti, so that Vidyapati might give them to Indradyumna Maharaja. Vidyapati reached Avanti after a month and offered the ever fresh prasadi garland to the Maharaja. Indradyumna was very much delighted to accept the prasadi garlands and Mahaprasad given to him by Vidyapati. The garlands were sweet-smelling and fresh to look at as they were offered by Indra with devotion and were borne by Neela Madhava.

Vidyapati revealed the facts to the Maharaja that a man after having the darsan of Neela Madhava with his physical eyes will definitely attain salvation. The Vigraha was made out of Neel-mani and since a long time Brahma, Indra and all other gods have been worshipping Him with sacred scented beautiful flower garlands of which one was brought to him. He again said, when I reached the top of Neeladri Hill, I could smell the heavenly scent. The immortals while sprinkling sacred water over the mountain, slowly the gods approached the Lord while dancing and singing heavenly songs. The gods were invisible to human eyes and offering their thousand varieties of articles and prayers to Neela Madhava they slowly disappeared.

The Neela Mani Murti is 81 (eight one) inches high, standing on the golden lotus flower. His eyes defeat the beauty of a pair of smiling, blue lotuses. His forehead is more charming than the crescent moon. is moon-like face dispels the three-fold miseries of whoever casts his glance upon it. His lips display a captivating smile. His cheeks are adorned with dimples because of His laughter. His shoulders are broad and His four arms extend to His knees.”

“By bowing down to Lord Nila-madhava and seeing Him with love and devotion, one is liberated from the bondage to the material body. Lakshmi, holding a lotus in her hand standing left to the Lord, being embraced by Him. Her eyes are fixed on the lotus face of the Lord. I saw these two on that mountain. They were silent but with their smiling eyes, They bless all who see Them. Indeed as I gazed at the Deities, I thought that they were truly alive! Shesha with His one thousand hoods, is stationed behind the deities forming an umbrella over their heads. In front I saw the Sudarshan cakra in his embodied form. Behind him was Gauda with his palms joined in reverence.”


King Indradyumna said “I am very satisfied that you have accomplished your mission. After hearing your words and wearing the garland you gave me, I only desire to go and see Lord Nila-Madhav myself. I shall go there and built there a new kingdom with cities and forts. Every day I will worship the Deity with hundreds of presentations. If I do so Lord will certainly become merciful upon me”.

Hearing the truth from Vidyapati and adorning the prasadi garland as the blessing of Lord Neela Madhava Indradyumna purified himself clearing all his sins. He attained the eligibility to have the darsan of Neela Madhava with his naked eyes. At last he decided to proceed to Sri Kshetra with royal splendour, to perform Sahasra Aswamedha Yagnas with severe austerities to please the Lord Purushottama. He proceeded immediately to Odra desha (Orissa) on a pilgrimage to see and worship the Deity.

But the deity had disappeared. The king was disappointed. The Deity was hidden in sand. The king was determined not to return without having a darshan of the deity and observed fast unto death at Mount Neela. Then a celestial voice said ‘you will see him ‘. Afterwards the king performed a horse sacrifice.

At the conclusion of the sacrifices, as the king was taking his ceremonial bath, some servants excitedly came to him and said, “O lord, a great tree was seen by us on the shore of the ocean. It’s top is sunk into the water but its roots are above the waves. It is marked with symbols of a conch and chakra. It is exceedingly wonderful to behold! It is a tree like one never seen before. It is effulgent, like the sun, and it has rendered the atmosphere fragrant with its scent. It must be a celestial tree or else some god in the form of a tree.”

Then Narada Muni and King Indradyumna went to see the tree. When the king looked at the tree, which had four branches, it looked just like the four armed Lord that he had seen in his trance of meditation. His lamentation due to the disappearance of Lord Nila-madhava was now dispelled. The King bowed down again and again on the shore. He then had the brahmanas bring the tree, which was being tossed by the waves, onto the beach.

Conch shells were blown, drums were beaten, and thousands of people shouted, “Jaya! Jaya!” The tree was fanned with chamaras by courtesans of great beauty in the prime of their youth. It was decorated with flags and fine cloth and it was glorified by great sages. The tree was taken and placed on a great altar that had been prepared and covered by a canopy. Being instructed by Narada, King Indradyumna performed the arati. King ordered his carpenters to begin the wood carving. However, the wood was so hard that whoever tried to carve it simply broke his tools. The king was very perplexed and thus he took rest for the night.

The next day, Vishvakarma, the architect of the celestial world, came to see King Indradyumna. Vishvakarma informed the king that the log which he had found at the seashore was daru-brahman or divine wood. Vishvakarma said that it would not be possible for any mortal to carve this wood, but that he himself would do it if the king desired.

As Vishvakarma prepared to do his work, he informed King Indradyumna that there was one stipulation: no one should be allowed to observe the work of carving until everything was complete. Vishvakarma said that if his meditation were disturbed, he would immediately abandon the king and return to the celestial world. The king agreed.

King Indradyumna was mortified at this turn of events and his heart felt heavily burdened. In order to expiate for the interruption and incomplete work, the king decided to fast until death. While fasting he had a dream in which Lord Vishnu told him that the incompleted forms of the deities were in fact perfectly worshipable forms. The so-called incompleteness, he said, represented bodily transformations resulting from intense love in separation, a particular ecstatic mood known as vipralambha. In the case of Jagannath, it was the purusha’s longing for his female aspect prakriti in intimacy. Overjoyed by these instructions, King Indradyumna arranged for the building of a beautiful temple. Sri Narasimha Murti brought by Narada was also installed in the temple.




History of the Legendary Lord Shri Jagannath
Lord Jagannath, is also popularly known as Mahaprabhu. The word Jagannath is derived from confluence of two Sanskrit words, Jagat meaning “universe” and nātha meaning “Master” or “Lord”. Thus, Jagannath means “lord of the universe”. The trio of deities consisting of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are worshipped at the temple.

Lord Jagannath, Lord Baladev and Maa Subhadra are worshipped on the Ratnavedi along with Sudarshan chakra. The four deities are carved out of dark coloured Neem wood, which is considered auspicious for all castes. This also signifies that Jagannath is beyond space and time and , symbol of universal love and brotherhood. This depicts the uniqueness of Shri Jagannath deity unlike other deities in Hindu temples, which are carved out of stone and precious metals. The deities are adorned with different clothing and jewels according to the season.
The well-known descriptions , as found in the Skanda-Purana, Brahma Purana and other Puranas and later Odia Puranas state that Lord Jagannath was formerly worshipped as Shri Neela Madhaba by a Savar king , the tribal chief , named Viswavasu.


King Indradyumma was ruling over the Malava Country in Satya Yuga , the age of Truth. He was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. After knowing about the Lord, King Indradyumna directed a Brahmin priest, Vidyapati to discover the deity, who was worshipped secretly in a dense forest by Viswavasu. Vidyapati tried his paramount resources to locate the place, but he failed in the beginning . However, at the end, he managed to convince Viswavasu’s daughter Lalita to marry him. Following the marriage , due to repetitive requests of Vidyapti, Viswavasu took his son-in-law blind folded to a cave where Lord Neela Madhaba was worshipped. Vidyapati was intelligent , in order to identify the path, he dropped mustard seeds on the ground , while he was travelling along Vidyapti . The mustard seeds sprouted into plants in a few days, which identified the way to the cave later on. On hearing the good news from him, King Indradyumna proceeded instantly to Odra desha , now known as Odisha , on a pilgrimage to visit the Lord. But on arrival he found the deity was missing. The king felt dejected but was adamant not to return without having a darshan of the Lord . He decided to perform fast unto death at Mount Neela, then a celestial voice cried ‘Thou shalt see him.’


Subsequently, the king performed one thousand Ashwamedha Yajna (sacrifice) and built a magnificent temple for Vishnu. The first Murti of Lord Narasimha was brought by Narada which got installed in the temple. Subsequently, during sleep, the king got an image in his dream of Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Chakra Sudarshan. A cosmological voice also directed him to bring the massive dark coloured, Divine Log of wood floating in the seashore and make idols out of it.


Sage Narada advised to bring the Divine Log of wood to a high altar, presently identified as the Mahavedi. Then Shri Visvakarma, the divine architect emerged in the guise of a wrinkly oldie carpenter and requested the king for giving him an opportunity to carve the wooden idols which were to become deities. The carpenter had made one condition with the king and queen, stating not to open the door of the till 21 days. However, just after two weeks, one fine day, the Queen became very anxious as she couldn’t hear any noise from inside. She assumed the carpenter to be dead and requested the king to open the door. On the 17th day , the king opened the door, but to their surprise , they found the three idols unfinished with incomplete hands , and carpenter being disappeared . But a divine voice told King Indradyumana to install these deities in the temple. The king Indradyumna then requested Shri Visvakarma to build a magnificent temple to house the deities, near the Kalpabata. Finally, the deities were installed in the temple by Brahma with divine rituals.


Lord Jagannath is known as “Darubrahma“. In the 28th Chapter of Skanda-Purana Purushottama-kshetra Mahatmya, Lord Brahma Himself reveals the true identity of Lord Shri Jagannath when He instructs King Indradyumna with these words: “Thinking it is a wooden image, O pre-eminent King, let there not be the idea in you that this is a mere image; this is verily the form of Supreme Brahman (Supreme Omnipresent God). As Param-Brahman takes away all sorrows and confers eternal bliss, He is known as Daru. According to the four Vedas therefore, the Lord is manifest in the form of Daru (sacred wood). He is the Creator of the entire Universe. He has also created Himself.” (Chapter 28, verses 39-41).
King Indradyumna then introduced the daily and special festive rituals of the Lord, as per scriptures, which continues till date. The temple of Lord Jaganath constructed by King Indradyumna is considered to be the tallest monument of the world with 1,000 cubits high and also the most beautiful Temple for Lord Vishnu.
Lord Shree Jagannath , Darubrahma
Shree Jagannath, Shri Baladev and Mata Subhadra are worshipped on the Ratnavedi along with Sudarshan chakra. All these deities are carved out of dark coloured Neem wood, unlike deities in Hindu temples, which are carved out of stone and precious metals. Shri Jagannath is black in complexion, Shri Balabhadra is white , Mata Subhadra is turmeric yellow and The Sudarshan chakra is red in colour. These deities are unique and signifies that Shri Jagannath is beyond space and time and symbol of universal love and brotherhood.
The glory and descriptions of manifestations of Shree Jagannath has been described in many sacred scriptures of Sanatana Vaidika Dharma ranging from the Vedas to the Puranas, followed by literary compositions in Sanskrit, Odia and other languages.
Lord Shree Jagannath, Purusham Mahantam, The Supreme Divine Being
“He (The Supreme Divine Being) is without hands, feet (and yet) moves and grasps; He sees (though) without eyes; He hears (though) without ears. He knows whatever is to be known, and of Him, there is no knower. They speak of Him as the First, the Purusha and the Great.” Shvetasvetara Upanishad (Chapter 3, verse 19).
Shree Jagannath is Omnipresent , Omnipotent, and Omniscient . He is Parameshwara (Supreme Lord) Param-Brahman (Supreme Omnipresent God) and Paramatma (Supreme Self).
Shree Jagannath is revered and prayed by his ardent devotees in many names. Truth is one; wise speak of it in different ways.
He is Purushottama, that means, the Supreme Divine Being (Purusha means Divine Being; Uttama means Supreme).
He is Mahaprabhu. His open arm is a welcoming posture. He invites, embraces and protects his devotees.
He is “Mahabahu“. His parallel arms extend to unlimited points and helps limitless devotees who surrender to him.
He is “Nirakara“. He has a divine manifestation with a square flat head, face merging with chest, no neck, no ears and no limbs.
He is “Chakadola” .The divine Eyes are big, dark and round. He sees everything, hears everything and knows everything.
Lord Jagannath is dark, Black, in complexion, Balabhadra white and Maa Subhadra is turmeric yellow. The Sudarshan chakra is red in colour. The Lord of all religion whether Hindu or non-Hindu all find solace and relief in him even though they have different interpretations for Him. That is why it is said: truth is one; wise speak of it in different ways. In this way, Lord Jagannath is invoked and worshipped by devotees belonging to diverse religious faiths and traditions, each in their own way.
Ratha Yatra of Lord Jagannath also called as ‘Chariot Festival’ is a 10-12-day annual visit of Lord Jagannath, along with his elder brother Lord Balabhadra and little Sister Lord Subhadra to Gundicha Temple via Mausi Maa Temple (maternal aunt’s home) near Saradha Bali, Puri, 3 km away from the Jagannath temple, for nine days.




Who is Lord Jagannath? A Guide to Lord Jagannath’s Origin, History & LoreWith a vast and rich culture and heritage attributed to our religion, we have no lack of beautiful stories woven for our deities. And we’re going to be looking into the origin, history, powers, and lore of Lord Jagannath. Indian Gods and Goddesses take several forms and names.

The acclaimed Lord Krishna has yet another name, Lord Jagganath. This mischievous and charming deity is one of the popular Hindu Gods, known for his charisma and naughtiness.

In Hinduism, the Brahman, or Supreme Being, is a special, all-encompassing deity. The deva and devi, or various gods and goddesses, who each stand for one of Brahman’s elements, are revered in the Hindu Dharma. The Holy Trinity of the creator, protector, and destroyer, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva stands out among the many Hindu Gods and Goddesses. The triad could occasionally manifest as a deva or devi, taking on a new form. In India, each province has a unique deity.

Who is Jagannath God?
In the Indian states of West Bengal and Puri, Odisha (also known as Orissa), the Hindu god Krishna is venerated as Jagannatha (Sanskrit: “Lord of the World”).

The city of Puri is dominated by the 12th-century Jagannatha Temple. The sanctuary of the temple contains wooden statues of Jagannatha, his sister Subhadra, and their brother Balarama. Unlike the more well-known Buddha, Jagannatha is regularly portrayed as one of Vishnu’s ten avatars (incarnations) in modern art produced in Puri.

Lord Jagannath is another name for Lord Krishna. They are both identical. In order to express his transcendental feelings or maha bhava, Krishna assumed the form of Lord Jagannath. Krishna is hence same as Lord Jagannath.

No other region worships a form of Vishnu in the same way as Orissa does with Lord Jagannath, who is a unique god. He is referred to as Jagannath, the Lord of the Three Worlds: the Heavens, Earth, and the Underworld.

He is also one of Lord Krishna’s incarnations, the eighth manifestation of Lord Vishnu. Many of the characteristics of Vishnu, who protects the universe that Lord Brahma created, are shared by Jagannath.

When it comes to his followers, Jagannath is gentle and sympathetic, patiently listening to their prayers before bringing them delight through a variety of vibrant festivals and the most mouthwatering food offerings. Because Jagannath is a kind and generous god, he is adored by his followers.

Bring home the generous presence of Shree Jagannath in a minature form –

Meaning of Shree Jagannath
The words “Jagat” and “Natha” are combined to form the term “Jagannath.” Jagat denotes “The Universe/World,” whereas Natha denotes “Lord/Master.” Thus, Jagannath’s name literally translates to “Lord of the Universe.” Puri is known as “Jagannath Dham” or “Jagannath Puri” because it is where Lord Jagannath resides.

The Puri Jagannath Temple’s principal deity is Lord Jagannath. He is revered inside the temple alongside his elder brother Lord Balabhadra, sister Subhadra, and the powerful Sudarshan Chakra (disk). In order to represent all four races of the earth, Jagannath is black (inscrutability), Lord Balabhadra is white (enlightenment), Sister Subhadra is yellow (goodness), and Lord Sudarshan is red.

In Sanskrit, the letters “Ja” stand in for Jagannath, “Ga” for Balabhadra, “Nna” for Subhadra, and “Tha” for Sudarsan. Thus, the four deities of the Jagannath Temple are united under the name Jagannath.

His parallel arms show that he is ready to hug followers from all over the world, and his round eyes, which lack eyelids, show that he is attentive to his followers’ needs even when he is not sleeping. Lord Jagannath-related matters are all Bada (any form of Greatness).

He’s referred to as the Bada Thakura (The Chief among all Gods). The Bada Deula is the name of His Temple (The main temple among the temples). Bada Danda is the name of the street in front of the temple (Grand Road). The Mahodadhi is the name of the Sea of Puri (Great Ocean). The Puri cemetery for cremations is called Swargadwar (The Gateway to Heaven).

The Hindu god Vishnu came to King Indradyumna in dreams and asked him to build a temple for him. He told the king to build the temple and then pick up a log of wood that would come floating in from the sea. This log had to be used to carve an image of the deity Lord Nilmadhav. Vishwakarma, the architect of the gods, answered the prayers of Indradyumna and appeared before the king in the guise of an old man.

However, the log was so heavy that no one could pick it up, and again, the tribal chief Vishwavasu had to be summoned, and he carried the log to the temple. This is the legendary explanation of the garbha griha of the temple, welcoming devotees with their kind and compassionate smiles.

The Rig Veda hymn 10.155 mentions a Daru (wooden leg) wandering in the sea as a Purusha, albeit this is open to interpretation. The name was taken to be synonymous with Purushottama, and the Dara wood log was cited as the source of Jagannath’s inspiration, placing the beginning of the deity in the second millennium BCE. However, many academics disagree with this interpretation, arguing that the hymn belongs in the setting of Arayi’s “Alaxmi Stava.”

However, Lord Jagannath is referred to as Purushottama by the locals of Puri. They also see the driftwood as a symbol of their salvation, and Hindu literature from the region go on to explain how the Supreme Being is present in everything.

The Vedic connection can therefore be disputed or interpreted in various ways, but the ideas coincide nonetheless.

The Puranas claim that Lord Vishnu’s Narasimha Avatar appeared as a wooden pillar. Thus, it is believed that Jagannath is worshipped with the Shri Narsimha hymn, which is dedicated to Narasimha Avatar, as a wooden idol called Daru Brahma. As far ago as the Puranas, Lord Jagannath celebrated his Ratha Yatra. In the Padma Purana, Brahma Purana, and Skanda Purana, the celebration is described in detail.

The natives of West Bengal and a significant chunk of Orissa revere Lord Jagannath, who is known as a transcendental Hindu deity. Sri Jagannath is thought to be one of Lord Krishna’s incarnations as the eighth manifestation of Lord Vishnu. In a triumvirate with his siblings Subhadra and Balabhadra, he is highly revered.

The deity is referred to as Jagannath and is known as the Lord of the Universe, which is made up of the three terms heaven, earth, and netherworld. Many of the qualities attributed to Lord Vishnu, who is known as the protector of the cosmos imagined by Lord Brahma, are thought to be shared by Jagannath.

It is thought that Lord Jagannath is a non-sectarian deity. In the Indian states of Manipur, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Gujarat, and Tripura, he is highly revered on a local level. He holds significance for Bangladeshi Hindus as well. The Jagannath temple at Puri, Odisha, is particularly significant to Vaishnavism and is regarded as one of India’s Char Dham pilgrimage sites as well as one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage sites since roughly 800 CE.

Hindu god Lord Jagannath is revered by worshippers in India and all across the world. Lord Jagannath is regarded as a manifestation (avatar) of Lord Vishnu. He actually possesses all of Lord Vishnu’s avatars qualities. On various festivals, Lord Jagannath is worshipped in various guises.

For instance, he is commonly compared to Lord Shri Krishna, Lord Vishnu’s eighth avatar. Since Lord Jagannath’s idol is made of wood, he is compared to Lord Vishnu’s Narasimha Avatar, who manifested as a wooden pillar. Lord Jagannath is worshipped throughout the month of Bhadra (August–September) as the Vamana incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Lord Jagannath Impact on Hindu Iconography
The idols of Shri Jagannath are colourfully painted and skillfully carved from a neem wooden stump. He is not portrayed as a human being, in contrast to other celestial creatures in Hinduism. It is depicted that the pillar holding up his face and chest is fusing together. It is thought that the enormous round face represents an Anadi (without beginning) and Ananta (without end).

This wooden stump is designed to display two enormous, symmetrical, circular eyeballs that are made of wood but lack eyelids. The moon is symbolized by one eye, while the sun is represented by the other. The legs, neck, and ears are visibly absent, but two extra stumps on either side of the main stump function as the Lord’s hands.

The stump is then further embellished to create Shri Jagannath’s final appearance. On his forehead, he is shown with a Vaishnava U-mark. His dark skin tone and other facial traits are an abstraction of Krishna, the Hindu deity who has multiple forms.

The deity is shown alongside his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra at the vast majority of Lord Jagannath shrines in Eastern India and all of his important temples located in Puri, Odisha.

Famous Saints Representing Lord Jagannath
Adi Shankaracharya, a Hindu reformer and scholar who oversaw a religious revolution in the eighth century, constructed the Goverdhan Math, the oldest monastery in Puri. Ramanujacharya, a saint and scholar, oversaw the temple’s rites when he arrived in Puri in the 12th century. In the 12th century, Vishnu Swami founded the Vishnuswami math. Here was where poet saint Chaitanya Mahaprabhu resided, and his Gaudiya Math is one of Puri’s biggest monasteries.

Eventually, during his nationwide travels in the 16th century, Guru Nanak made it to this location. Over a hundred monasteries now exist in Puri, and numerous temples are managed by different Vaishnava sects.



How Did Lord Jagannath Come Into Existence!
The creator of existence and the father behind all happenings has a miraculous story associated with his introduction to the world. His presence can still be felt if you go to Lord Jagannath Temple of Puri, with all the devotion and dedication. Jagannath Temple of Puri is said to be one among the 4 most sacred places in the world. Before you head towards the real abode of God, understand the real story behind his presence. This will for sure take your soul closer to the Lord and help you attain eternal bliss.
The wish of King Indradyumna
Lord jagannath Puri The devotion of the great King made him feel the power which has no boundaries – the power of Lord Jagannath! King Indradyumna was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and was eager to meet him face to face. Once a brahmana came to the palace of the King Indrayumna and told him about an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, named Nila Madhava. The king then sent different brahmana’s out to search for Lord Nila Madhava. They all returned unsuccessful except a priest named Vidyapati.
The discovery by Vidyapati
Lord jagannath Puri After traveling for a while Vidyapati came to an area inhabited by non-Aryans called sabaras. He stayed at the house of a local chief, called Visvavasu. When he arrived Visvavasu was not there, but his daughter Lalita was. Vidyapati stayed there for some time and eventually married Lalita, the daughter of the Sabara. Vidyapati noticed some peculiar behavior of his host. Visvavasu would go out every day around noon and would return back to the house scented with fragrances of sandalwood, camphor, and musk. Vidyapati asked his wife about this and she informed him that his father would go daily to worship Nila Madhava. Lalita had been told by her father not to tell anyone about Nila Madhava, but she had overstepped that order by telling her husband. Vidyapati repeatedly requested to see Nila Madhava.
The sight of Nila Madhava
Nirjala-Ekadashi Finally, Visvavasu bound Vidyapati’s eyes and took him to see Nila Madhava. Vidyapati secretly carried some mustard seeds in his cloth and he dropped them onto the path as he was walking. When he reached Nila Madhava, the blindfold was removed and Vidyapati saw Nila Madhava. Visvavasu went out to collect some forest flowers to worship and Vidyapati stayed near the Deity. During this time a crow fell off the branch of a tree into a nearby lake and drowned. It immediately took a four armed Vaikuntha form and started back to the spiritual world. Vidyapati then climbed up onto the tree and was about to jump into the lake. A voice came from the sky and said: “Since you have seen Nila Madhava, you should inform King Indradyumna.”
The hurting wish of Lord Vishnu
Visvavasu returned and started his daily worship of Nila Madhava. Suddenly the Lord spoke to him and said, “I have accepted for many days the simple forest flowers and roots offered to me by you. Now I desire the royal worship offered to me in devotion by King Indradyumna.” Visvavasu felt cheated by his son-in-law; therefore, he bound him up and kept in his house. After repeatedly being requested by his daughter he let him go. The brahmana then went to King Indradyumna and told him about his discovery. By following the mustard seeds, which had grown into small plants, they were able to follow the path to Nila Madhava. When they reached the spot, they could not find him. King Indradyumna had the village besieged and arrested Visvavasu. Suddenly a voice came from the sky, “Release this sabara. On top of Nila hill, you should construct a temple. There I will manifest as Daru-brahman (the Absolute Truth manifested in a wooden form). You will not see me as Nila Madhava.
The emergence of the great Jagannath Temple of Puri
Lord jagannath Puri The King constructed a temple. The King wanted Lord Brahma to consecrate the temple. So he traveled to Brahmaloka and waited there for him. During this time the temple became covered by sand. While he was gone, first Suradeva and then Galamadhava became king of the area. King Galamadhava uncovered the temple from the sand. Shortly afterward, King Indradyumna return from Brahma’s abode. Indradyumna claimed that he had built the temple and Galamadhava also claimed the same thing. There was an old crow in the nearby banyan tree who was constantly singing the glories of Lord Rama. The crow had seen the construction of the temple and said that Indradyumna had built the temple and that Galamadhava had just uncovered it. Because he had not told the truth Galamadhava was ordered by Brahma to live outside the temple compound on the western side of Indradyumna Sarovara Lake. Indradyumna then asked Lord Brahma to consecrate the temple and the surrounding area, which was called Sri Kshetra and gives the highest type of liberation. Lord Brahma told him that Sri Kshetra is manifested by the Supreme Lord’s internal potency and that the Supreme Lord manifests Himself. Therefore he could not install the Lord here, but Lord Jagannath and his abode are eternally situated in the material world. He said he would install the flag on the temple and that anyone who sees this flag and offers prostrated obeisance would easily be liberated.
The manifestation by Lord Jagannath – THE MIRACLE!
Lord jagannath Puri After a while, King Indradyumna became frustrated with not seeing Nila Madhava. He decided to lie on a bed of Kusa grass and too fast until death. Lord Jagannath came to him in a dream and told him I shall come floating from the sea in my wooden form as Daru-brahman at the place called Bakimuhan. The King went to this place and saw a huge piece of wood which had the marks of a conch, club, disc, and lotus on it. Many men and elephants tried to move Daru-brahman, but they could not move Him. That night Lord Jagannatha spoke to Indradyumna in a dream and told him to bring Visvavasu, who used to serve Nila Madhava and bring a golden chariot in front of Daru-brahman. The king did this and Daru-brahman easily was placed onto the chariot. Lord Brahma then performed a sacrifice and established a Deity of Narasimhadeva on the raised platform of the sacrifice arena. It is said that the Deity of Narasimha in the present temple compound, which is on the western side of the Mukti-Mandapa, is the original Narasimha Deity.
The Ultimate God in disguise
King Indradyumna had the best sculptors come to carve the Deity of Lord Jagannath from Daru-brahman. As soon as they started their chisels broke to pieces. The Supreme Lord Himself came in Disguise as an old artist who called Himself Ananta Maharana (According to the Narada Purana, Visvakarma, the architect of the demigods carved the Deities by the desire of Lord Vishnu, who took the form of an old brahmana). He said that if he was able to work behind closed doors for 21 days then the deities could be carved. The old sculptor then took Daru-brahman into the temple and the doors were closed. After 14 days passed, the king could not hear any sounds of the artist’s tools and he became fully anxious. The king then personally opened the door of the temple by force. The King did not see the sculptor, but instead, he saw the three forms of Lord Jagannath, Subhadra, and Lord Balarama. Their fingers and toes were unfinished. Thinking himself to be a great offender the king decided to give up his life. He then lay on a bed of Kusa grass and began to fast. Lord Jagannath appeared to him in a dream. He told the king that He is eternally situated here in Nilachala in the form of Lord Jagannath as Daru-brahman. In the material world, I descended in 24 Deity incarnations along with my abode. I have no material hands and feet, but with my transcendental senses, I accept all the items offered by My devotees. The fact that you broke your promise is part of the pastime for me to manifest in the form of Jagannath. Those devotees whose eyes are smeared with the salve of love will always see Me as Syamasundara, holding a flute.
The never-ending Ritual since generations
Lord jagannath Puri The King prayed to Lord Jagannath that those in the family of the sculptor who manifested your form will continue to assist in constructing the three carts. He also told him that the descendants of Visvavasu, who served Me as Nila Madhava, should generations after generations serve Me. They shall be called as dayitas. The descendants of Vidyapati born from his brahmana wife should perform the Deity worship to me. The descendants born from his Sabari wife, Lalita, should cook My food. They shall be known as suyaras. King Indradyumna then requested Lord Jagannath, that the doors of the temple should be closed only 3 hours a day. The King also requested that he would not have any descendants so that no one in the future would claim the temple of Lord Jagannath as their own property.
Proof of the mythology behind Jagannath Temple
It is said in the Narada Purana (Uttara Khanda 52.123), that the Supreme Lord Narayana told Lakshmi Devi: “In that great abode known as Purushottam-kshetra, which is rarely achieved among all the three worlds, the Kesava Deity, who was fashioned by the Supreme Lord Himself is situated. If men simply see that Deity, they will be easily able to come to My Abode.” In Skanda-Purana (Utkala-khanda) it is mentioned that this most beautiful Sri Kshetra is spread over 10 yojanas (128km or 80 miles) and surrounded by sands. Utkala is another name of Orissa. Utkala is described in scriptures as the holiest place on this planet. Utkala is divided into four parts which represent the weapons of Lord Vishnu. These four kshetras are known as Sankha-kshetra (Puri town), Padma-kshetra (Konark), Cakra-kshetra (Bhubaneswar) and Gada-kshetra(Jajapura, where the Viraja Devi temple is). Within this area of 10 yojanas, Puri is known as Sankha-kshetra because its shape resembles a conch shell. This Puri-kshetra covers an area of 5 krosa, 3 of which are immersed in the ocean, and 2 on land. This land is covered with golden sands and deChorated with a blue mountain. The Lord Himself in His arca-vigraha form is residing here on the bank of the ocean atop the blue mountain. Sankha-kshetra spreads from east to west. Its head is towards the west where Lokanatha Mahadeva resides. Jagannath Temple is one of the four major Dhams, and has been forming history in doing miracles to its devotees. Make a blend of perfect devotion and dedication towards God and you will always feel his presence closely.